Protest in Harrogate surprises drivers at major roundabout

Harrogate motorists were confronted with an unusual sight at one of the town's most prominent spots - a peaceful protest in the middle of a roundabout by demonstrators wearing XR masks.

Monday, 20th July 2020, 12:30 pm
Updated Monday, 20th July 2020, 1:08 pm
Extinction Rebellion Harrogate protest at Prince of Wales roundabout. (Picture Edward Lee)

Members of Extinction Rebellion Harrogate have become increasingly vocal since the group was set up in January, frustrated by what they see as a lack of real action on the environment at a local as well as national level.

The group has been calling on Harrogate Borough Council to hold a Citizens’ Jury on how to regenerate the town and future proof it against climate change at the same time.

To keep the issue in the spotlight, XR Harrogate has been organising a series of peaceful protests, including regular cycle rallies for all age groups.

A member of Extinction Rebellion Harrogate wearing a face mask against Covid-19 during the Prince of Wales roundabout. (Picture Edward Lee)

But last Saturday saw a new development when XR Harrogate decided to demonstrate on The Prince of Wales roundabout at the meeting point of West Park, Leeds Road and Otley Road.

In total 20 members of XR Harrogate took part to draw attention to the growing climate emergency as cars whizzed by, though the protesters were not all on the roundabout at the same time.

XR Harrogate member Victoria Wild said: "We chose Prince of Wales roundabout because it's highly visible and we wanted as many people as possible to see us.

"We chose the wording "This is an Emergency, Act Now and Time is Up to draw attention to how little time we have left to cut our carbon emissions before it's too late. The United Nation's IPCC report written by 800 climate change scientists says that we have ten years before we reach tipping points that will cause runaway climate change with disastrous consequences. This is not a fringe environmental issue, this is about the future of the human race.""

Extinction Rebellion was first formed in 2018 as a global environmental movement with the stated aim of using nonviolent civil disobedience to compel government action to avert climate change.

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