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Greta Thunberg speaks as police clamp down on Extinction Rebellion

Tuesday 30th April 2019 | Jake

As Extinction Rebellion’s (XR) week of action drew to an unceremonious end, the face of new age environmentalism, Greta Thunberg, spoke at the group’s Marble Arch protest. As police set about dismantling the group’s Waterloo Bridge protest site, Thunberg warned against the government’s “irresponsible behaviour” over climate change.

In the face of further backlash, XR continued their protests across London last week, blocking entry to the London stock exchange and also targeting the HS2 rail development, where protestors climbed trees that were set to be felled. Conservative MPs continued to bash the movement, with one predicting XR would seek to punish Britain with a one-child rule, à la China. Sadiq Khan, meanwhile, asked XR to pack it in, saying London needed “to return to business as usual.”

Thunberg attending an XR protest

These words only served to add further fuel to the group’s blazing efforts, as protesters plastered the sentence across posters and flags, adding that said “business” was killing the planet. Khan, who fancies himself a pretty liberal mayor at the forefront of issues such as these was caught cold by the protests, and his efforts to tackle it have been met with wide disapproval. He is now set to meet XR, while the group will also hold talks with Environment Secretary Michael Gove and shadow chancellor John McDonnell.

Over 1,000 climate protestors have so far been arrested during XR’s campaign, and Thunberg believes their efforts will be vindicated, while the government’s inaction “will no doubt be remembered in history as one of the greatest failures of humankind.”

As part of her UK visit last week, Thunberg also met major figures from the UK’s political parties, including Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and vocal environmentalist Caroline Lucas of the Green party. Prime Minister Theresa May was invited to talks, but shirked the opportunity. This drew condemnation from Thunberg, who had this to say about the world’s leaders: “You lied to us. You gave us false hope. You told us that the future was something to look forward to”. Attacking the UK’s continued investment in fossil fuels, she said: “You don’t listen to the science because you are only interested in solutions that will enable you to carry on like before.”

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