Seven environmental protesters from Sheffield arrested in London
Seven environmental activists from Sheffield have been arrested as part of the mass Extinction Rebellion protest in London.
They are among more than 1,000 protesters arrested so far as activists occupy key sites and cause disruption in the capital in an effort to force action on climate change.
Activists from Sheffield protested outside BP’s headquarters, held roadblocks in Parliament Square and supported other activists in the group’s most major protest yet.
In a statement issued today, Extinction Rebellion Sheffield said: “All levels of government from Sheffield City Council to national government have been inactive on this issue for too long.
“They have engaged in destructive practices ranging from tree felling and road widening to fracking and current, very creative, carbon accounting.
“This has left the planet in a state of emergency.
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“We observe wildfires across local, well-loved moorland. The frequency of these fires is only likely to increase with rising global temperatures.
“Extinction Rebellion Sheffield activist are willing to face arrest on charges of obstructing the highway in order to demand that we tackle the climate crisis now to ensure an inhabitable world in the future.”
Sheffield zoology student Eve Merral, who was one of those arrested, said: “I'm a zoology student at Sheffield, and I joined Extinction Rebellion because the natural world and everyone I love is threatened by climate change. I believe that I have a responsibility to use my privilege to do everything in my power to fight it.”
Louis Brijmohun, who was also arrested, said: “It's all very surreal. I'm just an ordinary guy who happened to do some reading about climate change, and within a few months I've gone from being vaguely aware that it's one of those important problems, to spending a night in a cell and feeling like I wasn't doing enough.
“Since my arrest, I've now been referred to as a climate activist but I'm not sure I agree. A woman who jumps into a pool to save a drowning child doesn't suddenly become a lifeguard; people react in ways proportionate to the situations they understand themselves to be in – you just do what needs to be done.
“Now that I've actually read the science for myself, I feel like I've just seen a child fall into the pool, except that child is all life on earth as we know it, and now no reaction seems inappropriate. I'd do anything to save that child.”