Claire Perry held meetings with the Extinction Rebellion (XR) group at a conference on climate change in Poland in November.
A minister of affairs was confronted with questions last night why she met members of a radical environmental group with plans to paralyze London this week.
Claire Perry held meetings with the Extinction Rebellion (XR) group at a conference on climate change in Poland in November.
Mrs. Perry told The Mail on Sunday that she had a & # 39; good and productive conversation & # 39; had knees with activists linked to Labor's far-left Momentum faction and prepared a new attack of civil disobedience and crime devised with military precision to bring Britain to his country.
It comes as an undercover investigation by this newspaper that has revealed a hardcore movement that is determined to turn the clock back to a life without fossil fuel – and thereby employ parliamentary democracy.
The first phase of their global & # 39; Rebellion Week & # 39; starts tomorrow and includes a plot to paralyze central London for at least three days, and to create human barricades at five key points: Marble Arch, Oxford Circus, Waterloo Bridge, Parliament Square and Piccadilly Circus.
Some demonstrators even plan to super stick their hands to objects on the road and to each other, and require specially trained police officers to laboriously unleash them with the help of chemicals.
Perry met members of the group at a summit in Katowice. She said: & # 39; We had a good and productive chat and have been in correspondence ever since. & # 39;
Organizers have talked about up to 30,000 eco-activists attending mass protests – and crucial that many of them are arrested.
The protests have been planned for seven months.
Their goal is to close vital roads and transport links, to cause misery for millions of commuters and to keep over-concerned police officers busy for hours.
Mrs. Perry told The Mail on Sunday that she had a & # 39; good and productive chat & # 39; had with the activists, who have links with the extreme left Momentum faction of Labor
Behind that lies a hair-raising manifesto, with the government's main objective being to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2025. The result of this would more or less bring Britain back to the Middle Ages.
XR was founded just a few months ago, but has quickly grown into an extensive global organization with more than a hundred groups in the UK. Last November they blocked bridges over London to make the capital chaos. In February, they participated in a nationwide school attack that encouraged thousands of children to miss lessons for a day and take to the streets to protest.
And on April 1, during one of the Brexit debates, a group of them in the Commons dismantled a & # 39; brutal protest & # 39; against climate change policy.
Founder who became an activist after taking psychedelic drugs
Mother of Wiltshire and & # 39; neo-pagan & # 39; Gail Bradbrook
Extinction Rebellion is the newest of various campaigns that must be organized and partly funded through a private limited liability company called Compassionate Revolution.
One of the directors – and a key figure in & # 39; XR & # 39; – is the mother of Wiltshire and & # 39; neo-pagan & # 39; Gail Bradbrook, 47, who on a recent podcast said she decided to become an activist as a direct result of taking huge doses of two powerful psychedelic drugs.
Despite the damage caused by air travel, she flew to Costa Rica to take a dose of ibogaine, a hallucinogenic shrub that grows in West Africa. She also tried ayahuasca, a very toxic, mind-expanding drink made by Amazon jungle shamans. Bradbrook, left, who has a PhD in molecular biophysics, says the drugs have her brains & # 39; rewired & # 39; and her & # 39; the codes of social change & # 39; have given.
She then ended her marriage and started her activism in XR. Within XR she holds mystical & # 39; lunar circles & # 39; stuck with female colleagues & # 39; s in a teepee, where they found another & # 39; of course & # 39; medicine, mugwort used by old Celts.
She has warned that global warming in the Arctic in just three years & # 39; the collapse of the food system & # 39; cause – a belief that is not endorsed by any scientist.
She also said she did not condemn Protestants & # 39; who & # 39; choose to damage property to protect nature & # 39; although they personally prefer nonviolence.
The ultimate goal is revolution through civil disobedience – to bring the government to the table to discuss the goals of climate change.
XR wants to break the political class and replace representative democracy with a process called sorting – in which randomly selected people, without reference to competence or education, are appointed as decision-makers in a People's Assembly.
One of the prominent figures in XR is left-wing scholar Roger Hallam, whose strong ambition for the group is to overthrow and replace all regimes in the world, starting with Great Britain.
Hallam, 52, said in a recent YouTube video about his strategy: & # 39; The conventional forms of activism are not good. Emailing, marching … is not working.
