A YOUNG activist has described how she felt “stupid” while justifying to a court that all she wanted to do was “save lives”.
Cecily Bedner, 20, was arrested on Saturday, April 20, during a spate of Extinction Rebellion (XR) demonstrations throughout the UK.
She was charged under Section 14 of the Public Order Act and was one of 1,076 XR rebels arrested during the 11-day demonstrations.
A film and digital arts student at University of the Creative Arts, Farnham, she pleaded guilty to the charge and was given a six month conditional discharge and told to pay £105 costs in her hearing at the City of London Magistrates on September 27.
At the hearing, Cecily was given the opportunity to read a mitigation statement to the court, in which she apologised for her actions, but urged for more to be done.
She read: “I didn’t find it fun or exciting or empowering especially. And I know that my actions contributed to inconveniencing many other valid, important lives and for that I am truly sorry.”
However, she spoke of the growing “crisis” from rising temperatures and the effect it has on crops.
She added: “I know that if our leaders don’t do something now, it won’t just be five years of hardship, it will be decades.”
Following her hearing, Cecily spoke to the Herald while at the first International Rebellion event on October 7.
While only there in a supporting capacity, Cecily said the hearing had “spurred her on to do more” but that the process was “draining” and made her “incredibly angry”.
“It was really difficult to try and justify why I wanted to save lives,” she said.
“It felt really stupid that I had to do that.”
Cecily also praised the Herald’s Cut the Pollution campaign, calling it “excellent” as a starting point, adding that we “need to raise the alarms and communicate to people”.
See Cecily’s full statement at rebellion.earth/cecily-bender-this-was-an-act-of-self-defence/