Extinction Rebellion activists marched through Wivenhoe on Saturday to protest against the perceived lack of action being taken against climate change.

More than 150 people turned up to the protest, many with placards, drums, pots, and pans in a bid to draw attention to what has been called “the climate crisis.”

The march mirrored a similar protest which took place in London on Saturday, where activists marched from Trafalgar Square to Hyde Park in an end to a two-week long protest in the capital.

Jo Wheatley, who took part in the protest in Wivenhoe, has been campaigning for action to be taken on climate change for decades.

Gazette: Protesters brought their children along to the marchProtesters brought their children along to the march

Now in her 50s, Ms Wheatley believes that years of protesting peacefully did little to raise awareness about the issue amongst world leaders.

She said: “About 35 years ago I was doing this – I’ve done the conventional forms of protesting over the years, but the approach of campaigning in the normal way has been ineffective.

“Although it can be disruptive, it is the best way to get people’s attention – we are trying to stand up for what’s right.

“We’ve been campaigning about this for many years so it’s time we step things up a gear.”

The Extinction Rebellion movement in and around Colchester started to gain traction in the April 2019, when the group organised a series of high-profile protests around London.

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Ms Wheatley said: “It was around spring 2019 that people involved in Extinction Rebellion in Colchester started meeting.

“It’s grown since 2019 and people are doing things locally because not everyone can get to London – but the interest is growing.”

Gazette: Well over 100 people protested on the streets of WivenhoeWell over 100 people protested on the streets of Wivenhoe

Ms Wheatley added that as well as drawing attention to climate change, the march allowed people to discuss the issue more generally and more publicly.

“It’s an opportunity for people to come together and talk about the situation – stuff is going on locally and people do care about the positive action we want to take,” she said.

“There is a desire to what we can at a local level.”

Ms Wheatley was then asked about what the future holds for Extinction Rebellion more locally.

Gazette: Amongst signs and placards, protesters brought a model of the earth on fireAmongst signs and placards, protesters brought a model of the earth on fire

“For Wivenhoe the march was about coming together and reassuring people that there are people who care about this sort of thing – but these protests are also about keeping the issue alive before the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference.

“We’ve got a moral duty to do the right thing.”