& # 39; You need about 400 to go to jail and you need two to three thousand people to be arrested.
& # 39; You win by fearlessness. This is not a nice process that benefits everyone, but it is better than violence. & # 39;
Another XR member, Tamsin Omond, is a former public schoolgirl and granddaughter of a baron who is a veteran of left-wing protest groups, including Occupy London.
Co-founder Stuart Basden says global warming is only & # 39; a symptom of a toxic system & # 39; and compared the prison with & # 39; boarding school & # 39; because he urged XR followers to break the law.
Their creed has proved irresistible to the celebrity supporters of Extinction Rebellion, with actress Emma Thompson appearing in a video calling on people to take to the streets. Former archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams has also given his support.
A source near Mrs. Perry – high enough to attend the cabinet – said she & # 39; had tried to convince the group that the UK is taking the lead in reducing climate emissions and that the government listens and acts & # 39 ;.
The source added: & # 39; She asked what their solutions were and they told her that they & # 39; had to declare a war against climate change.
& # 39; She replied that she understood the need for urgency, but believed that if you have no weapons or tactics, you will not start wars. She will meet everyone who is passionate about reducing emissions and who has ideas that we can implement. & # 39;
XR grew out of an activist group called & # 39; Rising Up! & # 39; – it unsuccessfully tried to stop the Heathrow expansion. The financial support comes from philanthropic foundations and crowdfunding. Their online crowdfunder, launched in October, has raised £ 166,000.
Last night a member of Extinction Rebellion denied that the movement was planning to appropriate parliamentary democracy, but rather expected the & # 39; inevitable breakdown of the current system & # 39 ;.
Who is ready to be arrested? Reporter goes undercover with the eco-activist group Extinction Rebellion – and finds that they are just as ruthlessly professional as they are misled
Special report from Holly Bancroft for the Mail on Sunday
Cigarette break: XR training volunteer Clare Farrell
I'm sitting in a cave-like community hall in East London with a group of eco-activists sitting in thick jackets against the cold.
We are drilled for our arrest-like soldiers who are being trained for capture and interrogation by the enemy.
Our tutor is a sixty-year-old woman with faint white hair who knows everything about civil disobedience and its legal consequences.
She passionately explains that we should not talk to the police except to give our name and date of birth.
We don't have to get drunk within a few days for the & # 39; action & # 39 ;.
And we should consider wearing adult diapers – just in case we are locked up for hours in a police van without access to a toilet. Or if we decide to link to railings, barriers or whatever to cause maximum disruption.
Welcome to Extinction Rebellion (XR), the revolutionary protest group that has worked hard to eliminate fossil fuels from Great Britain.
To achieve this, they are planning an attack of civil disobedience on a scale rarely seen in this country. And I'm undercover here as a new recruit, or & # 39; rebel & # 39; as they call it.
My introduction took place at the end of last month in an anonymous office building at Euston station. I heard that XR got the space for free from a well placed sympathizer.
An elevator takes me to the fourth floor – an open space with a few desks and forty new recruits, an equal mix of men and women, all casually dressed.
A handmade poster of the lifts is daubed & # 39; Eco not ego & # 39 ;. A large sign warns us to & # 39; suppression juice & # 39; to avoid – that is alcohol – so we can & # 39; rebel with a clear body and mind & # 39 ;. Brightly colored banners hang from the ceiling – & # 39; no Brexit in a dead planet & # 39 ;, one says – while a giant papier-mache skeleton of a large beast is under construction in the corner.
This introductory meeting is led by a bearded XR activist named Greg, who lives with other members of the group in a squat in West London. His first move is to lead us into an uncomfortable & # 39; icebreaker & # 39 ;. As we sit in rows on school chairs, we are instructed to raise both arms in the air and wiggle them back and forth while they & # 39; woo-hoo & # 39; to sing.
Preparing for action: a photo of an XR meeting taken by our undercover reporter. There is no suggestion that the photos are all meant to break the law
Then there is a minute of silence for & # 39; the dying planet & # 39 ;. Struggling not to smile, I bowed my head with the others, eyes down.
