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‘We have our first climate refugees in the UK’: XR video




Extinction Rebellion activist illustrates what they mean when they say that corporations are "sweeping the evidence of climate change out of view". Picture: Mike Scialom
Extinction Rebellion activist illustrates what they mean when they say that corporations are "sweeping the evidence of climate change out of view". Picture: Mike Scialom

Cambridge shoppers today heard that climate change is no longer something that happens somewhere else, to other people, when an Extinction Rebellion protest produced a speaker who told the public: “We are experiencing our first climate refugees.”

Referring to the flooding which has affected the Midlands and the north of England over the last week, the protester warned that the insurance sector has been known to refuse cover for certain geographies.

These people are losing everything,” the speaker said in St Andrew’s Street. “Corporations are continuing to pour money into things they know are disruptive because they know that even though it's destructive they can still make money.”

The demonstration took a slightly surreal edge as customers received a police escort into the the retail bank beside the protesters, thought the mood lightened soon after with one of the the movement's trademark songs ‘We are singing for our lives’.

Police escort customers into the building on St Andrew's Street as XR protest continues outside. Picture: Mike Scialom
Police escort customers into the building on St Andrew's Street as XR protest continues outside. Picture: Mike Scialom

Campaigners have been buoyed this month by three positive news stories:

1. The acquittal of Cambridge XR activist Angela Ditchfield of criminal damage charges following an XR protest at Shire Hall.

2. The first indication that a citizens assembly could come into being.

3. A police ban againt XR ptotests was deemed unlawful in the High Court.

Meanwhile, there was another protest outside Guildhall, organised by Cambridgeshire Quakers to protest against the arms trade. The group, describing itself as “Peacemakers since 1661”, carried placards reading “The world needs guided men and women not guided missiles” and “Never in history has war resulted in lasting peace”.

The maths seems pretty clear. Only does peace result in peace. There were no reported incidents at the XR protest, which concluded at 2pm, when the bank closed until Monday.

Quakers for Peace outside Guildhall. Picture: Mike Scialom
Quakers for Peace outside Guildhall. Picture: Mike Scialom

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