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.’
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.