Recolight CEO Nigel Harvey has been arrested during climate action protests in London.

He was arrested in London on 24th August.  He was one of a group of Extinction Rebellion (XR) climate activists protesting to raise awareness of the climate crisis.

Harvey was “locked on” for over 20 hours to a giant pink table erected by XR at a busy junction near Leicester Square tube station.

Speaking about his arrest, Harvey said: “The recent IPCC report was crystal clear. Unless immediate and radical action is taken to decarbonise our societies, we face climate breakdown, with a bleak outlook for humanity. I find that prospect terrifying.  And although our Government has put some ambitious emissions reduction targets in place, there are still no credible plans in place to deliver against those targets. Conversely, many of their policies, such as the largest ever road building programme, or a new oilfield in Shetland, will make matters far worse.  That makes the Government’s emissions targets a sham.  But given that the UK has the COP presidency this year, we could be setting a good example for other governments to follow.”

“Like many people, I’ve tried to do the right thing. Signing petitions, lobbying MPs, changing my behaviour and encouraging others to do likewise, have all failed. The emissions keep rising.  And the deadly heatwaves, wildfires, extreme flooding and superstorms will keep getting worse.”

“I have chosen to be arrested. I’d rather not – it is not pleasant. But the consequences for us all of inaction on the climate are truly appalling. And while our Governments fail to act, it is the only option left that might drive the change we all need. History tells us that disruptive civil disobedience works: the US civil rights movement, Indian independence, and the suffragettes all successfully used non-violent direct action.”

“Yes, Extinction Rebellion are disruptive. That is one of the reasons they have been so effective in raising awareness of the climate emergency. But that disruption is nothing compared to a flooded underground transport system, spiralling food prices as crop yields plummet, and mass migration as parts of the planet become effectively “unliveable”.

Harvey was arrested at 09.15 on 24th August and taken to Walworth police station.  He was charged with failing to comply with a police instruction to end the protest, and released at 20.30 on the same day.  He was also arrested in October 2019 and September 2020 while taking part in other climate protests.

November 2023 issue

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