13 Hastings residents arrested during Extinction Rebellion’s London protests

Picture: XR Hastings and St Leonards
Picture: XR Hastings and St Leonards

A 91-year-old man is among 13 people from Hastings and St Leonards to be arrested during Extinction Rebellion’s planned fortnight of action in central London.

The group of detained residents said they made the decision to be arrested for blocking the road as part of their protest at what they see as ‘criminal government action on this issue’.

Picture: XR Hastings and St Leonards

Picture: XR Hastings and St Leonards

For the 91-year-old, this was his second arrest within a month protesting with Extinction Rebellion.

He said: “We appreciate that our protests may impact negatively on ordinary people and we regret this. However, we believe that in the current circumstances they are morally justified and absolutely necessary.

“Our actions, alongside the global climate strikes, have really helped focus attention over the last year and increased pressure on governments to act.”

Activists are participating in a planned fortnight of action in central London which aims to cause significant disruption at the heart of the city.

Picture: XR Hastings and St Leonards

Picture: XR Hastings and St Leonards

Featuring blockades, camps, education workshops, entertainment and speakers, the International Rebellion is designed to ‘educate and inform’ as well as disrupt ‘business as usual’.

Extinction Rebellion said: “We’re asking for immediate action to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“The next 18 months are critical for putting in place the policies that will move this forward rapidly.

“Climate change is already here, but the progress we make during the next decade will determine whether we avoid the most devastating future impacts.”

Picture: XR Hastings and St Leonards

Picture: XR Hastings and St Leonards

Each day since the protesting started on Monday, Extinction Rebellion members from Hastings and the surrounding areas have joined others from all over the country in London.

So far, 13 local people – including a retired teacher, engineer, charity worker and great grandfather – have been arrested.

Many of the activists say they have booked time off work to be at the International Rebellion to support the efforts that are being made to force the government to act on the Climate Emergency that it declared in April of this year.

With a second week of rebellion planned in London, people are filling roles on the sites as drummers, singers, cooks, trainers, and are looking after the wellbeing of protestors.

A recent poll undertaken by Ipsos Mori found 78 per cent of Britons believe the planet is ‘heading for disaster’.