July 21, 2022 11.02 am

Five arrested women explain why they chained themselves to Barclays in Lincoln

“Getting arrested is a price worth paying if it raises public awareness”

Five women arrested for chaining themselves inside a bank on Lincoln High Street as part of an Extinction Rebellion protest have explained their actions, stating the nation needs to “break free” from the “chains” of climate change.

A protest was held by the climate activist group on Wednesday afternoon, unveiling a large banner on Lincoln High Street criticising Barclays Bank for its funding in fossil fuel exploration and extraction.

While the banner was unveiled, five women went inside the bank and chained themselves to a railing, before sitting down and holding up signs of their own, with messages and statistics about Barclays’ fossil fuel funding.

| Photo: Ellis Karran for The Lincolnite

Extinction Rebellion claims that Barclays is the biggest funder of fossil fuel projects in Europe, and the timing of the protest came as the UK hit record highs in temperature – clocking over 40 degrees in some areas on Tuesday.

The five women were Imogen Wilde, a 50-year-old ecologist, 65-year-old retired social worker Jane Rushby, gardener Phoebe Shaft, 62, Sandie Statford, a 69-year-old retired lecturer, and Rosemary Robinson, a retired community development worker aged 68.

| Photo: Ellis Karran for The Lincolnite

They were released from the chains using bolt cutters, before being arrested for aggravated trespass. Lincolnshire Police has confirmed that the five women were released under investigation.

This is what they had to say about the protest and why they took part in action against Barclays Bank:

 

One of the protestors being arrested at Barclays on Tuesday. | Photo: Ellis Karran for The Lincolnite

Imogen Wilde: “Today I sat in chains with other strong women inside Barclays to symbolise the chains that we are all held in by the fossil fuel economy.

“Funded by Barclays and legitimised by the Government, new fossil fuels are being extracted despite all the scientific evidence that this is a death sentence for us.

“Until this is stopped we are all unwillingly tied up in a system of self-destruction. We owe it to our children and to people and wildlife around the globe to break free from these chains.”

Five female Extinction Rebellion protestors chained themselves to the inside of Barclays Bank on Lincoln High Street before being removed by police. | Photo: Ellis Karran for The Lincolnite

Jane Rushby: “I decided to take part in this action because Barclays need holding to account for their investments in the fossil fuel industry. I’m an ordinary grandma resorting to risk arrest out of desperation.

“The ever-increasing scientific evidence that we are destroying this earth and plundering its resources terrifies me. Governments are still making excuses for extracting and consuming fossil fuels.

“What will happen to my grandchildren as temperatures rise and resources shrink? Barclays need to become part of the solution, not the problem they are now.”

Police blocked off the entrance as arrests began to be made. | Photo: Ellis Karran for The Lincolnite

Phoebe Shaft: “I am part of this group of women protesters. We are chaining ourselves inside Barclays Bank. I feel there is no choice until the Government and international corporations take climate change seriously.

“As a society we are shackled to fossil fuels which are destroying our future. Barclays has to break its chains of this globally destructive use of our planet’s resources. I feel utter despair at the future for my friends’ children.

“If radical change does not happen urgently, we are setting up a future of not living, but merely surviving. I cannot allow this to happen.”

| Photo: Ellis Karran for The Lincolnite

Sandie Stratford: “As a Christian, I am trying to love my neighbours in the global south, currently displaced and dying in their millions.

“You will tell me there are ways to make your voice heard without breaking the law. Believe me, I have exhausted all those methods.

“My example is Jesus himself: he didn’t petition the temple authorities, write them a letter or organise a march. Jesus went into the temple and disrupted business as usual, and not as gently as I did, either. Thank you.”

Crowds gathered to watch. Some cheered, some jeered, but nobody could look away. | Photo: Ellis Karran for The Lincolnite

Rosemary Robinson: “Europe is ablaze, people are dying and crops are failing. What more evidence do we need that harmful climate change is happening NOW.

“This is an emergency of existential proportions. We must act now before it’s too late.

“Getting arrested is a price worth paying if it raises public awareness of the climate emergency and draws attention to Barclays immoral and life-threatening fossil fuel investments.”