Extinction Rebellion Harrogate gets 'fantastic response'

Members of recently-formed Extinction Rebellion Harrogate are set to train in non-violent direct action after the success of the new group’s first meeting.

Friday, 7th February 2020, 11:10 am
Updated Friday, 7th February 2020, 11:10 am
Protesters at an Extinction Rebellion day of action in London last year.

The Harrogate section of the global movement against climate change expected no more than 40 people for last week’s gathering at Friends Meeting House in Harrogate.

After an audience of nearly 100 turned up, one of the coordinators of the event said the response had been fantastic.

Harrogate resident Victoria Wild, who decided to launch Extinction Rebellion Harrogate with her husband James Smith after taking part in an XR day of action in London in October, said: “There was a terrific buzz around the meeting with many ideas about how to go forward as a group and conversations going on long after the meeting ended. It was a fantastic response but it’s just the beginning for this new group.”

Entitled Heading for Extinction And What To Do About It, the packed meeting heard from two guest speakers on climate change.

Professor Judith Smith talked about the science behind global heating and the disastrous effects already being felt around the world because of just one degree of warming.

The second half of the talk was given by Dolly Spartan who highlighted people who had brought about positive change through acts of civil disobedience such as civil rights leader Martin Luther King, the Suffragettes and Ghandi.

Victoria Wild said: “XR’s aim is to call on the Government to take real and meaningful action on climate change.

“Scientists say the next ten years are crucial in halting runaway global warming. We need the government to act now and it is going nowhere near fast enough.”

Extinction Rebellion Harrogate now plans training in non-violent direct action later this month.

It is also organising a meeting for Wednesday, September 12 on the subject of “what’s the plan and how do we get there?”

The event will include a run-through of XR’s goals and principles and will present a plan for getting ready for the big events.

Members will be asked to form working groups around various tasks.