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.

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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”

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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.”

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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

PRESS RELEASE: Christians to Join Climate Rebellion

CCA Rebellion

Thursday 18th October 2018

Contact Caroline Harmon: 07954 377569

For Immediate Release

Interviews available, both in advance and on 31st October

A group of Christians will be joining a non-violent rebellion in London later this month to demand urgent action from the government on climate change. On 31st October 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.

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.’

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.’

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 will be one of a number of groups taking part in the Extinction Rebellion: https://risingup.org.uk/XR/
  3. 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°Chttp://www.ipcc.ch/news_and_events/pr_181008_P48_spm.shtml