Extinction Rebellion protesters glued to Parliament steps arrested, man charged with wilful damage
Police have arrested Extinction Rebellion protesters who glued themselves to Parliament's top step and another protester has been charged with wilful damage.
Officers issued members of the group with trespass notices shortly after midday on Wednesday.
About 2pm, the protesters were seen unsticking their hands from the steps using nail polish remover, under the supervision of paramedics, before police removed three of them from Parliament grounds.
A police spokeswoman said three people had been arrested for allegedly refusing to leave Parliament after being trespassed. They were referred to Te Pae Oranga to take part in a restorative justice process.
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Another person, a 41-year-old man, was also arrested in relation to an incident which allegedly occurred during a protest in Bowen St in central Wellington.
A police spokeswoman said the man had been charged with wilful damage and would appear at Wellington District Court next Monday.
Rachael Andrews was one of three protesters glued to the steps since 5pm on Tuesday. Two more glued themselves in place on Wednesday morning.
Andrews said that after 25 United Nations climate change conferences, the Government had failed to act and it was up to the people to act together to address the growing climate danger.
“I have three baby grandchildren and I want them to have a healthy, long future on a beautiful thriving planet but what they are facing is a life of [environmental] chaos and so I am prepared to go to jail for my grandchildren,” Andrews said.
Andrews said the protesters were trying to keep calm and to negotiate with police to have their hands safely removed from the steps with solvents rather than being removed by force. She understood that when the protesters could be removed, they would be arrested.
A police spokesperson said the protesters had been ‘’asked to move on’’.
The incident came on a third day of protests from the group which began with an anti-colonisation rally at Te Papa on Labour Day.
Thirty protesters gathered at the museum’s Treaty of Waitangi exhibit on Monday to demand the English version of the Treaty, displayed on large wooden panels, was replaced with the direct English translation of the Māori version displayed opposite.
On Tuesday, protesters occupied Te Aro Park then made their way to Parliament to present a letter to the prime minister.
Today 20 protesters dressed as cows danced to Staying Alive in an act of ‘’Dis-cow-bediance’’ at the Wellington Railway Station.
Extinction Rebellion spokesperson Jen Olsen said the protest was designed to highlight the multiple climate concerns related to the country’s reliance on intensive dairy farming.
“Industrial dairying has issues relating to water contamination, coal being used to create milk powder and poor treatment of animals. We need to accept that cow numbers are going to have to drop and the level of industrial farming that is happening at the moment is unsustainable,” Olsen said.
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