MEMBERS of Extinction Rebellion Stourbridge turned out with banners today (Saturday May 30) to highlight their fight for a coronavirus recovery plan that prioritises people and the planet over profit.

The group, like others across the country, staged a silent protest at midday in defiance of what they say is a drive by the Government to return to business as usual following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Members donned gloves and masks and took along banners and placards as they stood three metres apart o a grass verge for the hour-long protest which was also an effort to bring ecological and climate issues to the attention of Dudley Council.

On their Facebook page the group said: "We are at a turning point in human history. The Government is driving a return to normal as quickly as possible.

"But normal is killing us. Our Government has a choice; prioritise profit or prioritise health. Bailout destructive industries or bailout people and the planet. Mass extinction or mass participation. It’s time to trust the people. As part of the coronavirus recovery, we demand a binding Citizens Assembly on how to rebuild our economy, our democracy and our future.”

They said protestors were asked to adhere to current government health and safety guidelines and arrive alone or in pairs and to only attend their local protest by walking or cycling - avoiding public transport unless absolutely necessary.

A spokesman for the Stourbridge group said: "As the Government begins to ease lockdown and reopen the economy, Extinction Rebellion will stand in defiance of going back to business as usual, there can be no going back to the way things were."

The group said they recognise locally that Dudley Council has "made positive steps in committing to reducing carbon emissions" but they stressed there is "still so much more to be done".