I am a photographer interested in social movements and environmental concerns. Amongst my many projects, I am currently asked to assist with the protest group ‘Extinction Rebellion’. Although a relatively new label, the issues complained about have informed my work for many years.  With people concerned at Ratcliffe-on-Soar Power Station’s carbon emissions, this action was part of a wider movement for global environmental justice. Around the world governments are continuing to fail in addressing the climate crises.   There is a ‘democratic deficit’.  Instead they protect business as usual as they continue to compete for economic growth. This is in spite of increasingly stark warnings from the scientific community on the cost of inaction. By allowing the coal to keep burning at dinosaurs like Ratcliffe-on-Soar, the UK government continues to evade its obligations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).   From the suffragettes to the civil rights movements, direct action has long been the pathway to change the world for the better. Our political system continues to fail to take the necessary action.  These pictures show those protesting and engaged in ‘non-violent direct action’ on the issue. Later, in court, from this and other protests, those arrested admitted that they planned to shut down the power station, but argued that they were not guilty of charges because they were acting to prevent the greater crimes of death and serious injury caused by climate change. This is the ‘defence of necessity’.   Speaking after the trials, Caroline Lucas of the Green Party said:  “I am very disappointed at the guilty verdicts for the protesters involved in plans to shut down the UK’s second largest power station. This kind of peaceful direct action is part of a global grassroots movement to bring about urgent political change where governments are failing to act – and where that inaction is literally costing people’s lives now. These individuals believe that they have a responsibility to protect our planet and future generations from the worst effects of climate change, and mounted a strong case for targeting one of the UK’s largest single source of greenhouse gas emissions.   Although many were found guilty, all the convictions were later quashed after it was discovered that an undercover policemen PC Mark Kennedy, involved in this and previous actions, had lied about his identity and in his evidence to Nottingham Crown Court. 

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