Our statement on Extinction Rebellion's action on Waterloo Green
Bankside Open Spaces Trust has been notified that Extinction Rebellion will be camping at Waterloo Green from today, 15th July 2019, until Friday 19th July as part of a London-wide action. While, we understand their right to protest and are sympathetic to the cause, we are a small charity and have limited resources to support this protest.
Please note in an update to our earlier statement we are no longer locking the park. The Met Police have allowed protesters into Waterloo Green to ensure a peaceful protest and to uphold ‘the Queen’s Peace’.
We support this course of action, although we have not granted Extinction Rebellion permission to use the green as it contravenes our lease (see below), and we have concerns about safety, damage to the park, and waste.
Bankside Open Spaces Trust is a charity working in SE1 to protect, manage and maintain open spaces. We have just finished work on Waterloo Green with new planting, paths and sculptures. We ask that this community park, maintained by passionate volunteers, is treated with care and that efforts are made to clean up and ‘leave no trace’. As a small charity we do not have the resources to replace damaged paths or plants.
This action is part of a wider series of protests which are planned to go on across London over the next 5 days. The protests are planned to end on Friday (according to the Extinction Rebellion website), with protesters camping inside Waterloo Green for the duration of the week.
For further information about Extinction Rebellion using Waterloo Green and Bankside Open Spaces Trust please contact: Charlotte Gilsenan (CEO) on 020 7403 3393
Bankside Open Spaces Trust has not granted permission to Extinction Rebellion to use the Green
Under the terms of our lease, we are not permitted to ‘share possession’ on Waterloo Green and as camping counts as such an activity, it is strictly prohibited. However:
We have left the gates to the park unlocked following advice from the Met Police. The Police allowed Extinction Rebellion into the park so that a peaceful protest could be facilitated and the Queen’s Peace upheld.
Our main concerns are around safety, damage to the park, and waste. Our local BID, We Are Waterloo, are working to recommend suitable toilet facilities and their clean team will be working in the area to manage litter and rubbish as best as possible
The police are working with us to monitor the area
Protesters are generally thought to be approachable and peaceful – however we have been warned that other non-affiliated Extinction Rebellion groups may end up causing disruption