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Police Commissioner Wants Police To Declare Climate Emergency But Warns Protesters

Published on: 11 Sep, 2019
Updated on: 14 Sep, 2019

Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner, David Munro, said that he was considering calling on Surrey Police to declare a climate emergency but warned climate activists to stay within the law.

Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner, David Munro, joins Extinction Rebellion supporters on the steps of the Holy Trinity Church in Guildford. The Holy Trinity Rector, Robert Cotton, next to David Munro, punches the air in support of the activists.

Mr Munro had been attending a community safety event in Holy Trinity Church in Guildford High Street on Saturday, September 7 when he met with Extinction Rebellion supporters on the church steps. They had gathered in town to make a Declaration of Rebellion and to pin the declaration to the Guildhall doors, a symbolic reference to Martin Luther pinning his controversial reformation propositions to the church door in Wittenberg.

Speaking to The Guildford Dragon NEWS, Mr Munro said: “Extinction Rebellion aims are right. We are living in a crisis and we have to get it right.

“It is absolutely splendid that Surrey County Council has declared there to be a climate emergency and I think that the police should consider following suit.”

15-year-old Vinnie Conquest from the Royal Grammar School, reads out the ‘Declaration of Rebellion’ on behalf of Extinction Rebellion

When pressed on the whether he also supported the Extinction Rebellion key tactic of non-violent direct action and getting arrested to draw political and public attention to climate change, Commissioner Munro said: “Police are there to uphold the law. Getting arrested is not good as it takes up police time.

“It has to be within the law, so my message is – don’t get arrested.”

Posting the declaration by Extinction Rebellion on the Guildhall doors.

Extinction Rebellion held a mass protest over ten days in London in April 2019 with more than a thousand people getting arrested. It led to the UK Parliament declaring a climate emergency in May.

But, mindful of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warning that we have 12 years to limit a climate catastrophe, they say that not enough is being done. They want the government to act now to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2025 and set up a citizens assembly to devise an emergency plan of action on climate action.

Critics say that the demands are unrealistic and their tactics of civil disobedience are a turnoff for thousands of potential supporters.

Extinction Rebellion is planning more mass protests including one in London starting on October 7. Roger Hallam, one the founders, told the BBC: “This October thousands of people will come to the streets of London and they will stay in the streets of London. You will see mass disturbances. It will be non-violent, it will be respectful and it will be disruptive”

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Responses to Police Commissioner Wants Police To Declare Climate Emergency But Warns Protesters

  1. Alison Moulden Reply

    September 11, 2019 at 7:37 am

    Great to have the Police Comissioner talk about the Climate Emergency in such sensible terms.

  2. Susie Campbell Reply

    September 11, 2019 at 9:35 pm

    How encouraging to see police, church and local people coming together on behalf of the planet.

  3. Billy T Smith Reply

    September 12, 2019 at 2:19 pm

    Excellent sentiment from the commissioner supporting those taking action on climate breakdown.

    What he has overlooked is the fact that all other options have been exhausted. Every other form of campaigning has failed for 30 years because global governments are beholden to the fossil fuel lobby.

    He clearly cannot be endorsing law-abiding, peaceful citizens getting arrested. But it is important to note those who do are not criminals, they are ordinary people who have already tried everything else, and left with no option are now employing the tactic that has worked so successfully for the last 200 years.

    All system change has been delivered by people taking to the streets. In the light of the United Nations warnings on the severity of the threat we face, there is little other option.

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