Disabled protestors at Extinction Rebellion threatened with arrest after police seize essentials

Police raided a warehouse and seized thousands of pounds worth of accessible equipment.

COPYRIGHT: ARKADIUS PHOTOGRAPHY 2019

Two Birmingham members of climate protest group Extinction Rebellion were left unable to protest when police seized Disabled Rebels’ equipment.

The two rebels, who have asked to remain anonymous, had spent months putting measures in place to make the protests accessible for disabled people.

The plans included the development of new signs in British Sign Language to ensure deaf people could communicate, as well as providing a small number of accessible toilets, which were towed away by police.

This is on top of a warehouse raid which resulted in thousands of pounds worth of equipment being seized including solar charging wheelchairs, ramps and hot water bottles.

In the week following the raid, the rebels peacefully protested outside New Scotland Yard in an attempt to get their equipment back, but the consequences were even more detrimental.

COPYRIGHT: JAMIE

“The small group of disabled rebels and allies chanted for a while… Within minutes officers cited section fourteen of the Public Order Act and threatened us with arrest. One of our number continued to chant and was immediately seized,” one of the rebels said.

“The police told us anyone considered to be associated with XR could be arrested anywhere in London unless they were in Trafalgar Square. We tried to speak with senior officers but again we were told we would be arrested unless we left the area.

“Two other disabled rebels were arrested, one for not moving and the other when they went to address the support needs of the arrestee.”

The rebels had travelled down to London from Birmingham to run a Disability Hub, designed to provide information and wellbeing to disabled people during the protests.

With this hub seized, the rebels had nowhere to stay.

Hundreds of XR rebels marched to New Scotland Yard later on in the week to show solidarity with Disabled Rebels.

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