400 people continue to hold the Power In Truth site outside BEIS in Westminster after 13 arrested on first day of October Rebellion

Extinction Rebellion Scotland/ Cumbria/ NE England

Power In Truth – Site 6
October International Rebellion
The moment of truth arrives.

Email: xrscotlandpress@gmail.com
Phone: 07507888837 / 07555956450

This morning (7th October 2019) Extinction Rebellion (XR) rebels from Scotland, Cumbria and the North East blocked three roads at the intersection of Westminster Abbey and BEIS (Government Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), setting up Power In Truth, one of the 11 sites across Westminster which form the International Rebellion. 

Around 400 rebels quickly set up camp, and the Power in Truth site is currently holding strong and demanding the truth be heard. 

Activists are continuing to successfully block the road outside BEIS with tents and gazebos in place. Several hundred people are gathered at the crossing where The Sanctuary meets Victoria Street and are holding banners, singing, chanting and acting peacefully.

So far, 13 have been arrested, 2 of which were drivers of the food truck arriving to feed activists (the food truck was left by police and after activists locked onto the truck to protect it from being taken, it is now in use as a kitchen).

1 arrested was the driver of the van which held infrastructure for the weeks ahead. Outside BEIS, 6 people locked on under this van for 6 hours, before they and the van were eventually removed. For the duration they were joined by dozens of activists, singing, reading to one another and speaking to passersby.

6 more activists were arrested after being cut out of lock-on tubes at one of the road blocks, but the banner holders continue to stand strong, holding the site. The atmosphere remains positive and calm. 

Liz, 55, holding a banner reading “No Coal Mines! No Fracking!”, said, “I’m here today because I just feel I have to be. I felt so much sadness and pain for so long about what’s going on around me in the world and the way climate change and the use of resources is destroying everything that I love. I’m feeling really sad standing here because I really don’t want to be here. And it’s my 30th wedding anniversary. And I’d love to be having a party. This is much more important and that’s why I’m here.”

The XR Scotland, North East England and Cumbria site tells the truth about the fossil fuels that power all our lives, while sending our future up in smoke. Oil, gas and coal industries are continuing to drill, dig and frack, while corporations have known for decades that burning fossil fuels is causing climate breakdown and mass extinction. Even now, when the UN says we’re facing an existential global threat, the fossil fuel industry promotes business as usual that is killing us all.

Neil Rothnie, a former North Sea oil worker commented; “We can’t go on desecrating the environment in the name of profit. We can’t go on destroying the world’s forests and seas. We can build a regenerative society that respects life as more than something to just be exploited for the benefit of ‘profit’.”

The day’s activities and speakers began with a speech from Stand Up To Racism and Love Music Hate Racism organiser Weyman Bennett, who spoke of the fossil fuel industry’s impact on people across the globe and said it loud and clear that climate refugees are welcome here; “The impact of climate change is displacing millions around the world. It is a crisis overwhelmingly caused by the rich and big business, driven by capitalism, and the effects are already being felt disproportionately by those in the Global South. It is essential that as part of the inspiring and growing mass global movement for the climate, anti-racism, and defence of refugees and migrants is at its centre… The bold fight by campaigners from Greta Thunberg to Extinction Rebellion and #YouthStrike4Climate has been deeply inspiring. We need anti-racism to be at the centre of this new movement, and we need to organise to oppose all forms of racism, Islamophobia and antisemitism, and the rise of the dangerous far-right.” 

Several thousand people have been blockaded and blocked sites, roads and locations across Westminster. These include: Trafalgar Square, Westminster Bridge, Lambeth Bridge Millbank, Victoria, The Mall, Whitehall, Victoria Embankment, Horseguards Parade and Victoria Street. 

About Extinction Rebellion Scotland

Extinction Rebellion Scotland is a non-violent direct-action movement formed to take urgent action in the face of climate emergency and ecological catastrophe, as part of the global justice movement.

Our demands, issued as a Declaration of Rebellion to the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government on 24 November 2018, are as follows:

  1. That the Scottish government tell the truth about the climate and wider ecological emergency, acknowledge and reverse any policies that help drive the climate crisis, and commit to enabling a rapid and just transition to a sustainable and fair society.
  2. That the Scottish government enact legally binding policy measures to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2025, including by replacing a system based on accelerating consumption with one based on ensuring the well-being of all.
  3. The creation of a Scottish Climate Citizens’ Assembly to oversee the changes, as part of creating a democracy fit for purpose and a society that cares for all.

Read more about Extinction Rebellion: https://rebellion.earth