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Animal Rebellion activists vow to stay ‘indefinitely’ on Defra building in London

·2-min read
Animal Rebellion activists vow to stay ‘indefinitely’ on Defra building in London

Animal Rebellion protesters have scaled the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs building in central London and vowed to stay there “indefinitely”.

Members of the group, which is an offshoot of Extinction Rebellion, were seen climbing the building on Marshal Street just after 6am on Tuesday.

In a statement, the group said they were demanding support for a plant-based food system at COP26. As of 11am, protesters remained at the building with a spokesperson for the group claiming they planned to stay put.

Animal Rebellion spokesman Nathan McGovern said: “Our protesters climbed the building in the early hours of this morning to send a clear message that we want an end to support for animal agriculture which is killing our planet.

“The four, who are around 10 to 20 metres high, have unveiled a banner saying ‘Cop26: Invest in a plant-based future’.

“We will see what the situation with the police is, but the plan is to stay in place indefinitely and this will remain a peaceful protest.”

The protestors have said that they will take action until the government defunds meat and subsidises a plant-based transition.

“World leaders at cannot talk about meeting the Paris Climate targets and securing global net zero without addressing that our food system is destroying our planet,” the group said.

The Metropolitan Police confirmed that officers remain at the scene. Footage posted on social media showed one officer using a megaphone to tell protesters attached to the building they were trespassing and could face arrest.

The force said: “Shortly after 6am we were alerted to a small group of protestors climbing the outside of a government building in Marsham Street to access the roof.

“Officers are on scene with the London Fire Brigade and are engaging with the protestors. As yet, there have been no arrests.”

The group, which was founded in July 2019, said it would continue to take action until the Government “defunds meat and subsidises a plant-based transition”.

 (Jeremy Selwyn)
(Jeremy Selwyn)

Animal Rebellion spokesperson Bel Jacobs said: “The UK Government is simultaneously saying that it is a world leader in climate change whilst propping up the unsustainable and unprofitable meat and dairy industry, one that emits disproportionate amounts of greenhouse gases.

“This hypocrisy has to end – we need to defund meat and subsidise plant-based alternatives instead.”

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