Climate Change Threat As Great As Second World War, Says Extinction Rebellion Protester

16 April 2019, 15:19

A lawyer who joined climate change protests in central London admits he doesn't want to be arrested himself, but says he would support those who are.

More than 100 people were arrested by police on the first day of Extinction Rebellion's protest as parts of central London became blocked by the crowds.

Climate change protesters occupied Waterloo Bridge, bringing along tress and other plants to transform it into a garden, whilst other groups blocked Marble Arch, Oxford Circus and Piccadilly Circus.

And as police make more arrests, one protester - who is a lawyer by profession - said he admires the bravery and sacrifice of people who are willing to be arresting, adding that some of them are in their 60s and 70s.

Speaking to Shelagh Fogarty, Paul Powlesland said: "I'm a lawyer and I'm turning my attention to representing nature in the courts, trying to stop trees from being cut down and stop fracking companies from fracking."

But when Shelagh reminded him that as a professional lawyer being arrested is 'risky', he admitted he didn't want to be arrested himself but did acknowledge the "bravery and sacrifice" of those who are.

Mr Powlesland also drew comparison between climate change and the Second World War, saying that he believes climate change to be the "most serious threat we face".

"Human ingenuity is incredible and for instance, during the Second World War we were able to turn our entire society towards meeting the threat we had in very short order," he said.

"We went from being a non-war economy to a war economy in just a year or two."

Shelagh said: "But we're not at war, or do you believe we are?"

Mr Powlesland replied: "I believe the threat that climate change poses us is as great as we faced in the Second World War.

"If we do not take immediate and serious action, our current civilisation that we have will not survive during our lifetime.

"It is the most serious threat we face."