Norwich teenager who climbed crane in climate protest comes down

He pledged to stay until he had ‘mild hypothermia’ but has now been arrested

A teenage Extinction Rebellion protestor, who climbed a crane in Norwich on Saturday pledging to stay until he had “mild hypothermia”, has now come down.

The seventeen-year-old XR protester climbed a crane on Duke Street, Norwich, at around 6:40am on Saturday. He pledged to stay with nothing but some supplies and a sleeping bag until he has “mild hypothermia”.

The protester, along with three other people, was arrested and questioned because of the disturbance.

While up the crane, he said: “I’m up here to tell the government and the council to get up off their arses and do something, because I’m worried about the climate.”

He endorses the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill, and protested local plans for Wensum Link Road. He also opposed the Norwich Western Link, a new dual carriageway, because it’s “destroying ancient trees, bats, and polluting our protected chalk streams”.

The seventeen-year-old also said: “I’m desperate because there’s no easy fix, there’s no alternative, and my generation are the ones inheriting this planet – so I really want to try and not let it go to waste.”

Norfolk Police said Sidney had been arrested on suspicion of breaching Covid-19 laws, aggravated trespass, criminal damage, and a public order offence.

Despite the protest going against the government coronavirus rules, Extinction Rebellion’s Norwich spokesman, James Graham, confirmed that Sidney’s protest went ahead in place of the postponed demonstration.

He said: “The message, fundamentally, is that while we know Covid is an immediate problem it does not trump the reality that our world is changing faster than the life on it, including us, can handle.

“Yes, obviously working at height can be dangerous, but in addition to the health-and-safety measures already in place on site to minimise the risk of accidents, Alex is a bright young man who is fully invested in his own safety.

“None of us want to see anyone getting hurt, and we risk-assess all our actions beforehand.”