'That's not true, is it?': Shelagh Fogarty challenges Extinction Rebellion police liaison

12 August 2021, 15:26 | Updated: 12 August 2021, 15:37

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

This is the moment Shelagh Fogarty challenged an Extinction Rebellion member over the group's actions.

Speaking to Paul Stephens the police liaison for Extinction Rebellion and a former Detective Sergeant in the Met, Shelagh asked if "digging up the lawn of Trinity College Cambridge," was respectful.

Mr Stephens hit back saying the move was "absolutely proportionate" saying the world was in a "do or die situation".

"It's not respecting though is it," Shelagh shot back.

The XR spokesperson said the move didn't disrespect a person.

"So, any damage to property is acceptable because you don't hurt a person?" Shelagh asked.

The climate change activist said that "damage to property is proportionate compared to the deaths of millions of people."

But, Shelagh was not willing to concede her point and shot back saying: "You have just said in relation to the deaths of millions of people any damage to property is proportionate. That's not true, is it Paul?"

Mr Stephens replied: "Well, I believe it is, yes."

During the exchange, Shelagh also told Mr Stephens he was not answering the question of "where the limits are for Extinction Rebellion".

Mr Stephens went on to say Extinction Rebellion is "always non-violent".

The conversation comes after Met Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick said she was "very disappointed" by plans by XR to launch further protests in the capital.

The environmental protest group has posted online about a forthcoming climate demonstration, which is due to last for two weeks from August 23, similar to its previous protests in central London in September 2019.

The Met Chief told LBC: "Many people may be very interested in the cause; I don't think London supports hugely disruptive protests which cause people not to be able to go around their normal business at all.

"And the fact that they've chosen to do it over the August bank holiday, which for us is always our peak weekend of the year, is extremely frustrating, frankly."

In a statement on its website, Extinction Rebellion said it will "not be pre-liaising actions" with police for any of the London-based actions that will be part of its "Impossible Rebellion" this month "unless insisted upon by the action team".

Referring to a recent UN report calling for radical change with regard to climate policy, a spokesman said: "On August 23, Extinction Rebellion will be back out on the streets to demand that change - and, in the first instance, an immediate halt to all new fossil fuel investment."