Published: 13:57, 01 May 2021
| Updated: 09:34, 02 May 2021
A lone woman with a pushchair blocked traffic in Sevenoaks in an act of protest over the climate emergency.
Holding a sign saying "I'm terrified to have children because of the climate crisis", she cut a striking figure, arresting the attention of passers-by as much as frustrated drivers.
But while she was alone in Sevenoaks, she was joined by hundreds of others from the Extinction Rebellion campaign group who sat alone blocking roads in towns and cities across the country, including Canterbury, at 11am this morning.
The 'Rebellion of One' morning of action comes two years to the day since the UK Parliament declared an environment and climate emergency, and saw protestors sitting in roads with signs bearing messages about their fears for the future if the climate crises continues to go unaddressed.
Extinction Rebellion called the action "peaceful civil disobedience by ordinary people across the UK" and says the 'sitters' included doctors, nurses, teachers, students, parents and grandparents.
They point out that Boris Johnson recently announced that the UK would ‘toughen’ its climate targets, pledging to cut emissions by 78% by 2035, compared to 1990 levels, as part of the pathway to net zero emissions by 2050.
But they also note that in December last year, the National Audit Office found that the UK Government is predicted to fail to meet its existing climate targets and said that a radical reassessment of priorities was needed. - and they say other indicators show the government is failing.
Spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion UK, Gully Bujak, said: “This Government is good at creating positive headlines on climate, but what we need them to do now is stop focussing on their image in the media and start acting.
“When you look beyond the headline grabbing ‘ten point plan’ and the promise to ‘toughen’ targets, to what bodies like the National Audit Office and the Committee on Climate Change are saying – those tasked with monitoring what the Government is actually doing – it is clear that our government don’t have a plan.
“We are seeing today that people are scared and frustrated at the refusal of this Government to accept the severity of the crisis. The UN People’s Climate Survey found that 81% of people in the UK believe that we’re in a global emergency. The Government needs to commission a national Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice, because even if politicians are scared to face the truth, ordinary people are ready for action.”
Not everyone was fully backing the action however.
Commenting on Twitter @garywright2021 noted: "Plenty of action in #Sevenoaks. One protestor, plenty of disruption. Or is it annoyance."