Extinction Rebellion targets Borough Council for scrapping the role responsible for the environment.
Despite over a year of campaigning from Extinction Rebellion across West Norfolk, the Borough Council continues to refuse to tell the truth by declaring a climate and ecological emergency. Now, the leader of the council Brian Long has announced he plans to scrap the cabinet role responsible for the environment. He is no longer simply ignoring the problem, he is actively working against any progress. As long as the leader shirks all responsibility for the environment, the council cannot be seen as legitimately representing the interests of the borough.
This comes after Cllr Ian Devereux stepped down from the role saying “It needs other, younger people who can give it the commitment it deserves.” We have been critical of Cllr Devereux during his time in the role, but we completely agree with this. Young people will live with the consequences of the decisions made today but are often ignored by our political system.
While nationally Extinction Rebellion is known for non-violent civil disobedience, our local XR group has tried to work with the council to push for progress. The tiny steps the council have taken are completely out of step with the scale of what is necessary, and now we see plans to turn around and go backwards. This is unacceptable, and so has been met with an escalation of our tactics locally. Cllr Brian Long’s Conservative colleague Priti Patel has called XR an “organised crime group”, but the real crime is being done by those with the power to act who are failing to protect our environment and the lives of future generations.
Today rebels have targeted the council by defacing their buildings with temporary ‘chalk spray’ saying the following “You’re failing us” at the council building, “Act Now” at the town hall and “Climate Emergency” at St James car park (owned by the council). Brian Long must reinstate the Environment portfolio and appoint someone who will take the role seriously by bringing about meaningful change to prevent the worst of the climate and ecological crisis.