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For Immediate Release:
SYMBOLIC BLEEDING TREE DELIVERED AS A MESSAGE TO PARLIAMENT:
TWO PEOPLE LOCKED ON TO TREE OUTSIDE DEFRA
A Symbolic Bleeding Tree was dropped on the doorstep of The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), by a group from Extinction Rebellion and HS2 Rebellion.
Two people have locked themselves to the tree chunks outside DEFRA, Marsham Street in Westminster, to draw attention to the true cost of the biodiversity crisis and tell the government to stop investing in projects complicit in environmental destruction.
The protest coincides with the presentation of the Climate and Ecological Emergency (CEE) Bill  to parliament by Caroline Lucas MP this afternoon. The CEE Bill will actively conserve the natural world by: protecting and restoring the UK’s ecosystems, with a focus on biodiversity, soils and natural carbon sinks – mitigating the damage to nature caused by supply chains, domestically and internationally, and accounting for the UK’s ecological footprint.
Sam Smithson of HS2 Rebellion, said: “Parliament declared an ecological emergency a year and four months ago, and yet has failed to act upon it. In fact, it’s speeding up the largest infrastructure project in UK history contradicting this very emergency. We don’t have time for this mistake, when all our lives depend on it. These actions today hope to deliver a symbolic reality check to the people we have entrusted with all our lives into their hands to act today by passing the CEE bill. This is about ecocide here in the UK and across the world.”
Rob Callender, a constituent of Hillingdon and member of Extinction Rebellion, locked onto the bleeding tree, said: “HS2 is a local example of the same kind of wasteful and destructive project that the global elite roll out in the name of progress all over the world. The outdated post world war economic dogma that these schemes hide behind, was never designed to account for the contingencies, dependencies and fragility of the human-natural world relationship and limitations on which we all depend. It is just another disgraceful attempt to justify the stripping of autonomy from communities, indigenous and marginalised peoples, while sterilising their sacred cathedrals of nature in the process, for a short-term, short-sighted gain for the present ruling minority.”
While those who hold responsibility for our children’s futures are acting indecisively they are, in scientific fact, paving the way for that catastrophic rise in temperatures.
Projects like these and the UK Government’s obsession with “Build Build Build” are stealing the right to life from those same communities and future generations by whom it has been elected to serve.
Right now, beloved social institutions like the NHS are reminding us of the need to Heal, Heal, Heal, so the £126bn-and-rising price tag of HS2 must surely be a kick in the teeth for all those struggling to tackle the very real and present danger of the pandemic.
The CEE bill has been drafted to hold the Government to its 2015 Paris Agreement promises which it is failing to honour.
The bleeding tree symbolises the unity of ecocide and genocide.
There is an overwhelming consensus among experts, farmers and coastal communities that we cannot continue to willfully ignore what is right in front of us.
Destroying the environment is destroying peoples lives.
Failing to bring down carbon emissions in line with a globally agreed target is tantamount to genocide, because we know.
We cannot continue to be willfully ignorant of our intrinsic connection to and reliance upon our fragile and limited natural resources and their tipping points and so we must act now.
By standing in support of the CEE bill and against destructive ecocidal projects like HS2, we do what we all must and stand for life.
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HS2 is set to destroy 108 ancient woodlands and almost 700 wildlife sites. As well as costing the UK tax payer well over £200 billion – as some MPs have reported – the high speed rail project is already causing extensive and irreversible damage to the environment and will be a vast new source of carbon emissions for at least the next 120 years, as well as enabling mass airport expansion.
The Government must scrap HS2 immediately, instead using the money to improve and invest in the NHS, and in local services and projects that adapt to the reality we face in this COVID-19 pandemic and Climate and Ecological Emergency.
About HS2 Rebellion
HS2 Rebellion is an alliance of groups and individuals campaigning against HS2. Including but not exclusively :StopHS2, Save Cubbington Woods, Crackley Woods protection Camp, Denham Ford Protection Camp, Poors Piece conservation Project and XR. It is entirely distinct from Extinction Rebellion, but does form part of the Movement of Movements, alongside other sister groups like Wildlife Rebellion, Animal Rebellion and Global Justice Rebellion.
This people-powered campaign has been formed to stop the ongoing corruption, deceit and devastation of HS2 Ltd. Lives are being threatened, laws flouted and precious ecosystems are being destroyed while the country is suffering due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
We cannot stand by and watch this happen. As the NHS goes underfunded, money is being burnt and ancient trees are being torn down, we are rising up.
About Extinction Rebellion
Time has almost entirely run out to address the ecological crisis which is upon us, including the 6th mass species extinction, global pollution, and abrupt, runaway climate change. Societal collapse and mass death are seen as inevitable by scientists and other credible voices, with human extinction also a possibility, if rapid action is not taken.
Extinction Rebellion believes it is a citizen’s duty to rebel, using peaceful civil disobedience, when faced with criminal inactivity by their Government.
Extinction Rebellion’s key demands are:
- Government must tell the truth by declaring a climate and ecological emergency, working with other institutions to communicate the urgency for change.
- Government must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.
- Government must create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice.