The Town Hall stall is back

On Friday, 7th May from 1pm, you’ll be able to visit our pop-up stall outside the Luton Town Hall.

We will be talking with the public, handing out leaflets, explaining what we can all do to help the planet.  We also have some free gifts to give away, will you be one of the lucky people who is given a free plum tree, damson tree or a bedding plant for your garden, or for a bare patch somewhere in your neighbourhood?  

We can also tell you about our recent campaigns, including the Stop the Police Bill.  Last Saturday, shoppers were hearing how much this proposed legislation will cost our democracy.  

Budget fails to address the climate crisis

The 2021 Budget just isn’t good enough – that’s the view from Extinction Rebellion Luton

Throughout the pandemic the Government spoke of following the science, yet the Budget shows they are not listening to the science behind the climate emergency, or trusting the expertise of those who say drastic action is needed.

Commenting on the Budget a spokesperson for XR Luton said:

“While it’s a welcome step to hear the Chancellor talk about addressing the climate crisis, the Government’s words must be backed up with real systemic action and, crucially, investment. Steps such as the introduction of the UK Infrastructure Bank, a new hydrogen hub and a renewed commitment to offshore wind are positive. However, a raft of measures increase funding and support for fossil fuels and other drivers of the climate crisis.”

We cannot afford for sustainability to become a Government buzz-word.

The Budget was a missed opportunity for the UK to move towards a fairer, greener future and we are hugely disappointed by the failure to properly address the climate crisis.

XR Luton is working to persuade government at all levels to take the climate emergency seriously before it’s impact becomes any more devastating. Real investment in green jobs and manufacturing could provide a major boost for towns like Luton, and our hope is that the proposed Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill will go some way to mitigating the Governments disastrous approach.

Help show the Government that real action is needed by supporting the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill. Find out more and get involved at ceebill.uk/sign-up

Objection to water bottling factory

Press Release 17 February 2021

Extinction Rebellion Luton have been alerting the people of Luton that the area is threatened with a huge increase in traffic, contributing to the climate crisis.  The threat comes from a proposed bottling plant at Butterfield Green.

“We are in a state Ecological Emergency, a Climate Crisis”, said campaigner Mark Dimmock.  “And we simply cannot allow a development that is about water extraction, traffic increase, and pollution from additional plastic bottles.”

XR Luton have launched a social media and a letter campaign urging people to object to the bottling plant, which is due to be considered by Luton Borough Council in the next few days.

An industrial unit is proposed that will cover almost 10 acres, and water will be extracted from two drilled bore holes.  Underground pipes will carry the extracted water to the plant.

The plant will operate 24 hours a day, with constant traffic causing a massive pollution impact on the area.

Further, bottling water will increase the amount of plastic in the environment, which is entirely unacceptable.

XR Luton are also questioning the environmental impact water extraction could have on the water table and an essential life source for the future generations of Luton.  With rising global temperatures, which could eventually lead to drought conditions, new water extraction would seem to be extreme folly.

Indeed, the Government’s own water extraction strategy (ref1) (ref2) spells out the dangers for water-stressed areas, and suggests that no new water extraction should be allowed. Luton and surrounding areas contain rare chalk streams, and the quality of water here must be preserved, say Extinction Rebellion Luton.

Back in 2019, a Countryfile article was published with a quote from the (at the time) head of the Environment Agency: “Water shortages in England are set to become an ‘existential threat’ to the nation, according to James Bevan, the head of the Environment Agency”. 

“In other words, water extraction, leading to possible water shortages, could threaten our very existence”, declared Luton XR campaigner Mark Dimmock.

“A new plant that will add massively to the number of bottles in the waste stream would be ludicrous now that we know just how harmful plastic waste can be”, added Luton XR rebel Lynn Bliss.  “We simply cannot consider introducing so much into the environment from Luton”.

Lynn went on to declare: “We are using every possible social media channel to tell the people of the town to object in the strongest terms to this outrage”.

Another campaigner, Ian Alderman, added: “13 billion plastic bottles are used in the UK each year (480 billion sold globally). 7.5 billion are recycled in the UK (we hope), but 90 per cent of the world’s plastic bottles are not recycled. 5.5 billion bottles end up in landfill or our oceans!  All plastic is a product of the petrochemical industry.  The company Roxane has asked the Environment Agency for a licence to extract up to 120 cubic metres per hour, which equates to 240,000 half litre bottles per hour.  This corresponds to the quantity of water used by 15,000 residents of Luton each year – and Luton is an area classed as seriously water stressed by the Environment Agency.  The potential pollution from the plastic corresponds alarmingly to 42 thousand tonnes of plastic per year!  Just so they can steal our water and sell it back to us and make a handsome profit for themselves. No, No, No!!”

