London, EN — The Extinction Rebellion Disabled Rebels group gathered outside Scotland Yard this afternoon.
According to reports, disabled protesters are calling for the police to return items including wheelchairs, ramps, and accessible compost toilets that were confiscated from them last Saturday.
“We worked very hard to make this rebellion accessible for our Extinction Rebellion Disabled Rebels,” the group said in a statement. “Wheelchair ramps, solar charging wheelchairs, hot water bottles, accessible loos and accessible tents all languish in police storage, in an attempt to make disabled rebels lives so difficult that they leave the streets.”
Furthermore, the group revealed that gears owned by XR Disability Network all languish in police storage. Subsequently, disabled rebels no longer have enough sleep or keep warm/dry.
Ten XR Disabled Rebels attempted to retrieve their stolen kit back from the police yesterday. However, authorities issued a section 14 and arrested three remaining activists with over 20 officers.
Police allegedly arrested one on the spot and another two wheelchair users a few hours later. One protester stayed behind the New Scotland Yard where at some point, she called in a carer to assist her. Police then arrested both of them because two already counts as an assembly.
“None were aiming to do anything illegal. They weren’t blocking anywhere and had no spray paint on them,” the group said in a statement.
A MET spokesman also released a statement regarding the incident. According to him, officers have the right to seize equipment they believe will facilitate unlawful protest.
“It is the police’s role is to provide a lawful and proportionate policing response to any planned protest, balancing the community impact with the right to protest,” the spokesperson said. “If protesters break the law, officers will look to arrest those people.”
Furthermore, arrested individuals will most likely face charges and receive a criminal record.