CLIMATE change protestors stormed Colchester Castle to demand a coronavirus recovery which prioritises people and planet over profit.

Member of Extinction Rebellion Colchester gathered outside the castle, off High Street, on Saturday afternoon, calling for the Government and councils to set up a Citizen's Assembly for residents.

The action coincided with similar events across the country, including in Parliament Square in London, and was designed so social distancing measures could be stuck to.

A spokesman for Extinction Rebellion Colchester said: “We are at a turning point in human history.

"The Government is driving a return to normal as quickly as possible. But normal is killing us.

"Our Government has a choice; prioritise profit or prioritise health.

"Bailout destructive industries or bailout people and the planet. It’s time to trust the people.

"As part of coronavirus recovery, we demand a binding Citizens’ Assembly on how to rebuild our economy, our democracy and our future.”

The group said local authorities had reacted swiftly to the impacts of the coronavirus crisis, but said similar attention must be given to the urgent issues of air pollution and climate change.

It has repeated its calls for Essex County Council to declare a climate and ecological emergency in Essex.

The spokesman added: "The coronavirus has shown us what’s possible when the political will is there.

"Everything can change and must do as flooding, heatwaves and drought are increasing every year due to climate change.

"Scientists predict terrifying crop failures alongside food and water shortages in coming years.

"As the Government addresses the challenging task of our Covid recovery, this is also the time to incorporate radical change to address the snowballing climate and ecological emergency.”

Visit for more information about the group.