Fridays for Future reacts to Disha Ravi's arrest, calls her integral part of movement

Fridays for Future reacts to Disha Ravi's arrest, calls her integral part of movement
Fridays for Future (FFF) India released its first statement following the arrest of 22-year-old climate change activist Disha Ravi who was arrested by Delhi police on February 13. Disha volunteered for FFF, particularly helping with events in Bengaluru. FFF is a global movement inspired by Swedish climate change activist Greta Thunberg.  FFF India posted a series of tweets on Friday evening expressing solidarity with Disha Ravi. “Disha has been an integral part of this movement. Not only has she been voicing out environmental concerns in India but strived for the equality and representation of the country's most affected and marginalized groups in the global climate movement's narrative,” FFF India said. Disha has been an integral part of this movement. Not only has she been voicing out environment concerns in India but strived for the equality and representation of the country's most affected and marginalized groups in the global climate movement's narrative. — Fridays For Future India (@FFFIndia) February 19, 2021 The statement reiterated the aims of FFF India. “We come from different backgrounds, all with the sole aim to start a dialogue about the climate crisis. To emphasize on the importance of climate justice and to secure a safe and prosperous planet for our future generations,” FFF India said. “As fellow volunteers we wouldn't stand back to say that she is one of the finest amongst us all. If there is one thing her activism has taught us, it is to raise our voices peacefully and respectfully for those at stake, to ensure justice for everyone,” the statement said. “The time for climate action is now.We may be imperfect in our efforts but we are not afraid to try. We will continue to learn, grow and stand fearlessly for the truth, like Disha always does. Respectfully, legally and constitutionally In solidarity with Disha Ravi,” the statement added. As fellow volunteers we wouldn't stand back to say that she is one of the finest amongst us all. If there is one thing her activism has taught us, it is to raise our voices peacefully and respectfully for those at stake, to ensure justice for everyone. — Fridays For Future India (@FFFIndia) February 19, 2021 Respectfully, legally and constitutionally In solidarity with Disha Ravi, Fridays For Future India#StandWithDishaRavi — Fridays For Future India (@FFFIndia) February 19, 2021 TNM had earlier reported that FFF India was on the Union government’s radar as early as July 2020 when the Delhi Police Cyber Crime Unit Deputy Commissioner cited the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act to block the website of FFF India. This was reportedly at the behest of Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar. The website was restored within a day and the notice by the Delhi police was withdrawn. The police later stated that it was an ‘error’. However, volunteers with FFF told TNM that the UAPA notice in July -- when the group was protesting the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) notification -- was the first warning for the organisation. Over the next few months, FFF volunteers discussed internally about whether they should solely stick to issues related to climate change. However, there were volunteers in the organisation that felt that asking for a better and safer environment cannot be separated from questioning the government or its policies. Read: Fridays for Future was on govt radar long before Disha Ravi's arrest: An inside view In January, Greta Thunberg had shared a toolkit or a Google document in solidarity with the farmers who were protesting against the Union government’s contentious farm laws. It is important to note that a toolkit is a document that is used to organise a social media campaign or to plan protests. A toolkit contains basic information on any issue, tweet suggestions and information on what hashtags to use, whom to tag on social media etc. These documents are regularly used by various individuals and groups, including political parties, to organise social media campaigns and mobilise crowds. The toolkit shared by Greta Thunberg contained an outline of what the farmers’ protests are, hashtags to use, people to tag and handles to follow for news.  Disha was produced in front of the Patiala House Court in Delhi on Friday, five days after she was first taken into custody by the Delhi police. The Delhi police’s counsel told the court that Disha was being “evasive” during questioning, and  sought three days of judicial custody, which the court granted.  Disha is accused in an FIR by the Delhi police of criminal conspiracy and sedition. Though she is not specifically mentioned in the FIR, it stated that she edited the toolkit or document and that  it “contains a detailed plan of a large conspiracy to wage a economic, social, cultural, and regional war against India.” The FIR also mentioned two organisations including the “banned terrorist organisation Sikhs for Justice and Poetic Justice Foundation", and further said that the tractor parade by farmers protesting in Delhi on January 26 turned violent “as a result of the said instigation by elements behind this document and its toolkit.”

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