22 people were arrested following a seven-hour protest about the climate change outside a government department in central London.
The protest saw about 30 people occupy the entrance of the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). Some used glue to stick themselves to the entrances to the building. The words “frack off” was sprayed on the entrance.
BEIS said no one was able to enter or leave the building during the action.
The protest was co-ordinated by Extinction Rebellion, a campaign attempting what it called a nonviolent uprising against inactivity by the UK government on climate change. It chose BEIS because it said the department was promoting fracking.
One of the protesters, Julie Daniels, who has campaigned against fracking at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site in Lancashire, said:
“Having been involved in the anti-fracking movement for over seven years, it was inevitable family members would become involved. Continuing to use fossil fuels ignores that the window to steady runaway climate change grows smaller every year. We are the first generation that knows what we have to do and the last generation able to do something about it. This is not just a family affair, it’s a family emergency we can’t ignore.”
Her daughter, Becky, said:
“The time to take action against climate injustice is now. The political system is failing us from local councils to central government. Democracy no longer exists, as seen with England’s ‘dash for gas’ and the systematic criminalization of peaceful protest.”
Extinction Rebellion is a fortnight of action, which began yesterday and aims to see multiple arrests to draw attention to the effects of anthropogenic climate change.
The campaign is demanding that the UK declares a state of emergency around climate change and that ministers take action to create a zero carbon economy by 2025. It also wants a national assembly of ordinary people to decide what a zero carbon future would look like. The main day of action is on Saturday 17 November.
The first person to be arrested was a member of Christian Climate Action, Ruth Jarman, 55. She said:
“If we don’t take action now, we will be the last generation who can.”
Other CCA members arrested were 85-year-old Reggie Norton, and Father Martin Newell (51), who said:
“We are crucifying God’s earth, creating ongoing climate change that will cause disasters that would completely undermine any practical good work otherwise done. As a Christian I am called to act in solidarity with the crucified, and witness to God’s sacrificial love for His people and His creation.”