Christian Climate Action Training Day

CCA photo

Would Jesus join Extinction Rebellion?

Christian Climate Action Training Day.

6th July 2019 in Reading

Tickets are free but we are getting a lot of interest, so you do need to book.

Come to Christian Climate Action’s training day!

Christian Climate Action’s involvement in the Extinction Rebellion (XR) Easter uprising has made lots of new people interested in our work. If you’re one of them, this is your chance to get find out more and get involved.

Followers of Jesus Christ are taught to imitate Christ and so are often given training and encouragement to feed the hungry, heal the sick and forgive our enemies. Seldom are we trained or encouraged to follow Jesus Christ in the activities that won the attention of the authorities, got him arrested, and then saw him crucified. His early followers shared in this aspect of his life but we generally do not. Some of us, who are aware of the contemporary signs of the times, aware of the behaviours of the principalities and powers in the world and aware of our own complicity in these processes, are looking to Non-Violent Direct Action (NVDA) to help us in following Jesus Christ.

Come and find out:

  • More about CCA and why we love XR
  • Why we think following Jesus requires radical action
  • What NVDA involves
  • How you can get involved
  • Why and how to tell your story
  • If you like us!

No prior experience is expected, though even if you are an old hand at locking on and praying on the streets, this is a great opportunity to get to know people. Interest and participation in this training day commits you to no action but it is hoped that it will be of use to you as you consider the issues around NVDA and how it relates to your own Christian discipleship.

Please bring if you can:

  • Lunch to share
  • Your own mug
  • Faith, hope and/or love

Don’t forget to book your free place!

Advertisements

Rebel with us this Easter!

20181117_123633

The Easter Uprising is Coming!

This Easter Christian Climate Action is joining in with the Extinction Rebellion. We think that tackling climate change and ecological breakdown is serious enough to demand civil disobedience, so we’re taking part in the Extinction Rebellion this Easter in a campaign of nonviolent direct action calling for action.

From 15th April onwards Christian Climate Action and Extinction Rebellion will take part in a sustained mass disobedience in London. Interest is growing fast, but for the uprising to make a difference we need numbers. Extinction Rebellion is aiming for 10,000 participants.

There are four ways you can get involved:

1. Join us! Contact Christian Climate Action if if you want to come along and we will connect you with other Christians taking part. You absolutely do not have to be willing to be arrested to get involved. christianclimateaction@gmail.com

2. Invite a speaker. Can you arrange for a local Christian Climate Action or Extinction Rebellion member to attend a meeting with you and your church and get into conversation about how civil disobedience is a possible Christian response to the coming climate/ecological crisis? Let us know by emailing christianclimateaction@gmail.com

3. Publicise the April Rebellion. Please point people to this website and to https://rebellion.earth/get-active/international-rebellion-a-guide-for-participants/ 

Extinction Rebellion has brought a lot of new people into the world of activism and tapped into new energy. We’re really keen to see more Christians get involved.

XR’s guide talks about Affinity Groups – Christian Climate Action is an Affinity Group within XR and you are welcome to join us for some or all of the Rebellion from 15th-27th April.

As the guide says, action begins on 15th, but please let Christian Climate Action know if you’re around on Sunday 14th April for a day of CCA planning and banner-making.

You can also let them know you’re coming via these Facebook events: www.facebook.com/events/2206686162978830 and www.facebook.com/events/564351917381630 – saying you’re ‘going’ on Facebook will help us get the word out.

Blood of Our Children Protest

Three members of Christian Climate Action, Jim Green, Nicholas Cooper and Phil Kingston, took part in ‘The Blood of our Children’ Extinction Rebellion Protest in London on 9th March 2019.

Phil, from Holy Family Church in Patchway, S. Glos said that ‘hearing the passionate, knowledgeable and plain-spoken statements of about fifteen young people aged between 10 and 20 moved and inspired me. This event had been arranged in liaison with the police. They knew that we would be pouring bio-degradable replica blood on the road and whilst they agreed to that as being within our right of public protest, they said that if we carried it out we would be arrested for criminal damage.’

This action took place to raise awareness of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report in September which stated that there are now only 11 years in which to reduce CO2 emissions to a level which gives a possibility of limiting runaway climate change. The police closed Whitehall to traffic and people dressed in black walked in silence along Whitehall to the entrance to Downing Street. A single ring of a bell marked the slow pace. The young people led the way, followed by about forty-five adults who carried buckets of “blood”, and numerous supporters followed. Those with “blood” formed an arc facing towards Downing Street, with the young people and supporters behind them. Phil described how ‘’the silence was maintained while we poured the “blood” down the camber of the road towards Downing Street and then sat down behind the empty buckets to await arrest. In fact the police decided to arrest no-one.’

The young people each then spoke for up to two minutes and the words of a number of them are on this four minute video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LW02kNbpAmU

The event ended with a song which expressed their concerns, followed by two minutes of silence in which participants could reflect upon what was most in their hearts.

We in Christian Climate Action ask if other Christians will send this message and video link far and wide to encourage the school children’s and student’s strikes; and to call all ages to take part in Extinction Rebellion’s international week of action from 15th to 20th April to draw attention to the environmental and social catastrophe for which the world is currently on track. Government and major opposition parties are not speaking the truth about this climate crisis, let alone taking meaningful action. This rebellion is in the hands of ordinary people. A determined mass movement of nonviolence is necessary if those who currently wield political power are to face the truth and act accordingly.  And for the outcome to result in the care of creation and the common good of all people with no-one excluded, it can only happen under God.

Ruth and Margriet’s XR Trials

Both these trials have been discontinued!

 

Christian Climate Action members Ruth and Margriet are on trial having been arrested several times during the Extinction Rebellion last year. Come and support them. We’ll be praying and worshipping outside court and supporting them by being in court. Bring a banner!

