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New ‘anti-political’ party Burning Pink threatens civil disobedience in Cambridge

The UK’s newest ‘anti-political’ party, Burning Pink (BP), has issued councils across the UK an ultimatum: act on the climate emergency or expect mass civil disobedience.

Burning Pink pasting its demands on to the council building
Burning Pink pasting its demands on to the council building

The local branch of the nationwide group, Burning Pink Cambridge, has demanded that Cambridgeshire County Council and Cambridge City Council honour their climate emergency declaration to act on the ecological collapse and social breakdown or face a campaign of non-violent civil disobedience starting on Monday, February 15.

The group has not indicated what that might involve - but has warned it will be “radical”.

When the group launched in London in June 2020, they marked it by shoplifting shopping trolleys full of food from Sainsbury’s in Camden to highlight, they said, the instability of global food distribution.

Extinction Rebellion co-founder Roger Hallam is a driving force behind Burning Pink, which has issued 21 councils across the UK with a letter outlining 12 demands, insisting that councils call on the government to “immediately slash carbon emissions to protect Britain from the greatest threat in its history”. Failure to comply with their demands will result, they say, in “local unrest”.

The Cambridge branch of the group claims that since the city and county councils declared a climate and ecological emergency in 2019, there has been little sign that they actually understand the meaning of it.

Burning Pink posting a letter to the council
Burning Pink posting a letter to the council

A party member said: “We are in an emergency beyond horrific. The climate emergency is the greatest crisis of our time and inaction is catapulting us into catastrophe.

“The climate crisis is now locked in and we are projected to pass 1.5 degrees in temperature rise within the next decade and five degrees by the end of the century.

“We will see the breakdown of our ecological systems and the destruction of wild habitats vital to the health of this planet. There will be mass famine, droughts and floods, crop failures and our livelihoods and economy will be destroyed.

“If immediate action is not taken by the local council and central governments, future generations will be condemned to the breakdown of our society and natural world.”

The party member added: “The councils have four weeks to respond. If they don’t, they can expect civil disobedience to begin from February 15, 2021. We are completely non-violent. However, our actions will be radical because we do not have the time to do nothing anymore.”

The letter states that politicians have engaged in “a treasonous betrayal of the British people by refusing to tell them the truth and refusing to protect our communities and nations”.

Burning Pink's posted on the council building
Burning Pink's posted on the council building

It was delivered to the city and county councils in Cambridge, along with other local authorities in the region and nationwide.

The 12 demands the group are demanding must be met are:

  • Divest all council employee pension funds from fossil fuels
  • Switch to green tariffs for all electricity use across council buildings
  • Prioritise circular economics in local planning and economic policy
  • Ensure local planning policy aims to achieve a carbon-positive status
  • Update or fund the County Climate (& Ecological) Emergency Plan to deliver a net-zero carbon county by 2030 at the latest
  • Update the council’s fleet of vehicles to electric ones at the next opportunity for a fleet lease contract review
  • Integrate blue/green/grey urban infrastructure projects to make space/conserve rainwater and reduce flood risk
  • Establish a new walking and cycling body for the county
  • Fund mandatory weekly food waste collections
  • Find new ways to raise money
  • Set up a year-long, legally-binding Citizens’ Assembly to agree on further actions to decarbonise their local economy over the next five years
  • Write an open letter to the central government giving them three months to initiate a radical transformation of the national economy to achieve net-zero emissions within five years.

In a statement, BP declared: “The social contract is shattered. This government is committed to sending us to our deaths. We have a right and a duty to bring them down.”

Cambridge City Council and Cambridgeshire County Council have been contacted for comment.

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