Roger Hallam and four members of new political party, Beyond Politics, were arrested in their homes Monday 24th August. They appeared in person at Highbury and Islington Magistrates courts today at 12 noon charged with conspiracy to cause criminal damage. The court has put them on remand until their plea hearings at the end of September.
London, 25th August 2020
· Five members of Beyond Politics, including Roger Hallam , Blyth Brentnall, Diana Warner, Ferhat Ulusu and Anglican priest Steven Nunn, were arrested at their homes yesterday morning. They appeared in person at Highbury and Islington Magistrates court at 12 noon, charged with conspiracy to commit public nuisance and criminal damage.
· All the charged party members and many others will commence an indefinite Hunger Strike starting today against the injustice of their imprisonment.
· Party members have taken part in a series of weekly non-violent direct actions to bring down the government.
· BP demands the creation of Citizens’ Assemblies that are immediately binding in law.
Roger Hallam wrote before his arrest:
“Humankind is facing its final moment of reckoning: ecological and climate collapse. Are we going to stand by and allow the fuckers in control of this world to take us to oblivion or a hell of endless pain, for their own pleasures? or, are we going to come together and say, we are the people and we will not be denied?”
BP party member, Blyth, (28 y/o) a young journalist who has been repeatedly arrested and charged, expressed her frustration, saying, “I’m one of the organisers of BP. I got involved with this organization out of frustration because I was one of those young people just chasing a job going through the system, going to university, chasing the the best grades, feeling very ambitious about things until I realised that a good job is not what matters on a planet which is being fast tracked to its destruction by humanity.”
She said working for the Labour Party and then with Extinction Rebellion wasn’t enough, explaining, “Beyond politics is more. It’s where really radical stuff happens. It’s a scaling up of non-violent direct actions to match the scale of the biggest most unprecedented crisis humanity will ever face. The climate crisis. So that’s why I’m doing what I’m doing now.”
Steven Nunn (56), BP party member, and Anglican priest since 1992, with four children and six grandchildren, took part in several of the previous actions. He agreed that the radical actions of Beyond Politics were necessary, “I now believe that Beyond Politics is the future. I now believe that their approach, their attitude, their plans and their hopes is the way forward. I think now is the time for a much more radical approach. Whether that be legal whether that be illegal . Whether that involves going to prison or whether it doesn’t. Something needs to happen so that people will stand up and listen.”
Jamie Cooper (21), Beyond Politics’ younger spokesperson says: “It’s the younger generation that we need to start caring for, we are doing this because we care, and the people that are getting arrested are heroes.”
Valerie Brown, candidate for Mayor of London and co-founder of Beyond Politics says:
“If women were as abused and voiceless today as in the 19 century and suffragettes were rebelling now, if India was still in Colonial rule and Ghandi was leading his people to break law of the brutal and despicable theft of countries called colonialism, what would the police and the courts do to these protesters? Lock them up? I think possibly yes.
To my way of thinking, the freedom people fought for and sacrificed for is being taken from ordinary people. If we don’t stand up and protest we will be back to the brutality which enslaved the Irish, the Jews, the poor British up to the mid 20th century and still today , the Africans and more.
A responsible woman doctor and a mother, a young woman journalist, an Anglican Vicar and a man who has dedicated most of his life to save our world and life in it…, all these good people facing prison are enough to wake our revered suffragettes, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela.
Their actions are for us. The least we can do is cry out for their release and cry out for our government to rise up to the huge challenge of the Climate Emergency, the heating of our planet, the destruction taking place day by day by day.
If our government won’t, you the People, you have a voice. Now, use it.”
A documentary ‘The Troublemaker’ was released last Friday, featuring Hallam giving his views on the necessity of Rebellion on facing the Climate and Ecological emergency.
“‘The Troublemaker’ scratches the niggling itch that is lurking in many of our brains about the extinction of planetary systems that seems to be going on all around us, and the dawning realisation that something has to be done. Ultimately the film poses a simple question: with the consensus of informed opinion declaring a ‘climate emergency’, is it morally acceptable to sit back and do nothing?”
‘The Troublemaker’ trailer here: https://player.vimeo.com/video/433936498
BP member and multiple arrestee, Diana Warner, agreed, saying it was the responsibility of everyone to do something, “I am a retired GP and a mother of two. Just before I retired I was examining a 6 week old baby and I realized that I have to help her to have a good and fulfilled life, a happy life. And if I’m willing to do that I have to set about changing the systems of our world which are destroying itself. And so I am fully involved with Beyond Politics.”
Warner continued, “Love is the basis of my life, there is nothing like it at all. And this is just what I have to do.”
Nunn, also a former vicar and prison chaplain, echoed Warner’s call for all human beings to act, saying, “God has made a beautiful world. We fucked it up. We have. We human beings have fucked it up and it is now up to human beings to put it right.”
Beyond Politics’ demand for citizens’ assemblies was the way to do that, he said, “I also believe that citizens assemblies are a far superior and more reflective way forward than paid for professional, parliamentary democracy. It hasn’t worked. They’ve had their chance. They’ve fucked it up and now we need something different. We’re at a crucial time.”
Beyond Politics Party UK is part of the global movement, BURNING PINK, an international network of people committed to establishing citizens assemblies as the solution to the universal threat that is the Climate and Ecological Emergency.
BURNING PINK WEBPAGE: burningpink.earth
(NOTE: Beyond Politics Party/BURNING PINK are NOT a part of Extinction Rebellion. Their founders were previously Extinction Rebellion activists.)
If the court decides to put you on remand it means you will go to prison until your hearing at a magistrates’ court. If you are under 18 you will be taken to a secure centre for young people, not an adult prison.
You will probably be put on remand if:
- you have been charged with a serious crime, for example armed robbery
- you have been convicted of a serious crime in the past
- the police think you may not go to your court hearing
- the police think you may commit another crime while on bail
- you have been given bail before and not stuck to the terms
When you attend your hearing at a magistrates’ court, you might be put on remand again until your trial begins, even if you were previously given bail.
For further details and quotes:
- Burning Pink/Beyond Politics candidate for Mayor of London,
Valerie Brown 07894315785 or firstname.lastname@example.org