ENDS

To voice your concerns, PLEASE email Email PSC-WaterResources@environment-agency.gov.uk and your councillors, referencing “The company Roxane UK Limited have applied for planning for a bottling plant at Butterfield Business Park, Luton, Nat Grid 10422 24872. Application number NPS/WR/033836”.

Stop funding Climate Change

Are YOU funding Climate Change? Time to change your Bank Account

HSBC have sunk £67 billion into fossil fuel projects since the 2015 Paris Climate agreement. It pours Billions into gas extraction in Mozambique and continues to fund coal, gas and oil pollution around the world.

From 2016 to 2018 Barclays funded fossil fuel companies to the tune of $85 billion, including companies actively expanding extraction!

We need to stop this funding. Join us for socially distanced actions in Luton Town Centre; we are campaigning outside banks encouraging people to change and highlighting the ethical choice. Come and show support, maybe hold a sign up and help speak with people about the difference it will make when banks start to lose your money.

Is your bank part of the problem? Most of the High Street banks and many online banks are involved, so consider changing to those with climate friendly policies and actions:
TRIODOS BANK
NATIONWIDE BUILDING SOCIETY
MONZO
online bank
STARLING
online bank
METRO BANK

Consider these organisations for Savings:
TRIODOS BANK
ECOLOGY BUILDING SOCIETY
CHARITY BANK
NATIONWIDE BUILDING SOCIETY

Or another local building society, as they invest in housing stock rather than fossil fuels.

If you have any direct investments, why not divest them to:
ETHEX
ABUNDANCE INVESTMENT
TRIODOS
ENERGY4ALL
SHARE ENERGY
REPOWERING

2020 Rebellion XR

Action at Homebase against RoundUp weedkiller
Round up RoundUp !
ACTION IN Cambridge, Bayer HQ
Cambridge action
Banner drop in Luton
Vauxhall Way, Luton – All trees under threat by road expansion plans
Luton Airport action
Community picnic, Wardown Park
Bedford action against Barclays Bank- fossil fuel funder
Day 1- Parliament Square, delivering the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill 👍
Parliament Square
Banner drop to protest against the planned dual carriageway which will destroy a 1.5 mile wildlife corridor and ALL the TREES
Vauxhall Way : Sign the petition
change.org/VauxhallWay
Start of march in Ashcroft park

XR targets Luton airport expansion plans

Extinction Rebellion (XR) targeted Luton Airport over the weekend to protest against plans to expand the airport. The environmental protest movement unveiled banners within the terminal, and then occupied a roundabout on the approach road to the airport.

The protest included activists from Luton alongside members of XR from the region, united in a call to cancel the expansion. No arrests were made.

Luton Airport’s current proposal calls for a doubling in passenger numbers, from 16 to 32 million passengers a year. While plans have been postponed because of the Coronavirus and its effect on the aviation industry, XR insist that they should be scrapped altogether. Flying is a major contributor to climate change, which is already causing widespread devastation in many parts of the world. The airport expansion would also cause a rise in noise pollution, air pollution and traffic, as well as claiming large sections of Luton’s Wigmore Park.

“Floods in India, fires in California, Louisiana counting the cost of storm Laura – and Luton Airport is expanding” says local activist Jeremy Williams. “Expanding the airport is utterly irresponsible at a time of climate emergency.”

“We understand that the airport supports council spending, and how important that has been during a decade of Tory austerity,” says Williams, a Luton resident. “But we cannot continue to grow and depend on that income at the expense of future generations, of the world’s most vulnerable people, and of those who suffer today from the noise and pollution from the airport.”

Protests were held at other airports across the country on Saturday, including Gatwick, Stansted and Bristol. XR will turn their attention to London and Parliament from Tuesday September 1st.

RoundUp at HomeBase, Luton

C.S.I. EARTH INVESTIGATE HOMEBASE ECOCIDE

A Luton branch of Homebase was the target of a protest on Saturday for continuing to sell the potentially deadly RoundUp weed killer. Members of “C.S.I. Earth” taped off an area of the store as a crime scene in a theatrical display to highlight the toxic effects of the RoundUp weedkiller on humans bees and the wider ecosystem.

Extinction Rebellion Luton conducted the action to target chemical manufacturer Bayer, owner of the RoundUp brand and manufacturer of the active ingredient glyphosate. Glyphosate is also used in other brands of weedkiller marketed for home use, as well as widely used in agriculture and urban weed killing.

RoundUp was purchased by Bayer from Monsanto in 2018, despite doubts about the safety of the RoundUp formula, which also contains other chemicals. The doubt was sufficient enough for the State of California to add it to their list of known carcinogens in 2017.

