ENVIRONMENTAL campaigners have warned they plan to 'engage in actions' targeting City of York Council after staging a 'die-in' yesterday at a York shopping centre.

#ExtinctionRebellion York (XRY), which protested at the York Designer Outlet at Fulford 'in solidarity with the species lost and the victims of #ClimateBreakdown across the world, said it was calling for the council to declare a climate emergency and commit to carbon neutrality.

The council's Labour group leader, Cllr Janet Looker, said this afternoon that she supported the campaigners' actions, telling The Press: "I welcome anything that highlights the real imminence of catastrophe of climate change.

"We must be shocked into really shifting our behaviours quite profoundly.

The recent highlighting of the terrifying implications of the decline in insect numbers - not as cuddly as a panda or polar bear - but very significant for the whole life on earth must be a wake up call.

"So I support these actions, let's hope it does jolt some of us out of our complacency."

The protesters, who laid down on the ground inside the centre, claimed: "We need to move away from #FastFashion and build a new sustainable society. We will not stop till @CityofYork declare a #ClimateEmergency."

They said: "This action was done to highlight the destructive effects of the fashion industry, and the wider issues of our hyper-consumerist society which exists at the expense of our planet and the lives of millions."

Merry Dickinson, co-coordinator of Extinction Rebellion York, said:“The fast fashion industry is symptomatic of a wider issue, that we live in a hyper-consumerist society that is based upon the exploitation of our planet and people.

"We have a very limited amount of time left to act, and the fast fashion industry is entirely antithetical to that, and puts the future of humanity at risk through its never-ending pursuit of profit.”

Peter Jacobs, of Extinction Rebellion York, said:“Today was a day awakening for the people of York. It was loud. It was unashamedly pro-planet. People stood up and took notice.”

Mark Matthews, co-coordinator of Extinction Rebellion York, said:“The fast fashion industry is one of many industries contributing to the climate crisis. We are living in an age of climate emergency, and yet we continue to act as if nothing is wrong.

"We call upon people to join our rebellion, as the people truly do have the power to create a better world that doesn’t lead to the destruction of society and the living planet.”

XRY said: "This is why we are calling for an international rebellion, and asking people to rebel for their futures and for life itself.

"The period of international rebellion is scheduled to begin on April 15, and XRY will be engaging in actions targeting York Council leading up to this as part of our other demands to get York Council to declare a climate emergency and commit to carbon neutrality."

XRY staged its first protest in November when it briefly closed Ouse Bridge to traffic to highlight the threat posed by climate change.

Extinction Rebellion York