Environmental activist group Extinction Rebellion used a fire engine to spray 1,800 liters of fake blood at Britain’s finance ministry in London on Thursday, in protest over what it says is the UK’s contradictory stance on tackling climate change.
“The protest is being held to highlight the inconsistency between the UK Government’s insistence that the UK is a world leader in tackling climate breakdown, while pouring vast sums of money into fossil exploration and carbon-intensive projects,” an Extinction Rebellion statement said.
“The UK Treasury has blood on their hands,” it added in a post on Facebook, where it livestreamed the demonstration.
The protesters sprayed the red liquid onto the building and street, losing control of the hose at one point. After the display, four activists dressed in black stood on top of the vehicle, which was emblazoned with a banner reading: “Stop funding climate death.”
A London Fire Brigade spokesperson told CNN that it was “not our fire engine.”
Police officers could be seen standing on the Treasury steps, which were soaked in red. Extinction Rebellion said it used water colored with red food dye for the fake blood.
Among the activists was 83-year-old grandfather Phil Kingston, who has been arrested with Extinction Rebellion six times.
Kingston said he came to the Treasury “to demand radical change,” in particular to the proposal that the UK Export Finance (UKEF), a government body that helps British businesses trade globally, works towards zero emissions by 2050, which he says is “far too late.”
The protest comes four days ahead of the “International Rebellion,” a two-week-long climate action that Extinction Rebellion says it has coordinated with allied movements across 60 global cities to “rebel against the world’s governments for their criminal inaction on the Climate and Ecological Crisis.”