Extinct Rebellion blocks key Cambridge roads in weeklong climate change and ‘social justice’ protest
PUBLISHED: 13:09 16 February 2020
Extinction Rebellion has blocked two roads in Cambridge in a protest over climate change and “social justice”.
Police confirmed today they have used their emergency powers to officially close the two city roads.
"We are using emergency powers to close two city centre roads," said a spokesman for Cambridgeshire Police
"An organisation known as Extinction Rebellion Cambridge have begun a weeklong protest and set up a base at the roundabout on Trumpington Road intersecting with The Fen Causeway."
The spokesman said they had been working with Cambridge City Council, Cambridge County Council, Highways and local transport links on ways to mitigate any disruption.
"In order to ensure Cambridge city remains open for business, police are using emergency powers to close Fen Causeway and Trumpington Road," said the spokesman.
"Alternative routes have been put in place for vehicles and buses and the police, city and county council are urging people to consider different ways of travelling for the week.
"Pedestrians and cyclists will not be affected."
For Fen Causeway diversions are in place along Newnham Road, Silver Street and Trumpington Street (Highways are lifting the restrictions on Silver Street for the week).
Those wanting to travel along Trumpington Road will be diverted down Lensfield Road, Hills Road and Brooklands Avenue.
The route of Trumpington Park and Ride buses will be diverted, with some bus stops suspended and additional temporary ones added. There will be further information at all bus stops.
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City centre businesses, colleges and other organisations close to the blockade have been advised so they can plan appropriate contingency measures.
Anyone who commutes into the city or is planning to visit Cambridge should follow @CambridgeCops on Twitter and @Cambridgecity.police on Facebook and www.cambs.police.uk for the latest updates. You can also follow @Cambs_Traffic
Speaking about the policing response to the protest, Superintendent James Sutherland said: "We review all reports of protest both spontaneous and planned.
"We have to strike a balance between the need to allow peaceful protest within the city and the disruption that the protest itself causes.
"Whilst the protests are likely to cause disruption, we are working with our partners to mitigate this and the level of disruption caused by the protests will be constantly reviewed throughout the week."
Extinction Rebellion issued a statement saying they planned to bring the city to a halt with a week-long roadblock "if the institutions of Cambridge do not meet our three local demands on climate and social justice".
XR Cambridge and XR Youth Cambridge listed their demands as: ur three local demands on climate and social justice.
- The University of Cambridge must cut ties with the fossil fuel industry.
- Cambridge City Council must hold a Citizens' Assembly on Climate Justice.
- Cambridgeshire County Council must work with other relevant regional authorities to provide a plan for a just transition away from an inadequate transport system reliant on fossil fuels.
Their spokesman said: "The effects of the climate and ecological emergency are falling more heavily on disadvantaged and marginalised communities around the world, including in the UK. Any attempt to address the climate crisis must seek to bring justice to these communities.
"We need people, skills and enthusiasm. The best way to get involved is through a working group - whether you're a samba drummer or a logistics enthusiast, there's something for you."