British model Lily Cole backs climate change hunger strikers

Model Lily Cole listens to a hunger striker outside Conservative Campaign Headquarters in London, Britain December 9, 2019. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner

LONDON (Reuters) – British model and actress Lily Cole on Monday visited two elderly climate change activists from the Extinction Rebellion group who have been on hunger strike outside Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party headquarters for 22 days.

Peter Cole, 76, and Marko Stepanov, 67, began their hunger strike last month in a bid to highlight the gravity of the threat to humanity from climate change.

“I wanted to come today, to stand in solidarity with Professor Peter Cole and Marko Stepanov, who have been on hunger strike for three weeks, asking our government and all political parties for stronger commitments for the climate,” Cole said.

“These 76 and 67 year old grandfathers – and hundreds of other hunger strikers around the world – feel so desperate about the climate crisis that they risk damaging their own health on behalf of younger generations,” Cole said in a statement.

Extinction Rebellion wants to challenge the political, economic and social structure of the modern world in time to avert the worst devastation outlined by scientists studying climate change.

The group advocates non-violent civil disobedience to force governments to reduce carbon emissions and avert what it says is a global climate crisis that will bring starvation, floods, wildfires and social collapse.

Scouted on a London street in 2002 at age 14 and featured on the cover of British Vogue at age 16, Cole became a fixture on catwalks and in fashion magazines with her trademark red hair and then in films such as “Snow White and the Huntsman.”

She obtained her degree from Cambridge University with top grades.

Writing by Guy Faulconbridge, editing by Estelle Shirbon

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