While Bayer admits no liability or wrongdoing, they did recently reach a $10 billion settlement for 95,000 US cancer patients who claim their disease was caused by RoundUp. Further to the human risk, Glyphosate has been shown to impact the development of young bees and could contribute to the failure and death of bee colonies. With the global population of bees in decline, Glyphosate is one of a number of chemicals widely used in agriculture that are suspected to be responsible. The loss of bees, a critical pollinator, could cause crop failure and famine.

Extinction Rebellion Luton asks that Homebase and other suppliers follow the good example set by B&Q and withdraw RoundUp and other Glyphosate based weed killers from their shelves, to ensure the health of their customers, bees and our ecosystem. Bayer themselves are even marketing Glyphosate-free versions of RoundUp which can be stocked instead.

Thank you card to B&Q !

Luton residents come together to “Save Our Trees”

Saturday the 1st of August saw bridges in Luton draped with banners and campaigners with placards as Extinction Rebellion Luton joined forces with Trees4Luton and local residents in support of the ‘Save Vauxhall Way Trees’ campaign, to prevent the felling of a mile and a half of roadside woodland along Vauxhall Way in Luton.

The sound of horns from supportive drivers rang along the length of the road, as drivers shared their dismay at the unnecessary plan to replace the wildlife corridor, a woodland habitat for bats, owls and hedgehogs with a dual carriageway and large multi-lane junctions. Campaigners ask for the scheme to be dropped, considerably redesigned, or applied only to the section closest to the airport, to preserve as many trees as possible.

The council is accused of ‘green-washing’ the plan with a new joint walking/cycle path that is unnecessary as cool, quiet woodland walking and cycle routes already exist on parallel roads. The council declared a state of Climate Emergency in January and committed to becoming a carbon neutral town by 2040, but critics say that the council’s attitude so far does not reflect this, as they continue to push for airport expansion and road expansion to sustain it, cutting down hundreds of mature trees essential to mitigate pollution and carbon emissions from the town.

“I have contacted the council and met with them about these plans, but been ignored” Says Steve, Hartsfield Road resident for 30 years who joined the campaign after meeting protesters on Saturday, “I am happy that others feel the way I do about our community and the nature around us. We need to press home the value of keeping green spaces for all to enjoy” 

“The two potential future developments used to justify the plan, airport expansion and a 1000+ home estate on Eaton Green Road, look highly unlikely to proceed” Said campaigner Mark Rees, “so all we are saying is, give trees a chance!”

Join our Campaign to stop this beautiful wildlife corridor from being destroyed.

Sign the petition: change.org/VauxhallWay

Write to your MP: rachel.hopkins@luton.gov.uk sarah.owen@luton.gov.uk

Join our FB Group Save Vauxhall Way Trees

Save Vauxhall Way Trees

XRLuton fully support the “Save Vauxhall Way Trees” campaign.

Come along to Wigmore Park on Saturday 18th July, 11am, to meet for Samba Band rehearsal – skills not needed, just a drum or next best thing, or just a willing to take part in related actions 🥁🥁🥁

Follow this link to sign the Change.Org petition: http://chng.it/ZCKSPxBJ

Join the Facebook Group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/3626396450704257/?ref=share

Luton climate activists warn that ‘inaction = death’

Today (Thursday 25th June 2020) the Climate Change Committee deliver their progress report to government. At the same time, activists from Extinction Rebellion marched through Luton Town Centre to deliver letters to the town’s MPs and Council leaders, demanding action on the climate emergency.

The CCC report is expected to confirm that government has failed to introduce policies to support its own target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050, and without a step change in climate policy, the target will not be achievable.

Letters will remind Luton Council it has formally declared a Climate Emergency and pledged to reduce Luton’s emissions to net zero by 2040. Similarly, no policies have been formed, or actions taken.

The Coronavirus has presented the council with major funding problems, however the climate emergency must remain a priority for the sake of present and future generations of Lutonians.

“All that is needed to tip the climate into catastrophe is a return to normal” said XR Luton member Jim Peacock. “If the government does not act now, it will be in dereliction of its most basic duties to protect its citizens. Ignoring the crisis will only highlight that they are more interested in propping up a toxic, exploitative system. It could cease wasting money on airport expansion to help pay for essential services, benefitting the climate at the same time”.

Letters were delivered by hand to Luton Labour’s offices, with activists making a go-slow walk from the town hall. Letters were also delivered on behalf of members in isolation.

Today’s action in Luton was part of a nationwide protest, as similar letters were delivered to MPs across the UK. It marks the beginning of XRs campaign for a post-lockdown climate recovery.