Boy, 17, climbs crane in Extinction Rebellion protest as three others arrested

Alex Sidney, 17, is preparing for a rainy night on top of a crane (Picture: PA)

Three people have been arrested after a teenage environmentalist climbed a huge crane in Norwich city centre and hung several Extinction Rebellion banners.

Alex Sidney, 17, made the ascent this morning with supplies and a sleeping bag and says he will remain on the gantry outside the crane’s cab for an ‘indefinite’ time.

However rain forecast later today could force him back to ground from the 33 metre height.

Speaking from the crane ,the activist said: ‘I’m up here to tell the Government and the council to get up off their arses and do something, because I’m worried about the climate,’

‘I’m desperate because there’s no easy fix, there’s no alternative, and my generation are the ones inheriting this planet – so I really want to try and not let it go to waste.’

Alex, from Dereham, Norfolk, who is currently on his gap year, said his main aim is to ensure the banners stay in place.

He added: ‘It’s not too bad up here, actually, it’s just a bit windy right now.

The teenage activist said his generation are ‘the ones inheriting this planet’ (Picture: PA)

‘But we’re forecast for rain here and I haven’t got a tent or tarpaulin to cover me, so it’s not going to be a very fun night.

‘I will probably end up getting down when I get completely drenched and start to get mild hypothermia.’

Norwich Police were called to the scene just before 6.40am and have arrested three people in connection with the incident.

Officers remain in attendance and have asked members of the public to avoid the area.

Alex said he has with him a sleeping bag, cushion, food, water, stove, basic tools and battery packs, along with his phone and a speaker for music.

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.

He said: ‘The message, fundamentally is that while we know Covid is an immediate problem it does not trump the reality that our world is changing faster than the life on it, including us, can handle.

‘We need a radical change in the way we do things to change that, now.

‘Yes, obviously working at height can be dangerous but in addition to the health and safety measures already in place on site to minimise the risk of accidents, Alex is a bright young man who is fully invested in his own safety.

‘None of us want to see anyone getting hurt and we risk assessment all our actions beforehand.

‘It was decided that this needed to be done as the risks of inaction on the climate and ecological emergency far outweigh any risks being taken by XR to curb inspire action.’

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