On Monday 24th May, Dr Larch Maxey appealed for release at The Inner London Sessions House Crown Court and was granted bail with strict conditions. He now awaits release from HM Prison Pentonville. He has spent the past fortnight on remand after pleading not guilty to charges of conspiracy and criminal damage, relating to £30,000 of damage during a protest at the High Speed 2, London head office.
Dr Maxey said from prison, “Since the Paris Agreement, our governments have done nothing to help us to limit temperature rise to 1.5C. Since the declaration of a Climate Emergency by the UK’s government, they’ve done nothing. In fact, they have actually done worse than nothing. They have continued to push forward with ecocidal schemes, such as HS2, a new road building program, the Stonehenge and Silvertown Tunnels, and Drax, cutting down old-growth forests and selling and burning it while branding it as “biofuel”.”
The original protest took place on the morning of 6th May. Dr Larch Maxey, 48, and Xavier Gonzalez Trimmer, 20, scaled the canopy of the HS2 London head office opposite Euston Square Gardens and took direct action to raise awareness that claims made by London mayoral candidates and the UK’s government’s of a “green recovery” are incompatible with continued support for HS2.
Pink paint was sprayed onto the building to highlight the urgent need for action to prevent climate breakdown, including an end to the government’s ecocidal HS2 project, which is now being predicted to cost over £230 billion as well as countless homes, businesses, jobs, ancient woodlands, vital habitats, and green spaces.
Trimmer and Maxey are calling for an urgent, UK-wide, legally binding Citizens’ Assembly. This would address our broken democratic system and give power back to ordinary people and to plan the future of our transport system, both locally and nationally. This would include whether to continue with the controversial HS2 train line. “We need everyone to step up and hold our government to account. If we had ordinary people making these decisions through Citizens’ Assembles, we would not be putting ourselves on this fast track to extinction.” Dr Maxey said.
When asked how it was inside the prison Maxey replied, “The past five days I’ve been getting quite ill and it has really brought home to me how vulnerable we all are. Last week, a fire alarm went off in the middle of the night and I realised that if it was a real fire, we would burn alive. We have no control over what happens in here; when that door will open. It really emphasised to me how vulnerable we all are as a species.
“That is why I am in here. Because the things we take for granted, like being able to walk outside or escaping from a fire, are being taken from us. That freedom that we have as a society is being stripped from us everyday as we sleepwalk towards disaster. Very soon we are going to lose our ability to stop the planet from burning. That is why we all need to take action now, because we do not have any more time.
Dr Maxey, 48, is well known for his actions earlier this year occupying a make-shift tunnel under Euston Square Gardens for over 27 days, along with 8 other protectors, whilst protesting against HS2.
Footage of the protest: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SSY0iKNQEE
Recent telephone interview with Dr Maxey from prison: https://vimeo.com/554207288
For interviews with Dr Maxey call: 07726195412
Press enquiries: 07459737446