Extinction Rebellion Day in London

20 November 2018

On Saturday 17 November, 6 Green Party members from Cumbria were part of the Extinction Rebellion Day in London. Amongst them were Ruth Noonan and Allan Todd, both of Allerdale & Copeland Green Party.
This Rebellion Day saw over 6000 climate crisis activists descend on London, with the intention to peacefully block 5 bridges across the Thames, for several hours. The 5 bridges closed down were: Blackfriars, Waterloo, Southwark, Westminster and Lambeth. The Cumbrian Greens - who also included Helen Davison, of Carlisle Greens, and Gwen Harrison of Westmorland and Lonsdale Greens - were tasked with closing down Lambeth Bridge.
The scene on Lambeth Bridge
earlier in the day.

In all, 85 of the protesters were arrested. Amongst those arrested was Allan Todd who, in the 2015 general election, had stood for the Greens in Copeland. He was arrested for ‘wilful obstruction of a highway’; but was later released, without bail, ‘pending further investigations’.
Allan Todd, about to be arrested
for refusing to move off the Bridge.

A link to a short video clip of the arresting process:

Saturday’s big Rebellion Day, organised by the group Extinction Rebellion, was part of an on-going national campaign of non-violent direct action, designed to force the UK government to honour the commitments made - at the UN Climate Summit in Paris in 2015 - to de-carbonise the British economy in order to limit global warming to below 2 degrees C.
An Extinction Rebellion spokesperson said:
Peaceful civil disobedience has a long, proud and successful history in bringing about positive and necessary change - in the UK, and in other countries, such as India and the US.
As Ruth Noonan, of Cockermouth, said:
I was amazed at the number of people who joined the mass civil disobedience action organised on Saturday by Extinction Rebellion. Many have never been involved in a lawful demonstration before.
The fact that these people felt so strongly that they decided to act unlawfully and put themselves at risk of arrest, is remarkable. We have all signed petition after petition to put our views forward on climate change, fracking and the building of runways - but our government ignores us. We have been driven to acts of civil disobedience as a last ditch effort to bring about change.
“The government needs to tell the truth about how devastating the climate catastrophe we are heading towards will be.”

Following his release, Allan Todd, of Keswick, said:
Many parts of the world are already suffering from the impacts of the worsening climate crisis: the most recent being the devastating - and totally unprecedented - wildfires in California. Yet, instead of reducing the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions, the current government is doing the complete opposite - as pointed out recently by its own Climate Change Committee.
As well as removing subsidies and incentives for renewable energy schemes - though continuing to give massive subsidies to the powerful dirty energy fossil fuel companies - the government is also trying to push fracking across the country as fast as possible. Even though this known to be a form of fossil energy that, because of the methane it releases, contributes massively more to global warming than other fossil fuel industries.
Such behaviour is unforgivable - especially in light of the most recent IPCC Report from the UN, which says we have probably no more than 12 years in which to avoid unstoppable climate breakdown.
 “Until this government begins to carry out its primary duty - which is to protect its citizens - then it is our moral duty to mount a continuing campaign of mass civil disobedience, to force the government to take the urgent action needed to avert catastrophic climate breakdown. We owe this duty, in particular, to the younger generations who are not responsible for this mounting climate crisis.”

Allan Todd

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