Extinction Rebellion climate change protests launch in Wigan

The radical climate change group which has forced the environment crisis to the top of the agenda with high-profile protests has arrived in Wigan.

The borough’s branch of Extinction Rebellion (XR) was recently set up by activists determined to raise the profile of the problems facing the natural world.

Activists from Extinction Rebellion Wigan in the town centre

Activists from Extinction Rebellion Wigan in the town centre

The group, which brought parts of London to a standstill earlier this year, has three demands: telling the truth about the scale of the climate crisis, getting the Government to act now, and setting up citizens’ assemblies to ensure people have a direct say.

XR Wigan has not yet decided if it will mainly put on local protests or travel to support regional or national events but say it is likely Wigan Council will be asked to declare a climate emergency as other town halls and assemblies have already done.

Pete Hewitson from XR Wigan said: “Climate change and ecological crisis affect everybody everywhere and we felt that we need a group in Wigan to raise awareness.

“The more Wiganers we get joining and supporting us the more pressure it puts on the authorities to listen and act.

“Our house is on fire and XR is the fire alarm going off.”

Haden Boardman said there is already increased interest in environmental matters in the borough and urged Wiganers to think green.

He said: “People are a lot more aware, they’ve watched programmes about the ice melting. The time is right for this.

“People don’t like the disturbance in their lives but we’ve got to think of the consequences of that.

“Everyone should inconvenience themselves a little bit, walking rather than using the car, not using plastic straws or bags, and reducing, reusing and recycling. If we all do the little things it can make a difference.”

XR Wigan meets every other Tuesday in The Anvil. To get involved, search for the group Extinction Rebellion Wigan on Facebook.