Banbury XR protesters among those arrested
At least three Banbury activists were among more than 600 arrested as Extinction Rebellion’s London protest entered its third day.
Members of the Banbury Extinction Rebellion (XR) group, along with hundreds of others, were blockading the road outside Downing Street.
They were calling on the government to take urgent action on the climate and ecological crisis.
Despite concerted efforts by the police to clear the site, the Whitehall blockade was still holding strong on the morning of Wednesday, October 9.
XR Banbury member, Jo Taylor, said: "This time last year I considered myself to be an 'ordinary' person; wife, mother of two and part time worker, just juggling the normal stuff that life throws at you.
"Then last October was a real turning point with the publication of the IPCC report. This has had a huge impact on my life, the science behind what is happening and what will happen if we don’t change what we are doing.
"The UN says we need to keep global warming below 1.5˚C. We’re already at +1.1˚C from baseline and, without urgent action, we’ll reach 1.5˚C in just 20 years.
Activists from across the UK endured rain, cold and the threat of arrest to maintain their position overnight.
Before the event Jo said: "I am joining the International Rebellion in London. It’s not something I really want to do but it’s something I think I should do, which is why I am going.
"I have taken time off work to go and would actually prefer to have this time off in half term with my sons, but I can’t stand by and hear more news and science reports about how the climate and nature is changing and how if we don’t act now then we face catastrophic consequences.
"As a mother I want the best for my children, and I can’t do nothing knowing that doing nothing means something truly awful.”
As of yesterday Extinction Rebellion still held eight of the 12 sites originally occupied across Westminster, including Trafalgar Square, Horseguards Parade and Lambeth and Westminster bridges.
They plan to block the roads for at least two weeks, in what is expected to be the biggest global act of non-violent disobedience in history.
Banbury activists are focused on publicising Extinction Rebellion’s third demand: a citizens’ assembly to make legally binding decisions on the climate crisis and ecological emergency.
Just like a jury panel, a citizens’ assembly is randomly selected from a representative group of citizens. Proponents believe that they help democracies to avoid the pressures of party politics and lobbying by powerful corporations and interests.
For more information visit the XR Banbury Facebook page.