Hundreds to join Cornwall Extinction Rebellion protests

Hundreds of people are preparing to stage ‘non-violent protests’ in Cornwall this month before heading to London.

Extinction Rebellion said “hundreds” of supporters would be out in Cornwall at the end of August before travelling to Cardiff and London for demonstrations around the Welsh Office and Parliament, to raise awareness of the climate emergency

It added that to prepare for these actions the group in Cornwall would be running more than 20 online free talks, discussions and training sessions.

Dr Helen Angel, a trained GP in Falmouth who describes herself on her business Facebook page as an holistic doctor, health coach and lifestyle medicine doctor, is one of the programme organisers and said: “As a clinician I have a duty of care to current and future generations.

“Climate change and the environmental crisis is the biggest threat to human health that we face so that’s why I am supporting Extinction Rebellion and helping to prepare people to take part in safe and non-violent actions.”

Extinction Rebellion said it was expecting hundreds of people to take part in Cornwall and many more in the Welsh and English capitals, starting from August 28 and continuing until early in September.

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Training sessions beforehand include the ‘Heading for Extinction’ talk that the group said hundreds of thousands of people had seen since Extinction Rebellion was launched less than two years ago.

It looks at the climate and environmental crisis facing the world and outlines what the group believes can do about it.

Other sessions include ‘An Introduction to Extinction Rebellion’, explaining more about the group and its principles and values.

A spokesperson said: “Non-violence is central to XR values and actions so there are three different trainings to explain this. Non-Violent Direct Action outlines the basics while other sessions on Non-Violent Communication and De-escalation explain how to defuse situations that may become tense with both individuals and large crowds.”

On the question of whether it was safe to be engaging in protests during a pandemic, one of the trainers – Mat Osmond, a lecturer at Falmouth University – said: “All the talks and trainings are on-line through Zoom so they are certainly safe.

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“We’ll also be following strict social distancing guidelines for all the actions around Cornwall and elsewhere so they will be as safe as possible.

“The ecological crisis is a vastly bigger threat to human health than Covid 19 and arguably helped to cause this pandemic in the first place.

“We need to pressure our government to take rapid action now and make policy decisions as if the lives of the young and future generations actually mattered.”

The full programme of talks and trainings can be found on the XR in Cornwall facebook page at www.facebook.com/XRinCornwall/events

All events are free and can be booked through Eventbrite www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/extinction-rebellion-cornwall-30741267018

Participants will need to download the Zoom app to their computer or phone.