Elise Yarde, 33, educator from North East London - Extinction Rebellion UK

Elise Yarde, 33, educator from North East London

Elise, who was named Woman of Walthamstow by a local female led organisation for her work in her community, was arrested on 5th September 2020 at the Murdoch printworks blockade at Broxbourne during the 2020 September Rebellon. She was charged with Obstruction of the Highway and pleaded not guilty at St Albans Magistrates’ Court on the 5th October 2020. Her trial is due to begin on the 17th May 2021 at Luton Magistrates’ Court.

“I took part in the Broxbourne action not just to raise awareness about how these newspapers underplay the climate and ecological emergency, but also to highlight how newspapers undermine our democracy.

This was my first arrest and not an easy decision to make as a black person. We can’t afford to take these risks in a society which is institutionally racist. I felt the print works action was important for me to be part of as it highlighted not only the lack of coverage and misinformation about climate and ecological emergency but also the fact that these newspapers have been breeding racism and hatred for years.

Elise with fellow Free the Press defendant Amir Jones outside St Albans Magistrates’ Court

Five white male tax-dodging billionaires control over 70 per cent of the news media. These men know the extent of the Climate and Ecological Emergency, but instead of publishing the truth, their papers print lies that breed racism, hatred and fear which is destroying us. Our government has become dependent on these papers to stay in power. This is sadly unknown by the majority who rely on these newspapers for their information and view of the world around them. Our voices are not being heard so we have been forced to take drastic action.”

Photo credits: Helena Smith

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