The Borders man arrested at an Extinction Rebellion protest

A BORDERS man spent 11 hours in police custody after being arrested during an Extinction Rebellion (XR) protest in London.

Dominic Ashmole, 53, of Dawyck, near Peebles, was taken to Wembley Police Station after blocking traffic during an XR protest in Parliament Square on September 1.

But he told the Border Telegraph: “On the whole, it was positive.”

Earlier this month, during a fortnight of protests highlighting the climate emergency, XR rallied volunteers to take part in a series of non-violent demonstrations across the English capital.

“I’d gone down [to London] knowing I’d be arrested,” said Mr Ashmole. “I went down with my heart in my mouth, hoping I wasn’t going to regret it.”

On September 1, XR began its planned action of sitting in the public streets surrounding Parliament Square, blocking roads and demanding that politicians back the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill (CEE Bill) to help address the environmental crisis.

Border Telegraph:

For this action, Mr Ashmole laid down in the road and remained there for what he said was between three and four hours until getting handcuffed.

Speaking about his arrest, the father of two said: “I was strangely calm.

“I was arrested around 3pm, taken to Wembley Police Station where I waited around four hours in a queue outdoors, and released at 2am – so around 11 hours.

“I was released ‘pending further investigation’, so without charge, but they have six months to decide whether or not to charge me.”

With the threat of arrest a known risk to Mr Ashmole before he travelled, he spoke with his family about what he wanted to do, and why.

Border Telegraph:

He said: “When I mentioned to my wife that I might get arrested she was quite disturbed.

“But after discussing it with her and close family they were very supportive and understood where I was coming from.

“And it was a way of flying the flag for them too.”

But, despite the personal risk facing him, Mr Ashmole said he would not hesitate to take part in similar protests in the future.

“I was a bit disappointed I didn’t get arrested at Downing Street later in the week,” he joked.

“It was non-violent action where we’ve seen the UK Government ignore its responsibility. I would take further action to draw attention to that, for sure.”

Mr Ashmole works as a “research and development partnerships manager for an Edinburgh-based medical imaging software company”.

Border Telegraph | News