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Climate protesters dig up Cambridge college's lawn

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Climate protesters dig up Cambridge college's lawn

By Elizabeth Howcroft



The lawn of Trinity College is seen after being dug up by Extinction Rebellion climate protesters, in Cambridge, Britain February 17, 2020 in this picture obtained from social media by REUTERS


LONDON (Reuters) - Extinction Rebellion climate protesters dug up the lawn of Trinity College, Cambridge on Monday, as part of a week-long series of demonstrations in Britain's ancient university town.


The activists dug up the grass in front of the 16th-century "Great Gate", digging channels in the turf with shovels and pitchforks and planting Extinction Rebellion flags.


Trinity had ramped up security measures, closing the college, library and chapel to tourists for the week, so the protesters were not able to access the central "Great Court."


"The College respects the right to freedom of speech and non-violent protest but draws the line at criminal damage and asked the protestors to leave. The College is liaising with the police," a spokeswoman for Trinity said in a statement.


"Academics at Trinity are actively engaged in research to understand and develop solutions to climate change, and taking practical steps forward," the statement said.


An email to Trinity students said "we expect disruption to continue in Cambridge this week, and should continue our patience and resilience with the access arrangements, in the spirit of protecting College, our community and environment."



Extinction Rebellion climate protesters dig up the lawn of Trinity College, Cambridge, Britain February 17, 2020 in this picture obtained from a social media video. Twitter @Cambfoodtour/via REUTERS


Extinction Rebellion says it wants non-violent civil disobedience to force governments to cut carbon emissions and avert a climate crisis it says will bring starvation and social collapse.


"Trinity College must cut ties with fossil fuel companies and stop trying to hawk off nature for profit," Extinction Rebellion Cambridge on its Facebook page. "Oh, and it should take the opportunity to replace the lawn with flowers. Spring is just around the corner after all."


In anticipation of the week's protests, another of Cambridge's colleges, St. Catharine's, closed the main gate leading to its 17th-century court over concerns that Extinction Rebellion protesters would set up a campsite on the grass.


"One of Extinction Rebellion's oppositions is to green space being kept behind walls and only accessible to those in power and privilege," an email sent to students by the college's head porter said.


"Although our Main Court is actually open for viewing, there is a concern they may try to take it over and possibly camp on it," the email said.


Earlier this year, a group of students at the University of Oxford set up a camp in the front quad of St John's college for five days, to protest the college's investment in fossil fuel companies.


Inspired by this, climate protesters in Cambridge put up tents on the lawn in front of King's College.


(Reporting by Elizabeth Howcroft; editing by Guy Faulconbridge)



-- © Copyright Reuters 2020-02-18
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1 hour ago, JAG said:

Given the amount of time that it must have taken for the protestors in the second photograph to have caused the damage the absence of a police response is remarkable!


Maybe the police had not "woken up" to the fact that blatant criminal damage was being carried out, openly, and for some time?

It’s unusual to see a police officer in the UK outside of city centers and transport hubs.


Apparently somebody thought it a good idea to cut their numbers by 20,000.

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48 minutes ago, Tippaporn said:



". . . but were they in breach of a law?"


Does that question even need to be asked?


Yes, it is private property, not public property, so a complaint would need to laid, there is a convention police do not enter UK University campuses for private matters unless invited


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21 minutes ago, JonnyF said:

Looks like hard work. They'll need a good feed after that. I hope there's a McDonald's in Cambridge.



They do vegan???

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31 minutes ago, Chiphigh said:

Ah yes, the peaceful intelligence of the climate change nazis in full display. 

‘Nazis’ you say.

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