Hendon Magistrates Court

Ruth’s trial – 1st March 9.30am

Margriet’s trial – 4th March 9.30am

Agenda for Training Day

We have an agenda for our training day! There are still spaces for anyone who would like to come and it’s free (donations towards room hire welcome). No prior experience of direct action necessary. Sign up here.

Christian Climate Action Training Day

23rd February 2019. 10am-6pm

St Georges Bloomsbury. 6-7 Little Russell Street, London, WC1A 2, United Kingdom

10am: Prayer

10:05: Our experiences so far: a chance for everyone to share where they have come from

10:30: Christian Climate Action history

10:40: Extinction Rebellion history

10:50: Prayer: focus on sorrow and repentance

11am: What does the Bible say about non violent direct action

12pm: BREAK

12:10pm: Exercise: I could do that if…’

1pm: LUNCH: bring and share

2pm: Prayer and worship

2:20pm: Workshops. Choose from:

  • A time to contemplate runaway climate breakdown
  • Strategies used by XR

3:00pm: Loving our enemies

3:25: Where we go from here

3:50: BREAK

4pm: Planning an action

5:20pm: Closing Payer

5:30pm: END

5:30pm-6pm: clear the venue

Training Day: Intro to Christian Climate Action, Extinction Rebellion and Non-Violent Direct Action

Saturday 23rd February 2019, 10am-6pm
The Upper Vestry Hall, St Georges, Bloomsbury, WC1A 2HR
Free, donations towards room hire welcome
Facebook event

 

Christian Climate Action (CCA) has been busy recently, taking part in actions as part of the Extinction Rebellion (XR). We have lots of new people interested in our work. If you’re one of them, this is your chance to get find out more and get involved.

Followers of Jesus Christ are taught to imitate Christ and so are often given training and encouragement to feed the hungry, heal the sick and forgive our enemies. Seldom are we trained or encouraged to follow Jesus Christ in the activities that won the attention of the authorities, got him arrested, and then saw him crucified. His early followers shared in this aspect of his life but we generally do not. Some of us, who are aware of the contemporary signs of the times, aware of the behaviours of the principalities and powers in the world and aware of our own complicity in these processes, wonder what role Non-Violent Direct Action (NVDA) should have in our following of Jesus Christ.

Come and find out:

  • More about CCA
  • Why we do what we do
  • Why we’re currently involved in the XR
  • What NVDA involves
  • How you can get involved

No prior experience is expected. Interest and participation in this training day commits you to no action but it is hoped that it will be of use to you as you consider the issues around NVDA and how it relates to your own Christian discipleship.

If you are interested in taking part please visit the Facebook event or drop us an email.

 

Ruth’s Police Cell Journal

When CCA member, Ruth Jarman, was arrested on 12th November as part of her involvement in the Extinction Rebellion, she decided to keep a journal documenting her time in custody.

DsxYVstWsAAzCRR.jpg large

Ruth being arrested… again!

Ruth’s Journal

I thought I’d write a diary of my time in my police cell so as to give others an idea of what it is like.

2.30pm. Peace at last. The cell door closes loudly and I am on my own with a Bible, Bonhoeffer’s The Cost of Discipleship, The Hundred Year Old Man who jumped out of a window and ran away, a pencil, a pen, a notebook, two tri-fold leaflets given to me by the policeman who checked me in, and a cup of tea.

My arresting officer, PC Mason, seems barely out-of-school, cool, sweet, not too sure of himself, smiles easily. We are ‘told’ by the protest legal experts that we shouldn’t allow the police to engage us in conversation as they are trying to find out about us by chatting. At CCA we don’t talk about the action or about anyone else – but we do chat generally and try to talk about climate change.

Sitting in my cell, the temperature is about right, though I will ask for a blanket soon, the blue plastic mattress is comfy enough, the walls like those of a public convenience, but without the smell. Ensuite toilet – literally – and room service of tea, water and beans and wedges just served by another motherly policeman. And hours ahead of me to write, read my Bible, pray, read. No phone, no emails, no washing up, no tidying, no cleaning. What’s there not to like?

Just heard the well-spoken voice of my CCA buddy Reggie talking, the PC calling him ‘sir’.

I guess I should plan what to say in my interview. The legal advice is always to do a ‘no comment’ interview.  But I want to say why I did what I did, so I will read a prepared statement and then answer ‘no comment’ to any questions. You are always offered a solicitor on checking in at the police station – I declined one.

I wrote 4 pages, crossed out 2. That will do.

Prayed the Litany of Creation – another thing they allowed me in my cell. Out loud as the corridor was a bit noisy.

Just had another smiley policeman ask me if I was OK and give me some water.

Done 4 minutes of high impact aerobics. Wonder if they watched it on their CCTV and thought it mad or quite normal.

I just thought of something I needed to do and, of course I can’t do it. In the confines of the police cell I am liberated from that whole infinitely-long ‘to do’ list. That is such a freeing thought.

I have now tidied all my possessions. They are in a neat pile by my side. Tidying is done. I am liberated also from untidiness and the requirement to act on that untidiness. This is the life.

Now for Ephesians 1.

This is another huge benefit of being arrested. Maybe you are more focused than me, but when I read the Bible I have this monkey jumping up and down in my brain shouting about all the things I have to do on my ‘to do’ list, thinking up new things to do, telling me to check my watch, that I need to get through my quiet time as quickly and efficiently as possible so I can get on with making pancakes, hanging up the washing, sending that email. In the glorious freedom of the police cell the monkey is quiet, in fact I do believe it is curled up in a corner and gone to sleep. I read Ephesians 1 slowly, over and over again. Giving it time to be absorbed and remembered and respected and understood. I have soaked in it and phrases and verses have stood out for me and clicked into my understanding of life. In the serenity of this cell, ‘the eyes of my heart’ have been ‘enlightened’ in order that I have an inkling of God’s ‘incomparably great power for us who believe.’

