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Extinction Rebellion Plan to Bring City to a Halt in Latest Protest

By Joshua Dowding - In the last few days, media outlets throughout Cambridge – including The Ruskin Journal – have been made aware of Extinction Rebellion’s plan to ‘bring the city to a halt’ with a ‘week-long roadblock’...

By Joshua Dowding

In the last few days, media outlets throughout Cambridge – including The Ruskin Journal – have been made aware of Extinction Rebellion’s plan to ‘bring the city to a halt’ with a ‘week-long roadblock’ should the ‘institutions of Cambridge’ fail to acquiesce to the group’s demands.

A local sect of the Extinction Rebellion protest movement plan to stage a blockade on the roundabout connecting Trumpington Road to The Fen Causeway. This disruption is likely to affect all adjoining routes including Lensfield Road and Trumpington Street leading into the city.

The protest is slated to begin on the 16th February and will go on until the 23rd uninterrupted, so long as their demands haven’t been met. The group states that the University of Cambridge should ‘cut ties with the fossil fuel industry’, that Cambridge City Council ‘must hold a Citizen’s Assembly on Climate Justice’, and that Cambridgeshire County Council ‘must work with other relevant authorities to provide a plan for a just transition away from an inadequate transport system reliant on fossil fuels’.

It’s unlikely that the institutions in question will circum to the demands being made, as the Cambridge Independent suggests, so the ‘round-the-clock’ protests will almost certainly go-ahead.

The group’s website reiterates the importance of the climate and ecological emergency and that the effects of the crisis ‘are falling more heavily on disadvantaged and marginalised communities around the world’. The article goes on to state that ‘any attempt to address the climate crisis must seek to bring justice to these communities.’ This, presumably, ties into their well-known ‘Climate Justice is Social Justice’ message, as seen throughout the organisation’s marketing materials as of late.

Extinction Rebellion’s Cambridge group have held sporadic, though regular protests throughout the city for a while now. Demonstrations such as the recent event at the Madingley Road Park & Ride on February 3rd, reported by Cambridgeshire Live. Protestors targeted this site due there being ‘a lot of very big names, polluters, in that area’, citing both BP and the Schlumberger research facility by name.

The Cambridge Independent also reports that posts made on XR’s ‘Love Rebellion’ platform suggest that protesters should ‘bring tents’. The post also suggests that the protesters should be ‘prepared to participate in an action which may risk arrest’. Alongside this, the group have put out a call for people with ‘skills, and enthusiasm’ to join in on their staged protest.

A spokesperson for the group told reporters that this location had been chosen to up-the-pressure on the institutions they’ve taken exception to. It’s true that the roundabout in question is a relatively busy junction, and that any disruption to the flow of traffic in that area will have a notable effect on Cambridge as a whole.

More information regarding the protest can be found on XR’s website.

The Ruskin Journal will keep a close eye on this story as it develops.

Sources

[1] Extinction Rebellion Cambridge Article
[2] Extinction Rebellion Cambridge Events Calendar
[3] Extinction Rebellion Cambridge – Rebel for Justice
[4] Cambridgeshire Live – ‘Extinction Rebellion plan Madingley Road Park & Ride mystery protest
[5] Cambridge Independent – ‘Extinction Rebellion Cambridge Youth’s week-long action will block Fen Causeway’

Image: Markus SpiskeUnsplash

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