Peaceful XR protest in Norwich against proposed policing measures

Extinction Rebellion protesters Margaret Goodyear, left, 79, and Vanda Ryan, 70, at the Forum in Nor

Extinction Rebellion protesters Margaret Goodyear, left, 79, and Vanda Ryan, 70, at the Forum in Norwich. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

About 30 people took to the streets of Norwich to show their support for the right to protest peacefully.

Extinction Rebellion Norwich, an environmental conservation group, organised a Walk for Freedom event in the centre of Norwich from noon on Saturday, March 27.

The event was organised in the wake of the Police and Crime Bill under which senior officers would be able to put more restrictions on protests, including imposing a start and finish time, set noise limits and apply such rules to a demonstration by just one person.

Violence at a third night of protests on Bristol has been condemned by prime minister Boris Johnson but in Norwich there were no such issues with those involved in the protest carrying banners and placards to help air their concerns.

Extinction Rebellion protesters at the Forum in Norwich. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Extinction Rebellion protesters at the Forum in Norwich. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Margaret Goodyear, 79, and Vanda Ryan, 70, were both part of the XR Protest in the city centre based outside the Forum on Saturday.

Margaret, from Norwich, said she was taking part as peaceful protesting was “just such a basic human right” in a democracy.
She said: “I just have that feeling that it's one step too far. This one just got to me, it seems all wrong".

Extinction Rebellion protesters Margaret Goodyear, left, 79, and Vanda Ryan, 70, at the Forum in Nor

Extinction Rebellion protesters Margaret Goodyear, left, 79, and Vanda Ryan, 70, at the Forum in Norwich. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Vanda said: "I wouldn't normally do this sort of thing" but insisted people were going to be affected by this.

Another protester called Malcolm, 50, who did not want to give his surname, said he was "very concerned" about the Police and Crime Bill.

Malcolm, one of the Extinction Rebellion protesters, at the Forum in Norwich. Picture: DENISE BRADLE

Malcolm, one of the Extinction Rebellion protesters, at the Forum in Norwich. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

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Another woman, who did not want to give her name, attended the event with others who were not part of the XR group but were "just concerned individually" about the impact of the Bill.

Extinction Rebellion protesters at the Forum in Norwich. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Extinction Rebellion protesters at the Forum in Norwich. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

In a message put out on Facebook inviting people to take part in the event on Saturday, Extinction Rebellion (XR) Norwich said: "This is not a gathering or organised protest.

"This is a walk, or sit in the outdoors with a placard, singly or in pairs/households, observing COVID regs at all times."

Meanwhile, on Friday, March 26 two mothers from the Extinction Rebellion King’s Lynn and West Norfolk (XR KLWN) group displayed dozens of children's shoes at the Gaywood Parkway site.

It was to represent how future generations will suffer the loss of green space in the in the area if the proposed Parkway development of 379 houses goes ahead.


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