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.