Extinction Rebellion is playing an increasingly big part in the fight against climate change and they are meeting in London today.
For those unsure of who Extinction Rebellion is, they’re a group who use civil disturbance and nonviolent protests to pressure the government to pledge change towards saving the planet.
They have 3 demands: For the government to stop ignoring the climate crisis, reduce carbon emissions to zero by the year 2025, and to establish a citizens assembly on climate and ecological justice.
In April, Extinction Rebellion brought London to a two-week standstill resulting in 1,000 arrests of non-violent protestors including 76-year-old Bryan Raven. Already 20 people have been arrested today.
After the opening ceremony yesterday, thousands of ‘rebels’ will be taking to the streets of central London again today. Organisers have been optimistic for a bigger impact than ever before and plan to shut down parts of London for at least two weeks.
Roger Hallam, who has been arrested by police and is currently awaiting trial says that, “Conventional campaigning is not working" and that “mass economic disruption” is the only way to really evoke change.
He reinforces the idea that if we expect real change we must create a real disturbance. He said “If a fire is burning, you kick the door down. You have to break down the door and save the kids, it’s not pretty but it’s something you have to do. That’s what economic disruption is”.
Although protestors are coming from across the country, Extinction Rebellion say there are many events planned outside London too so everyone can get involved.
In London, the focus is on Trafalgar Square, Horse Guards Parade, the Department of Business, The Treasury, the Home Office, the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and other areas surrounding Westminster. Each area will be highlighting a specific cause.
People from all walks of life will be present during the events, including animal rights activists, faith groups, anti-war groups, individuals, and more. The Extinction Rebellion organisers have described it as a “movement of movements”.
The organisation has a very creative way of getting their message of saving both the planet and ourselves across. On August 13 they covered the Brazilian embassy in red paint, opposing the treatment of indigenous people and the severe damage of the Amazon rainforest. Previous demonstrations included hundreds of people laying down on the hall floor in the Natural History Museum, so they will be sure to pull out the stops for these 2 weeks of national protests, including today in London.