Teenage climate protestor spends night up crane in Norwich

7/11/20 crane protest banner
Police were called after the protestor climbed to the top of a crane in Norwich Credit: ITV Anglia

A teenage climate change protestor has spent the night at the top of a crane in Norwich.

Police say they were called just before 6.40am on Saturday following a report that the teenager had climbed the crane in Duke Street in an act of protest.

Police at the scene of the protest in Duke Street Norwich Credit: ITV Anglia

Alex Sidney, 17, from Dereham, is carrying a sleeping bag, supplies and several banners promoting Extinction Rebellion. He's been up the crane for more than 24 hours now.

He says he is cold but still in good health for now, though Saturday night's fog left him soaked.

James Harvey from Extinction Rebellion said Alex had been checked on every hour through the night by the police, and that he was tired but still happy to stay up the crane for now.

Mr Harvey said police were refusing to allow hot drinks or food to be sent up to Alex.

He has pasta but his cooking stove has run out of gas.

Alex, who is currently on a gap year, says he aims to remain on a gantry outside the crane's cab, which he said is around 33 metres high, for an "indefinite" time.

He says one of the key issues he wants tackling locally is the Wensum Link, also known as the Norwich Western Link, a new dual carriageway in Norfolk - the construction of which he says is "destroying ancient trees, Barbastelle bats, and polluting our protected chalk streams. We need our council to rethink this project and call it off."

He has raised an Extinction Rebellion banner at the top of the crane.

Extinction Rebellion said Alex was deeply concerned about the government's failure to act on the climate and ecological emergency, both locally, nationally, and globally.

The crane at Duke Street in Norwich Credit: ITV Anglia

They said he felt there was no option left but to break the law and somehow get his message to the public.

Extinction Rebellion Norwich spokesman James Graham said the crane protest went ahead in place of a much larger demonstration which had to be postponed due to the national lockdown in England.Police confirmed that three people had been arrested in Duke Street on Saturday morning (7 November) in connection with the incident and taken into police custody.

Officers and other emergency services are currently at the scene.

Members of the public are asked to avoid the area.