Extinction Rebellion Peace Protesting at UK Supreme Court

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.”

XR Peace Rebels locked on inside gazebo as police move in to clear Trafalgar Square of protesters

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:

XR Peace Blockades BAE Systems London

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

XR Peace Friday Update

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.

Facebook: XR Peace blockade at October Rebellion

Twitter: @xrpeace and #xrpreace

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Extinction Rebellion Peace Lock-on in 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.

Arrests at Peace “Die-in” at UK Ministry of Defence

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.

XR Peace Tuesday update

On Tuesday XR Peace Rebels gathered again in the MOD Gardens.

All but one of the 23 people arrested on the XR Peace blockade have been released from custody. Most are “Under investigation for obstruction of the highway.” One person for “Conspiracy to cause a public nuisance.” We’re waiting to hear about one of the two who were locked on for 5 hours to a car, and is still being held.

After regrouping, XR Peace moved their action to the other side of the MOD on Whitehall, resulting in further arrests into the afternoon. Two were arrested blocking Whitehall between Downing Street and the Ministry of Defence to demand that the government take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.

Angie Zelter, one of those arrested, said:
“Climate change causes war and war causes climate change. About 6% of global carbon emissions are from military activity.”

Kate McDermot, a second arrestee from Powys, said:
“I’m acting on behalf of polar bears who are facing possible extinction because of the melting of the ice caps.”

At a “die-in” at the gates of the Ministry of Defence, Rebels sat and laid for hours, in heavy rain at times and poured fake blood onto the ground to represent the planet dying from the twin existential threats of climate change and militarism. Four Rebels: Janet Fenton, Leslie Graham (Green Councillor, Norwich), Ruth Graham, and Willemien Hoogendoorn blocked the main business entrance to the MOD. Those entering had to show passes and walk around the Rebels to get in.
Janet Fenton at the “die in” said:
“The risk of nuclear war will increase as international relations further deteriorate and conflicts increase with the deepening climate crisis.”

2 peace activists arrested outside MoD at Extinction Rebellion blockade

Two XR Peace activists have been arrested this afternoon after blockading the Ministry of Defence. The activists, who are taking action as part of Extinction Rebellion’s October Rebellion, were blocking Whitehall between Downing St and the Ministry of Defence to demand that the government take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.

Angie Zelter, one of those arrested, said:
“Climate change causes war and war causes climate change. About 6% of global carbon emissions are from military activity. Militarism is one of the central pillars of the exploitative global industrial complex. To avert the climate crisis will require radical social transformation, including ending militarism and war.”

Janet Fenton, another XR Peace activist from Edinburgh, grandmother and Vice Convenor of Scottish CND, while blocking the MoD, said:
“Nuclear weapons are the twin existential threat to humanity and the planet. The risk of nuclear war will increase as international relations further deteriorate and conflicts increase with the deepening climate crisis. The use of just a fraction of the nuclear weapons deployed globally could result in a “nuclear winter” leading to global famine and the death of two billion people. The governments thatare ignoring the nuclear weapons ban treaty are the same irresponsible minority that are failing to take adequate action to respond to the climate emergency.”

Kate McDermot, a second arrestee from Powys, said:
“I’m acting on behalf of polar bears who are facing possible extinction because of the melting of the ice caps.”

XR Peace is supporting blockades throughout the week. They hope to highlight the contribution militarism makes to the climate emergency.

After pouring fake blood to show that climate change and militarism are killing the planet Fenton and three other XR Peace activists are continuing to blockade the entrance to the Ministry of Defence. They were removed from the entrance and returned for a second time.

XR Peace is a coalition of peace groups including Trident Ploughshares, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Scottish CND, CND Cymru, Stop the War, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, War Resisters International, Nukewatch, Edinburgh Peace & Justice Centre, Iona Community and Nipponzan Myohoji UK Peace Pagodas.

XR Peace Monday update

After the blockade was cleared Monday, XR Peace Rebels held a big banner reading Climate Justice Works for World Peace at the corner of Horse Guards Avenue visible to a steady flow of traffic all day.

We continued with speeches, poetry, music and song. Caroline Lucas MP gave a rousing speech saying we will win! Other speakers included CND Vice President Bruce Kent, Stop the War chair Lindsay German, journalist and author Victoria Brittain and Nobel Peace Prize winning Dr Rebecca Johnson from the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. The Artboy performed slam poetry, and violinist Dmitri van Zwanenberg treated us to a set of inspiring tunes.

We decided to disperse for the evening and meet up again in the morning.