Do people in Leeds support Extinction Rebellion protesters? Your views and reactions

Environmental activists Extinction Rebellion are camping out on a Leeds street for five days, causing a mixed response from people who live and work in the city.

Tuesday, 16th July 2019, 8:13 pm
Extinction Rebellion protesters on Victoria Bridge in Leeds.

The protesters are blocking Victoria Bridge, near Bridgewater Place, causing considerable disruption to buses and trains.

They plan to retain the blockade until Friday and people in Leeds have had a lot to say.

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Extinction Rebellion protesters on Victoria Bridge in Leeds.

Chris Nickson visited Victoria Bridge to thank the activists for their protests.

He tweeted: "I went down to the Extinction Rebellion blockade on Victoria Bridge in Leeds this morning to thank them for what they're doing.

"A lovely chat, and in our own ways, we need to do more. Definitely including myself in that."

Robert Clarke, from the South Pennines, tweeted: "I hope the Extinction Rebellion protest in Leeds is permanent.

Protesters 'sitting in' on the road.

"The area around Sovereign Street, Bridgewater place and dark arches is now much more usable and pleasant for non motorists. Air quality, ambience, and pedestrian safety are all noticeably better."

Others oppose the blockade

Luke Thornton, from Keighley, tweeted: "Extinction Rebellion are an absolute disgrace in Leeds today.

"They talk about extinction but they've probably just threatened the existence of genuine working class families by hitting them in the pocket by preventing them going out to work, or making them late."

Scott Viggars, a radiographer who lives in Leeds, tweeted: "Another day of delays in Leeds thanks to Extinction Rebellion - queues of traffic churning more fumes into the air, graffiti on the floor and NHS staff delayed getting to work.

"Yeah, I can absolutely see why they're doing it."

People have flagged up the protesters' use of graffiti

Grace C Roberts said she supported Extinction Rebellion but urged protesters to stop using graffiti on Victoria Bridge.

She tweeted: "Hi Extinction Rebellion! I'm from Leeds and I do support your protests - we do need to act now.

"But can you try to ensure your protest doesn't involve graffiti on our streets? If anything, it'll just cost the council money to clean up when it could be better spent elsewhere."

Graham Vickers, a web and graphic designer from Sheffield, said: "Watching the Extinction Rebellion protests in Leeds and chuckled at the spray painted 'save the planet' on the road.

"Sweet irony, unless I'm wrong and it's eco friendly spraypaint."

Some Leeds residents think the protests are causing more air pollution

Charlotte Fergie commented on the protesters: "They aren't really causing any traffic, just making buses and cars do their normal journey a lot longer on the roads causing more air pollution."

Joanna Ryson criticised the protesters for blocking Victoria Bridge, which is used by a number of bus services.

She said: "Why block the road most used for public transport link for buses and trains? That will help the environment! Rethink, idiots!"

Others think they are wasting police time

Steve Craig commented: "No coal powered power stations left, car manufacturers investing millions into electric cars, seems to me that it's already going in the right direction yet these idiots choose to disrupt other people's lives while wasting the time of an already stretched police force.

"I'd arrest and give everyone of them an on the spot fine."

Michael Taylor said: "Police ought to arrest them. They have no right to be doing this.

"Time to get tough. Given them ten minutes to clear the road and arrest any who remain and charge them with breach of the peace."