My speech at Parliament Square today before Sounding Twelve Years with 3 Shofar Blowers, Dan Spanner, 11 bell ringers, plus (according to news reports) 2,000 Rebels who were present!
“6 months ago the Secretary General of the UN said we face a direct existential threat.
5 months ago the UN released a report saying we need to make radical change within 12 years if we stand any chance of containing the temperature rise to 1.5 Degrees.
1 month ago it was announced that a new coal mine in the UK was given planning permission.
Something is very wrong. Even if governments choose to carry on as if the UN did not make that statement, we will not. We are going to shout and scream about that 12 year timeline and make governments hear us.
We’re not the only ones doing this. Today, pulses of 12 bells are ringing out in St Laurence’s church in Catford, in St Augustine of Canterbury in Cumbria, in All Saints Church in Somerset, in St Augustine’s in Cardiff and by the Sisters of Mercy in the town of St. John’s, Canada. Children in Leicestershire are going into the playground at lunchtime to Sound Twelve Years, and their local church St John’s will ring the bells.
Why is our existential threat not top of the news every single day? If our house is on fire we have to put it out. Governments may not be responding to our existential threat - but we are here to demand that they do. It should be them telling us about our 12 year timeline, and not us telling them.
We are telling them now. We’re going to make 12 pulses of loud, very loud, sounds. Clap your hands, scream your chants, bang your pots and pans. When Dan raises his arms that’s your cue. Watch Dan the whole time. We have 12 years."
(afterwards we enacted a 12 pulse sequence of Shofar Blowing, bell ringing, crowd cacophony and an air raid siren sounding the alarm)
Islanders on Fiji flee the sea - because of climate change. Christians stand court as part of Extinction Rebellion climate protests
Monday 25th February 2019 For Immediate Release
Photos Attached (more available on request) Interviews available
In recent months, members of Christian Climate Action have made headlines in the UK, as they blockaded roads, blocked entrances to government buildings and glued themselves to the fence outside of Downing Street, all as part of the Extinction Rebellion climate change protest. Over the coming week, two members of the group, are appearing in Hendon Magistrates Court. They will both be pleading not guilty - claiming that their actions were necessary as part of a desperate attempt to urge those in power to take the needed action on climate change.
Ruth, 55, is a proud mother of three and works as an administrator and trustee in the charity sector. Around this work, Ruth manages to find time to play the fiddle for the worship band in her local Anglican Church and volunteer for Christian events such as New Wine.
Ruth's dedication to the climate cause led her to be arrested 5 times during the first two weeks of the Extinction Rebellion - the most of any protester. She sees standing up against the destruction of creation as vital outworking of worship. Her faith in God could be clearly seen when she guided hundreds of people in prayer and liturgy on the road outside of parliament.
Ruth's court date is the 1st March, where she is stands trial for criminal damage, relating to an action which took place on the 12th November 2018. On this date Ruth sprayed symbols on the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, which aimed to highlight a climate emergency.
When talking about this action at a later protest, to crowds of people, both Christian and non Christian, Ruth stated "they say it was criminal damage, but I have lawful excuse. Because they are causing criminal damage to what we at Christian Climate Action call God's creation. They are destroying it and we have to stand up against that. So we were improving the building because we were making it tell the truth - that this government is taking part in the extinction of God's creation and possibly humanity as well".
Ruth is still 'under investigation' for two of the other actions which led to her arrest over the two Extinction Rebellion climate weeks.
Margriet, 32, has a Masters in Clinical Psychology. She works as a member of the Catholic Worker Movement, hosting refugees and helping them find their way in society. Margriet is on trial on the 4th March at Hendon Magistrates Court for two separate charges. She is being charged with obstruction of the highway, which she received as a result of blocking Blackfriars Bridge on 17th November 2018, as part of a coordinated action where five of the central London Bridges were blocked for over six hours, causing traffic disruption across the capital. She has also been charged with criminal damage, for another action as part of the Extinction Rebellion. On the 24th November, there was a symbolic funeral procession which took place across London and started in Parliament Square. Margriet decorated the streets outside Parliament with the Extinction Rebellion hourglass symbol.
"I think it is more necessary to take action than ever before" says Margriet "the world top climate scientists have estimated that if we don't act now we will have climate breakdown by 2030 and the government is doing virtually nothing to change that. To prevent this breakdown, and to ensure a liveable future for our children, surely the time has come for every citizen to take to the streets and demand truth to be spoken about our situation and demand meaningful action fast."
Supporters have planned to carry out actions outside both individuals court cases. This includes a prayer vigil, where people will be able to mourn the loss to ecosystems, animals and people around the world.
Other members of Christian Climate Action are also due to stand court in coming months for other charges issued during the two weeks of rebellion in November of last year.
Extinction Rebellion climate movement is gathering momentum - with two new groups on average being set up every day. On 15th April 2019, a period of global rebellion is due to begin, where people in capital cities across the globe will be taking to the streets in unison to urge their governments to take the action needed.
“Danger for South Pacific Islands: many Islands are threatened by the sea through climate change.: — a brief report by Shalini Later, based at The University of the South Pacific.” (Dec. 2018).
The results achieved show that climate change is not perceived as an issue of high concern by the people and local decision-makers of the Rewa Delta. Although most of the respondents have heard of the term, most commonly from the media, most are not aware of the nature of changes and the risks associated with climate change. Even though changes are evident in the natural environment in the form of increased erosion, king tides and inundation, people commonly see these as something normal and natural -something they cannot do much about. Most feel that changes are happening because god is punishing them. The communities do not plan to re-locate even if threats intensify due to their strong cultural links with traditional land. The perception was found to be more concentrated on short- term climate variability and thus is a barrier for longer-term climate-change adaptation in the Rewa Delta. The results imply that risk perception of climate change essential at all levels of society for successful implementation of adaptation policies and strategies.
( Photo at the top of the page made available from "The Guardian.") Photograph: Simon Murphy (A special report on this event is available on our Blog page.)