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Extinction Rebellion (XR) protests in London see Folkestone and Hythe Green councillor Georgina arrested


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A Kent councillor has spoken out after she was arrested during the Extinction Rebellion protests in London.

Cllr Georgina Treloar, a Green party district councillor for Folkestone and Hythe, found herself in the back of a police van on Tuesday after she took part in what she called a 'peaceful' demonstration.

Cllr Georgina Treloar
Cllr Georgina Treloar

Surrounded by other women, Cllr Treloar sat down in the middle of Whitehall, close to Downing Street, and refused to move when asked by the police.

As a result she was arrested, along with many others, and taken to Croydon police station where she spent the night.

She was released the next day, pending further investigations.

Speaking to KentOnline today, the councillor said: "I went to London on Monday and stayed over night Tuesday.

"I was arrested at about 7pm on Tuesday. I had sat down with a group of women and decided we were not going to move.

"We sat peacefully singing songs. We were asked to move by police and we said very politely that we wouldn't, and we were arrested."

Asked how she felt, Cllr Treloar, 36, said: "I wasn't scared. It was a peaceful protest and I felt on the right side of history. I'm also of a demographic who will be treated right by the police.

"We were polite to them, and they were polite to us."

Today marks day five of the XR protests in the capital, although the group's demonstrations are expected to continue for a total of two weeks in a bid to pressure governments to do more to combat greenhouse gas emissions.

Stunts by activists have included camping on roads around Parliament Square, causing disruption at London City airport and today blockading the entrance of BBC's New Broadcasting House.

More than 1,000 people have been arrested so far.

Police officers with protesters. Picture: @ToiletSeatBecky/Twitter (19098300)
Police officers with protesters. Picture: @ToiletSeatBecky/Twitter (19098300)

Officers from Kent Police, and other forces, have been sent to London to aid the Metropolitan Police.

Cllr Treloar, who tweeted she was 'proud' of her involvement, was instrumental in getting Folkestone and Hythe District Council to declare a climate and ecological emergency in July.

Hythe Town Council has also declared the same emergency.

Cllr Treloar, and other Green party members, also attended the climate strike in Folkestone last month.

Asked why she attended the protests, Cllr Treloar said: "There's a political reality of addressing the risk of climate change, and then there's the scientific reality.

"My involvement in Extinction Rebellion (XR) is about addressing the scientific reality, which reveals we need to be taking action a lot quicker than what the government says.

"The action in London this time is about what we're doing to make this happen.

"Non violent civil disobedience is a very effective way to bring about change in society."

Asked about some of the more extreme protests, Cllr Treloar said: "I think everything I've seen has been non violent. XR has a strict set of principles. It's disruptive but not violent."

She is now contemplating whether to return to London to join in further action.

Last month, protesters from XR blockaded the Port of Dover, even sticking themselves to the floor.

Read more: All the latest news from Folkestone

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