A funeral procession dressed in black will make its way through Barnstaple town centre on Saturday (February 16) in memory of all the species that have departed this earth as Extinction Rebellion makes its North Devon debut.

The uprising has arrived, with a growing number of people saying they are even willing to get arrested for the cause.

The movement is spreading across the world and sees an increasing number of people convinced it is faced with a global emergency and a very real threat to survival if climate change is not slowed within a decade.

They say global warming is already above one degrees – and if it reaches two it will be game over for life as we know it.

To back up their demands for the Government to act, many rebellion activists are willing to carry out a campaign of civil disobedience and direct action, get arrested and even go to prison if need be – a ‘suffragette campaign’ for the environment.

More than 100 people turned out for the first North Devon Extinction Rebellion meeting and the group is already planning a programme of action.

Some of the more radical activism ideas suggested – but not adopted at this time – include a slow cycle to Exeter to create a blockade, chalk spray ‘attacks’ on prominent local landmarks and blockading traffic with street theatre.

Other less direct ideas include teaming up with Plastic Free North Devon, getting people elected to councils, supporting local renewable energy and encouraging vegetarian lifestyles.

On Saturday (February 16), the group will be holding a silent funeral procession in Barnstaple town centre in memory of all the species that have already gone extinct.

Dressed in black, the procession will set off from the Square at noon and make its way up the High Street, stopping occasionally to hold a silent vigil.

Afterwards at 2pm the next general meeting will be held on the top floor of Barnstaple Library, with all welcome.

More events are expected from April 15 with an international week of action planned.

North Devon founding member Josie Holt told the Gazette: “The reason it has happened is because we don’t have time for the Government to implement more changes.

“They say we have a five per cent chance of staying under the two degrees. The current climate change patterns are already comparable to the last great extinction event.

“The history of rapid social changes shows that our best hope of achieving the kind of system change that we need is through non-violent, direct action.

“There are those within the movement very willing to use civil disobedience and non-violent direct action to raise awareness and push the Government to listen.”

Extinction Rebellion wants the Government to ‘tell the truth’ about the climate, reduce carbon emissions to carbon neutral by 2025 and create a citizen’s assembly to oversee the changes.

Anyone wanting to find out more can visit the Extinction Rebellion North Devon Facebook page or email xr.northdevon@hotmail.com .