Nov 11, 2018
Kicking off a week of peaceful protests that will culminate in a mass demonstration at London's Parliament Square on Saturday, activists blockaded the United Kingdom's energy department on Monday to raise alarm about the government's support for fracking and, more broadly, "its criminal inaction on the climate emergency and ecological crisis."
Activists with Extinction Rebellion and Christian Climate Action as well as reporters shared updates on social media from outside the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) as some protesters glued themselves to the entrance.
\u201c#ExtinctionRebellion shuts down energy dept https://t.co/fFnn2L13YX\u201d— Dr Roger Harrabin (@Dr Roger Harrabin) 1542021082
\u201cBell Selkie, 48, centre, farmer from Wales, locked on and glued to the doors of the department of business, environment and industrial strategy: "I live on a farm and the harvests are failing and it's very obvious to me that climate change is hitting now."\n\n#extinctionrebellion\u201d— Damien Gayle (@Damien Gayle) 1542021864
Organizers of the actions leading up to Saturday's Rebellion Day demand that "the U.K. government immediately declares a climate and ecological emergency; reduces to zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2025; and creates a citizens' assembly to oversee these changes." They are also calling for an end to hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, which recently resumed in the country after a seven-year ban.
Despite warnings from the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that the international community should urgently stop burning fossil fuels that drive global warming and work to remove greenhouse gases that are already in the atmosphere to avert a planet-wide climate catastrophe, the U.K. government currently plans to reach "net zero" emissions by 2050.
"The IPCC report in October gave us six to 12 years, and this is known to be a conservative report. If we don't respond with a war-style effort now we are all fucked, all of us. My heart is breaking and I've got to do something, and I'm putting my life on hold," Bell Selkie, a 48-year-old farmer from Wales who glued her hand to the door of BEIS, told the Guardian.
Police forcibly removed and arrested some demonstrators at the building's entrance--including Simon Bramwell, one of the activists who sprayed anti-fracking slogans on the building with removable paint.
\u201c*** BREAKING NEWS:\n\nSimon Bramwell, activist with #ExtinctionRebellion, has just been arrested for spray painting anti #fracking slogans (in removable paint) on the front of @beisgovuk offices. \n\nHere is his video testimony: \nhttps://t.co/33WlynSxe8\u201d— Extinction Rebellion (@Extinction Rebellion) 1542034279
\u201c"Frack off" #extinctionrebellion protester spray paints department for business energy and industrial strategy as they escalate the #ClimateBreakdown demonstration\u201d— Damien Gayle (@Damien Gayle) 1542030954
\u201cFr Martin Newell arrested as part of the #ExtinctionRebellion #ClimateChange protest today.\nWhen all other means have been exhausted, nonviolent direct action is the only way to push for justice.\n@ExtinctionR\n@extinctsymbol\u201d— Christian Climate Action (@Christian Climate Action) 1542037328
"The time to take action against climate injustice is now. The political system is failing us from local councils to central government," Becky Daniels, a protestor from the Preston New Road fracking protest site in Lancashire, said in a statement.
"If we do not act now, we face extinction. At the very least we will witness the breakdown of society as we know it," she added. "The impacts of climate injustice will be felt around the world. We are imploring you to stand with us in solidarity and declare a climate emergency."
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