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Extinction Rebellion activists hijack the Cenotaph on Remembrance Day in climate change protest

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Extinction Rebellion activists spark fury after they hijack the Cenotaph on Remembrance Day in climate change protest and hang wreath saying ‘act now’

Extinction Rebellion activists have hijacked the Cenotaph on Remembrance Day in a ‘truly shameful’ climate change stunt.

Eco-warriors unveiled a banner reading ‘Honour Their Sacrifice, Climate Change Means War’ at the memorial on Whitehall, central London, at 8am.

Former soldier Donald Bell led the protest as he held a two-minute silence before hanging a wreath decorated with the words ‘climate change means war, act now’.

Eco-warriors unveiled a banner reading ‘Honour Their Sacrifice, Climate Change Means War’ at the memorial on Whitehall, central London

One person wrote: ‘Truly shameful: Extinction Rebellion have placed a ‘climate change means war’ wreath upon the Cenotaph’

Who is veteran and XR protester Donald Bell?

As a young infantryman in the British Army, he was hit by shrapnel from an IRA car bomb that killed two other soldiers in Stewartstown in 1974.

Mr Bell completed four tours of duty with the Royal Anglican Regiment.

These days, he is fighting climate change.

Former infantryman Donald Bell

In February, he was seen digging up the lawn at Cambridge’s Trinity College and was later arrested after gluing himself to a police van, telling reporters he had been writing letters to the Government for nearly 50 years but was always ignored.

He said: ‘We had to be more disruptive. I just felt compelled to do something for my children and grandchildren.’

The 64-year-old, who delivered a note to Sir David Attenborough’s house last month, said he wanted to highlight how climate change could cause more wars.

He said: ‘I took action today knowing that I would be criticised. I knew that I would be accused of being disrespectful and hated by many for speaking out in this way.

‘Remembrance Day is never an easy time for veterans and this was not an easy decision for me to make.

‘But I served this country, I served the people of this country and the action I took today is about just that.

‘Unchecked climate change means a return to a world at war. I cannot stand by and let that happen. It is my duty to act.

‘This government’s own climate advisors, the committee on climate change, said last year that they have a ‘Dad’s Army’ approach to protecting British people from the impacts of climate change.

‘Their report in June this year showed that the government has failed to meet all but two of the 31 milestones it set itself for reducing emissions.

‘This government is criminally negligent and young people today will pay the price for their failure.

‘I did four tours in Northern Ireland. I have been in conflict. I saw good friends – my comrades, who I served with – die.

‘Many of the people who attend the Remembrance Day Service have never seen the horrors of war. I hope they never have to.

‘However you feel about the action today, I want people to take this message – if we don’t deal with this climate emergency, now, it will lead to war.’

The stunt was met with fury among veterans and online as social media users branded the group ‘truly shameful’.   

One person wrote: ‘Truly shameful: Extinction Rebellion have placed a ‘climate change means war’ wreath upon the Cenotaph.

‘These privileged prats seem to be doing all they can to turn public opinion against them.’

Another person added: ‘There is a place and a time….and THIS ISN’T IT.

‘Were it not for those who fought & died….these self righteous ‘woke’ extinction rebellion lot wouldn’t even see light or day!

‘IT’S THAT SIMPLE! Hence….’NO RESPECT’.’

Another person wrote: ‘Extinction Rebellion really know how to lose support for their cause.

‘Their members are now designated to the rank of scum. They need a new PR representative.’

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