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Canterbury Extinction Rebellion to stage 'funeral procession' calling for action on climate change

Environmentalists are planning to stage a "funeral procession" through a city centre in a display of concern about climate change.

Hundreds of campaigners from the Extinction Rebellion group will take to the streets in Canterbury on Saturday, March 2, to convey the message that the global warming crisis means the world now faces a choice between "life or loss".

Carrying a giant coffin, they hope to bring traffic to a standstill in an effort to persuade the government to do more for the environment.

A previous demonstration in Canterbury
A previous demonstration in Canterbury

Spokesman Nicholas Thurston said: "This demonstration will say to people: we have a simple choice between life or loss.

"To choose life, we must stop doing all the destructive things we are doing right away - stop consuming so much, stop travelling so much, stop wasting the precious resources and stop polluting and destroying the planet."

Extinction Rebellion caused mayhem for drivers during a previous protest in the city in January, when they blocked off traffic around Westgate Towers by standing in the road with banners.

Protesters linked to the international movement have also glued themselves to the gates of Buckingham Palace and staged mass sit-ins at the entrance to Downing Street.

Canterbury resident Jack Webber, who plans to take part in the demonstration next weekend, said: "I've joined Extinction Rebellion because despite the grave warnings that environmental scientists have given, the government does not seem to be treating climate change as the crisis it clearly is.

"Climate change is simply the greatest threat that humanity has ever faced and unless severe action is taken now, everything that makes this world bright and beautiful will cease to exist. I cannot sit idly by and watch that happen."

Extinction Rebellion protesters in January
Extinction Rebellion protesters in January

Marcelle, another member, said: "When I heard about the IPCC report saying we have 12 years until the point of no return, as a mother and grandmother, I realised the most important issue facing my family is the effects that climate change will have on their lives in the future.

"I felt helpless in the face on an environmental apocalypse, who wouldn't?

"If we don't make a noise nothing will change so I will be there on this protest and on future events, it's the least I can do for my children and grandchildren's future."

The group wants the government to declare a climate emergency, make policy commitments for zero carbon by 2025 and create Citizens Assemblies across the country.

It says police have been made aware of the demonstration and that contingency measures will be in place so emergency services can get through the city.

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