At 10am this morning, Ramon Salgado-Touzon and Nicola Stickells were arrested as they sprayed pink paint, using modified fire extinguishers, over the front of the Department for Transport in Horseferry Road, London.
Their protest was in solidarity with the HS2 protesters who are still underground and risking their lives to force a change in the unpopular and costly HS2 rail project that is destroying ancient woodlands across the country.
The protesters, from Extinction Rebellion and Burning Pink, believe in “deeds not words” in the face of the climate and ecological emergency, and are prepared to put their liberty on the line in the hope of getting people to realise the extent of the danger.
Before the action Nicola said: “Today I’m directing my rage at the Department for Transport because it is ultimately responsible for HS2. This vanity project represents the total disregard and contempt that this government has towards people and the planet – especially the younger generations whose legacy they are destroying. I stand in solidarity with the Euston tunnellers risking their lives, some of whom are less than half my age. The NHS has been brought to its knees by years of austerity, yet we are spending billions on this death project. Only Citizens’ Assemblies will allow us to make the decisions necessary to mitigate the Climate and Ecological Emergency.”
Before his arrest Ramon stated: “No! No! No! No more words, signatures, petitions. No more demands, no excuses. We say: dig tunnels, obstruct roads, splash paint, break glass. Non-violent direct action over and over, until ‘The Just’ fill up all the cells of all the jails. This government is treasonous and it is killing us. If you are not actively opposing it, you’re complicit in mass murder. I’m standing with the heroes inside the tunnel under Euston Square Gardens and Highbury, with the Pink Panthers, and with everyone both now and before, sacrificing their freedom, even their lives. It is time for deeds not words.”
Burning Pink is a political party standing for office with no policies other than to install Citizen’s Assemblies to decide policy and law. Valerie Brown is standing for Mayor of London and we interviewed her after the action. She said: “Due to Covid we’re now in an economic catastrophe. This project isn’t just going to cost the £120 billion that the government is talking about. There are experts who are talking about £200 billion and more. What could be done with that money? What do the people of this country want to do with that money?”
If elected Mayor, Valerie would like London to be the first city in the world run by citizen’s assemblies.