Extinction Rebellion encouraged as police drop charges

Published: Sat 25 Jan 2020 02:47 PM
Extinction Rebellion encouraged as police drop charges against first arrestee to be charged.
Just three days prior to his court hearing, the Police have withdrawn their case against Dylan Parker, the first Extinction Rebellion member to be charged in Aotearoa.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 today.
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.”

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