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Grantham steeplejack sleeps in a tree in Parliament Square as part of Extinction Rebellion protests




A Grantham steeplejack has joined thousands of climate change protesters in London after cycling over 200 miles to get there.

Ben McGorty got on his bike a few weeks ago to join the Earth March and subsequent protests which have seen thousands of Extinction Rebellion protesters gather in the capital to put pressure on governments to take action on climate change.

Ben, 50, has since returned to London and has joined protesters filling Parliament Square. He climbed a tree as part of his protest and slept there in a hammock last night.

Ben McGorty in a tree in Parliament Square as part of the Extinction Rebellion protest. (9032203)
Ben McGorty in a tree in Parliament Square as part of the Extinction Rebellion protest. (9032203)

On Wednesday he was arrested for obstruction while sitting in front of a pink boat which became a symbol of the London protests and was used by actress Emma Thompson to make a speech to the crowds.

Talking to the Journal today while camped in a tree in Parliament Square, Ben said: "It has been going so well. We have had so much support. It has been amazing. Four of us have been up the trees putting up banners.

"I slept in a tree in a hammock last night and I am going to do that tonight."

The Earth March left various points of the UK in mid-March and was a mass gathering of people from across the UK protesting about the lack of action at government level to meaningfully reduce carbon emissions and address the ecological crisis. Thousands converged on London on April 15 for a week of action - Extinction Rebellion’s International Rebellion.

Ben McGorty on his bike trip to London from Grantham to join the Extinction Rebellion protest. (9026349)
Ben McGorty on his bike trip to London from Grantham to join the Extinction Rebellion protest. (9026349)

Ben cycled 200 miles over four days to raise awareness. He said: “I am fed up with expecting somebody else to do something. I am scared about the future for my children, for all the future children on this earth, and for all life-forms and eco-systems. I’m scared for everyone. I must do what I can. I must rebel. That is where I am at peace with myself.”

Environmentalist Robert Tollemache, a member of the Buckminster Tollemache family, is supporting Ben because he is “worried about the catastrophic implications of carbon emissions continuing to grow at present, across the globe, particularly their impact on developing countries”.

Ben said he was 'flabbergasted' by the support he has had from Mr Tollemache, from neighbours and his family.

But not everybody is giving their backing to the protests. Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones tweeted: "Huge thank you to @lincspolice officers who because of the illegal and irresponsible behaviour of a group of people find themselves working in London and not spending valuable time with their loved ones this Easter. Thank you for your service. #safertogether #ExctinctionRebellion".



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