Five of XRC’s brave rebels were arrested on the site today. Huge respect and solidarity for what they have been doing for every one of us.
Update: As of 1.30am Thursday 10 October – all XRC arrestees have been released and made it back to warm, dry beds.
During the night there was a real sense of calm on the site unlike the day before. We had a number of early morning pedestrians and cyclists cheering for XR and asked us to “keep doing what we are doing!”
As dawn arrived, more infrastructure had appeared overnight, including a Da Vinci arch. Rebels were carrying parts and assembled it (without instructions!) in the wee small hours. Other artwork included a canoe with beautiful marine imagery, that had originally been seized in the lorry. The Mothers’ March moved in their hundreds with babes-in-arms, meanwhile a ceremonial alternative budget action was held outside The Treasury.
A girl contributed her artwork to the Love Rebellion site on her way to school.
More Chelmsford members showed up:
“I came up with my friend because I am curious. It’s a good cause and I want to support it.”
Renato, 67, retired banker & magistrate of the police
“I came because XR is necessary because without it we are not going to get the change we need in government policy and society as a whole to tackle the climate and ecological breakdown. It’s great to see people from Chelmsford have come together; it’s really inspiring.”
Nick, 36, father and project manager
“I am here because of my three beautiful grandsons and I want a future for them. We have got to make the government take notice and take action. We have had words, words, words… now we need action! I am here in solidarity with XR Chelmsford – I am so proud of you all.”
Jean, 73, Quaker
“I am here because I believe in protesting.”
Brian, 74, Quaker, arrest watch support
“I am here because I know you are all sleep deprived by now and to tweak a quote from Shakespeare: ‘We band of rebels, we happy few, once more unto the breach dear friends.’”
Meanwhile, more than £100 has been raised on our local fundraiser, and local members have brought up extra sleeping bags, porridge oats and blankets.
By mid-afternoon things really started to heat up at the Rose end of the site. Police arrived in large numbers and a few XRC members made the decision to lock on, superglue themselves to the road and not move.
At least 100 police officers surrounded the Love site while a band set up microphones and started singing. It became quite emotional at moments, especially when the Rebel Red Brigade showed up, roughly 50 of them, and surrounded XRC rebels locked on, silently reminding us what was at stake.
All the XRC rebels under arrest were comforted by the visible presence of other local members who stayed in support.
Many others were arrested over a three hour period this afternoon, as the tents were hauled aside and most of the infrastructure was removed. The last woman was finally removed from the Da Vinci structure with a cherry picker.
Two XRC rebels were taken to Wembley police station and held for approximately three hours before being released under investigation. Another rebel has been released from West End police station. Two are being held at Brixton and we are awaiting more information from them.
Stay tuned rebels.
Update: As of 1.30am Thursday 10 October – all XRC arrestees have been released and made it back to warm beds. They are all well, have been well looked after and are getting some rest.
If you’re looking for some light relief, here’s Sophia’s first go at stand-up comedy. She attended a Sustainable Stand-up Comedy course recently to help build her confidence in how she talks about climate change. Her set is about why she joined XR, life as a newbie activist and possibly getting arrested…