Climate Change: Sheffield Doctor’s Protest of One

6 May 2021

Hundreds of people- including a retired Sheffield doctor, joined in ‘protest of one’ roadblocks on Saturday 1st May against the government’s lack of action on climate emergency.

Dr Bing Jones

The protest, organised by climate change group, Extinction Rebellion, began at 11am on May 1st- two years exactly since Parliament declared a climate crisis.

Dr Jones said: “I am an old man, I’ve got grandchildren and I’ve been worrying about climate impact for decades but it’s getting worse and worse all the time, consumerism is out of control.”

Individuals spontaneously sat down in the road, alone, blocking traffic. They wore a sandwich board with a simple and emotive message.

Dr Jones on Ecclesall Road, Sheffield: “I’m terrified by empty promises on the climate crisis.”

Dr Jones said: “Sheffield City Council would have needed to reduce emissions throughout the whole of Sheffield by 7% to meet the zero-net policy, but they haven’t done this, they haven’t done anything.”

People from around the country joined Dr Jones in protesting.

A waitress and dress maker blocks a busy road in Newquay: “I’m terrified to have children because of the climate crisis.”

Cheltenham, retired nurse: “I am terrified. I am a nurse, and it is my duty to tell the truth. The health of people relies on the health of the planet. The world is now in a medical emergency because of climate change.”

Sarah Benn, practicing GP in Birmingham, was arrested during her protest. As were others.

Dr Benn said:  “I don’t know if nonviolent civil disobedience will succeed in averting the disaster we are speeding towards, but for now I see no better option.” 

Aims of Extinction Rebellion 

There are three mains aims of Extinction Rebellion:

  1. Tell the truth. The government must tell the truth by declaring a climate and ecological emergency working with other institutions to communicate the urgency for change.
  2. Act now. The Government must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse emissions to net-zero by 2025.
  3. Go beyond politics. The Government must create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate change and ecological justice.

Written by Isla Swords

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