In the police van coming here, handcuffed, driving past the ‘Tell the Truth’ umbrellas of the protest at the main entrance of BEIS, our movement looked very small, very insignificant. But ‘for us who believe’ we have an ‘incomparably great power’, a power mighty enough to raise Christ from the dead. And also we are Christ’s body and our head, Christ himself, is far above all ‘rule and authority, power and dominion.’

I just woke from a lovely sleep. I am so relaxed. I feel I have done something for God and my children and just for the moment I can do nothing more. They took my watch away so there is no time, no schedule – I am free from deadlines! Holidays are meant to help you unwind in this way. This version is free and without any potential for disappointment and family arguments!

The night shift called by – 10-12 people to ask how I was and if I wanted anything, how I liked my tea.

Then an Inspector Marshall letting me know that I will be interviewed and then they will decide what to do with me – charged, bailed or freed. I feel a little anxious that I will not understand what I should do that that stage – hopefully there will be no decision to make.

Something Bonhoeffer wrote while in prison, spoke to me: “It all depends on whether or not the fragment of our life reveals the plan and material of the whole. There are fragments which are only good to be thrown away, and others which are important for centuries to come because their fulfilment can only be a divine work. They are fragments of necessity. If our life, however remotely, reflects such a fragment… we shall not have to bewail our fragmentary life, but, on the contrary, rejoice in it.” If there is an ounce of possibility that our lives could reflect such a fragment, then we must continue and rejoice!

I’ve just been told that I am going to be escorted out of my cell to wash my hands. I’m quite excited.

Vegan Chilli and another cup of tea have come first, from a very smiley WPC.

Ummm, this chilli is the biz. I ate it slowly, savouring all the different soft vegetables. 200 calories, 1.5g fat.  Won’t get fat in here.

Just back from interview, washing hands (finally!) and fingerprinting.  PC something beginning-with-a-W and a bearded, larger chap. I took control a bit and told them up-front that I was going to read a short statement and then do a no-comment interview, though they were welcome to try to catch me out.

This was my statement:

‘I visited the Dept for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy today as a Christian and as a mother because God’s creation and the human race faces an existential crisis beyond anything in our history.

Our government has been offered a life-line, only available now, by international bodies of experts on climate and species loss, in the form of specific advice on what it must do to maintain abundant life on earth and avert catastrophe. It has refused to look at this life-line and instead is cutting support for renewables, increasing subsidies for oil and gas and expanding airports and roads. They know the truth about where we are. They know what they need to do to avert climate and biodiversity breakdown, yet they are refusing to act.

I hold our government criminally negligent for the coming extinction of most of God’s creation including possibly humanity itself.

I wanted to expose this truth and help them to repent and do what it takes to protect the future.’

Nearly cried at the end and then we both laughed when W asked the first question to my first-of-many ‘no-comment’. A fun game and I won! They showed a video of me spray painting the XR symbol on the glass wall of the lobby.

‘Is that you?’

‘no comment’

‘Who owns that glass?’

‘No comment’

‘Did you have permission to spray paint that glass?’

‘No comment’

Green and Black Cross advise you to continue with the ‘no comment’ after the official interview, but I did respond to some questions.  To ‘protest is a right but criminal damage is not’, I said ‘I have tried everything else’. They said that however much they agree with me, and they ‘live in the same world’, when their uniform is on they have to uphold the law. They said that PC W was policing the protest on Wednesday and Friday as well and was I planning to be here all week (‘no comment’) because if so I could superglue my hands to PC W and get his photo in The Sun. Later, when PC W left me, I said ‘see you soon!’ I hope that the protest legal support group, Green and Black Cross, didn’t have any spies listening!

They said they may need to take my CCA T-shirt as evidence and would give me another one. They then discussed it and decided they wouldn’t need to take it. Bless ‘em.

Um, this is a proper cup of tea that PC W got me as I was let back into my cell after my fingerprinting and mug-shot.

It was 9pm when we started the interview, so I’ve been here for 6.5 hours.  Time flies.

Read more of The Cost of Discipleship.  Costly Grace. Hard stuff.

Then a bit of low-impact aerobics – kicking, stepping, just moving around.

Now for some light relief – I finished The One Hundred-year-old man.

Just realised I have a window sill! The ‘window’ is frosted and is not an outside wall but the sill works as such. I have arranged the 2 leaflets that the ‘receptionist’ gave me on it for decoration.

I was ‘released under investigation’ (as were Reggie and Martin) at 2 am, and were welcomed with cheers, hugs and food by Martin and some arrestee support in the lobby. Free to keep on with doing our duty.

Ruth was arrested a total of five times during November as part of efforts to get the UK government to declare a state of emergency in relation to climate change. She has since been charged and is due to appear in court in January 2019.

Five Christians Arrested at Downing Street During Climate Change Rebellion

DsxZRi0XgAAl4q3.jpg large.jpg

Five Christians have been arrested today in London during a protest designed to make the government take more urgent action on climate change. Ruth Jarman, 55; Richard Barnard, 45; Phil Kingston, 82; Margareet Boss; and one other person, all members of Christian Climate Action, were arrested for criminal damage after they allegedly used spray paint outside Downing Street.

DsxRlyMWsAAaV_N.jpg large.jpg

CCA members habe been taking part in the Extinction Rebellion, which saw more than 1000 people gathered in Parliament Square this morning, before marching to Downing Street. 14 people were arrested in total. CCA member, Fr Martin Newell led the crowds in a liturgy.

DsxYVstWsAAzCRR.jpg large.jpg

Ruth has been arrested several times over the last fortnight and is due to appear in court in January. Speaking this morning she commented on why Christians have got involved in a number of protests which have taken place over the last fortnight as part of the Extinction Rebellion:

“We feel called by God to protect creation… God told Adam to care and preserve the garden so we think it’s a particularly Christian activity to protect God’s creation. Christian’s are the ones who believe it’s God’s creation, we’re the ones who believe it’s there for God and not for humans to use and abuse, so I think Christians should be leading this movement.”

