Monday, 14 September 2020

Britain is no country for an old Extinction Rebellion Protester called Arnold Pease

A few minutes before Boris Johnson’s convoy swept past on his way to Prime Minister’s Questions in Parliament last wednesday, around a dozen people stepped off the pavement and into the middle of the busy junction outside parliament. When they hurriedly sat down and tried to glue their hands to the road, they were surrounded by scores of police officers. One of them was 92 year old Arnold Pease from Manchester. Within seconds they were either lifted or dragged, or in Arnold's case, 'escorted' back to the pavement. The protest was over almost before it had begun and minutes later the Prime Minister’s motorcade sped past unhindered.

Arnold was taking part in one of scores of Extinction Rebellion non-violent civil disobedience protests that have been taking place in major cities across Britain over the past two weeks in an effort to try to highlight the escalating climate crisis.

Unlike XR’s previous rebellions in April and October last year, which saw thousands of people blockade large parts of central London day after day, Arnold was a protester who was focused on what he believes is a key actor driving the world's climate crisis : the British Government.

Arnold was arrested as a threat to public order.

As he was being led away by police, he said : “We’re here to continue holding them to account. They call 92-year-old great grandparents ‘organised criminals’ for doing what’s necessary to protect their grand kids? The Government’s criminal inaction on the greatest existential threat we’ve ever faced is the real story."

As he was escorted away an obliging police officer carried his coat and walking stick.

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