FIVE Christians were among protesters arrested outside Downing Street on Wednesday, after they urged the Government to take more action on climate change.
Ruth Jarman, Phil Kingston, Fr Martin Newell, Richard Barnard, and Nick Cooper were among 14 arrested. The group spray-painted the gates of Downing Street with messages, and attempted to block the entrance. Christian Climate Action, an activist group, said that Ms Jarman tried to glue herself to the railings.
A 68-metre banner highlighting climate change was also dropped from Westminster Bridge; and campaigners protested outside the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
CCANick Cooper after being arrested
The action took place on the third day of a fortnight of planned demonstrations, called the Extinction Rebellion. The protesters demands are that: the UK declares a state of emergency around climate change; the Government takes action to create a zero-carbon economy by 2025; and a national assembly of “ordinary” people is created to decide what our zero carbon future will look like.
Mr Barnard said: “I decided to take part on behalf of all the people around the world who are already suffering the effects of climate change. Of course, I’d rather not be here today; I would rather be at home. However, I have the privilege of being able to speak out for justice, and I will do that for those around the world who don’t have that luxury.”
Fr Martin said: “We are crucifying God’s earth, creating a climate that will cause disasters that would completely undermine any human progress. As a Christian, I have a duty to act when I see injustice, and be an outworking of God’s sacrificial love for his people and his creation.”
CCARichard Barnard is led away
The Extinction Rebellion has the support of 94 experts and influencers. Lord Williams, a former Archbishop of Canterbury, has joined others in signing a petition that states: “When a government wilfully abrogates its responsibility to protect its citizens from harm and to secure the future for generations to come, it has failed in its most essential duty of stewardship. The ‘social contract’ has been broken, and it is therefore not only our right, but our moral duty to bypass the government’s inaction and flagrant dereliction of duty, and to rebel to defend life itself.”