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Gallery: Extinction Rebellion ‘die-in’ targets Grand Arcade

Making an XR point at the Grand Arcade on Boxing Day. Picture: Kay Goodridge
Making an XR point at the Grand Arcade on Boxing Day. Picture: Kay Goodridge

At 10am on Boxing Day, supporters of the Extinction Rebellion (XR) climate change protest movement blockaded the Petty Cury entrance to the Grand Arcade.

“We are doing a die-in in the Grand Arcade to highlight the fact that whilst people here are tied up in a system of consumerism, people elsewhere in the UK and across the world and dying because of the climate crisis,” said an XR spokesperson.

“Around a dozen rebels attended the Boxing Day die-in,” said XR protestor Jane Goodland. “It was a powerful visual action – we were hard to ignore and lots of people stopped to take a leaflet, ask questions and show their support.

“We were there to highlight the impact that consumerism is having on our world right now because of what it contributes in resource extraction and emissions. People all over the world - from Bangladesh and Brazil to Australia and even South Yorkshire and Kent - are suffering now because of natural disasters linked to climate breakdown. The world is burning, drowning and choking - we cannot carry on as if everything is normal. Politicians all over the world need to get their heads out of the sand. They must tell people the truth and act with the radicalism and speed that this emergency calls for.

“We were disappointed by the heavy-handed attitude of the management and security staff, who were quite threatening towards rebels engaged in this very low-key and non-violent action. We understand that they have a job to do but there is no need to single people out and threaten to forcibly remove them.”

Kay Goodridge, a local artist and sculptor, said: “For over two hours we blocked the entrance of the Grand Arcade, lying down covered with banners and placards highlighting the connection between consumerism and the climate emergency. It caused a commotion with shoppers and security guards who wanted us to move as they told us we were causing a health and safety issue by blocking a fire exit, but we had a lot of support from the public and a lot of interest in XR, our aims and our reasons for being there.”

Grand Arcade was contacted for comment prior to going to press.

The next XR action is scheduled for January 18 at the BP petrol station on Elizabeth Way.

Extinction Rebellion’s 2019 success include:

- Cambridge City Council declares climate emergency (February)

- ‘Nepocide’ coined by Cambridge XR, first reported in Cambridge Independent (February)

- First of several youth strikes (March)

- Graduate ceremonies at University of Cambridge targeted (June)

- Cambridge’s first traffic-free day proved a great success (July)

- Medical group joins XR (August)

- Red Rebels initiate climate theatre on streets of city (August)

- Engineers and techies join school strikers (September)

- First Silent Rebellion (September)

- XR protestor cleared of criminal damage charge (November)

- XR hunger strikers protest outside Guildhall (November)

- Billy Bragg joins Cambridge youth strikers

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