Extinction Rebellion Cambridge Youth’s week-long action will block Fen Causeway
The planned week-long action by Extinction Rebellion Cambridge Youth and Rebel for Justice, Cambridge’s largest-ever act of civil disobedience, will take place on the roundabout on Trumpington Road intersecting with Fen Causeway.
With the round-the-clock action starting on February 16, there is no sign that the group’s demands for fossil fuel divestment, a just transition and a citizens assembly will be met by the University of Cambridge, Cambridgeshire County Council or Cambridge City Council, and the climate emergency activists have targeted maximum disruption for its planned roadblock.
“The location has been specifically chosen to target the three institutions we have issued demands of, while still heavily disrupting Cambridge’s road network upping the pressure for them even more,” said a spokesperson for the group. “The site will become a base for more disruptive satellite actions to take place all across Cambridge, and the roadblock itself will be a place of peace, learning, and above all a commitment to social and climate justice.”
A section of Fen Causeway will be roadblocked for the action, by the turnoff for the James Dyson Building. The other roadblock is expected on Trumpington Road near the end of Lensfield Road (near the Royal Cambridge Hotel): turning right goes past the Fitzwillliam Museum, and this road - Trumpington Street - will remain open. There will be a third roadblock 120 metres along Trumpington Road heading out of town, roughly where the left turn-off into Pemberton Terrace is located.
Online preparations on a XR ‘Love Rebellion’ platform suggest people bring tents and ask “whether you’re prepared to participate in an action which may risk arrest”. Calls for everyone from “samba drummers to logistics enthusiasts” are part of the conversation. “We need people, skills, and enthusiasm,” says the protesters, who operate without a central organisational component.
“XR Cambridge and XR Youth Cambridge will bring the city to a halt with a week-long roadblock if the institutions of Cambridge do not meet our three local demands on climate and social justice,” the group declares. “The University of Cambridge must cut ties with the fossil fuel industry. Cambridge City Council must hold a citizens’ assembly on climate justice, and Cambridgeshire County Council must work with other relevant regional authorities to provide a plan for a just transition away from an inadequate transport system reliant on fossil fuels.
“We’re inviting Rebels from all across the region (and beyond!) to join us.”
The organisation confirmed: “The site was chosen because it allows us to most closely target the three institutions that Rebel for Justice is about - the university and both councils. It will be a creative and peaceful space established on February 16 and will be in place at all times until the following Saturday. The roadblocks will be people-based with some light infrastructure to make the site safer, more permanent, and accommodating to everyone.”
More information, including an information pack, themes for each day, and some of the satellite actions will be distributed to activists nearer to the start date.
More by this authorMike Scialom