Environmental activists have glued and chained themselves to a government building in central London, to “highlight the havoc being wrought being wrought across the UK by fracking.”
Protesters from the environmental group Extinction Rebellion targeted the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy in Westminster on Monday, trying to block staff entrances to the building.
The Met Police have reportedly confirmed at least one arrest, according to the BBC.
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The Extinction Rebellion group issued a statement about the protest action, saying that the UK government is “promoting fracking — meeting with fracking companies more than 30 times in the last three years, compared to zero times with anti-fracking groups — despite massive local opposition.”
“From Preston New Road (665 days now and counting) in Lancashire, to Kirby Misperton in North Yorkshire, to Horse Hill in Surrey, communities are coming together to fight against fracking,” it added.
One protester, Becky Daniels, is quoted by the group as saying: “The time to take action against climate injustice is now. The political system is failing us from local councils to central government.”
“If we do not act now, we face extinction,” she added. “At the very least we will witness the breakdown of society as we know it. The days of nimbyism are over. The impacts of climate injustice will be felt around the world.”
Another protester Julie Daniels, the mother of Becky Daniels, added: “Continuing to use fossil fuels ignores that the window to steady runaway climate change grows smaller every year. We are the first generation that knows what we have to do, and the last generation able to do something about it.”
Monday’s protest was the first in a series of planned demonstrations throughout this week, culminating in what the group has termed “rebellion day” on Saturday. It will see a number of events across the country, including at London’s Parliament Square, according to the group.
The group described the week of protest as a “nonviolent uprising against the British government for its criminal inaction on the climate emergency and ecological crisis.”
Its demands include for the UK government to:
- immediately declare a climate and ecological emergency
- reduce to zero greenhouse has emissions by 2025
- create a citizen’s assembly to oversee these changes