& # 39; Assign part of your brain to imagine what kind of world you want to create & # 39 ;, Greg says. & # 39; To endure this battle together, we must hold on to our dream. & # 39;
We are asked to think of one word to describe the world we want – and shout of & # 39; harmony & # 39 ;, & # 39; share & # 39; and & # 39; green & # 39; come from the entire room. & # 39; Brave & # 39 ;, a boy in a long beige trench coat mumbles sitting next to me.
Follow questions. The volunteers are enthusiastic but worried.
A charity worker with short blond hair says she is worried about XR's policy of being intentionally arrested.
Not that she is against breaking the law – only that it can scare off volunteers who cannot take the risk of getting into trouble.
She eats her food from a Tupperware box and another young woman is worried about the links between XR and Labor's hard-Left Momentum faction. George agrees that XR and Momentum have a good relationship.
& # 39; Training session & # 39 ;: XR potential recruits Greg, left and George
Then we are told to get into a long line, arranged in order of willingness to be arrested. It's time to sharpen our tactics and strategy for the coming & # 39; rebellion week & # 39; – that starts tomorrow.
& # 39; Go through the room according to what you feel & # 39 ;, says Naomi, one of the main activists.
& # 39; The question is: how arrestable are you in XR? & # 39;
A handful immediately places themselves at one end of the room, the extreme that means: & # 39; Yes, I really want to be arrested now. & # 39; A few walk to the other side, which means: & # 39; Absolutely not. & # 39;
People from the middle class who make Monday a misery for millions
The most prominent – and radical – leader of the XR leaders is the failing organic farmer and PhD student Roger Hallam
Failed farmer wants a world revolution
The most prominent – and radical – leader of the XR leaders is the failing organic farmer and PhD student Roger Hallam.
After years in a succession of leftist groups, the 52-year-old says the & # 39; name of the game & # 39; for XR to bring down & replace all regimes in the world & # 39 ;. Hallam (above) says that paralyzing traffic will eventually cause food shortages and will lead to uprisings.
In a recent interview, he said that XR protesters should be willing to cause disruption through personal & # 39; sacrifice & # 39 ;. If necessary, they should be & # 39; willing to die & # 39 ;.
XR co-founder Stuart Basden, 36, a civil writer from Bristol
Co-founder says that prison is like a boarding school
XR co-founder Stuart Basden, 36, a bourgeois writer from Bristol (above), has goals that go well beyond a desire to mitigate global warming.
Indeed, he has claimed: & # 39; XR is not about the climate. You see, climate breakdown is a symptom of a toxic system that has infected the ways we treat ourselves as humans and all of life. & # 39;
Basden has urged XR followers to go to jail – where he stayed for a week after he sprayed London's city hall last year with spray paint – and said it was a bit like boarding school & # 39; is
Tasmin Osmond, 35, is a veteran of & # 39; direct actions & # 39;
Veteran activist of the baronets
Tasmin Osmond, 35, is a veteran of & # 39; direct actions & # 39; who had little to do with climate change, such as Occupy London, the poverty protest that established a camp in 2011 outside St. Paul's Cathedral.
The granddaughter of Dorset baronet Sir Thomas Lees, Omond (above) went to Westminster School and Trinity College, Cambridge, where she read English.
She was thrown out of the anti-aviation group Plane Stupid after she said the green movement & # 39; brand & # 39; & # 39; unwashed, unshaven and in a tree & # 39; and this & # 39; does not represent me & # 39 ;.
George Barda, 43, believes that the & # 39; Criminal UK Government & # 39; responsible for climate change
Student sitting on Putin's TV channel
George Barda, 43, believes that the & # 39; Criminal UK Government & # 39; responsible for climate change.
A postgraduate student at the prestigious King & # 39; s College in London, the son of classical music and stage photographer Clive Barda, still finds time to be a dedicated revolutionary and camped outside St Paul's Cathedral in Occupy London. campaign.
Today, Barda (above) is director of XR's parent company Compassionate Revolution and regularly appears on Russia Today, Russia's controversial British TV channel.
I am shuffling around in the middle amid embarrassed laughter with the majority. This position says: & # 39; Maybe, let's think about it. & # 39;
They ask us how far we go. Shall we commit a litany of protest crimes – smash windows, damage buildings? Do we stick to doors or block roads with & # 39; swarms & # 39; – sit down a few minutes at a time to stop the traffic?
