Extinction Rebellion protest comes to Stroud Sub Rooms

In the early hours of Friday morning, Extinction Rebellion activists from across Gloucestershire came together in the penultimate installation of a series of artistic, non-violent actions, setting out hundreds of children’s shoes and holding bright pink banners saying: ‘Climate Crisis – We Want To Live.’

The touring installation came with the message: ‘Climate Crisis – We Want To Live!’, which has been taken to different communities across Gloucestershire over the past couple of weeks.

The shoes and message were toured by local Extinction Rebellion groups and taken to their towns, villages and beauty spots, stressing the need to address the climate crisis. 

The individual groups will highlight the need to cease investment in fossil fuels and the impact of climate change on rising water levels, wildlife and biodiversity, and the fragility of our futures.  

Sarah Lunnon, a former County Councillor for Stroud, said: “The empty shoes outside of the Stroud Subscription Rooms paint a picture of our future if we don’t change. 

“If we want it to be a future in which children’s shoes are used and worn out rather than becoming memories of loss we need radical transformational action not a return to business as usual.”

The touring installation started in Gloucester on Friday 17, and toured across the county to destinations including Cheltenham, Wotton-under-Edge and Tewkesbury. 

The poignant installation urges the government to respond with the same urgency as they have done to protect those most vulnerable to the coronavirus. 

The county-wide action is part of a lead up to the next national rebellion on 1st September when Parliament returns. 

 Edie Layfield (10) from Rodborough. Photo: Robin Layfield.

Plans for the demonstration came together following news that the Committee on Climate Change is now warning the government to prepare for 4°C of warming by 2100 – an increase which could result in drastic socio-economic upheaval across the globe, with billions of lives potentially at risk from famine, flooding and resource-driven conflict.

The protest comes as UK lockdown eases and the government begins bailing out carbon intensive industries, writing off chances of keeping within Paris Climate Agreement promises.

The shoes, which had been donated by neighbours and supporters throughout the South West, were donated to Shoe Aid after the demonstrations.

In the first six months of 2020 the UK saw its warmest May on record, while Siberia has experienced a heatwave ‘effectively impossible’ without accounting for climate change, according to leading scientists.

Pictures used courtesy of Robin Layfield.

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