Activists were dubbed “disrespectful” after protesting climate change at a war memorial on the monument’s 100th anniversary.
The demonstration took place at the Cenotaph on Whitehall in London, UK, where 64-year-old former private Donald Bell and 53-year-old NHS nurse Anne White made a stand along with two other protesters.
After holding a 2-minute silence, Bell stepped over tributes laid at the memorial by veterans and prominent military figures to hang his own wreath above the rest of the tributes.
“Climate change means war,” the wreath the protester hung on the Cenotaph read. “Act now.”
Despite the fact that the public was asked not to gather at the Cenotaph on the monument’s 100th anniversary in order to combat the spread of Covid-19, the protesters took the opportunity to advocate their cause.
According to the reports, Bell and White were not challenged by the police even though they had one of their vehicles parked in the proximity of the monument. Allegedly, it took the authorities more than thirty minutes to remove the wreath that was urging people to act on the matter of climate change.
Following the protest, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesperson dubbed the stunt “profoundly disrespectful” whereas a series of veterans condemned the protesters’ actions.
As Bell said after the incident went viral, he wanted to point out that climate change could result in wars in the future.
“I took action today knowing that I would be criticized. I knew that I would be accused of being disrespectful and hated by many for speaking out in this way,” the 64-year-old said.
“Remembrance Day is never an easy time for veterans and this was not an easy decision for me to make. But I served this country, I served the people of this country and the action I took today is about just that.
“Unchecked climate change means a return to a world at war. I cannot stand by and let that happen. It is my duty to act.”