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Extinction Rebellion: A day of disruption In Cardiff

Photo of child at Extinction Rebellion protest at Cardiff taken by Josh Lowe

Environmental protesters take to the streets of Cardiff, disrupting banks and roads across the city while calling on the Welsh Government to declare a climate emergency.

Photo of child at Extinction Rebellion protest at Cardiff taken by Josh Lowe

Child with a “there is no planet B” sign at extinction rebellion event Cardiff. Taken by Joshua Lowe.

Hundreds of activists dressed as animals have protested through the streets today, staging sit-ins at the junctions by Cardiff Castle and on Saint Mary’s Street. They did this to garner more attention to the growing risk of climate change.

The people of Extinction Rebellion Cardiff staged the “Carnival of Animals” protest to force the Welsh Government to take action against Climate Change.

The movement has recently gained 5000 signatures for their petition forcing the Welsh Assembly to debate the climate emergency.

One marcher, Rufus, who has been protesting environmental issues since the 1980s and is particularly worried about future generations said, “I have grandchildren who I don’t want to see burnt up, drowned, starving or anything else.”

Large numbers of the police force were out as a precaution due to the city centre being packed with football, rugby and comic-book fans for the West Ham v Cardiff game, the Six Nations and Comic Con. This resulted in a swift response to the civil disobedience by the protesters.

Cardiff police officers watching the sit-in at Saint Marys Street. Taken by Sian Burkitt.

Some protesters graffitied and performed a sit-in at a local Barclays bank but were prevented from causing further disruption by the police, who proceeded to let the activists go after they cleaned off the graffiti. Barclays was targeted due to their investments in the fossil fuel industry.

A big theme of the Extinction Rebellion movement is the findings of scientists who say that humanity has 12 years left to avert climate catastrophe. One football fan was overheard saying “12 years will do me” when walking past the Saint Mary’s Street sit-in.

The protests went ahead peacefully with the police mostly just observing the event but some protesters had to be forcibly removed from in front of a police van they were blocking.

The former leader of Plaid Cymru Leanne Wood said: “The Welsh Government has a poor record when it comes to keeping their environmental promises, so we need to watch them like hawks”

A sign at the Extinction Rebellion Protest in Cardiff city centre. Taken by Sian Burkitt.

Adam, a juggler dressed in a giraffe onesie with waistcoat and top hat, said, “The reality is the world is going to get a lot worse whatever we do, even if right now we completely change the entire structure of our society.”

Today was just one of many protests staged across the UK in the last few months by Extinction Rebellion who are trying to gather momentum for a week of civil disobedience in April.

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