WhatsApp Image 2018-11-24 at 10.48.11.jpeg

Phil Kingston, 82, made a statement earlier on in the fortnight, when he was in custody a following an earlier arrest:

‘If I am remanded in prison it will be a privilege to witness to how essential it is to work our socks off for all life on earth and the generations who follow us. I will have great support from friends here, so let’s look our fears in the eye and put them aside.’

Those involved in the Extinction Rebellion are prepared to risk arrest in order to ensure the world avoids climate breakdown. They are making the following key demands of the government:

  • That the UK declares a state of emergency around climate change;
  • That the government takes action to create a zero carbon economy by 2025;
  • That we create a national assembly of ordinary people to decide what our zero carbon future will look like.

Earlier in the fortnight members of CCA blockaded entrances to the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, attempted to blockade the entrance to Downing Street, and tried to plant a tree outside the Brazilian Embassy.

More about the Extinction Rebellion: https://risingup.org.uk/XR/

 

Amid mass arrests, Christian is first individual to face court for Climate Rebellion

While thousands gathered across London bridges yesterday (Saturday 17th November) for a mass day of action urging the government to act on climate change, Ruth Jarman, 55 was at Westminster Magistrates Court, as the first individual to attend court as part of the Extinction Rebellion protest.

Ruth, from Hampshire, was arrested on Thursday evening as she decorated the Brazilian Embassy red, to represent the blood of individuals around the world suffering the effects of climate change. This was the third time Ruth had been arrested since the Extinction Rebellion began last Monday. Previous arrests were for actions targeting UK government locations of Downing Street and DEFRA. Ruth was released on unconditional bail, with her trial taking place on the 2nd January 2019.

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people standing and outdoor

Following her attendance at court, Ruth joined crowds at Blackfriars Bridge and reunited with members of Christian Climate Action – a group of church goers from different denominational backgrounds around the UK who have been moved by recent scientific reports on climate change. On the bridge she talked to the crowds about her experience in court. “They say it was criminal damage” she explained, “but I have lawful excuse, because they are causing criminal damage to what us at Christian Climate Action call Gods creation. They are destroying it and we have to stand up against that. So we were improving the building because we were making it tell the truth – that this government is taking part in the extinction of Gods’ creation and possibly humanity as well. That’s why we did it and I pleaded not guilty because I am not guilty.”

At Blackfriars Bridge members of Christian Climate Action “locked-on”, using chains and circular tubing, forming a human blockade across the road. Four members of the group, Phil Kingston, 82, Fr Martin Newell, 51, Richard Barnard, 45 and Nick Cooper, 36, took part in blocking the road, despite attendance in the area being a breach of bail conditions they received from previous Extinction Rebellion arrests.

The Christians prayed as police sawed their tubing and removed them from the road. While this was happening, other attendees of the protest gathered around the group singing hymns. The police arrested the 8 Christians forming the blockade, including Ruth herself, some of whom for which this was the second or third time they had been arrested for the climate protest. Many more individuals were arrested for the cause across the capital – the estimated total being over 85 arrestees.

Phil Kingston, the 82-year-old retired Bristol University lecturer explained his motivation for being in the blockade “I love my grandchildren” he said “They mean the world to me and the thought of leaving them a broken world breaks my heart. I have to do my bit before it’s too late. Us more elderly folk have a lot less to lose than younger people by getting arrested”.

Fr Martin Newell, a Catholic Priest from Birmingham explained that his faith compels him to take action “I follow a Christ who cares passionately about the poor, and it is the poorest people of the world who are suffering the effects of climate change. I am called to love my neighbour and today that means pushing the government to take action on climate change. All other avenues of achieving this have failed and so I’m getting involved in non-violent direct action, just as Jesus did when he turned over the tables in the temple”

Image may contain: 1 person

Today marked the sixth day of a fortnight of actions planned in the capital. Those involved in the rebellion are making the following key demands of the government concerning climate change:

  • That the UK declares a state of emergency around climate change;
  • That the government takes action to create a zero carbon economy by 2025;
  • That we create a national assembly of ordinary people to decide what our zero carbon future will look like.

Former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, has pledged his support to the Extinction Rebellion protest by singing a joint letter with 93 other experts and influencers. An exert of the letter reads:

“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.”

Christian in Court Over Climate Change Rebellion

Ruth Jarman planting a tree with other CCA members before being arrested

A member of Christian Climate Action is due in court tomorrow, having been arrested at a climate change protest outside the Brazilian Embassy in London yesterday (Thursday 15th November). Ruth Jarman, 55, was one of several members of Christian Climate Action (CCA) who took part in the protest as part of the Extinction Rebellion, a fortnight’s worth of direct action in the capital to push the government to take urgent action to tackle climate change.

Ruth went to the Brazilian Embassy with a crowbar and tree, intending to use the crowbar to remove a paving slab and to plant the tree as a symbol of the creation that is at stake if we don’t tackle climate change. This is the third time Ruth has been arrested since Monday and has resulted in her being remanded in custody until Saturday when her case will be heard at Westminster Magistrates Court.

Just before the Rebellion began Ruth made the following statement:

‘I still have hope – but my hope is no longer in governments doing the right thing because they are asked politely. We need a step change. If God has a plan to prevent breakdown of what makes life on earth possible, I think it might include His spirit in all of us being moved to civil disobedience. Look at civil rights in America, the Suffragettes here. People went to prison. People died. Stopping the extinction of all the best bits of creation, including possibly us, has got to be worth more than the human equality that direct action has fought for in the past.’

After she was arrested for the first time on Monday, Ruth read a statement to the police which included the following:

‘I visited the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy today as a Christian and as a mother because God’s creation and the human race faces an existential crisis beyond anything in our history.

