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Two people from Norfolk charged as climate change protests continue in London

PUBLISHED: 17:58 23 April 2019 | UPDATED: 19:06 23 April 2019

More than 1,000 people have been arrested during the climate change protests in London. Picture: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire

More than 1,000 people have been arrested during the climate change protests in London. Picture: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire

Two people from Norfolk are among the 71 charged in connection to the ongoing climate change protests in central London.

Extinction Rebellion activists from Norwich in Parliament Square, including Dr Hayley Pinto (front) who has been charged with a public order offence. Photo: Extinction Rebellion NorwichExtinction Rebellion activists from Norwich in Parliament Square, including Dr Hayley Pinto (front) who has been charged with a public order offence. Photo: Extinction Rebellion Norwich

Since Monday, April 15, Extinction Rebellion (XR) protestors have been stationed in Parliament Square, Marble Arch, Oxford Circus and Waterloo Bridge, blocking the areas to traffic in a bid to force the government to act against climate change.

Protestors are continuing the demonstrations despite more than 1,000 arrests and 71 people being charged since the protest began.

They include University of East Anglia student Saul Kenrick, 22, of Bury Street, Norwich, and Dr Hayley Pinto, of Norwich Road, Marsham.

Dr Pinto had previously voiced her concerns over the catastrophic impact of climate change and described it as the biggest threat to public health.

Members of the Norwich Extinction Rebellion group protesting in London. Picture: Hayley PintoMembers of the Norwich Extinction Rebellion group protesting in London. Picture: Hayley Pinto

Kenrick was detained near the Houses of Parliament and was supported at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Tuesday by his policy adviser father, Justin, who was also arrested three times over the past week but is yet to be charged.

“I'm very proud at the fact he's willing to say this is a completely intolerable situation we're in, heading towards climate extinction,” the 59-year-old father from Edinburgh said.

Kenrick is expected to rely on a human rights defence when he goes on trial for a public order offence at Hendon Magistrates' Court on June 28 for the summary-only offence he could be fined over if convicted.

He was released on bail on the condition that he does not rejoin any protests at Oxford Circus or Waterloo Bridge.

Elliott Cuciurean, 20, from Cheltenham, is believed to be the first climate activist prosecuted over the fresh wave of Extinction Rebellion protests. Picture: Sam Blewett/PA WireElliott Cuciurean, 20, from Cheltenham, is believed to be the first climate activist prosecuted over the fresh wave of Extinction Rebellion protests. Picture: Sam Blewett/PA Wire

Elliott Cuciurean, 20, was the youngest of the four XR supporters who appeared in court with Kenrick, and is believed to be the first climate activist prosecuted over the protests.

Cuciurean, from Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, was given a conditional discharge and ordered to pay costs after pleading guilty to a public order offence, but he avoided a fine of up to £1,000.

Judge Devinder Sandhu sentenced him to a six-month conditional discharge and ordered him to pay £85 in costs and a £20 victim surcharge.

XR protestors assembled in Parliament Square on Tuesday at around noon, continuing the second week of disruptive demonstrations as politicians returned to work after the Easter recess.

The protest has drawn supporters from a wide cross-section of society, ranging from young and elderly citizens to Hollywood actor Emma Thompson and former archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams.

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