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EXTINCTION Rebellion’s co-founder, Roger Hallam, was called in court today as the climate action group geared up for Rebellion Day.
Mr Hallam, along with activist David Durant, faces possible prison sentences for “criminal damage without lawful excuse” after spray chalking the central hall of Kings College London last year. The pair have been released until March.
Along with eight other students, Mr Hallam covered the building with messages calling the university to completely divest from fossil fuel companies. Following a 14-day hunger strike, the university fully agreed to the demand.
Since the charge which saw him imprisoned for six months, Mr Hallam has been arrested 10 times for civil disobedience actions.
Mr Hallam said: “Kings College are to be commended that they saw the light and divested from fossil fuels. However, the justice system is laughable in this case.”
He added that the timing was “interesting” as the Crown Court had had since November 5 to call him in for a statement.
“Kings College isn’t even pressing charges, it is the Crown Prosecution Service,” Mr Hallam said. “Meanwhile politicians, corporations and extractive industries are above the law when it comes to destroying our planet.”
Thousands are expected to join today’s Rebellion Day in London in breaking the law to highlight the “climate catastrophe.”
Activists will meet at Southwark, Blackfriars, Waterloo, Westminster and Lambeth bridges at 10am and wait for stewards’ signal to move out and take the roads.
An assembly will take place in Parliament Square at 2pm, where activists from West Papua, Bangladesh, Ecuador, Kenya, Ghana and Mongolia will speak about climate issues in their countries.
A spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion said the action will disrupt London but the step was not taken “lightly.”
“It is a step we take to bring to light the criminal inaction of successive governments in their failure to respond to the climate and ecological emergency,” they said.
“We feel deeply that if we come together as ordinary people and communities in the limited time we have available to affect change, we can face this crisis together. The first step is to ensure people are fully informed of the extreme gravity of the situation.”
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