In recent hours, anti-terrorist police agents have arrested 14 activists from Extinction Rebellion, a nonviolent organization that aims to alert authorities to the danger to humanity of not fighting climate change, police sources inform elDiario.es . Those arrested would have participated in the action carried out on April 6 on the steps of the Congress of Deputies, which included the launch of paint against the facade of the Lower House.
The bitterest hours of climate science, by Fernando Valladares
The detainees are attributed by the police a crime against the high institutions of the State and another of damages. Six of the arrests have occurred in Madrid, since a seventh is in France. The detainees were summoned by telephone yesterday so that they could appear at the headquarters of the Provincial Information Brigade within 24 hours. After taking their statement from detainees for the aforementioned crimes, they have been released. Five other arrests by the local Information Brigade have occurred in Granada, another one in Almería, one in Ibiza and one last in Gijón. With all of them the same thing has happened as in Madrid: they have been summoned, detained to give a statement and released.
The accusation of crime against State institutions has already caused clashes in the past between the Police and the judges. The same Provincial Information Brigade that today arrested six of the activists to take their statements denounced the organizers of the Surround Congress protest for this crime before the National Court because, according to the report, some of the protesters tried to storm the Lower House . Judge Santiago Pedraz took statements from six of them and immediately released them with a harsh order against the Police, in which he came to accuse the agents of having enteredinvented that the demonstrators had interrupted the normal functioning of the Cortesan essential requirement to accuse for the crime against the institutions of the State that includes article 494 of the Penal Code.
Hundreds of members of the Scientific Rebellion collective demonstrated on April 6 in front of the Congress of Deputies within the week of protest that was taking place around the world in the face of the passivity of governments, companies and institutions to fight against the climate emergency. A group of young people threw red paint against the main facade of the Congress and then sat on the other side of the Carrera de San Jerónimo, in the Plaza de las Cortes.
Minutes later, dozens of riot police came to the scene, dragged a part of the protesters, who peacefully resisted the eviction orders, to gather them all and proceed to identify them. Dozens of officers participated in the police operation. There were moments of tension both with the young people who were protesting and with the press trying to document what was happening.
One of the protesters, the CSIC scientist Fernando Valladares, later explained to the ABC newspaper that what they had thrown at the facade of the Congress was beets with water. “I don't even feel comfortable myself, it damages the image of a moderate scientist, but with climate change there is no middle ground,” he explained.
Some deputies joined the protest. The first, the spokesman for Alianza Verde and deputy for United We Can Juan López de Uralde, who sat down with one of the groups of protesters, who took the opportunity to reproach him for the passivity that they also detect in the institutions to tackle the problem. Among the complaints, the low ambition of the recently approved Climate Change and Energy Transition Law.
Other representatives of United We Can then attended, such as Sofía Castañón, Antón Gómez Reino or Lucía Muñoz Dalda. Also the spokesman for More Country, Íñigo Errejón. The demonstrators criticized all of them for what they consider to be an unsuccessful job in achieving climate goals, and asked them not to become spokespersons for the protest.