The police have this morning arrested a giant pantomime white elephant in Hyde Park. (Yes, really!)
Nelly the elephant was due to accompany HS2 Rebellion on the Extinction Rebellion “Stop The Harm” march to help with outreach and as a fun bit of street theatre.
The police initially claimed they were confiscating Nelly due to fears it could be a lock-on device. After it was suggested that a lock-on device is rarely made out of an old duvet, the police said it was confiscated due to being “unaccompanied.”
A timely reminder that all elephants in Hyde Park must be kept on a lead at all times!
Nelly’s “keeper” said, “I am upset by the policing of these protests. This is supposed to be a democracy and we are supposed to be able to protest. It feels like an utterly pointless seizure of a creative artwork, which was part of a peaceful protest. I find the level of aggression shown by police this week to be really upsetting and unnecessary.”
The MET police does “have form” when it comes to targeting works of art linked to protests. In June this year they raided an art factory and arrested a group of women who were making art for an Extinction Rebellion parade. They also raided the Antepavilion charity art gallery.
This does not seem to be a worthy way for police to spend their time, or our taxes, and is indicative of the desperately over-the-top nature of policing at this year’s peaceful protests. Particularly in light of the Ziegler Ruling, in which the supreme court stated peaceful assembly which causes disruption should be tolerated.
After four days of protests, in which the police have been regularly out-manoeuvred by “uncooperative crusties” it is perhaps sign of desperation that the police are now targeting pantomime animals.
Adam, a spokesperson for HS2 Rebellion, said, ” It is disappointing that while the corrupt criminals at the dark heart of HS2 continue their brutal ecocide unabated, the police busy themselves taking away artistic pieces of street theatre .
“The recent IPCC report made it clear that we need to turn around our carbon emissions by 2025. But HS2 will not even be completed before the late 2040s and will not be carbon neutral for 120 years .
“In fact, HS2’s construction actively harms our ability to achieve the government’s aim of being carbon neutral by 2050.
“If we do not act now, we face environmental and societal collapse. When food crops start to fail and we have mass climate migration, getting from Old Oak Common to Birmingham Airport 20 minutes faster is going to be the least of our worries .”
(Article and Photos by Adamacio)