‘Our government has been offered a life-line, only available now, by international bodies of experts on climate and species loss, in the form of specific advice on what it must do to maintain abundant life on earth and avert catastrophe. It has refused to look at this life-line and instead is cutting support for renewables, increasing subsidies for oil and gas and expanding airports and roads. I hold our government criminally negligent for the coming extinction of most of God’s creation including possibly humanity itself.’

Phil Kingston, 82 , is led away from the Brazilian Embassy by police

A second member of CCA, Phil Kingston, 82, was arrested after pouring red paint on the embassy as a symbol of the loss of life that will result from climate change and the destruction of the Amazon rainforest. He was held in custody overnight and has since been released, pending further investigation. Before he knew whether or not he would be released, he made the following statement over the phone to his family:

‘If I am remanded in prison it will be a privilege to witness to how essential it is to work our socks off for all life on earth and the generations who follow us. I will have great support from friends here, so let’s look our fears in the eye and put them aside.’

Those involved in the Extinction Rebellion are prepared to risk arrest in order to ensure the world avoids climate breakdown. Those involved are making the following key demands of the government:

  • That the UK declares a state of emergency around climate change;
  • That the government takes action to create a zero carbon economy by 2025;
  • That we create a national assembly of ordinary people to decide what our zero carbon future will look like.

The main day of action will be on Saturday 17th November and all are invited to join in: www.facebook.com/events/1758991460816073/

Earlier in the week members of CCA blockaded entrances to the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and attempted to blockade the entrance to Downing Street.

Five Christians Arrested Outside Downing Street During Climate Rebellion

Five Christians were among 14 people arrested yesterday (14th Nov) during a protest in at Downing Street, pushing the government to take urgent action to tackle climate change.

Ruth Jarman, 55, Phil Kingston, 82, Fr Martin Newell, 51, Richard Barnard, 45, and Nick Cooper, 36, used spray paint cans to decorate Downing Street with messages calling for an end to climate suffering. The group also made attempts to blockade the entrance to Downing Street, Ruth using adhesive glue to stick herself to railings, before they were tackled to the ground by police.

The action was one of a series that happened across the capital yesterday. A 68-meter banner was dropped over Westminster bridge, sending a clear message to the Houses of Parliament. People of all ages also went to the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs where they used spray cans to urge the department to provide the political will needed to address climate change.

 

Yesterday was the third day of a fortnight of planned actions, in what has been dubbed the Extinction Rebellion. Members of the movement are prepared to risk arrest in order to ensure the world avoids climate breakdown. Currently the government isn’t doing enough to tackle it. Those involved are making the following key demands of the government concerning climate change:

  • That the UK declares a state of emergency around climate change;
  • That the government takes action to create a zero carbon economy by 2025;
  • That we create a national assembly of ordinary people to decide what our zero carbon future will look like.

The main day of action will be on Saturday 17th November and all are invited to join in.

Shortly before being the first of the 14 people to be arrested, Richard 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 Newell reflected on why his faith motivated him to attend:

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.’

Phil Kingston, 82, a retired university tutor from Bristol, said:

‘I am motivated to take part because of my grandchildren. When I think of leaving them a broken world it breaks my heart. I can’t just sit at home watching the world fall down around me.’

Nick Cooper, 36, from Northampton, said:

‘The science is in. If we carry on along our current trajectory then we have just 12 years until climate breakdown. Despite knowing this, the UK government refuses to provide the political will needed to tackle climate change – virtually banning onshore wind power, scrapping solar subsidies and promoting fracking to name but a few damaging policies. No other methods of pushing for change have worked and so we have been forced to take up non-violent direct action.’

The Extinction Rebellion has the support of 94 experts and influencers, including Dr Rowan Williams, who have signed a petition stating:

“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.”

Christians Arrested During Climate Rebellion

 

 

 

Three Christians were amongst 22 people arrested yesterday during a direct action in central London designed to make the government take urgent action to tackle climate change.

Ruth Jarman, 55, Reggie Norton, 85, and Fr Martin Newell, 51, all members of Christian Climate Action (CCA) were some of dozens of people who occupied the entrance to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) yesterday morning, using glue, chains and lock-on tubes to attach themselves to the entrances to the building. BEIS confirmed that no one was able to enter or leave the building during the action which lasted around seven hours. CCA members worshipped and prayed during the action.

Yesterday’s action was the first in a fortnight of action co-ordinated by Extinction Rebellion. During this two week period, many people will risk arrest by engaging in non-violent direct action and thereby draw attention to the fact that we are damaging creation through anthropogenic climate change and the government isn’t doing enough to tackle it. Those involved are making the following key demands of the government concerning climate change:

  • That the UK declares a state of emergency around climate change;
  • That the government takes action to create a zero carbon economy by 2025;
  • That we create a national assembly of ordinary people to decide what our zero carbon future will look like.

The main day of action will be on Saturday 17th November and all are invited to join in.

Shortly before being the first of the 22 to be arrested, Ruth Jarman said, though tears:

If we don’t take action now, we will be the last generation who can.’

Fr Martin Newell, said:

We are crucifying God’s earth, creating ongoing climate change that will cause disasters that would completely undermine any practical good work otherwise done. As a Christian I am called to act in solidarity with the crucified, and witness to God’s sacrificial love for His people and His creation.’

The action had the support of Green Christian (GC). GC’s chair, Paul Bodenham, said:

‘Many members of Green Christian feel solidarity with the protestors who will be gathering in Parliament Square on 17th November. The world is becoming an anxious place because government is failing in its duty to protect the people and the planet. Scientists are telling us that current policy commitments are falling catastrophically short. As history shows, some paradigms can shift only when people break the law.’

A recent IPCC report shows that worldwide temperatures are currently heading for 3°C compared to pre-industrial levels, most likely triggering uncontrollable escalation in temperatures, whereas we need to be aiming for 1.5°C .

