14th Oct, 2019

Extinction Rebellion demonstrators slammed for blocking Birmingham's busiest roads by Solihull MP and West Midlands Mayor

Sarah Mason 7th Aug, 2019 Updated: 7th Aug, 2019

CLIMATE change protesters have been slammed for blocking one of Birmimgham’s busiest roads by Solihull’s MP and the region’s mayor.

Solihull MP, Julian Knight and West Midlands Mayor, Andy Street are among those who criticised around 30 Extinction Rebellion demonstrators who gathered at a city centre congestion hotspot on Wednesday (August 7).

Protesters blocked the junction of Lee Bank Middleway, Belgrave Middleway, Bristol Road and Bristol Street for around 10-minute intervals between 7am and 10am.

West Midlands Police were at the scene and commuters were warned of delays to their journeys.

Mr Street tweeted: “Climate change is a crisis and people have a right to protest.

“However I don’t support this disruption to people going about their daily lives and having to get to work.

“Particularly when it affects a key hospital route.”

The road leads to Birmingham City Hospital, Queen Elizabeth Hospital and Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

Mr Knight, replied to Mr Street’s tweet with: “These people are doing infinitely more damage to their cause than good.”

Nick Harrison tweeted: “So you are blocking traffic in Birmingham, causing traffic to standstill whilst engines are running causing ten times the pollution of a normal day.

“People stuck in a half mile tunnel inhaling fumes that affect their health.

“How very clever and wise you all are.”

Extinction Rebellion says it is an international activist group, which uses non-violent methods to encourage those in power to take action on climate and environment issues.

In April thousands of group members staged a two-week protest across London blocking Parliament Square, Oxford Circus and Waterloo Bridge, and more than 1,000 people were arrested.

The group, which calls itself “XR” for short, was launched last year and says it now has groups in several countries.

The group’s logo is an hourglass inside a circle to symbolise the time that is running out for many species.

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