We continue to reflect on the two weeks of the October Rebellion and all the preparation work that went in to it. We are also taking part in debriefing sessions across Extinction Rebellion. If anyone has any feedback to give us please get in touch.
Most of the time rebels arrested with XR Peace during the October Rebellion were released “under investigation”. After the April Rebellion hundreds of people were later charged and court cases are still ongoing with trials being heard most days in City of London Magistrates Court. A number of plea hearings for the October Rebellion are being heard however any involving the Section 14 order are currently being adjourned. On November 6th The High Court ruled that the Metropolitan Police’s blanket ban on Extinction Rebellion protest during the October Rebellion was unlawful, in a landmark judgment that reasserts the fundamental right to peaceful protest.
On the first day of the Rebellion as XR Peace claimed the road on The Embankment next to the MOD building 23 rebels were arrested for Obstruction of the Highway and Conspiracy to Obstruct the Highway. Later arrests at BAe Systems were for Aggravated Trespass so we are anticipating some court cases.
During the Rebellion several of our rebels were held overnight and taken to court. Angie Zelter pled guilty on a charge of failing to comply with the public assembly condition (Section 14) and, due to breach of a previously imposed conditional discharge from the April rebellion and her long arrest record was fined £460 plus a victim surcharge of £46 and costs of £85. At a second court appearance following blocking of Oxford Circus Angie was given a total of £1250 in fines, surcharge and court costs. She is appealing the sentence for breach of the Section 14 Order because of the subsequent High Court ruling that the conditions of the Order were unlawful.
Our successful two week October Rebellion has finished. All XR Peace rebels who were arrested have now been released, with many waiting to hear if they will receive court dates. A big thank you to everyone who came along or helped out in some way.
APPEAL FOR FUNDS
Can you help our incredible XR Peace campaigners? We need more donations towards the high cost of equipment, fares and fines following two weeks of high profile campaigning.
Funds are needed for:
- Equipment seized by police (we hope to recover some equipment as it was for legal protest including access equipment for disabled people)
- Travel fares to court appearances – many are making long journeys from other parts of the UK
- Help towards paying fines, some of which are particularly high. Angie Zelter received a £1,250 fine from her last sit and glue-on to the bamboo structure in Oxford Circus on Friday. [pdf of Angie’s court plea]
Citizens call on the UK Supreme Court to recognise the crime of Ecocide and the illegality of nuclear weapons, and to protect people’s rights to freedom of assembly.
Eight Extinction Rebellion Peace rebels, as part of the October Extinction Rebellion, are holding a protest this morning in front of the Supreme Court calling on the court to use its powers to uphold and strengthen international law in relation to human rights and earth rights. The rebels are glued to each other and are standing calmly in a semicircle in front of the court in spite of the imposition of a Section 14 Order earlier this week prohibiting any Extinction Rebellion protest in London.
Jo Blackman (56), an adult education tutor from Shrewsbury, said: “The Supreme Court needs to step up and act with integrity, wisdom and courage to protect people and planet as we face multiple existential threats to life on earth, including ultimately the survival of our own species. We are here today supporting the call for a new law of ecocide that would prohibit mass damage and destruction of the earth, including by fossil fuel extraction and burning, rainforest destruction, industrial agriculture and other acts which have been shown to be driving climate breakdown and mass extinctions.”
Brian Larkin (59) from Howgate in Scotland said:“The imposition of a Section 14 Order on Monday night banning any Extinction Rebellion protest in London is totally unacceptable and we are here today to call on the Supreme Court to protect people’s rights to freedom of assembly.”
Jane Tallents (61), of Howgate in Scotland said: “Climate change causes war and war causes climate change. About 6% of global carbon emissions are from military activity. As the climate crisis gains pace there will be increasing tension. If countries continue to resort to war as a means of attempting to solve conflict, we will not be able to avert catastrophic climate breakdown. Instead we must find new ways of thinking and work together to save our shared home.”