& # 39; I feel comfortable with spray paint that permanently damages the windows but does not break & & # 39 ;, says a 30-year-old woman from a refugee charity.
& # 39; I am somewhere between permanent paint and chalk paint, & # 39; says a man who promotes on environmental activism. & # 39; They cannot charge you criminal damage if you use chalk paint. & # 39;
After an hour or so we are all split into what they & # 39; affinity groups & # 39; based on how radical they judge us. They don't seem to think that I am very revolutionary.
Roles are assigned for the upcoming & # 39; promotion & # 39 ;. Our group has a & # 39; welfare coordinator & # 39 ;, a & # 39; legal observer & # 39; and a & # 39; media organizer & # 39 ;.
How far would we go for the movement? A Scottish actress in her twenties tells us that she is planning to recruit her mother. & # 39; I think the arrest is going well, & # 39; she adds. & # 39; I am just in and out of the country, I work here between Paris and Paris. I don't know if I could set my session date, so I don't know if it would work. & # 39;
Another young woman, a university student, says she will take her harp to entertain us during the & # 39; rebellion week & # 39 ;. Before the meeting breaks up, the organizers ask for mature women who want to be trained to & # 39; the-escalators & # 39 ;.
These are the people who are asked to calm frustrated members of the audience, especially drivers, who are trapped in the traffic jams that we are going to cause.
Then the evening comes to an end with repeated songs from & # 39; Extinction … rebellion & # 39; of the hardened activists, who then treat us to an improvised and extremely unbearable dance.
A beatbox starts to blare, a long-haired man swings extensively, arms swing out of time, the others wave over. I leave, armed with XR stickers and posters to plaster on the street.
The group gives me constant updates via the WhatsApp messaging system and a few days later I am back in the office block for a new training session. This time it is alarming.
An activist of her twenties, named Jess, gives XR & # 39; s frightening vision of the future: & We want to build a structure, a community and prototypes of protests for the coming structural collapse of the regimes of Western democracies. And we see this as inevitable – this must happen. & # 39;
Now we are being pulled forward in the plans for illegal protest and made to participate in role-play scenarios of clashes with the police.
The golden rule is to remain silent when confronted with the police – unless we quote from a self-prepared statement outlining our alleged right to break the law as a & # 39; conscientious person & # 39; from planet Earth.
And we should never identify any of the XR organizers if they are accused of inciting illegal activities.
Activists who plan to hold & # 39; & # 39; by sticking to public property, they are warned to wait a long time, because few police officers are trained to dissolve the glue.
The hope is to cause the maximum amount of chaos. Maybe they have even locked activists in five separate protest points in London. If we are seized by the police, we have to slack our bodies, bind more officers while trying to carry us away.
I am going through a further marathon training in a climbing center in North London.
We are approached by the white-haired lady, who I now know is press officer Jayne Forbes. She says she is ready for martyrdom and prison and tells us: "I am an older person with no responsibilities.
& # 39; I am willing to go to jail and I think we have the privilege in this country to have prisons that are reasonably acceptable.
& # 39; If I lived in Brazil or something, I could be killed as an activist. Our prisons are not bad compared to many in the world. & # 39;
She says we should never accept a warning because that & # 39; a debt acknowledgment & # 39; would be.
We should never accept the help of a responsible person because they & # 39; together with the police & # 39; would be. I learn a lot.
We are advised to only use an old-fashioned & # 39; burner & # 39; to take the mobile phone to the protest in case the police want to use the device as evidence.
I have heard that a paperback can help me get rid of the long hours in a police cell – and that I can ask the guardian officers up to three blankets.
I now have a list of & # 39; friendly & # 39; lawyers on a small sheet of paper that reminds me of my legal rights. Can we get vegan food in prison? XR thinks the answer & # 39; yes & # 39; is.
By the time I say goodbye, I am really worried. If this week goes according to plan for Extinction Rebellion, I know that many of its members are only too happy to get to know the inside of our police cells and our prisons firsthand – assuming they are one step closer to making their dangerous plans a reality.