In March 2021, Ruth Jarman was arrested for photographing and live-streaming in court. Ruth is an anglican, an administrator and mother of three from Hampshire.
When arrested she was live-streaming Rev Sue Parfitt, who had glued herself to the dock inside court as a protest that environmental defenders were being arrested.
On 7th Feb 2022, Ruth Jarman gave her mitigation statement at Stratford Magistrates Court, as follows…
“People are dying now because of climate change. As a Christian I have to protest this – I have no choice.
In 2018 the head of the UN, one of the best briefed people in the world, said we were in an existential crisis, climate change is running away from us and that if we did not change course by 2020 it will be too late to stop runaway climate change.
The top European climate scientists expect the tipping point to uncontrollable and irreversible climate meltdown to a hothouse earth state to be between 1.5 and 2 degrees warming. We are heading for 3-4 degrees.
On a hothouse earth it is debatable if humanity will survive as a species. It is certain that billions will die, civilisation will collapse, there will be mass extinction. And why shouldn’t there be global conflict?
The response of all but a tiny minority of people is to shrug and get on with our lives.
I hoovered my house yesterday. Humanity is heading for extinction, beautiful creatures created to praise God by being what they are, are being wiped from the face of the earth, and I hoover my house. I say I love God and love my neighbour, I cannot imagine another way that will save the future other than mass, global, civil resistance against the system that is destroying all we love, and yet, instead of organising this resistance I bow to convention (I have a friend staying!) and hoover my house.
So I understand why the courts find us guilty for protests that they deem too disruptive. We all just want to get on with our lives, to adhere to the social and legal conventions that have worked so well in maintaining our civilisation up to now.
What I want to say is that adhering to social convention and the law as it stands at this point in history is all we need to do to bring about the end of civilisation.
Our protest was to protest not just the inaction of government, but also the inaction of all of us – particularly the courts. To save humanity and the world as we know it – this is not hyperbole – we cannot leave it to a few crusty protestors. Every one of us – including and especially those in positions of power, e.g. judges and magistrates, need to ask ourselves, ‘what can I do to support the movement for civilised and abundant life?’
The courts should be prosecuting the government for fuelling climate meltdown with their continued licensing and funding of fossil fuels, rather than blindly prosecuting those few of us who are protesting this.
That’s my view. You will have your own. But if you have any faith in God or goodness, please ask yourselves, ‘what can I do to support the movement for civilised and abundant life?’
Thank you for listening to us.”