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King's College Divest Oil & Gas Now!
Kings College, Strand, London. Thu 9 Feb 2017
Protesters shout 'Divest Now!' as they walk in front
of King's College holding flares
King's College Climate Emergency Group protest on the Strand calling
for Kings to be the first of London's Universities to end all investments
in fossil fuels and instead invest in renewable energy as a part of a London-wide
The campaigners stuck balloons, roses and posters along the front of the
college and made dots on the columns in wipeable paint in a protest calling
for people to 'join up the dots' and realise we need to act urgently to
save the world. They were careful to use materials that were readily removed
at the end of the protest so that they caused no damage, but apparently
were told by the college to stop wiping off the blobs of paint which came
off easily with a damp rag.
Kings College reacted against previous protests by suspending PhD student
Roger Hallam for writing “Divest From Oil and Gas Now. Out of Time!”
on the frontage in a wipe-clean spray, and threatening others. There were
two arrests at a previous protest.
Police took details today of several of those who painted the dots and
a college security officer, watched by police, stole the protesters paints
but unlike at the previous protest there were no arrests. The college possibly
stopped the campaigners removing paint at the end of the protest so that
they could claim that this was damage that required special cleaning.
Court support for Heathrow protesters
Uxbridge Magistrates Court, Uxbridge, Middx. Tue 7 Feb 2017
Sophia goes into the court wearing a #NoNewRunways
t-shirt with the message 'Guilty of Protecting the Planet'
Around 20 supporters held a picnic outside Uxbridge Magistrates' Court
where two protesters, Sophia Lysaczanko and Siân Charnley, who pleaded
not guilty to the charge of wilful obstruction after taking part in a road
block in protest against Heathrow expansion were to be tried.
The protesters say they felt morally driven to take action and do not feel
guilty in the face of the bigger crime that they want to prevent: airport
expansion is a red line for climate change, increases already illegally
high levels of air pollution and destroys local communities. Sophia made
her views clear by wearing a t-shirt with the message '#NoNewRunways
- 'Guilty of Protecting the Planet' for her trial.
Police came and talked with the protesters and made clear that they were
happy with a peaceful protest outside the court, and arranged for a court
official to come out and give some advice about going into the court to
watch the trial, suggesting that as some people intended to stay outside
it would be simpler to leave bags outside - and that posters, flags and
banners were not allowed.
The previous day, magistrates had heard the case against Isabelle, who
had changed her plea to guilty; she was given an extra 6 months conditional
discharge to those who pleaded guilty at the initial trail in December,
making a total of 18 months conditional discharge and the same £105
costs, apparently the minimum that courts charge.
I left as people were going in for the trial to cycle home and file the
pictures. Later I heard that, as expected, Siân and Sophie were both
found guilty. Surprisingly they were given only a 12 month conditional discharge
but the costs for each were higher at £320.
No Muslim Ban, No State Visit
US Embassy, London. Sat 4 Feb 2017
Protesters in front of the embassy shout against Trump's
Thousands of protesters, many with inventive placards, pack into Grosvenor
Square in front of the US embassy and in the gardens to listen to speakers
including Brent Labour MP Dawn Butler who resigned as shadow minister for
diverse communities to vote against the Brexit Bill and NUT General Secretary
Protesters condemned the actions of President Trump and Theresa May, calling
for Trump to end his Muslim ban and for May to withdraw the invitation to
a State Visit here.
After the rally they were to march to Downing St and a further rally in
Whitehall. Unfortunately I got a phone call from home and had to rush back
there to deal with a minor emergency.
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