Presidential candidate arrested in Parliament

0
3887

A candidate for JCR President at University College has been arrested after attaching herself with superglue to a statue inside the Houses of Parliament.

Alice Heath fixed herself to the effigy along with three other protesters as part of a climate change demonstration on Monday.

They wore red sashes in tribute to suffragette Marjory Hume, who chained herself to the same statue of Viscount Falkland 100 years ago as part of the campaign for women’s voting rights.

Police struggled for more than three hours to unfasten the protesters from the statue in St Stephen’s Hall, after officers had moved quickly seal off the area.

The activists, who were members of the environmental group Climate Rush, were eventually freed and promptly arrested on suspicion of public order offences and criminal damage.
The four were taken into custody before being released on bail late the following night, with PPE student Alice returning to Oxford on Wednesday morning.

She and her fellow activists had launched their demonstration in opposition to government plans to build new coal-fired power plants.

Following her release, however, Alice is now banned from going within one kilometre of the Palace of Westminster and is forbidden from speaking to her fellow protesters.
Speaking to Cherwell this week, fresher Alice said she had absolutely no regrets and that it had been a wonderful experience.

“It felt like a really lovely way to convey our message,” she said. “It was fun, it was active, it was going with the history-people quite enjoyed our performance.”

“The main reason why I did this was climate change. The whole planet will go down and we need to lead on this issue.”

Alice had already submitted her nomination to run for JCR President of University College before participating in the London protest. She said she hoped her actions would not negatively affect her chances when voters head to the polls next week.

“The response I’ve got has been really positive. I hope that people see that I don’t do things for careering. I genuinely want things to be better.

“My uncle thinks I have been reckless. But this is how I get my message across. It was a thought-out decision.”
There would appear to be little evidence of ill-feeling towards Alice among Univ voters, however, with several students speaking up in support of her actions.

Laura Muller, a first year undergraduate commented, “She did it for a good thing, so I guess that’s okay.”

“I’d definitely vote for her, as she’s already taking action,” another student said. “It proves she’s willing to go to great lengths to promote her aims.”

A spokesman for The Police Scotland Yard Bureau confirmed that Alice and her fellow protesters had been released without charge and that the matter was not being taken any further.

Despite this, Alice was still left upset by the strict bail conditions she is now forced to abide by and plans to appeal against them.

“It just felt totally unacceptable,” she said. “If we did something violent then I would understand, but this is a massive abuse of what they can do.

“They could charge us really easily and take us to court next week and convict us. But they didn’t-to stop us communicating between each other and stop protesting.”

The Climate Rush protest followed Secretary of State for Energy Ed Milliband’s announced funding for up to four coal-fired power stations, as long as they store carbon underground.

 

 

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here