Activist who climbed Big Ben in 2019 protest is sentenced

‘Extinction Rebellion’ activist Benjamin Atkinson, 44, scaled Big Ben’s tower and unfurled banners calling for action on the climate emergency during a protest on October 18, 2019.

ATKINSON had been taking part in the demonstration outside the Palace of Westminster before he climbed over the fences and climbed the scaffolding of the Queen Elizabeth Tower.

The tree surgeon from Ambleside, Cumbria, was up on the scaffolding for three hours while specialist police units from the protest removal team negotiated how to get him down.

He had planned to do a live radio broadcast from the top of the tower, while wearing fancy dress, to “highlight government inaction on the climate and ecological emergency”.

On coming down from the tower, Atkinson was arrested and then later charged with trespass on a protected site contrary to section 128 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005.

He was convicted on Wednesday, November 25, and sentenced to 250 hours of unpaid work and handed fines of £865 (€970).

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Tara Rippin

Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.

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