Extinction Rebellion to set up Aylesbury Vale branch

Campaigners in Aylesbury Market Square
Campaigners in Aylesbury Market Square

A new branch of a climate change activism group has been formed in Aylesbury.

The group, set up by Sarah Lyst wants to raise awareness about climate change through local activism.

The Extinction Rebellion (XR) Aylesbury group is set to meet for the first time on June 10 at Friends Meeting House, Rickford's Hill at 7pm, with all welcome.

Locally, the initial goals of the movement are to get both Aylesbury Vale District Council and Buckinghamshire County Council to declare a climate emergency, and to instigate policies encouraging them to divest from fossil fuels relating to their pensions funds, and campaigning against HS2.

The Extinction Rebellion describe themselves as a non-violent direct action and civil disobedience group aiming to force policy changes to combat the "unprecedented global emergency" faced.

By using headline-grabbing demonstrations, they hope to gain commitments from politicians to reduce the UK's carbon emissions to zero by 2020 and do more to combat the rapid climate change taking place.

The group will have local links to Aylesbury Vale Green party, and they are looking forward to welcoming a diverse selection of Aylesbury Vale locals.

Sarah Lyst, who set up the group following local interest said:

"We had a successful afternoon on Sunday in town and quite a few more people were keen to attend the meeting now that they know that there is a local Extinction Rebellion group.

"I went to the London protests with my 13 year old daughter.

"I had heard mixed things about the group and their aims and decided the best thing to do was to go and find out for myself. As part of my psychology degree, you are encouraged to think about social justice and activism and the role you have once you have an understanding about them.

Sarah said she was surprised and impressed about the friendly atmosphere at the protests, and the camaraderie amongst activists.

Having listened to what they had to say, decided she wanted to be a part of the movement.

Sarah continued: "There are three main aims of the project:

"#1 Government must tell the truth by declaring a climate emergency, working with other institutions to communicate the urgency for change.

"#2 Government must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.

"#3 Government must create and be led by a citizen's assembly on climate and ecological justice. There is no longer a discussion over whether climate change is happening but about how quickly and what the consequences will be if we do not mobilise people to act now. We are already in a 6th mass extinction of species, in 540 million years.

"I want to leave the world in a better place than we found it, for the sake of all of our children. All are welcome to our meeting on June 10, and we look forward to meeting you to discuss the actions of our group."

It follows in the footsteps of the Oxford, Milton Keynes and Marlow Groups.

If you are interested in the movement, and would like to sign up, please email xraylesburyvale@yahoo.com for more details.