Environmental campaigners who’ve scaled a government building in Westminster say they plan to stay there “indefinitely”.
Four activists from Animal Rebellion, an offshoot of Extinction Rebellion, used ladders, ropes, and harnesses to climb the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) office as high as “20 metres” at around 6am on 26 October. The group says it’s demanding an end to subsidies for meat and dairy farming in a protest against climate change.
Meat and dairy farming contributes significantly towards greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, the land used to rear cows could be used for crop farming or housing.
They plan to stay in place until Boris Johnson pledges to urge all world leaders to also end such subsidies when they attend the COP26 summit next week. Police are at the scene with the fire service and are liaising with the protesters, although no arrests have been made.
Animal Rebellion spokesman Nathan McGovern told the PA news agency:
Our protesters climbed the building in the early hours of this morning to send a clear message that we want an end to support for animal agriculture which is killing our planet. The four, who are around 10 to 20 metres high, have unveiled a banner saying ‘Cop26: Invest in a plant-based future’.
We will see what the situation with the police is, but the plan is to stay in place indefinitely and this will remain a peaceful protest.
BREAKING: Animal Rebellion protestors have scaled DEFRA, demanding government support for a plant-based food system at COP26. The protestors have said that they will take action until the government defunds meat and subsidises a plant-based transition. pic.twitter.com/ycmDSLt12U
— Animal Rebellion (@RebelsAnimal) October 26, 2021
The Metropolitan Police said on Twitter:
Shortly after 6am we were alerted to a small group of protestors climbing the outside of a Government building in Marsham Street to access the roof. Officers are on scene with the London Fire Brigade and are engaging with the protestors. As yet, there have been no arrests.
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?