Extinction rebels ask for their banner back
The Scottish Borders branch of Extinction Rebellion (XRSB) has called for the return of its latest banner, which has gone missing.
The group says it was securely attached along a fence at the former Melrose railway station, beside the town bypass, last Wednesday, but has since disappeared.
The banner, which the group says supported the efforts of young people in the Borders, for their Fridays for Future (FFF) global climate emergency campaign last week, was to have been displayed for a few days before and after the event, and then removed, to be used again at future events.
Now, only the slashed ties remain, attached to where they’d been secured.
A spokesperson for XRSB said, “Because of Covid restrictions, we couldn’t gather to demonstrate our support for the event, so instead, one of our artistically-talented members created a banner out of recycled materials, to show solidarity with the young FFF members, some of whom are also Borders Youth Ambassadors for Sustainability.
“They see their future as gravely at risk, unless those in authority and older adults show greater leadership in implementing the transformational changes to our economies and lifestyles, that are needed to repair the damage caused by catastrophic global levels of CO2 emissions and to rebalance and restore our damaged ecosystems.
The banner carried the words ’Support SBC – Climate Emergency – Declared 2020 – Action 2021’ with stylised illustrations of a tree and renewable energy installations.
“It was a reminder that a climate emergency has been declared by Scottish Borders Council and we all need to support positive actions that will mitigate climate change and build sustainable green futures.
“Our action was carried out in the spirit of freedom of expression, but it would appear that for some, this is unacceptable.”
The spokesperson added: “XRSB hope that if the banner is found, it will be returned, folded and with a label attached, saying ’to be collected by XRSB’ and placed on or under the bench next to the Melrose Station sign.”
However, misgivings about the sign were expressed at last week’s Melrose Community Council meeting, held virtually online.
Community councillor Robin Chisholm said: “It appears the ‘save the planet brigade’ has put a large banner over the fence at Melrose station.
"They were there in yellow coats, and were jumping around and waving flags.
"I’m not sure where the council stand with banners in places like that, but that is a fast bit of road and they are creating quite a distraction.
"I don’t know if that could be discouraged.”
Chairman William Windram said: “I saw that too, and I think somebody was going to report that to the owners of the site.
"I don’t know if they were aware of it or not.
"Also, the lampost there has been recently refurbished at some expense.
"I think the police might also be interested if it was causing a distraction for people driving past.”