York Greens arrested at Extinction Rebellion protests

Several members of York
Green Party have been campaigning for climate justice in London as part of
Extinction Rebellion’s International Rebellion protests this week.

Extinction Rebellion is an
international movement that uses non-violent civil disobedience to avert
climate breakdown, halt biodiversity loss, and minimise the risk of human extinction
and ecological collapse. Since Monday 15 April, thousands of protesters have
been using roadblocks to paralyse parts of central London. Demonstrators have
taken part in civil disobedience protests, blockading four major landmarks in
the capital in an attempt to force the government to take action on the
escalating climate crisis.

Tom Franklin, 60, chair of
York Green Party, parliamentary candidate for York Central and council
candidate in Acomb, was arrested during the protests on Wednesday 17 April. Tom
recognises that we face an existential threat from climate change and was
peacefully demonstrating in Parliament Square when he was arrested for
obstruction of the highway and section 14 of the Public Order Act, i.e. refusing
to obey a police officer. He was held overnight at Leyton police station, and
released without charge on Thursday morning.

Patrick Thelwell, 19, lead
council candidate for Hull Road Ward, was arrested while peacefully blocking
Waterloo Bridge on the evening of Monday 15 April. Explaining why he was
willing to be arrested, Patrick said: “I am privileged in the UK with a police
and legal system that will treat me non-violently and fairly. Others, in
countries more urgently affected by the Climate Crisis, do not have the luxury
of safe protest. I, therefore, have a responsibility to act in every capacity I
can to force our government to protect our people and our planet, even if that
means getting arrested.”

Other York Greens who have
participated in the Extinction Rebellion protests in London include John
Cossham, council candidate for Hull Road Ward, and Catherine Love, council
candidate for Strensall. Extinction Rebellion plans to continue and escalate
the protests until the government listens to its demands for government to take
necessary action on the global climate and ecological emergency.

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