Muswell Hill Extinction Rebellion holds protest ahead of COP26

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Extinction Rebellion activists protested in Muswell Hill - Credit: Charlotte Simms

Muswell Hill's Extinction Rebellion group has performed a musical protest in the lead up to climate change conference COP26.

Around 30 activists, in collaboration with Muswell Hill Sustainability Group, gathered outside Planet Organic this afternoon (October 30).

The protest saw 20 masked dancers perform a waltz, nicknamed Burning Ballroom, before taking part in a "die-in", where people lay on the floor pretending to be dead.

People dressed as undertakers then placed sheets over the activists, along with signs explaining how they had "died", including "famine", "fire" and "pandemic". Participants then delivered speeches and handed out leaflets to the public.

Co-organiser Holly Simms, 31, said the protest had received a "pretty warm" reception.

She told the Ham&High: "People seemed engaged, they took pictures and were signing up to our newsletter.

"There wasn't much backlash as this wasn't a disruptive protest like blocking the roads.

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"The idea of the waltz came from a protest in central London in August, and we added the 'die-in' to make it our own. The idea is that we're waltzing into oblivion whilst the planet burns."

The animal charity worker, who has been involved with the climate group since 2019, said she is worried about the impact of climate change on future generations.

"I really believe that there's a huge problem and not enough is being done about it by our leaders," she added.

XR Muswell Hill

Climate protesters performed a waltz in Muswell Hill - Credit: Charlotte Simms

Fellow organiser Marilyn Taylor, 70, felt the joint action had been a success.

She said: "I think it went well, and we worked well as a group. The sun came out, the dancing attracted attention, we were all on a high. I was dancing so I couldn't see how many people gathered, but it looked like people were interested.

"I think we managed to get through to people passing by. People in Muswell Hill are quite clued up, but quite a few didn't know about COP26, so it was important that we were there to tell them.

"So many people contributed to making today a success, and I was very impressed at how it came together."

The Extinction Rebellion member said the group plans on organising further action after next week's conference, depending on the outcome.

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Crowds gathered in Muswell Hill to watch the performance - Credit: Charlotte Simms

extinction rebellion protest

The group sought to raise awareness about the impact of climate change - Credit: Charlotte Simms

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Protesters organised a "die-in", lying on the ground pretending to be dead - Credit: Charlotte Simms

XR protest Muswell Hill

Protesters gathered in Muswell Hill - Credit: Juliette Fevre

XR protest

The protest aimed to raise awareness about climate change - Credit: Juliette Fevre

XR protest

Activists wore black clothes and white masks - Credit: Juliette Fevre