Climate change campaigners mark Earth Day with protest focusing on nature and biodiversity

Climate change campaigners mark Earth Day with protest focusing on nature and biodiversity
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22 April 2023
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Thousands of protesters descended on Britain’s Parliament on Saturday as part of a four-day action, billed “The Big One”, designed to “highlight the environmental failures” of government.  Environmental group Extinction Rebellion (XR) kicked off the event on Friday, promising less disruption and more inclusion than the blockades that became its trademark.

The group says thousands of people protested outside government departments in London on Friday “to highlight the environmental and social failures across them all.”  Saturday’s protest, which coincided with Earth Day, focused on nature and biodiversity.  It started from Westminster Abbey with attendees, many of them children, wearing animal costumes and masks.

“It’s an emergency.  Everybody needs to pull together so the future generations can enjoy our beautiful planet,” said 47-year-old Jenny O’Hara Jakeway, who made the six-hour journey from Wales with her two children.  “I should protest more but my life is work and family. Being passive is not an option any more because of the urgency of the situation,” she told AFP news agency.

Many had made banners for the occasion, with one reading: “We defend the climate but police arrest us” and another “Extinction is forever”. Others warned that a third of UK birds were “at risk of extinction.”

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