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Norfolk climate change protestors bring London traffic to a stand still

PUBLISHED: 21:39 15 April 2019 | UPDATED: 21:39 15 April 2019

Norwich members of environmental group Extinction Rebellion stopped traffic in London today as part of international climate change protests. Photo: Submitted

Norwich members of environmental group Extinction Rebellion stopped traffic in London today as part of international climate change protests. Photo: Submitted

Archant

Climate change activists from Norwich joined thousands of other campaigners to halt London traffic today as two weeks of civil disobedience protests kicked off in the capital.

More than 100 Norwich branch members of environmental group Extinction Rebellion's travelled to London today to block five of the cities busiest roads and demand government action on climate change.

Among the protestors was a group of cyclists from East Anglia who made the 155 mile journey from London to Norwich by bicycle.

Pete, whose wife Georgie organised the bike ride, described the ride as epic but said once in the capital the protest had sparked anger from drivers affected by the blockades.

“The protest was peaceful and non violent and although it was generally well supported by the public there were some drivers shouting at us to move. Luckily the police supported us which cut down on our direct contact with angry members of the public.”

Norwich members of environmental group Extinction Rebellion stopped traffic in London today as part of international climate change protests. Photo: SubmittedNorwich members of environmental group Extinction Rebellion stopped traffic in London today as part of international climate change protests. Photo: Submitted

As well as bringing traffic to a standstill at Marble Arch, Parliament Square, Piccadilly Circus and Oxford Circus and Waterloo Bridge, protestors armed with banners “swarmed” rush hour traffic to prevent vehicles moving for seven minute intervals.

Environmental consultant Dr Andrew Boswell, former Norfolk county councillor, joined activists at Marble Arch and said any inconvenience people experienced as a result of the two week protest was insignificant in comparison to the “catastrophic impact” of climate change.

He said: “People are frustrated and angry but if we don't stop climate change there will be a complete breakdown of society.

“It will cause mass migration from places which are too hot and serious food shortages even in countries like the UK.”

The scientist said the group was calling on the UK government to fulfil three demands: to better inform the public about climate change, to make the country carbon neutral by 2025 and to create a citizens assembly model on environmental issues.

Dr Boswell added that in order to meet the demands there would need to be major changes made to the way people travel in the UK, with only essential flights running and investment in public transport.

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