Seven North Devon climate change campaigners have arrested in London during the first week of action by Extinction Rebellion.
Six 'rebels' arrested earlier in the week were released within 24 hours. However the most recent arrest of Rebekah East, a young mother from Goodleigh, happened yesterday (Sunday, April 21) while she was sitting among protesters on Waterloo Bridge.
The South West region contingent have been 'holding' the bridge after taking it over and planting a 'garden' of trees together with a sound stage truck to block the road.
Those now back in Devon are supporting XR's North Devon HQ with communications, logistical and legal assistance.
The other six 'arrestees' are Stephen Jarvis (Barnstaple), Mark and Rosemary Haworth-Booth (Swimbridge), Pat Millner (Appledore), Sarah MacDiarmid and Sam Rogers.
Most of the six are grandparents and were arrested without resistance.
XR members have vowed to continue their campaign until the Government calls a climate emergency and have said they will use numerous methods including non-violent civil disobedience to make their voices heard.
Speaking to the Gazette, Mr Jarvis said there had been a prty atmosphere at the protests and added: “It's all quite good-natured, the police are just doing their job and we are doing ours.”
Josephine Holt (Bideford) and Jamie Kelsey-Fry (Instow), who helped to establish and guide the XR North Devon group, played a key role in the London action – both are in Marble Arch this week.
Interviewed on Good Morning Britain, Jamie said of the XR demands and objectives:
“...the finger should now be pointed at the government; we have made clear our demands, we have written hand-delivered letters asking for a meeting, saying please meet with us, that's one of the first things you can do for us to call off this demonstration.”
So far it is understood around 1,000 people have been arrested at XR protests around London including Parliament Square, Marble Arch and Oxford Circus.