A practising Rabbi has been arrested at the Extinction Rebellion protests for leading a group of Jewish protesters to join activists obstructing five roads around the Bank of England.
Jeffrey Newman, who was wearing a skullcap branded with the Extinction Rebellion symbol, was carried into a police van while his supporters followed singing Jewish hymns.
The 77-year-old said “We have to work alongside those who are absolutely dedicated to trying to save life.”
“The highest principle is the saving of life, pikuach nefesh, there isn’t anything more that we’re doing here in Extinction Rebellion than being aware that millions, or hundreds of millions of people, already are at threat because of the changing climate, and if you add in future generations then....this is where we have to be.”
Hundreds of demonstrators have occupied the roads outside the Bank of England in an attempt to bring “major disruption” to the area.
Protesters are calling for the finance sector to “stop funding the climate crisis”, claiming that trillions of pounds flow through markets to be invested in fossil fuels, which damage the environment.
Mr Newman, who is from north London, said it was his “religious and moral duty to stand up for what I believe in”.
More than 1,300 people have already been arrested in the London protests, which are part of an “international rebellion” taking place in cities around the world.
The UK group is demanding the government declare a climate and ecological emergency, act immediately to halt wildlife loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.