Extinction Rebellion calls on councillors to join them in nailing declarations to Town Hall doors

Islington Town Hall. Photograph: Islington Council.

Extinction Rebellion (XR) has called on councillors at a packed Islington meeting to join them in nailing a list of their demands to the Town Hall doors.

The invitation came during a debate about the climate emergency attended by a number of Extinction Rebels, who had lined the entrance to the building with banners reading ‘End Fossil Foolery’ and ‘Climate Crisis Act Now’.

Councillors declared a climate emergency back in June, with an attached pledge to reach net zero in its carbon emission by 2030.

Addressing councillors, XR’s Sebastian Sandys said: “On 7 October we will rise again in rebellion against Her Majesty’s Government in action on the climate catastrophe.

“This petition urges the council and the London Borough of Islington to stand with residents in rebellion against their inaction.

“Members of XR up and down the country have literally and metaphorically been nailing their declarations of rebellion to the Town Hall doors. Members of Islington XR on Monday will come to the Town Hall to do the same.

“How much more powerful will that be if we can do that alongside the council rather than in opposition to the council?”

If carried out, the affixing of the declarations to the Town Hall’s entrance would echo Protestant religious reformer’s Martin Luther’s nailing of his 95 Theses to the door of Wittenberg Castle church.

No councillors were heard to publicly accept Sandys’ invitation during the meeting.

Protesters at the meeting went on to praise the Town Hall for its efforts to fully decarbonise its pension fund, with Islington council leader Cllr Richard Watts (Lab, Tollington) listing a number of achievements in the area the council had made, including:

  • Requiring all council decisions to consider their contribution towards its net zero by 2030 target
  • Creating new performance indicators on carbon reduction
  • Lobbying for Holloway Road bus garage to go electric, with all double-decker buses on the 43 route now electric vehicles
  • Hitting the target of a 40 per cent carbon reduction by 2020 a number of years early
  • Setting up municipal energy company Angelic Energy, which guarantees 100 per cent green electricity tariffs

Cllr Claudia Webbe, executive member for environment and transport, (Lab, Bunhill) said: “The world has woken up to the emergency of the climate crisis and people, led by children, are widely demanding action.

“Climate change devastates people’s lives all over the world. Millions are fleeing their homes, and it is the world’s poorest who are the hardest hit. The emergency is now. The decisions that we make here matter globally.

“We have a duty to bring about climate justice. This council is leading from the front in tackling the threat this emergency poses to our borough. We know it won’t be easy, but we simply don’t have a choice.

“We’ve got a great deal to do, but we can’t do it alone. The fossil fuel companies are not going to help us solve our climate crisis. We will have to take them on, and we will do.”