'Extinction or rebellion' - Teen justifies crane-climbing protest

Police arrest and handcuff protester Alex Sidney as he comes down from the crane in Duke Street. Pic

Alex Sidney was arrested after he came down from the crane in Duke Street, Norwich, on November 9 last year. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

An 18-year-old has spoken out about why he camped out on top of a 100ft crane for two days. 

Alex Sidney, of Yaxham Road, Dereham, was this week ordered to pay £145 by a judge at Norwich Magistrates' Court following the incident, which happened in Duke Street, Norwich, from November 7 last year

Police arrest and handcuff protester Alex Sidney as he comes down from the crane in Duke Street. Pic

Alex Sidney being led away by police after his arrest.  - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

He admitted to criminal damage in cutting a chain to break onto the building site.

He was ordered to pay £45 compensation and £100 towards prosecution costs and given an 18-month conditional discharge.

Mr Sidney, who works as a bicycle courier and is part of the environmental movement Extinction Rebellion, said climbing the crane was an effective way of drawing attention to the climate crisis. 

Mr Sidney said: "I chose a crane because that was one of the highest points in the city, and therefore would be the most visible for the message to be spread.

Photographs taken at the top of the Norwich crane which Alex Sidney climbed as part of an Extinction

A photograph taken at the top of the Norwich crane which Alex Sidney climbed as part of an Extinction Rebellion protest.  - Credit: ALEX SIDNEY


You may also want to watch:


"The science is clear. If we do not act on it, sea levels will continue to rise as ice melts, our ecosystems will ultimately collapse, and our forests, which allow us to breathe, will die. This will lead to our continued destruction in the form of a sixth mass extinction.

"The choice is simple: It's either extinction or rebellion."

Most Read

Mr Sidney said he would have preferred to have been at home indulging in his hobbies of bicycle touring, mechanics and music, but he felt the need to protest was greater.

Protester Alex Sidney as he ends his vigil up the crane in Duke Street. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Protester Alex Sidney on top of the crane in Duke Street, Norwich. - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

He said: "This is not about blaming previous generations for killing our planet; this is about getting the current generation to do something about it."

Mr Sidney hit back at critics who said he should have held a public debate or written to his MP as a means of expressing his concerns. 

He said: "I’ve done these things before, and large organisations such as Greenpeace and Friends of The Earth have been practising these techniques for over 30 years, and achieved very little; whereas in under two years, Extinction Rebellion has become the biggest global influencer on climate change."

He said he was already planning his next action to raise awareness for climate change - a 6,000 ride around in Britain on a tall bike. Mr Sidney said he planned to leave in April if the pandemic restrictions allowed. 



Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus