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Petition to declare climate emergency boosted by city ride



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Extinction Rebellion action - critical mass bike ride through Cambridge on January15, seen here as they arrived at the Guildhall. Picture: Keith Heppell
Extinction Rebellion action - critical mass bike ride through Cambridge on January15, seen here as they arrived at the Guildhall. Picture: Keith Heppell

The Extinction Rebellion campaign took to Cambridge’s streets again yesterday (January 15) when around 60 cyclists rode through the city and blockaded the Shell garage in Newnham.

The event took place on Earth Strike Day, a global movement demanding that governments declare a climate emergency.

The cyclists “proceeded around Cambridge really slowly”, said one participant. Another, local graphic designer Jane Norman, said she “signed up to Extinction Rebellion in October”.

Extinction Rebellion: Sitdown in The Grafton (6615442)
Extinction Rebellion: Sitdown in The Grafton (6615442)

“Today was very positive,” she said. “We started off in Petersfield, cycled down Mill Road, round and then up Hills Road, then along Fen Causeway and stopped at the Shell garage in Newnham. We were there half an hour and blocked the entry and then the exit. There was no hassle at all. We had quite a lot of support from members of the public and that was great.

“We ended up at Guildhall and collected more signatures asking for Cambridge City Council to declare a climate emergency.

“We’ve got a lot of signatures and we’re waiting for them to go off to the council. This is about getting the government to tell the truth and face up to climate breakdown and the climate emergency we’re facing.”

Meanwhile Angela Ditchfield, an Extinction Rebellion activist and King's Hedges resident, has been asked to voluntarily attend an interview with Cambridgeshire police today (January 18) in connection with an incident at Shire Hall during Extinction Rebellion’s demonstration on 15th December last year.

Extinction Rebellion action: the first Cambridge activist, Angela Ditchfield of King's Hedges Green Party, has been asked to appear before police in relation to a charge of 'criminal damage'. Picture: Keith Heppell
Extinction Rebellion action: the first Cambridge activist, Angela Ditchfield of King's Hedges Green Party, has been asked to appear before police in relation to a charge of 'criminal damage'. Picture: Keith Heppell

It was not confirmed at the time of publication if Ms Ditchfield has been charged but she indicated her response to the charge in the following public statement: “I would like to plead guilty to criminally damaging the world by living a normal privileged lifestyle involving flying and driving, eating meat and dairy industry products and other foods produced unsustainably, buying plastic products and consumer electronics and buying unsustainable supermarket products. I ask to be charged with all of that rather than focusing on one alleged specific incident involving a single building entrance.

"Even though I have cut down gradually on these activities, over my lifetime I have caused a huge amount of criminal damage in the world.

"My crime however was joint enterprise. I would like to request that the county council, and all levels of government up to her Majesty The Queen be charged alongside me with criminal damage to the planet; with breaking the social contract to protect our life and security, with recklessly endangering the lives of many of the world’s poorest peoples as well as all future generations to come.”

Extinction Rebellion activities continue. The group’s NVDA (non-violent direct action) training takes place in Trumpington on Sunday (January 20).



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