22 arrests after climate change blockade of energy department

181112 BEIS protest Ruth Jarman CCA

Climate change campaigners blockade the entrance to the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, 12 November 2018. Photo: Christian Climate Action

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.

181112 BEIS protest Ruth Jarman CCA2

Ruth Jarman being arrested at climate change protest at the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, 12 November 2018. Photo: Christian Climate Action

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.”

12 replies »

  1. Distinct lack of comments from the investors and science deniers on this post.

    No bring “back the rope” this time or even the usual “nothing to see here”.

    Were you all too busy tapping away on your keyboards selling your fossil fuel shares? Maybe thinking about it anyway?

    Divestment is the first step to becoming part of the climate change solution.

  2. Nothing to say yourself Dorkinian, that you need/miss the quality input of others? No investor here, or science denier, but didn’t want you to get lonely.

    45% increase in global gas demand by 2040. Lot’s of buyers from that. Hardly connected to a few student union type pranks.

    • If there is a 45% increase in global gas use by 2040, as you predict, large areas of the globe will have ceased to exist. Greedy humans can make as many excuses for selling and burning fossil fuels as they like but they can’t beat Nature.

  3. Everyone was at work as normal apparently – there are at least two other ways in. The swampies stopped the members of the public gaining entry.

  4. Really good PR taking up police resources as serious knife crime escalates! NOT.

    This is not thought through and public comment I have heard is focusing upon that, rather than the cause.

  5. Well Pauline, I suggest you design a round the world trip, stopping off at those parts of the world where the wealth is increasing for those who during previous years have lived a life of subsistence, low life expectancy and disease, and let them know that you don’t want them to enjoy the lifestyle others have enjoyed. Or, you could catch them as they enter the country as illegals.

    But, I can save you the cost and time and tell you what their response would be-but it would be moderated.

    Yes, alternatives will grow world wide, but the demand for energy will do so too-+25% by 2040 even taking into maximising energy efficiency. The mistake many antis make is they ignore that energy demand increase and contemplate alternatives within a fixed energy demand.

  6. Well said, Martin. Many of us feel strongly on many issues, in my case unelected protest mobs, but if we all take to the streets with our pet hates only chaos will result.
    If we handicap our economy by subsidising inefficient renewables the developing world is unlikely to follow our “noble” example. If we can make a success of fracking we might persuade some countries planning or retaining hundreds of coal fired power stations to switch to gas. That would REALLY contribute to reducing emissions.
    Enough of this selfish virtue signalling.

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