Protester expected to be hit after stopping Hereford traffic

AN ENVIRONMENT campaigner who brought a road in Hereford to a standstill for more than half an hour says she wasn’t frightened, despite being abused and expecting to be hit.

Cathy Monkley, a parent and member of environment protest group Extinction Rebellion, sat in the middle of Hereford’s West Street, off Broad Street

She said she was protesting about the Government’s inaction two years on from Parliament’s declaration of a climate emergency.

Mrs Monkley, 61, said she was a parent fighting for her child’s future, but chose the road “carefully” as to not block a route frequently used by the emergency services, near the hospital or a Covid-19 vaccination site.

She said she wasn’t frightened, but was sworn and verbally abused, as she took part in Extinction Rebellion’s continued demonstrations. She was also arrested, and then de-arrested, and she didn’t resist or struggle as someone took the sandwich board she was wearing around her.

Hereford Times: Cathy Monkley stopped traffic in Hereford as part of climate change protest. Picture: Rob Davies Cathy Monkley stopped traffic in Hereford as part of climate change protest. Picture: Rob Davies

She said people were annoyed at what she was doing, and she expected to be hit, but in the event no one turned violent during her peaceful protest.

Mrs Monkley, a retired nurse from Much Marcle, said: “I’m doing this because I’m a parent and am going to be a grandparent, but I’m doing it for all our children.

“All parents want their children to thrive and have a happy, fulfilling life, free from fear, hunger and trauma, so we elders must stand up for them and demand that our governments bring greenhouse gas emissions to an end.”

The protest was one of several across the country on May 1 and aimed to increase pressure on the Government ahead of November’s climate change conference in Glasgow.

A conference spokesperson said the UK was “committed to working with all countries and people” to “inspire action”.

A Hereford Times online report of the protest sparked heated debate, with some supporting Mrs Monkley, and others angered by protests that bring disruption to the lives of other people.

Hereford Times