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#NLCOP: Lawyer’s warning that ‘acting like good boys and girls’ won’t change climate change policy

Tim Crosland speaking at Saturday’s meeting

SIGNIFICANT change will only happen when the majority stop behaving like “good boys and girls” and start actively challenging the government on environmental policy, an NLCop debate has declared.

There was only room for a roundtable with Plan B Earth lawyer Tim Crosland, Just Stop Oil campaigner Sarah Lunnon, Stop HS2 protester Rollie, lawyer Paul Powlesland and oil pollution campaigner air Rosamund Adoo-Kissi-Debrah.

The diverse panel covered a range of opinions, but agreed it was the public’s duty to find their own way to fight the government – whether in the workplace or on the streets.

Mr Crosland said: “If our government is knowingly engaged in actions that destroy entire regions of the world, then my way of looking at it is an illegal regime. The defense of the rule of law demands that we act against this.

Mr Crosland, found in contempt of court for revealing a Supreme Court judgment, said it was ‘an act of protest’, adding: ‘We are trying to bring in lawyers, who maybe don’t want to hang on to the gates, saying “we’re responsible. It’s all by law. If we refuse to prosecute the brave people who take a stand, then maybe we can make progress.”

He added: “If we continue to be good boys and girls, we know what’s going to happen.” The meeting heard how “responsible” and “unresponsible” forms of protest might work for different people.

Rollie, one of the HS2 tunnel protesters and, below, Rosamund Adoo-Kissi-Debrah

Rollie, one of the Stop HS2 activists who joined the Euston Station Tunnel protests in 2019, said: ‘Our campaign was largely irresponsible and that’s why it worked. If everything everyone did was responsible, we would all be in jail.

“Prison should never be our ultimate goal. I think if you are willing and able to act, you should consider non-responsible actions. Because you could do 100 things in the amount of time you could have done one.

Sarah Lunnon

Ms Lunnon said: ‘We have to try everything. Ordinary people recognize that people should not just sit idly by.

Paul Powlesland – barrister at Garden Court Chambers – paused to consider people in jail trying to stop the climate crisis.

He said: “Fossil fuels and industry stretch their tentacles into almost every aspect of our lives. Every time you protest, people will show how dependent you are on this industry.

“I believe that even though it is a huge problem, it gives us a space in which to operate. This means that we all have a role to play.

Ms Adoo-Kissi-Debrah, whose daughter Ella died of air pollution, said: ‘My daughter was breathing illegal levels of air pollution when she died and they took her away. open, she looked like a smoker. Until the end of fossil fuels, this will continue.

“When people go to extremes, it’s because they’re fed up. People are tired of talking. Governments don’t tend to listen. I do it differently.

She said she was often asked how she felt going ‘into white spaces’ but said the more people supporting her the better, adding: ‘We have to come together on this subject. As long as there are a few people left to protest, the government will do what it wants. Imagine if the majority got on board.