Extinction Rebellion Families (Hackney) staged a socially-distanced and poignant protest outside Hackney Town Hall on Tuesday morning, calling for their council to use the COVID lockdown as an opportunity to introduce radical measures to combat air pollution and climate change.

Around a dozen activists wearing face masks and maintaining social distance laid out hundreds of children’s shoes on the steps and forecourt of the town hall, before unfurling a huge banner with the words “COVID TODAY – CLIMATE TOMORROW – ACT NOW”.

They want to remind local and national government that today’s children face ecological collapse and an uncertain future if we don’t take urgent action on carbon emissions and ecological damage. The shoes were donated by teachers, parents and others, and after being used for various protests will be donated to Shoe Aid for distribution.

Townhall staff did not call the police and the protest passed without incident. After about an hour, all shoes were collected up for later use.