Saturday 24 August 2019

Thousands take part in Extinction Rebellion march at Glastonbury

The procession across the festival site was led by the organisation’s pink boat.

Thousands of people took part in the march (Yui Mok/PA)
Thousands of people took part in the march (Yui Mok/PA)

By Claire Hayhurst, PA

Thousands of people have taken part in an Extinction Rebellion march at Glastonbury Festival before forming a human hourglass.

The event, a collaboration between Extinction Rebellion and Greenpeace, began at the Park Stage with speeches from 4pm.

Crowds with placards and flags, accompanied by models of insects and other species, made their way to the Stone Circle.

There they formed a large human sculpture of an hourglass to symbolise extinction, with music by folk singer Nick Mulvey.

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Extinction Rebellion’s Tell The Truth boat was at the march (Yui Mok/PA)

Temperatures at the Somerset site, which spans 900 acres, reached 26C (78.8F) by Thursday afternoon.

Many taking part in the march wore hats or held umbrellas to shield themselves from the sunshine, while others stripped off to sunbathe.

Forecasters have warned that tents could become uncomfortably hot on Thursday night, as aerial images revealed how Worthy Farm has been transformed into a temporary city of 200,000 people.

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Extinction Rebellion movement’s Tell The Truth boat (Aaron Chown/PA)

Student Ruairi Brogan from Belfast attended the march with a group of friends

“I followed the ER proc and we thought it was important to show our support and be part of something we felt would make a mark on Glastonbury and history,” Mr Brogan said.

“I think it will be remembered as the start of something, of change.”

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A climate change march took place on the second day of Glastonbury Festival (Aaron Chown/PA)

Ashleigh Hodges, 28, from London, came to the Stone Circle after having a hand-fasting ceremony with her partner at Glastonbury Festival.

“I missed this protest in London because I was working away and I was gutted so when I heard it was happening here I wanted to come,” she said.

“It’s been so lovely and its nice to see everyone connected for the right reasons and pushing for beautiful things to happen.

“Everyone wants to save the world – it’s a really lovely thing.”

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Festival goers enjoy the sun as they dance and listen to music (Aaron Chown/PA)

Daryl Haines, 21, said that going to a festival could make people realise they did not need plastic bottles or cutlery or to shower every day.

“People need to be taught that we can change. I think people really were listening today.

“I hope the image of people standing in the Extinction Rebellion sign will really get that message across.”

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Extinction Rebellion and Greenpeace stage a climate change march (Aaron Chown/PA)

Single-use plastic water bottles have been banned from the festival, with the WaterAid refill kiosks proving popular with attendees.

In Thursday’s issue of the Glastonbury Free Press, Labour MP Jess Phillips said those attending the festival were more “politically active” than when she last went.

The MP for Birmingham Yardley is taking part in a talk at the Parlay Parlour on Saturday.

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Extinction Rebellion and Greenpeace stage a climate change march (Aaron Chown/PA)

In the interview she described UK abortion laws as “draconian” and “backwards”, adding that being tough on abortion had become a “cool identity” for the Conservatives.

“What I loathe about abortion policy in the UK is it shouldn’t be a matter of conscience, it’s about evidence-based health policy,” she told the newspaper.

“It’s not a matter of morality. Women die unless they have reproductive rights.”

Music officially begins at the festival on Friday, with headline performances by Stormzy, The Streets and The Cure over the weekend.

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