By 5pm, there were hundreds of people on Whitehall. Watching the action was James Brown, a Paralympic cyclist who had returned to London after being arrested for climbing on top of a passenger plane at City airport last Thursday. He said he had been able to mount the plane because, as a disabled person, he had been given priority access to board before other passengers.
Brown said he was held in a cell for 67 hours after his protest. “I’m still recovering from that. It was quite an ordeal – especially when as a blind person they won’t give you any access to any reading materials, so it was quite a long and lonely stint.”
Brown said he had become involved with environmental campaigning after hs daughter told him of her concerns over biodiversity and the climate emergency. He said he had taken action because the government was not fulfilling its responsibilities to protect people.
He added: “We have to take it in our own hands and do something ourselves and the only means of bringing about radical social change that has been proven time and time again in history is non-violent direct action, and that is the reason I’m taking part in this.”
‘Nurse-in’ held outside company’s offices in protest at funding of climate deniers
Nursing mothers and youths blockaded Google’s London headquarters on Wednesday in protest at the company’s funding of climate deniers, as Extinction Rebellion defied a police order by continuing to stage actions in the capital.
A Guardian investigation revealed last week that Google had made “substantial” contributions to some of the most notorious climate deniers in Washington, despite its insistence that it supports action on the climate emergency.
Mothers of infants held a “nurse-in” outside the company’s offices in King’s Cross and members of XR Youth climbed on top of the entrance to Google-owned YouTube, on the other side of the same building, holding a banner reading, “YouTube, stop climate denial”.
In a letter to YouTube, they said the platform, which has 1.9bn users, had a responsibility to stop hosting “misleading and inherently dangerous” climate denial videos. They pointed out that a recent survey found more than half of teenagers in the US said they got their news from YouTube.
As of 8am on Wednesday there had been 1,642 arrests made over XR protests, according to the Metropolitan police. The rate of arrests accelerated on Monday night after the police imposed a section 14 order in effect banning all protest by the group in London.