At noon on Tuesday 28 February, 60 activists from Extinction Rebellion and HS2 Rebellion began disrupting the offices of law firm Eversheds Sutherland in Nottingham, Birmingham, Cardiff and London.
In Nottingham, protesters in hazmat suits used fire extinguishers to spray the Eversheds Sutherland building on Canal Street building with fake oil, unfurled banners and let off smoke flares.
They are protesting against what they suggest is the law firm’s contribution to global heating and environmental destruction.
Eversheds Sutherland has put injunctions in place for companies like Esso (ExxonMobil) and HS2. These injunctions protect polluters, criminalise nonviolent environmental protest and suppress protest rights, according to XR.
“I’m taking this action today because I’m so frightened by the climate crisis that I feel this is a necessary and appropriate response. Eversheds need to cut ties with the fossil fuel industry.
“Spraying non-toxic, washable fake oil on the offices of a firm that seeks to protect that destructive industry is trivial compared with the damage they’re doing to our planet. They need calling out.” said Eddie Francis, 74, Lincoln, retired joiner and father.
When Extinction Rebellion announced ‘We Quit’ in January, it didn’t say it was quitting non-violent direct action.
The statement promised to temporarily halt actions targeting public disruption.
These peaceful direct actions do not disrupt the public; instead, they aim to highlight companies like Eversheds Sutherland to increased scrutiny and public accountability for its legal services to the fossil fuel industry.
Today’s protests are part of a series of ‘Cut the Ties’ protests which launched in November 2022 simultaneously at 13 sites across London. The campaign targets organisations that prop up the fossil fuel economy.
XR say that all the protesters who took part today are prepared to take responsibility for their actions.
Extinction Rebellion is inviting everyone to Westminster between 21-24 April 2023 to demand a fair society and a citizen-led end to the fossil fuel era. Find out more about The Big One.