Indian among Greenpeace campaigners who climb roof of British parliament

Environmental campaigners stage a protest on the roof of the Houses of Parliament in London, under Big Ben on Sunday.

Environmental campaigners stage a protest on the roof of the Houses of Parliament in London, under Big Ben on Sunday.  


A young Greenpeace campaigner from Bangalore was among a group of protesters who climbed on to the roof of British Parliament on Sunday to demand action on climate change.

Precariously perched on the steep roof and his voice often muffled by the noise of police helicopters hovering above, Bikesh Singh (30) told The Hindu that he came to London three days ago to attend a Greenpeace meeting and volunteered to join the protest because he believed that the actions of the British Government had “huge significance” for the people of India.

Mr. Singh said he had participated in “direct action” in India to oppose coal-fired power stations, but this was the first time he was taking part in a “global” protest and was proud of it.

‘Set an example’

“This is a global issue, and we need global action if we’re going to deal with it. The UK government could set an example to the world by taking action that could help break the deadlock in the international negotiations,” he said, as his colleagues unfurled a huge banner saying: “Change the politics, Save the climate.”

Mr. Singh said there were more than 40 protesters and that they intended to spend the night on the roof.

“When Parliament resumes tomorrow after the summer recess, we want to be here to welcome British MPs and ask them to sign our climate manifesto, which wants developed nations to make a commitment to cut emissions. There will be no progress unless the developed world moved first. The Indian Government wants a deal at Copenhagen, but climate change was caused by the industrialised nations, and they need to show leadership in solving it,” Mr. Singh said.

Protesters reportedly used ropes and ladders to scale the perimeter fencing before climbing onto the roof. Within minutes, police surrounded the place and were trying to persuade them to come down, but at the time of writing the “occupation” was still on.

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Printable version | Dec 13, 2019 4:55:56 PM |

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