 

PRESS RELEASE: Christian Arrested At Climate Change Protest

PLEASE NOTE: THIS RELEASE WAS AMENDED SLIGHTLY ON 1st NOVEMBER at 9:10AM TO REFLECT NEWLY CONFIRMED NUMBERS OF ATTENDEES AND THOSE ARRESTED.

Wednesday 31st October 2018, 3:45pm

Contact Caroline Harmon: 07954 377569

For Immediate Release

Photos Available

 

A member of Christian Climate Action has been arrested this afternoon at a climate change protest in London. Nick Cooper, a Craft Shoemaker and a Catholic, locked himself to a gate outside the Palace of Westminster as part of the Extinction Rebellion, which has seen more than 1000 people gather in Parliament Square today to demand that the government take more urgent action to tackle climate change.

Before his arrest, Nick said:

‘I came today to lend my body to the Extinction Rebellion and defend God’s creation which we are crucifying with climate change. We are called to follow God’s law even when it means breaking the laws of our time and place.’

Nick is one of around 15 people who have been arrested. Those attending the event blocked the road outside Westminster for around three hours. 11 members of Christian Climate Action where present.

 

Phil Kingston, another Christian Climate Action member, who is in his 80’s, was led away by the police without being arrested after lying in the road for several hours.

Phil said:

‘The current path of climate breakdown presents enormous dangers. None of the main political parties are responding with the level of ambition which is essential if we are to respond with the necessary commitment and sacrifice.’

The Extinction Rebellion is making the following key demands of the government concerning climate change:

  • That the UK declares a state of emergency around climate change;
  • That the government takes action to create a zero carbon economy by 2025;
  • That we create a national assembly of ordinary people to decide what our zero carbon future will look like.

If the government does not agree to these demands by 12th November then the rebellion will begin.

ENDS

Contact Caroline Harmon: 07954 377569

Notes for Editors:

  1. Christian Climate Action is a community of Christians supporting each other in acts of public witness and non-violent direct action, as a way of following Jesus in the face of climate breakdown. https://christianclimateaction.wordpress.com
  2. Members of Christian Climate Action is one of a number of groups taking part in the Extinction Rebellion: https://risingup.org.uk/XR/
  3. A zero-carbon economy by 2025 will not be possible under the global market economy, which is projected to double in size during the next two decades. Zero carbon targets and protection of life on earth generally is not possible without a completely new economic model. As Pope Francis has said: ‘The worship of the ancient golden calf (cf. Ex 32:1-35) has returned in a new and ruthless guise in the idolatry of money and the dictatorship of an impersonal economy lacking a truly human purpose.’
  4. A recent IPCC report shows that worldwide temperatures are currently heading for 3°C compared to pre-industrial levels, most likely triggering uncontrollable escalation in temperatures, whereas we need to be aiming for 1.5°C http://www.ipcc.ch/news_and_events/pr_181008_P48_spm.shtml

We Are Joining the Climate Rebellion

CCA Rebellion

Christian Climate Action will be joining a declaration of non violent rebellion to demand urgent action from the government on climate change. On Wednesday 31st October 2018 members of Christian Climate Action (CCA) will join a number of other groups in Parliament Square, London to make the following key demands of the government concerning climate change:

  • That the UK declares a state of emergency around climate change;
  • That the government takes action to create a zero carbon economy by 2025;
  • That we create a national assembly of ordinary people to decide what our zero carbon future will look like.

If the government does not agree to these demands by 12th November then the rebellion will begin.

We believe a zero carbon economy by 2025 will not be possible under the global market economy, which is projected to double in size during the next two decades. Zero carbon targets and protection of life on earth generally is not possible without a completely new economic model. As Pope Francis has said: ‘The worship of the ancient golden calf (cf. Ex 32:1-35) has returned in a new and ruthless guise in the idolatry of money and the dictatorship of an impersonal economy lacking a truly human purpose.’

A recent report from the The United Nations (UN) IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) has said that a global zero carbon economy is necessary by 2050. As one of the wealthiest countries in the world, and the first to industrialize, the UK needs to get to zero carbon well in advance of 2050, since countries that are still developing will need to use carbon for longer and their development shouldn’t suffer if we are not willing to make changes to achieve zero carbon.

Fr Martin Newell, one of those taking part, said:

‘We are crucifying God’s earth, creating ongoing climate change that will cause disasters that would completely undermine any practical good work otherwise done. As a Christian I am called to act in solidarity with the crucified, and witness to God’s sacrificial love for His people and His creation.’

Sheila Collins, another member of CCA, said:

‘I am taking part in this action because I believe that climate change threatens all life forms on earth including human life. We all need a wake-up call to realise that we must act now to mitigate the worst effects of climate change, which will fall most heavily on the poorest peoples and future generations.’

Richard Barnard, said:

‘The science is done. This is really happening. Even here in England we can see and feel what is happening to God’s creation. For my children and my children’s children I have to take action. My Christian heroes all did so and had to sacrifice things for it and I must do likewise. This action will hopefully inspire ordinary folk to take action. We only have this one chance and one planet; we simply must act together now.’

Phil Kingston, said:

‘I am taking this action because the current path of climate breakdown presents enormous dangers and we humans have very little time left in which to limit the predicted destruction. This breakdown is already happening worldwide and a recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report spells out both the seriousness and the urgency of what we face. None of the main political parties are responding with the level of ambition which is essential if we are to respond with the necessary commitment and sacrifice.’

Notes:

  • The recent IPCC report shows that worldwide temperatures are currently heading for 3°C compared to pre-industrial levels, most likely triggering uncontrollable escalation in temperatures, whereas we need to be aiming for 1.5°C.
  • Read our press release.