Angie Zelter (68),from Knighton in Wales, Coordinator of the Public Interest Case Against Trident (PICAT) said “We have asked the Attorney General to allow us to bring a case against the Prime Minister and Defence Secretary for conspiring to commit a war crime. This is because we have evidence that deploying Trident is such a conspiracy. The Attorney General has refused. We are asking the court to allow us to take this case to the courts. It is a crime to threaten mass destruction. The court needs to hear evidence. This is why I am here. We need the regulation of power by the law. Corporations and governments are not above the law.”
Sylvia Boyes (75), a Quaker from Keighley said: “We are calling on the court to end all arms sales, especially those to regimes such as Saudi Arabia where the weapons are being used in clear violation of international humanitarian law in the war on Yemen.”
Three XR Peace rebels and one London XR rebel were arrested after they were cut out of lock-ons inside the XR Peace gazebo at Trafalgar Square.
Police were clearing Trafalgar Square of protesters after having apparently amended the Section 14 order under which that site had been designated a lawful place for Extinction Rebellion rebels to protest.
Sylvia Boyes had immediately returned to Trafalgar Square after being arrested earlier in the day outside the entrance to BAE Systems. She joined Angie Zelter and Michael Buick, and all were later arrested and taken to Brixton police station.
All three XR Peace rebels have now been released. Angie and Sylvia were charged with violating the Section 14 order.
XR Peace rebels are determined to continue as part of this rebellion and are planning further actions this week. All welcome to join us. Contact us via Facebook or Twitter.
The XR Peace gazebo in Trafalgar Square earlier in the day, before the police moved in:
Making links between UK Arms sales to Turkey and Saudi Arabia, Nuclear Weapons and the Climate Emergency
Update: All 6 were released around 4.30am and are under investigation for Aggravated Trespass. In response the six asked for BAE to be investigated for being complicit in war crimes.
Six Extinction Rebellion rebels belonging to the XR Peace affinity group were arrested this morning after blockading the entrance to BAE Systems central London offices in protest against UK nuclear weapons, the sale of fighter jets and other arms to Turkey and to Saudi Arabia – making the links between the arms trade and the climate emergency.
The six are arrested under Section 69 of the Criminal Justice Act, and for aggravated trespass.
Dr. Diana Warner, 60, a GP from Bristol said: “I’m here with the XR peace group because war and weapons do not work for peace, they add to greenhouse gas emissions, suffering and death. British arms industries are fuelling war and can potentially drag us into conflicts we don’t want to join. My work is to promote health and this action is entirely consistent with that. I have now retired in order to take part full time with Extinction Rebellion with the aim being to prevent climate catastrophe and save lives.”
Sylvia Boyes, 75, a Quaker from Keighly said: “We are calling on the government to stop illegal arms sales to Saudi Arabia because the weapons are being used in clear violation of international humanitarian law in the war on Yemen. BAE Systems profits from death and destruction. The F-35 strike fighter jets that BAE is licensed by the UK to sell to both Saudi Arabia and Turkey produce 100 times the greenhouse gas emissions than a passenger jet, while these same jets are being used Saudi Arabia to intentionally target civilians in the war in Yemen.”
Another rebel, Peter Wickenden (75), of Kentish Town, said: “BAE Systems is profiting from death and contributing to the climate emergency worldwide. The government must stop licensing arms sales to countries such as Turkey and Saudi Arabia who are likely to use them in violation of international humanitarian law, and it must act now to address the climate emergency.”
Willemien Hoogendoorn, (56) of Faslane Peace Camp, Helensburgh, Scotland said: “BAE Systems are contracted to build the new Trident replacement submarines. They signed a deal to provide support to Turkey for stealth jet fighters in 2017. And they have a long term contract to provide fighter jets to Saudi Arabia. This week we’ve seen Turkey bombing civilians in Syria, while the Saudis have been relentlessly attacking civilians with BAE fighter jets since 2015 in a war that is causing the world’s worst humanitarian catastrophe.”
Brian Larkin (59), from Howgate in Scotland said: “Nuclear weapons are the twin existential threat to climate change. If 100 nuclear weapons were used they would cause a global famine leading to the death of 2 billion people. The government should use the resources currently going to Trident to address the climate crisis and sign the nuclear weapons ban treaty.”
