Multiple arrests as XR’s Schlumberger blockade is taken down
An Extinction Rebellion (XR) Cambridge protest at the Schlumberger Gould Research Centre on Madingley Road was dismantled by police with multiple arrests today (March 15).
XR protesters had taken up positions for what the group said would be a week-long blockade outside the fossil fuel giant’s facility on Monday morning.
The blockade, created as part of XR Cambridge’s ‘Schlumberger out!’ campaign, included a round-the-clock presence using a pink boat, a fake oil rig, and metal tripods to prevent vehicle access to the site at two entrances.
Then, this morning, police began clearing access to the premises and two arrests were made.
One of those at the site at 11am said: “So far we’ve had a mass warning and individual warnings but no effort has been made to cut us out... it’'s going to be hours. They’re trying to work out what to do to get us out. It means taking someone down from the tripod, and there are people locked on to the [pink] boat, there’s a lock-on tube there.”
The climate action group has targeted the Schlumber Cambridge Centre multiple times since January 2020.
The group says its persistent actions are taking place because “Schlumberger helps fossil fuel companies find new ways to extract every last drop of oil and gas from a world gripped by climate and ecological emergency, and has deep ties to the University of Cambridge”.
A spokesperson for Schlumberger said: “We understand and accept the right of people to peacefully protest. We regret that this group is choosing to disrupt the normal working day of people, causing alarm rather than engage in meaningful discussion with key decision makers.”
“The Schlumberger Cambridge Research centre is heavily involved in supporting the company’s commitment to net zero emissions, with many projects in new energy activities.”
A spokesperson for Cambridgeshire Police said: “We have been in attendance at the Schlumberger Building in Cambridge since protestors arrived yesterday. This morning two people have been arrested on suspicion of aggravated trespass.”
It is understood a third arrest took place mid-afternoon, at which point the protest ended.