Extinction Rebellion 'blockade' Portsmouth incinerator run by Veolia with children's shoes and pushchairs
EXTINCTION Rebellion has blockaded access to Portsmouth’s incinerator facility using children’s shoes and pushchairs.
Activists struck just after 10am today at the Veolia site in Quartremaine Road, in Copnor, protesting over air pollution – blaming the site for worsening the city’s poor record.
XR coordinator Selma Heimedinger, 21, said the activists were using ‘disruptive’ action to bring about change – and hold Veolia to account.
‘We're doing it symbolically with children's shoes,’ she said.
‘We know the impact air pollution has on children, so this represents children suffering from air pollution – or even die from air pollution every single year.’
Selma added: ‘I’m terrified about the future, this is why I do this - I don’t want to be here on a Saturday morning doing this but we literally do this because we care and have love for each other, and for everyone.
‘We just want a habitable world, we've seen in Europe this year all the extreme weather events. We've seen it in London, we've seen the flooding.
‘We can't ignore it anymore, we can’t just say it's weather.
‘These events that used to happen once in a lifetime, now happening every single year so I don't think we can ignore it anymore.'
The action was run alongside XR’s Stop the Burn campaign targeting incinerators across the country.
James Sebley, Portsmouth Greenpeace coordinator, said ‘Incinerators are three times more likely to be sited in deprived areas, such as Portsmouth.
‘Plus, incinerators provide few jobs and hamper investment in more sustainable repair and recycling systems, which could give us the green job boom we desperately need.’
James added: ‘Believe me, I’d rather not have to do this, but they leave us no other options.
‘I can’t relax knowing that my family’s wellbeing is being threatened by business as usual.’
Portsmouth City Council leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson previously said the incinerator generates electricity for a quarter of Portsmouth’s needs, and means just four per cent of rubbish in the city goes to landfill.