Gail Quilter, a member of Extinction Rebellion Dorchester and Weymouth, said she is taking part in the protests because “the time to write strongly worded letters and peacefully march through towns is gone”.
‘International Rebellion London’, organised by international climate change movement Extinction Rebellion, started in the Westminster on Monday and claims it wants to “peacefully occupy the centres of power and shut them down until governments act on the climate and ecological emergency”.
Quilter, who works part time, said she would be protesting alongside one of her children.
“This is unlike any other cause in the history of our species, we’re protesting for our future. I’m protesting for the future of my children in the hope that we can try to salvage some sort of civilisation that doesn’t involve armed conflict, hunger and famine”.
“This is an emergency, it truly is, and I urge anyone to just look into the science and see for yourselves”.
In a video posted by Extinction Rebellion Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole on Facebook, another Dorset resident stated that the governments lack of action towards climate change had convinced him to protest for the first time in his life.
Simon Whitpaul, a solicitor from Bournemouth, said: “this really is the last resort”.
“I don’t want to lay down on the pavement and be at risk of arrest. I don’t want to sit outside on Lambeth bridge in the rain but it’s necessary because for thirty years people have tried to persuade the government and industry to make the necessary changes to protect our climate and nothing effective has been done”.
Councillors have their say
Green Party Dorset Councillor Brian Heatley has given his backing to the protesters.
He said: “I fully support the Extinction Rebellion action. We have been campaigning for more urgency on climate change for more than thirty years and very very little has happened while world emissions continue to go up”.
Cllr Heatley added he hopes the protest will “get people to face the very deep changes to our lifestyle and economy that are needed in a very short time” and “finally shake our government out of its lethargy and very short-term attitude”.
Beverley Dunlop, Conservative Councillor for Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole said that she defended everybody’s right to peaceful protest but was sceptical of Extinction Rebellion’s methods.
“I do not defend activists who cause damage, use threatening behaviour or disrupt the lives and livelihoods of others”.
Cllr Dunlop continued: “I’m not sure dressing up as a harlequin, a clown or a carrot inspires people to take you seriously but it does get attention”.
The protests are set to continue in London until October 19th.