Baby steps: Extinction Rebellion protest asks the government to do more to combat climate change 

Today in Wotton-under-Edge, a local branch of Extinction Rebellion came together to lay out dozens of pairs of children’s shoes around the war memorial in Old Town. 

The display was put together to symbolise the lives of future generations who will be affected by the ongoing climate crisis. 

The demonstration featured a touring installation of hundreds of children’s shoes with the message: ‘Climate Crisis – We Want To Live!’, which is being taken to different towns, villages and beauty spots, stressing the need to address the climate crisis.

Andrea Barnes of Wotton said: “In Wotton-under-Edge, we have chosen to lay out children’s shoes by our local war memorial to remember that people died to give us and our children a better future. 

“This pandemic has shown us all that we can adapt rapidly to new ways of thinking and living. 

“Climate change is here to stay and we need to seize every opportunity to live in harmony with nature and our environment. 

“Now is the moment for our government to be brave and take action today that will address the climate crisis and secure a future for generations to come.”

Hundreds of children’s shoes were laid out on Wotton’s war memorial this morning. Photo: Christina Wheeler.

The county-wide action is part of the lead up to the next national rebellion on September 1 when Parliament returns. 

The plans for this demonstration came together following news that the government’s own Committee on Climate Change is now warning them to prepare for 4°C of warming by 2100 – an increase which could result in billions of deaths, with racially marginalised communities and those in the Global South on the front line. 

The protest comes as UK lockdown eases and the government begins bailing out carbon intensive industries, writing off chances of keeping within Paris Climate Agreement promises.

The shoes have been donated by neighbours and supporters throughout the South West and will be donated to Shoe Aid after the events.

In the first six months of 2020 the UK experienced its warmest May on record, while Siberia has experienced a heatwave ‘effectively impossible’ without accounting for climate change, according to leading scientists.