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The Campaigning Medic

Nian is a fourth-year medical student in London committed to doing what she can to draw attention to climate change and the need for action: even if that means risking arrest.

Nian is a fourth-year medical student in London committed to doing what she can to draw attention to climate change and the need for action: even if that means risking arrest.

Over two weeks of action she balances sleeping out with fellow campaigners in a London park, alongside her placement on the wards of a busy hospital. It's an exhausting fortnight and she feels torn about leaving the protests and worried about what will happen if the police do arrest her.

The Extinction Rebellion action starts with blockades across London bridges and roads are closed through Parliament and Trafalgar Square. Nian is one of the rebellion's spotters and starts the day cycling from location to location as they earmarked sites for action. In hushed whispers the group co-ordinate by phone using code names: they want to try and stay one step ahead of the police.

As the action gathers pace the police move quickly to stop structures being erected on Westminster Bridge. They were being transported in a hire van, which is now surrounded by police and Nian's friend jumps onto the vehicle's roof. It's a tense moment and Nian quickly raises spirits by leading the crowds in chants. But the arrests are beginning and the question is crystallised: how far will she and others be prepared to go in their environmental protests?

Producer: Sue Mitchell

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28 minutes

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