BREAKING: Extinction Rebellion Youth activists block London fracking conference by locking on to entrances

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BREAKING: Extinction Rebellion Youth activists block London fracking conference by locking on to entrances

  • 6 Extinction Rebellion Youth activists block entrances to Westminster Energy, Environment and Transport Forum’s seminar on the ‘Unconventional oil and gas market in the UK’
  • Activists aged 15 to 24 blocked the entrances to the Caledonian Club where UK commissioner for fracking Natascha Engel is keynote speaker
  • The young people barricaded the entrances to the building by locking themselves together using D-locks

This morning 6 young activists between the ages of 15 and 24 from Extinction Rebellion Youth blocked entrances to the Caledonian Club at 9 Halkin Street in London where Westminster Energy, Environment and Transport Forum are holding a seminar entitled ‘Unconventional oil and gas market in the UK – planning changes, environmental regulation and tackling the scale-up challenges’.[1]

The young people are wearing t-shirts saying “Don’t step on our future” blocking entrances to the building forcing attendees to step over them to the enter the seminar. The event promises to “assess the next steps for overcoming barriers to the commercialisation of domestic shale into the UK energy mix” and look at “questions around the economic viability of the sector and the implications for further investment and exploration for additional wells, taking into account oil price trends.”

Members of Extinction Rebellion Youth used bike locks to chain themselves together, across entrances, to the Caledonian Club building in central London.

The action follows Extinction Rebellion’s high profile anti-fracking occupation of the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in November last year.[2] Three weeks ago, Extinction Rebellion Youth delivered a letter to Claire Perry MP, the Minister in charge of fracking, asking her to honour her agreement to meet with the group.[3]

Fracking has been banned in many European countries, including the Netherlands where it has caused severe earthquakes destroying homes, schools and other buildings. Yet in the UK, fracking companies are lobbying the Government to raise the safe limit for seismic tremors, due to their inability to stay below this limit.

Extinction Rebellion Youth Coordinator, Robin Ellis-Cockcroft, 24, said: “The reason behind this action is that investing in fracking at this point in time is both criminally harmful to our futures as young people and is used to stall development in renewable energy technologies – solar, wind, battery storage, etc.

“By convening and attending this conference the Westminster Energy, Environment and Transport Forum are promoting short term business over our generation’s future – as such, we will be blocking access to the conference to both stop such work and provide a clear message of what they are sacrificing for their profits.

“This action is held in respect of the amazing work anti-fracking activists have done around the UK over the past few years – we stand with them and look to continue pushing the message that fracking is not a part of our future.”

Other comments from the young activists:

Hollie Andrews, 20, said:the fact that this conference is even being allowed to be held when we are already in the midst of climate breakdown is nothing more than evil. Even though we are not fully blocking those who are attending from entering, hopefully the fact that they have to step over us will at least make them consider the damage that they are causing to our futures.”

Lachlan Sandford Hall, 18, said: “Research shows the way we’re living is unsustainable but change isn’t happening. I know my actions are more powerful because I’m young and as a great man once said ‘with great power comes great responsibility!”

Isla Sandford Hall, 16, said: “fracking and conferences like this are part of the system that is devastating my future, I refuse to be complicit in my own and everyone else’s destruction – I can’t trust adults to act responsibly any more, so I am acting myself”

Also coming up

Notes to editors

[1] Westminster Energy, Environment and Transport Forum – Caledonian Club, 9 Halkin Street, London SW1X 7DR

About the Forum –

Unconventional oil and gas market in the UK – planning changes, environmental regulation and tackling the scale-up challenges.

This seminar takes place at a time of significant policy development, including the recent consultations on changes to the planning process for potential hydraulic fracturing sites, such as the possibility of including shale in the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) regime, as well as current government guidelines being deemed unlawful by the High Court.

With Scotland set to finalise its fracking policy later this year, the introduction of blocks on fracking in Northern Ireland and Wales, and resistance from some local authorities in England, including Manchester and London, delegates will consider the potential opportunities for industry and implications for local communities of moving shale gas into the NSIP regime.

They will also assess the effect across stakeholder groups of the current planning process and further options going forward, with discussion expected on challenges for putting into place key infrastructure, and on current environmental standards and assurances.”

[2] Press Release: Extinction Rebellion occupies UK Dept for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
https://rebellion.earth/breaking-london-extinction-rebellion-occupies-uk-department-for-business-energy-and-industrial-strategy/

[3] Press Release: Claire Perry MP urged to honour agreed meeting with Extinction Rebellion Youth
https://rebellion.earth/claire-perry-mp-urged-to-honour-agreed-meeting-with-extinction-rebellion-youth/

About Extinction Rebellion:

Time has almost entirely run out to address the ecological crisis which is upon us, including the 6th mass species extinction and abrupt, runaway climate change. Societal collapse and mass death are seen as inevitable by scientists and other credible voices, with human extinction also a possibility, if rapid action is not taken.

Extinction Rebellion believes it is a citizen’s duty to rebel, using peaceful civil disobedience, when faced with criminal inactivity by its Government.

Extinction Rebellion’s key demands are:

  1. The Government must tell the truth about the ecological emergency, reverse inconsistent policies and work alongside the media to communicate with citizens
  2. The Government must enact legally binding policy measures to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2025 and to reduce consumption levels
  3. A national Citizens’ Assembly to oversee the changes, as part of creating a democracy fit for purpose.

Get involved in Extinction Rebellion’s other events:

  1. In the UK, come to one of our events, join the Rebellion Network and let us know how you can help out
  2. Start a group where you are – locally in the UK or in your country around the world
  3. Find your local group: https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=11jUqqjTHMThksd4KbvGGzb3I3Cr3PkBl&usp=sharing
  4. Check out the International XR website, with links to the French, German, Italian and UK websites
  5. We are holding Collaborative Leadership Calls to help coach people to improve their leadership skills and capacities
  6. And while your time and energy are the most important things, if you are financially able to donate money, see our Fundrazr crowdfunder.

UK website: https://rebellion.earth/
International website: https://xrebellion.org/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ExtinctionRebellion/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ExtinctionR hashtag #ExtinctionRebellion
Declaration of Rebellion: https://rebellion.earth/declaration/

About Rising Up!

Extinction Rebellion is an initiative of the Rising Up! network, which promotes a fundamental change of our political and economic system to one which maximises well-being and minimises harm. Change needs to be nurtured in a culture of reverence, gratitude and inclusion; whilst the tools of civil disobedience and direct action are used to express our collective power.

Website http://www.risingup.org.uk/;
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