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Extinction Rebellion protest in 5 major cities

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Extinction Rebellion (XR), the international movement fighting to halt the climate emergency and to demand government action, has begun its ‘Summer Uprising’ in major cities across the UK.

Extinction Rebellion-4

Image Credit: Julia Hawkins via Flickr

In recent weeks XR has strived to cause disruption in Bristol, Leeds, Cardiff, Glasgow and London, demanding that the government act in the face of environmental decline.

In each city XR protestors placed boats with the slogan ‘Act Now’, each named after different environmental activists. Protestor Elliot Blaauw, 66 said of the boats, "Waters are rising, we are rising too. We're all going to take to the boats." 

Of course, this is not the first time Extinction Rebellion have caused disruption in major cities. Over 1,000 environmental protestors were arrested during the group’s April demonstration, after bringing disruption to many parts of central London.

While 53% of UK consumers have reduced their use of single-use plastic, Extinction Rebellion are calling for political change as opposed to personal change. Their three demands for the UK are for the government to ‘tell the truth’ about climate change, to ‘act now’, and for the creation of a ‘Citizen’s Assembly’ to lead the government on environmental issues. 

As stated on their website, XR promotes “civil disobedience and rebellion”, saying “We don’t want or need everyone to get arrested – for some this is not a good idea – but we do want everyone involved to support civil disobedience as a tool.” They also call themselves “completely nonviolent”

This disobedience during the Summer Uprising has come in the form of many acts, with 16 protestors in Bristol being arrested for gluing themselves to a pink bathtub on a motorway junction and six Londoners finding themselves being arrested for chaining themselves to a concrete factory. 

The Metropolitan Police has said that they are currently working on “more than 900 cases from environmental protestors” with the Crown Prosecution Service. The police have also called for courts to issue sentences that will act as a deterrent for future disruption. 

Speaking to The Independent, Rupert Read, a spokesperson for XR, said of Scotland Yard’s claim to prevent large-scale protests: “There aren’t enough of them to arrest us all and when they arrest some of us, others take their place.”

Read later added that “Blocking a few streets or even closing an airport for a while does not begin to compare with the permanent flooding of those streets or to super-hurricanes or tornados,” which are some of the many disasters climate change will bring.

Tennessee following the severe storms and floods that have damaged or destroyed homes and businesses in April 2010

Image Credit: David Fine/FEMA via Wikimedia Commons

After a man was stuck in traffic and unable to see his father in hospital before he passed away, Extinction Rebellion Bristol and Extinction Rebellion UK issued an apology for disruption that caused more than just an inconvenience.

The statement of apology closed by saying that “It is with deep regret that we hear of the serious emotional impact on several individuals caught in traffic resulting from one of our protests in Bristol. We would like to apologise and we will be making a full review of events yesterday to minimise the risk of this being repeated in the future.”

At approximately midday on Friday 19th July, XR staged a ‘Requiem for a Dead Planet’ protest at the offices of prominent media outlets such as the Metro, Evening Standard and The Independent, amongst other newspapers. 

Lead Image Credit:  Julia Hawkins via Flickr




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