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.
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.
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.”
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/