Climate change protesters - Extinction Rebellion - take to Clitheroe streets

Climate change activists - young and old - gather in Clitheroe
Climate change activists - young and old - gather in Clitheroe

A group of environmental activists gathered in the town centre on Saturday to issue a Declaration of Rebellion to the Ribble Valley Borough Council and Clitheroe Town Council.

The one-day protest coincided with the town's heritage day celebrations.

“On this Heritage Day, as well as celebrating our rich cultural heritage, we are asking you to think about our common heritage, the earth,” said Clitheroe resident Kate Murry, one of the organisers and supporter of Extinction Rebellion.

She went onto explain that XR is a global movement of over 200 groups, active in over 20 countries, which operates on principles of non-violent direct action, to provoke governments into taking appropriate action on the climate emergency everyone faces.

Waddington resident Toni Baxter-Davies addressed the crowd of around 40 people, explaining why it is crucial to act now. He said: “By making this declaration, and delivering it to our town and county councillors, we are sending a clear message; we are ordinary people of the Ribble Valley, and we are demanding that our elected representatives take the Climate Emergency seriously and take radical measures now."

He added: “Councils around the country are accepting that we are in a Climate Emergency, and formally writing into their constitutions that sustainability and global impact need to be at the forefront of every decision they make. They are passing motions and pledging to become net zero carbon emitting councils by 2030. We call on our councils to do the same.”

The Declaration of Rebellion was signed by members of the public and read out by Harry Lee, a pupil at Clitheroe Royal Grammar School, who has been inspired by the Swedish schoolgirl, Greta Thunberg to attend school climate strikes.

Local Green Party member and activist, Gaye McCrum, from Worston, said: “I’ve been concerned about environmental issues for many years and I’ve tried to do my bit in reducing reusing and recycling. However, in the last year, along with millions of other people, I’ve become aware of the climate crisis facing us and the need to take urgent action, to change the way we misuse our planet and its resources. I have recently joined Extinction Rebellion and I believe that this movement offers thoughtful, practical and effective strategies to makes these urgent changes. The Declaration of Rebellion in Clitheroe today is a small step on this road."