Politics

Two Extinction Rebellion activists blocked Silver Street and the Bailgate in Lincoln by sitting in the road in protest of a lack of government action against climate change.

Two local people stopped traffic by peacefully blocking the road at 11am on Saturday morning, but weren’t without their share of criticism.

Rebels were met with hostility from some walking by, and traffic was held up as a result of the protest, with one pedestrian appearing to threaten to shoot the protestor on Silver Street, and another apparently assaulting the one at the Bailgate.

Passers-by were making their feelings known. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

A man charged towards the protestor on the Bailgate while he was reading a speech, got in his face and shouted at him to move out the way, using strong language in the process, before picking the protestor up and dragging him off his stool and off the road.

They wore signs saying: “I am terrified my son will starve to death because of the climate crisis,” and “I am terrified that our children will have to fight for food and water due to the climate emergency,” during their protests.

The protests generated a lot of reaction from people on the High Street. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Protests lasted around 20 minutes before the Silver Street rebel was escorted away by city centre wardens, and the Bailgate protestor left of his own accord after giving a speech and being apparently assaulted by a member of the public. No police were in attendance at either Silver Street or the Bailgate.

Disgruntled drivers confronted the protestor before mounting the pavement to get past.

One eyewitness, Jack Connor, was stood in support of the protests and praised the “incredible courage” it took to do this.

He said: “It takes a lot of strength to go against the majority opinion, I think they’ve come here and changed discourse, they’ve shown remarkable courage.”

Cars were held up as protestors sat in the middle of the road. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

They join hundreds of sitters across the country who blocked roads to announce they will no longer stand by and let the government “lie to the public”.

The protest is devised so that activists can take part alone, but united.

It is part of an action devised by Extinction Rebellion during the COVID-19 pandemic, allowing for people to engage in civil disobedience alone, yet together.

City centre wardens were on hand to escort the activist away from Silver Street. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

One of the sitters was Eddie Francis, a 72-year-old retired joiner, and he said he was terrified to sit in the road, but more terrified about the future of the planet.

“As the planet heats up, water supplies will fail and so crops will start to fail. Famine and drought will spread across the globe. We will face disastrous food shortages. And my son, and your sons and daughters, will starve to death. That’s what terrifies me.”

This Extinction Rebellion activist stared face to face with the traffic as she sat in the road at Silver Street. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

“Either through incompetence or criminal negligence, our government is condemning us, the people, to extinction. And the insane thing is that they know very well what they’re doing. This isn’t so much an extinction as an extermination,” he said.

A tense face-off at the Bailgate.

This action came just weeks after the second Kill The Bill protest in Lincoln, a demonstration opposing the planned Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, suffered a very low turnout, with just a handful showing up at Speakers’ Corner.

The rebel read out a speech calling for action in response to the climate emergency. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Watch The Lincolnite‘s coverage of the protest uphill at the Bailgate here. Please be mindful of strong language.

Animal rights activists will hold protests this weekend in Lincoln and around the world, calling for change with humanity’s food system, and claiming that ‘eating animals causes pandemics’.

It comes in response to Worldwide Immunisation Week. Activists called for action against the eating of animals, due to it having links with diseases spreading across the human race, much like many COVID-19 theories.

The Lincoln protest will take place at 11am on Saturday, May 1 at the war memorial on the High Street.

The aim of the protest is to promote a global shift towards plant-based diets and food production.

Eating Animals Causes Pandemics, the name and tagline of the organisation behind the protests, claim that over 70 billion land animals are slaughtered every single year across the globe, and they claim our current food system is failing.

One of the protestors, Pete Richards, said: “The solution to over 75% of all pandemics and most of the major ills of our world is quite simple: there must be a worldwide transition to a plant-based food system.

“It beggars belief that planning permission for new intensive farms is still being sought locally and nationally, including a poultry unit at Dorrington, only a few miles south of Lincoln.”

Pete continued by saying this isn’t just about COVID-19, but about all major pandemics before and after.

He said: “This is absolute madness considering that, since November 2020 we have had 28 outbreaks of Avian Flu in the UK, and there are currently 14 areas that remain a major cause for concern

“We have a bold vision to make the world a better and safer place, and the sooner we get there, the better.

“Standing by and allowing governments and corporations to lie to the world at large is not an option for us. If they won’t tell the truth, we will!”

Protestors will also take to the streets of Hull, London and Yorkshire in England, as well as spanning as far and wide as Abu Dhabi, Zimbabwe and Mexico.

For more information, visit the Eating Animals Causes Pandemics website.

Few people attended the second Kill the Bill protest in Lincoln on Saturday, as Extinction Rebellion activists stood alone on the High Street to campaign against a proposed policing bill that could make many protests illegal.

Hundreds gathered at the first Kill the Bill protest in Lincoln on April 3, but the same couldn’t be said for the second demonstration.

Activists from Extinction Rebellion Lincolnshire gathered at Speakers’ Corner to oppose plans for the latest Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, which could curtail protesting rights if passed through parliament.

Extinction Rebellion were the main representatives at the protest. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Under the proposed bill, police officers will be given greater powers to put a stop to any protests, as well as determining start and finish times for them, and controlling noise levels.


Read more about what the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill would mean here.


A few stopped to talk with the protestors, but most just went about their day walking down Lincoln High Street in the first weekend that non-essential shops and beer gardens reopened.

The Lincolnite spoke to one of the rebels at the protest, to find out the reasons behind the march.

They said: “This draconian bill cannot go ahead, it needs to be taken apart and re-evaluted completely.

“People have been walking past us shaking their heads, but they don’t realise that it’s their freedom we are fighting for.”

The Lincolnite photographer Steve Smailes captured some pictures from the protest.

Signs were put up by the works at Speakers’ Corner on Lincoln High Street. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

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