Christian Climate Action

'We always pray...but we don't always get it right' Christian Climate Action defends train protests

Thu 17 Oct 2019
By Tola Mbakwe

A Christian climate activist has told Premier that campaigners are called to act after London's commuters expressed anger over the protests Thursday morning. 

Furious commuters at a crowded Canning Town station threw drinks at one protester before he was yanked from the train to the platform floor, much to the apparent delight of the cheering horde.

Videso shared on social media showed protesters holding a sign which read 'Business as usual = death', while the activist pulled to the floor appeared to kick out at the commuter who pulled him down.


One commuter yelled at the protester: "I need to get to work, I have to feed my kids", while others shouted insults at activists.

Ruth Jarman from Christian Climate Action said she understands people don't like to be disrupted, but there's a bigger picture to consider.

"Obviously people are trying to get to work and we do not want our lives disrupted when we have plans, but the thing we were just trying to tell the truth that huge disruption is coming down the line and people just don't understand," she said on Premier News Hour.

Fr Martin Newell, a 52-year-old Catholic priest from Birmingham and Rev Sue Parfitt, a 77-year-old Anglican priest from Bristol were arrested at Shadwell station after they climbed on top of train during the morning rush as part of climate change protests.

Before the action Fr Martin, said: "We are acting to raise the alarm in a spirit of repentance for our complicity in sins against God's earth and God's poor. Parliament has declared a climate emergency but environmental issues were virtually absent from the Queens speech. We need action not words."

When asked if the protests ran the risk of the public ignoring the message the demonstrators are trying to get across because of the disruptions, Jarman said: "It's a balance and it's really hard to get that right.

"Who knows whether it was the right thing this morning. Only God knows that. But I know that we have been campaigning on this for decades, we have been trying every way we can to get the government to listen to sense and they are not listening."

She added that Christians have the responsibility to take action when they see a disaster coming.

"We are called to act with God, not on our own. We always pray and try and work out what is the right thing to do, and we don't always get it right. But we do it in we try to do it in a spirit of humility and a spirit of repentance for our own complicity," Jarman said.

Extinction Rebellion organisers said on Thursday afternoon will "take stock" over whether to continue with future disruption to the transport network.

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