Extinction Rebellion encouraged as police drop charges against first arrestee to be charged.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Just three days prior to his court hearing, the Police have withdrawn their case against Dylan Parker, the first
Extinction Rebellion member to be charged in Aotearoa.
Parker was arrested outside of the Rydges Hotel, Latimer Square, Christchurch during a protest to disrupt the New
Zealand Gas Forum late October, 2019, following his attempt to hang a banner reading “Gas is not a transition fuel”. Up
to 30 activists surrounded the Hotel, using song and dance to convey their message that the Earth is in a climate and
ecological emergency. Activists viewed their protest of declaring opposition to the gas and fossil fuel industries as an
action in support of communities worldwide who are resisting the role of gas in the future of their societies.
Parker was the only protester arrested at this action. At his first appearance in the Christchurch District Court in
early November 2019, Parker reiterated to the media that “the Christchurch City Council and [Environment Canterbury]
have both declared a climate emergency. Fossil fuel forums like the forum on Thursday are in a direct opposition to that
declaration”. Although Parker was surprised that he was singled out to be arrested, he continues to stand by his actions
An Extinction Rebellion Ōtautahi spokesperson, Racquel Wilson, says “It is great for Dylan that charges have been
dropped against him. It is also encouraging for the movement as this reflects a global trend that increasingly courts
are ruling that climate crisis is a reasonable cause for civil disobedience. Here in Aotearoa we have a responsibility
to stand up in solidarity with those around the world who do not share the civil liberties that we enjoy. Across the
world the lives of environmental defenders are threatened as they work to protect their homes and livelihoods against
corporate greed. We will not stop disrupting until the threat of Climate Change and Ecological Emergency is taken
seriously and acted upon.”