Traffic at a standstill in climate call rebellion
The “protest of one” staged in Newquay on Saturday by Abigail Hubbucks.
5th May 2021
By Warren Wilkins
A protester brought traffic to a standstill in Newquay town centre on Saturday afternoon in a call for more action to combat climate change.
Abigail Hubbucks, 24, sat in the road at Central Square for around 20 minutes to block traffic as part of the nationwide “protest of one” Extinction Rebellion campaign.
She wore a board stating: “I’m terrified to have children because of the climate crisis.”
Some drivers were angry their day had been disrupted but others were supportive of her action to highlight the climate and ecological crisis.
The environmentalist stepped out of the road at one stage to let the queue of traffic pass after a motorist complained she had a hospital appointment she needed to get to.
No police officers were at the protest.
Abigail said: “I feel the protest provoked emotion from the public.
“One observer cried, some parents with prams thanked and praised me, a couple of drivers were angry, more drivers were patient, one driver even gave me a thumbs-up as she drove past, a Black Lives Matter protester had a photo taken with me after the action.
“One wonderful woman helped guide a car around me because the driver had somewhere important to be.
“Even this driver was patient and compassionate.
“What the action showed me confirmed what I already knew.
“People will be angry but more people will be kind – it’s just that angry people are louder.
“Young people are talking about the action because young people see the problem, feel the pain and see the inaction by central government and by our own authorities.
“A spaceport and 8.7 miles of destruction for the A30 aren’t in line with the climate emergency that Cornwall Council declared longer ago than Parliament.
“In the future I hope to see Citizen’s Assemblies as an ingrained part of our society so that the people in the town can make decisions for the town.
“I feel this could be a step to solving the big problems in Newquay such as the current housing crisis we are experiencing as well being utilised at a governmental level to start reducing our national damage.”
Driver Justin Julian was not best pleased he had been caught up in the protest.
He said: “It is crazy. She is affecting the wrong people. Stopping me from going about my day is not achieving anything. It is just annoying the public.
“I think it is a really important issue but they are going about it the wrong way.”
Abigail said: “I realised that climate change was not someone else’s problem.
“Ecosystem collapse, flooding, food shortages, mass migration are crises which both this and the next generation will face if this government fails to act now.
“May 1 marks two years since Parliament declared a climate and ecological emergency. Yet this government is ploughing further into this catastrophe.
“They have spent £27bn on new roads; deforested ancient, carbon dioxide absorbing, woodland; granted planning permission for the first new deep coal mine in the UK in 30 years.
“This government is not acting as if we are in an emergency and it is already costing lives.
“Air pollution has been stated as the cause of death of a child in London.
“My dream of being a mother has been taken from me by politicians set on business as usual.”