“I need to be here” – so says Terence Carter, a Green party campaigner and conservationist from Stowmarket, who came to London to be part of Extinction Rebellion’s actions this April.
For five days activists occupied Oxford Circus with their iconic pink boat, but on the evening of 19th April, this was finally removed in a major police operation. The next day, people continuing to occupy the junction were warned by police that they would face arrest. Among them was Terence, trying to look calm but very nervous about what would happen next, eating some lunch sat in his wheelchair with an umbrella to shield him from the fierce Easter weekend heat.
As people were being cut out of metal pipes and concrete blocks nearby, he was wheeled away by police to a van with no disabled facilities, and had to be manhandled into his wheelchair aboard the vehicle.
We caught up with him the next day at Marble Arch just before Greta Thunberg was due to make an appearance in front of a very large crowd. He told us how he was shocked at how inadequate the police and justice system is at handling and catering for disabled needs. After the indignity of being carried into the van, he was driven to Wimbledon police station where his cell, bed and toilet were totally unsuitable for him.
Other public and private and public institutions are required by law to provide facilities for people with different abilities, so why is it that police stations and transport appear so wholly inadequate?
Despite the trials of his detention, he said he would not be running away.