‘Pope’ & ‘Martin Luther’ Visit Nottinghamshire Fracking Site

35160629_1003996869757362_2449573041802313728_nThe Pope and Martin Luther were two characters in a play performed by a group of Christians outside a site in Nottinghamshire threatened with fracking last week. Members of Christian Climate Action travelled from across the UK to meet with local people for a prayer vigil at Tinker Lane near Blyth.

The vigil included liturgy, prayer, sung worship, and a play entitled ‘A Radical Reformation of the Economy’ in which Pope Frances and Martin Luther are characters calling for a reformation which sees humanity place care for creation above success of the economy. Most of their lines in the play are words the real Pope Francis and Martin Luther wrote.

IGas has planning permission to carry out exploratory drilling for shale gas on the site. This is the first step towards fracking. The vigil offered those who attended a chance to pray for the protection of creation and that fracking will not happen.

Caroline Harmon, a member of Christian Climate Action who attended, said:

‘Local people don’t want fracking in Nottinghamshire; science tells us that the earth cannot sustain life as we know it if we continue to extract fossil fuels; and the bible calls on us to care for the creation God has placed us in.

‘We first visited Tinker Lane in the summer of 2017. It’s fantastic to come back and see lots of local people fighting this at the gates of the site, but also sad to see the progress IGas has made in erecting equipment on the site.

‘We prayed for strength and perseverance for local opposition groups, and for the repentance and conversion of humanity as we seek to learn to live within our means in God’s earth.’

Find out more about possible fracking at Tinker Lane and those who are fighting it here.

Christian Climate Action Vigil at Tinker Lane Fracking Site

32748940_978797202277329_4848448474326237184_o

  • 20th June 2018, 12:30pm-4:30pm
  • See Facebook event for location and more information

Christians from across the UK and a range of denominational backgrounds will be meeting to pray at a site in Nottinghamshire threatened with fracking on 20th June 2018. Members of Christian Climate Action will be joined by local people in a prayer vigil from 12:30pm-4:30pm at a site on Tinker Lane near Blyth.

IGas has planning permission to carry out exploratory drilling for shale gas on the site. This is the first step towards fracking. The vigil will offer those attending a change to pray for the protection of creation and that fracking will not happen.

Caroline Harmon, one of those who will be attending, said:

‘We first visited Tinker Lane in the summer of 2017 and we’re pleased we can come back to support local people who are working tirelessly to make sure fracking doesn’t happen at Tinker Lane.

‘It is a mistake to explore for more oil and gas in the beautiful countryside when scientists tell us that we must leave 90% of all known reserves in the ground in order to maintain abundant life on earth as we know it. We will be praying for strength and perseverance for local opposition groups, and for the repentance and conversion of humanity as we seek to learn to live within our means in God’s earth.’

Anyone is welcome to join the vigil. Contact us for more information on travel arrangements.

NEW REFORMATION PROTEST

IMG_7792.JPG

On Monday 4th December, 12 noon, Pope Francis and Martin Luther visited the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to call for a radical reformation of the economy, to protect human-kind and abundant life on earth.

IMG_7794.JPGIt is the third year in a row that CCA has visited the department responsible for climate change to remind our government of their commitments under the Paris Agreement.

We visited BEIS because we disagree with the premise of the department, that climate instability should be solved as part of a strategy for economic growth.  We don’t think that the threat to the viability of life on earth should be dealt with within an immovable economic ideology, but should be the number one priority, choosing the economic system that is fair and just and gives us the best chance of survival. As Pope Francis has said, ‘money should serve, not rule.’

IMG_7806While we welcome some elements of the recent, hugely delayed, Clean Growth Strategy, it just isn’t enough to meet the Climate Act targets, let alone the Paris targets that are required to give ‘future generations a fighting chance.’  

It seems to us that the short-term health of the economy is being prioritised above the health of the planet.  The state of the earth is desperate. We have all the information, science and technology to lead the world away from the cliff-edge of climate instability towards a sustainable future for God’s creation and coming generations. Whether we have the time is debatable. We must act now.

IMG_7838.JPGAt noon on December 4th, Pope Francis and Martin Luther witnessed to the truth that BEIS is currently failing in its job of protecting the climate and called for a radical reformation of the economy.  There was also a vigil to pray for the department and for our country, and all of us, to do what is required to protect God’s earth.

IMG_7889.JPG The litany for the earth was said while Martin Newell (50) and Phil Kingston (81) wrote ‘Radical Reformation of the Economy now’ and ‘Stop Climate Chaos’ in red paint on the department’s plaque.

Martin and Phil chatted and prayed until the police came, but the department decided not to press charges at this time.

IMG_7903.JPG

 

This is the letter that we handed in to the department.

The drama script that was performed is here.

We handed out this leaflet to passers-by.

Here is the press release.

IMG_7877.JPG

What can we as Christians offer to climate change activists?

I wonder if you have thought what it might be like to be facing climate breakdown, without having a faith?

For many people, this is their reality.

I have for so long now been sure that I am loved, that I have a reason for hope, and that nothing can separate me from the love of God, (neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation,’ Rom 8: 38-39) I believe, along with Julian of Norwich, that ‘All will be well’.

Some people are not just going through their life with the usual uncertainty about their personal future, with a fear of death – their own, their loved ones, but now have added to that the fear that the whole of the world, everything that lives and breathes, all plant life, sea life, animate and inanimate, is under threat.

And as individuals it is easy to feel so small and insignificant that we are at the mercy of what is coming, with no power to change things.

So, what can we offer people without faith, as Christians?

We can offer what we are and how we are.

