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Saturday 06 June 2020

Extinction Rebellion Brighton In Beach Hut Protest For Public-Led Green Recovery From Pandemic

Extinction Rebellion Brighton held a socially distanced protest on Hove seafront calling for a bigger public say in how society rebuilds following the coronavirus crisis.
Credit J. Taylor

The environmental activists are calling for a citizens' assembly to decide how to restructure the economy in the wake of the pandemic.

According to Extinction Rebellion the majority of the public believes addressing the climate crisis must be at the forefront of government policies.

During Saturday's protest, the activists stood in silence for an hour, three metres apart, in front of Hove beach huts.

They held signs which said "Decide together", "No going back", "Profit or people?" and "New Roads or new bike lanes?."

An Extinction Rebellion Brighton spokesperson said: 

"We are at a turning point in human history. The Government is driving a return to "normal" as quickly as possible. But "normal" is killing us.

"Our Government has a choice; prioritise profit or prioritise health. Bailout destructive industries or bailout people and the planet. Mass extinction or mass participation. 

Extinction Rebellion mass protest all over the UK

"It's time to trust the people. As part of coronavirus recovery, we demand a binding citizens' assembly on how to rebuild our economy, our democracy and our future."

Similar protests took place in other areas of the country - including Parliament Square in London.

The protests were designed so that people were physically distanced at 3 metres apart, with everyone being asked to wear masks and arrive by walking or cycling.

The Extinction Rebellion Brighton spokesperson added: 

"The coronavirus crisis has shown us what's possible when the political will is there. Everything can change. 

"Although there might not be a clear way out of either of these two huge disasters, we know one thing for sure: There can be no going back to the way things were.

"As we have recently seen, Brighton and Hove City Council was able to act in a matter of days in response to a crisis threatening the health and wellbeing of our communities. 

"Why then, with a crisis of such enormous magnitude and consequently much greater risk to people, have they done so little in relation to the climate and biodiversity crises.

"Extinction Rebellion Brighton recognises that they have made positive steps, for example the new Shoreham Road bike lane, but say there is still so much more to be done.

"Nearly eighteen months on from the council promising to become carbon neutral by 2030 will still have to real plan for how they will achieve that.

"Since the lockdown has been relaxed, road transport – responsible for the biggest chunk of emissions in the city – has shot back to normal levels. We need to see much, much more , ambitious action from councillors."

Extinction Rebellion Brighton believes that protesting for a solution to the climate crisis remains essential during the pandemic. 

The activists will protest safely for the future health and safety of our planet and generations of all life. 

This is work they cannot do from home but can carry out safely outdoors, as per government guidance, the activists say.

by: Mike Cobley




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