Climate Protesters Glue Hands to UK Government Building

Twenty-two held over protests at Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Twenty-two people have been arrested after protesters daubed the windows of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in London and blocked passing traffic in an effort to provoke society into action over climate change.
One protester climbed above the revolving doors of the main entrance of the building in Westminster and wrote “frack off” in black spray paint, and another sprayed the extinction symbol in red on windows facing traffic on Victoria Street.
A spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion, the group that coordinated the demonstration, said their members used spray chalk, which washes off.
During the day, protesters superglued themselves to card-entry gates inside the staff entrance to the building, and lay down outside in Victoria Street blocking westbound traffic.
The protest is intended to be the first in a series continuing throughout the week and culminating with a mass civil disobedience action on Saturday, which activists are calling “rebellion day”.
Dozens of protesters had locked themselves together outside the doors of the BEIS building and others glued themselves to glass.
At another entrance, protesters from the group Christian Climate Action could be seen through windows to have entered the lobby of the building and locked themselves to fittings.
Bell Selkie, 48, from Wales, sitting glued by her left hand to the door of BEIS, said the effects of climate change were becoming obvious.
“The IPCC report in October gave us six to 12 years, and this is known to be a conservative report. If we don’t respond with a war-style effort now we are all fucked, all of us. My heart is breaking and I’ve got to do something, and I’m putting my life on hold,” she said.
Some protesters wore high-visibility vests and patches with the words “conscientious protector”. Asked what that meant, one demonstrator, who preferred not to be named, said: “I have a conscience and I’ve never done anything like this before; I have to do something. We have to protect the environment because if we don’t, all the other problems, all the other causes that exist, are pointless. Everything else is pointless.”
The Green party peer Jenny Jones came to witness the demonstration after seeing news of it on social media from her office in the House of Lords. She said she backed non-violent direct action.
“If we’re not bold then we won’t have a usable planet in the next few decades,” she said. “The fact is we need action, we need it fast. This government has dragged its feet long enough. Whether it’s solar subsidies, making windfarms difficult or even actually supporting things like fracking, this government has actually gone in the wrong direction almost every time. So let’s hope they listen.”
Contacts from inside the building said announcements had been made over the internal public address system that entrances and exits were blocked and no one was able to enter or leave the department.
In a statement, Extinction Rebellion said: “The UK government, specifically BEIS, is promoting fracking – meeting with fracking companies more than 30 times in the last three years, compared to zero times with anti-fracking groups – despite massive local opposition.
“From Preston New Road (665 days now and counting) in Lancashire, to Kirby Misperton in North Yorkshire, to Horse Hill in Surrey, communities are coming together to fight against fracking.”

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