Jill Whitehouse, 66, retired teacher from Exeter
Jill was arrested on 18th April 2019 on Waterloo Bridge during the 2019 April Rebellion under Section 14 of the Public Order Act. She was tried on 6th January 2020 at City of London Magistrates’ Court and received a conditional discharge and £110 court costs.
“In the 1970s, my husband came home with a Friends of the Earth leaflet and he and I have been involved with FOE ever since. But in the last 15 years grief set in, nothing was changing, nothing was moving forward. The government was not doing anything and the planet was getting worse, and so when I heard about XR I decided to join it because it seemed to be a big movement with a different approach that might actually make a change. FOE were very law abdiing. Greenpeace were a little to way out with the boats and that seemed to be beyond my reach of what I could do but this seemed to be something I could do.
We don’t have children. We decided not to have children because even back in the 1970s we could see that the world was not going to be a good place for children to live, so we made that decision.
At my time in my life I’ve got nothing to lose by joining in. I think there are so many retired people in XR because they’ve watched the deterioration through the years and they’ve taken a lot of trouble with petitions and writing to MPs and marching and seen nothing come of it. This is just finally a moment that’s right. We’ve got nothing to lose and it’s a great opportunity for us to make reparations for the damage that we’ve done to the environment. I haven’t flown anywhere for the last ten years but I have in the past and although I have tried to live a green lifestyle I’m sure I’ve contributed to global warming so it’s a way of making reparation.”
Photo credit: Helena Smith