Jane Tallents (61), of Howgate in Scotland said: “Climate change causes war and war causes climate change. About 6% of global carbon emissions are from military activity. As the climate crisis gains pace there will be increasing tension. If countries continue to resort to war as a means of solving conflict we will not be able to avert climate crisis. All people of the earth face the twin existential threats of nuclear weapons and the climate emergency. To avert catastrophe we must find new ways of thinking and work together to save our shared home.”
Posted by Brian Larkin on Monday, 14 October 2019
XRPeace have been a continuing significant presence as part of the October Extinction Rebellion here in London, carrying the message that militarism is a central pillar of the exploitative forces that are destroying our precious earth.
Today we finally set up our gazebo tent and will be spending the night here!
On Monday about 75 of us occupied the Embankment outside the MOD from 6am until 11am with two people locked on to a car and three locked on to a mock Trident missile and others simply sitting in the road. The early start meant that our actions featured prominently in national media coverage of the start of the rebellion. Check out some XR Peace press coverage on this website. Twenty four people were arrested on our site.
On Tuesday four XR Peace did a Die-in with fake blood partially blocking the back entrance to the MOD and although staying 5 hours left without being arrested. Angie Zelter and a polar bear from the Knighton and Presteign group were arrested in Whitehall as the police tried to clear it. Angie was held over two nights and appeared in Westminster Magistrate Court and pleaded Guilty to a charge of Obstruction of the Highway in order to be out again on the streets.
On Thursday three XR Peace grandparents and a 93 year old great grandfather locked and glued on across the road at Trafalgar Square for 5 hours helping to keep the road around the Square blocked after a wooden box tower was cleared by the police. They unlocked to rest and regroup for continuing action. With police clearing several mass blockades around the city, it feels right for our actions now to be supporting the wider rebellion. There have been over 1000 arrests so far.
Reinforcements needed: We are planning further XR Peace actions for the early part of the coming week. Can you join us? We need both arrestable and non-arrestable people. We can provide accommodation.
Some photos from today at Trafalgar Square.
Members of Extinction Rebellion Peace were in action again today as a group of four locked on to each other in Trafalgar Square in support of the Extinction Rebellion effort to retain occupation of the site.
The four were: Sylvia Boyes (75) a Quaker grandmother of six from Keighley, Eric Levy (92), a great grandfather from London, Jane Tallents (61) grandmother of two from Scotland, and Brian Larkin (59) a grandfather from Scotland. All are members of the direct action anti nuclear weapons campaign group Trident Ploughshares. Jane and Brian were arrested yesterday during a “die-in” protest at the Ministry of Defence HQ in Whitehall and were released from police custody in the evening. After holding their ground for several hours the group voluntarily released themselves in order to contribute tomorrow to the ongoing occupations.
Extinction Rebellion Peace seeks to draw attention to the enormous contribution made by the military worldwide to climate changing emissions. It also stresses that the climate emergency and the ever-present risk of nuclear war are twin existential threats to human survival.
XR Peace continue to act this week as part of the London Rebellion.
Today 4 peace activists were arrested at the Ministry of Defence in Whitehall as people from the XR Peace group lay down on the entrance steps to draw attention to the military’s contribution to climate change and to protest about the UK’s own aggravation of the serious risk of catastrophic nuclear war.
The four arrested are Jane Tallents and Brian Larkin, both from Midlothian, Ann Kobayashi, from Wickford in Essex, and Zelda Jeffers from Basildon. It took around 40 police offers and more than an hour to clear the entrance.
David Mackenzie, who was dragged off the steps by police but not arrested, said:
“There is a planetary crisis, with oncoming disastrous climate change, the risk of bio-diversity collapse and the ever-present threat of the unimaginable horrors of nuclear war. All demand a worldwide awakening and a word-wide response. Being in London this week has given me hope that such an awakening is possible. It has been humbling to witness the commitment, the imagination, the human connection and the steadfast adherence to non-violence even under aggressive police pressure. I think we all have to catch up, and quickly, before it is too late.”
XR Peace continue this week as part of the London Rebellion.