Climate Crisis: Two 'brave' grandfathers 'terrified' for their grandchildren's safety protest by causing traffic chaos in Northampton
"It takes disruption to get people to pay attention"
Two 'brave' grandfathers who sat in the middle of busy Northampton roads with signs around their necks saying they are 'terrified' for their grandchildren's safety have said they are 'disgusted' with the 'lack of action' on the Climate Crisis.
The protesters, called Ian and Dave, sat in York Road and Wellingborough Road at 11am on Saturday morning and caused disruption to traffic in a bid to have their voices heard.
Ian's sign read: "I'm terrified for my unborn grandchild because of the Climate Crisis".
Dave's sign read: "I'm terrified for my grandchildren's safety because of the Climate Crisis".
Their demonstrations were part of a series of protests across the UK organised by climate activist group Extinction Rebellion.
And now Extinction Rebellion (XR) has explained why Ian and Dave took this course of action.
An XR Northampton spokesperson said: "We recognise that disruptive action such as blocking roads is an inconvenience for some people in the town, but when MPs refuse to see sense, the media refuse to tell the truth on how bad things are, and everyday working people suffer as a result, it takes disruption to get people to pay attention.
"Ian and Dave are both grandfathers who are terrified of what the future holds for their grandchildren and they are disgusted at the lack of action on the Climate Crisis from governments on both a national and local level.
"Ian has been an activist for decades and has reached the frustrated conclusion that petitions, politics and writing to MPs has had no effect whatsoever on encouraging those in power to sanction the use of deadly fossil fuels and protect our futures.
"Dave has spent much time writing to politicians about issues such as Northampton's toxic air quality, which is far more toxic than the government's own proposed safety standards and is falling well below improvement projections according to West Northamptonshire Council's own 2020 report."
The spokesperson went on to say that the same report states that toxic air pollution is costing the taxpayer as much as £16billion per year in healthcare.
"[This is] money which could be better spent on tackling the problem and drastically improving the quality of living standards for residents, as well as ensuring a viable future for the next generations including the grandchildren of these two brave activists.
"Northampton has a very proud history of protest for all sorts of causes that we now benefit from as a result, this is no different and we are confident that future generations will thank activists like Ian and Dave for their contribution," the spokesperson added.
Both Ian and Dave were moved on by Northamptonshire Police that morning.
A police spokesperson said: “Officers were deployed and arrived at the scene promptly, and removed them from the highway
“There was some minor disruption before officers arrived and we’d like to thank the public for their patience.”
Stuart Timmiss, from West Northamptonshire Council, said: “I think we would all support the sentiment behind Extinction Rebellion’s activity and like many locations across the country, we’re still in the process of getting to grips with what we can all do to tackle climate change and air quality.
“There is certainly an aspiration locally to reduce emissions and improve air quality, which is why we are gradually introducing schemes to help residents choose alternative travel methods to car use as well as encouraging cleaner electric vehicles.
"We are keen to continue exploring options for this, which should gradually see reductions in traffic volumes and fewer polluting vehicles on our roads, which will in turn lead to the air quality improvements we’d all like to see.”
To find out more about Extinction Rebellion Northampton's aims, join the conversation or attend their regular open meetings, visit www.facebook.com/xrnorthampton/events