  • We can show by the way that we live and act that we have hope.
  • We can be people who can listen, and we can provide a good, positive place for others to be heard, to be angry or upset.
  • We can face the truth together and not deny it. Our hope is not a head in the sand hope, it is hope with our eyes wide open to the truth.
  • We can actively enjoy the world as it is, we are surrounded by beauty – clouds, birds, petals, caterpillars.
  • We can show love to each other and to all others.
  • We can be good to be around.
  • We can join with other activists and campaigners out of love for the world we believe is lovingly created and out of love for all of us who depend on it.
  • We can speak truth to power and choose silence if accused falsely of wrong doing – both tactics which Jesus adopted

For some people, heading for climate breakdown is terrifying, risking arrest because of civil disobedience is frightening, being ostracised by those who think we are doing the wrong thing, is upsetting; for Christians though, we have an inner light, we are part of the vine, in God, in Jesus, intimately connected to each other (John 15) and we know that even if things turn against us we need not despair. ‘We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.’ (2 Corinthians 4:9)

I think what we have to offer to climate change activists and those frightened by climate change is faith, hope and love, but the greatest of these is Love. (1 Cor 13:13)

Thalia Carr

What do we as Christians have to learn from Extinction Rebellion?

I was fortunate to spend some time with rebels at Marble Arch and Parliament Square last week.

This is a movement with a difference, and we have much to learn.

You may have noticed that the only arrests were of people who had chosen to stand or sit somewhere which was inconvenient – in the road, in the doorway of Shell offices, on top of the Docklands Light Railway. No-one was arrested, that I know of, for vandalism (chalked notices have been washed away now), abusive behaviour, littering, drug or alcohol use.

Chants were not of anger, but most commonly chants such as ‘we love you’.

Why was this?

Extinction Rebellion have 10 principles:

  1. We have a shared vision of change. Creating a world that is fit for generations to come.
  2. We set our mission on what is necessary. Mobilising 3.5% of the population to achieve system change – using ideas such as “Momentum-driven organising” to achieve this.
  3. We need a regenerative culture. Creating a culture which is healthy, resilient and adaptable.
  4. We openly challenge ourselves and our toxic system. Leaving our comfort zones to take action for change.
  5. We value reflecting and learning. Following a cycle of action, reflection, learning, and planning for more action. Learning from other movements and contexts as well as our own experiences.
  6. We welcome everyone and every part of everyone. Working actively to create safer and more accessible spaces.
  7. We actively mitigate for power. Breaking down hierarchies of power for more equitable participation.
  8. We avoid blaming and shaming. We live in a toxic system, but no one individual is to blame.
  9. We are a non-violent network. Using non-violent strategy and tactics as the most effective way to bring about change.
  10. We are based on autonomy and decentralisation. We collectively create the structures we need to challenge power.

Anyone who follows these core principles and values can take action in the name of Extinction Rebellion.

My first challenge to Christians is, ‘do we hold those principles?’

  1. Do we have a shared vision of change? – Do we want to see Love winning over all, to see all people committing to loving one another and knowing they are loved (as Jesus commanded). Do we want life for all people in the generations to come?
  2. What is our mission? Are we taking Jesus as our example? Do we recognise that the current system needs to change or are we going along with a society and culture which is denying human rights, tolerating homelessness, and failing to look after creation and our future?
  3. Are we about church or culture? Looking again at Jesus, did he stick to the synagogue or did he challenge the culture?
  4. Are we comfortable? Is it nice to go to church? Are we prepared to be challenged ourselves?
  5. Do we consider what we have done and are doing regularly? Are we prepared to change what we do if what we’re doing isn’t working or is being hurtful or negative?
  6. Do we really and truly welcome everyone and every part of everyone? I don’t just mean do we welcome those people who manage to cross the threshold of the church door but are we known for our inclusivity? Do we go out of our way to be open and welcoming to people who don’t come into our space? As a church, are we truly accepting of the LGBTQ community, for example?
  7. Jesus constantly challenged the status quo and the hierarchy, but do we? Is the vicar, the pastor, the bishop, the deacon, the denomination given unquestioned power?
  8. Has our faith become one of blame and shame? Do we point the finger at others or ourselves and enter into an endless round of judgement, conviction, repentance and forgiveness? Or can we accept our weakness and be kind to ourselves and others, not blaming or shaming but rather, enjoying the all-encompassing love of God?
  9. Are we non-violent in our words and actions? Do we answer back, pull rank, insist on our own way, ignore others? Or do we listen, consider and put ourselves last?
  10. Do we work together collectively, listening to the voice of the Spirit and recognising that God can move in mysterious ways?

My favourite part of Extinction Rebellion principles comes at the end:

‘Anyone who follows these core principles and values can take action in the name of Extinction Rebellion.’

So reminiscent of Mark 9:14 ‘For the one who is not against us is for us.’

But it’s not just the writing down of these principles that makes Extinction Rebellion special. I would argue that we Christians have some of the best principles written down in the teachings of Jesus.

It’s the training and action that makes the difference.

I attended an induction at Extinction Rebellion, as everyone is encouraged to do before taking any action.

We were taught about non-violence, how to meet anger and frustration with acceptance, a listening ear and love.

We were taught how to de-escalate a situation that could get violent.

We shared our thoughts; everyone was respected.

We were encouraged to look after ourselves, to be aware of our needs – maybe of the need to take a break, to eat, to be quiet, to get warm.

And we organised ourselves into small groups of 4 or 5, called Affinity Groups. These people were your friends to whom you could reach out if you needed support – you swapped phone numbers, you stayed near each other.

Non-violence and community building don’t come naturally, but they can be taught and learned. Friendships were made, we all committed out loud to keep the principles.

There is no in group and out group in Extinction Rebellion. There is no ‘membership’. We are all members if you like by virtue of our commitment to the principles and values.

Leaving London, I was full of hope, not just because people are waking up to the science of climate change and acting on it, but because this civil disobedience is being done in a spirit of love and peace.

I know it will not always be easy and there will be differences and fallings out, but Extinction Rebellion seems to me to be aligned to the way the Spirit works and I think we as a body of believers have much to learn and apply to how we are with each other.

Thalia Carr