London is struggling to get back to peace for 2 weeks now as Extinction Rebellion protests are in full force to halt the city & it’s life.
What for- For the Future!! For saving the earth, the lives & its ecosystems for the coming generations to survive.
A global environment movement called ‘Extinction Rebellion’, also known as XR was launched by Roger Hallam & Gail Bradbrook on May 2018 in the UK. It started with around 100 people signing up in October 2018.
Nonviolence is the mode of protests,therefore, it is a civil disobedience movement against the British government. XR aims to compel the government to take strict & effective action on climate breakdown. It aims to avoid tipping points in the climate system and save the extinction of species.
Related: Climate on ‘The Change’
Goals of XR
There is huge conjecture of whether these goals are realistic or not, but the XR demands to achieve the following:
- By 2025, there must be net-zero carbon emissions
- Government to declare a climate and ecological ‘emergency’
- Citizen’s Assembly to make decisions and direct government to follow
In April 2019, XR organized the biggest civil disobedience movement in recent British history. This protest went on long for 11 days and around 1100 people were arrested. Source: BBC
Protesters disrupt everything from Banks to Offices to Public Transport
On October 7th, 2019, XR started the 2–week protest to create a larger impact than before. The XR protesters in 1000s came out to shut down Westminster in central London, blocking roads and entrances to major points in the city. Around 1000 arrests were made in 3-4 days.
The XR activists blocked access to BBC’s Broadcasting Office’s main entrance on 11th October. The following day, on 12th October, they claimed to have carried a “funeral procession” with 20,000 participants along Oxford Street. They also received the support of animal rights activists. Also the same day, 28 activists were arrested because the protesters blocked the access to Billingsgate Fish Market.
On 14th October, the XR activists targeted London’s financial district by protesting outside the Bank of England. This is because they wanted to protest against the banks’ practices of funding financial institutions for environmental destruction.
The protesters had put up in tents and camps on Trafalgar Square. As a result of all the chaos, police started clearing out the people from the spot through arrests. This was as a result of the ban imposed on the protests by London.
On 15th October, XR’s co-founder Gail Bradbook stood on the top of buildings entrance at the Department of Transport, seeking minister’s explanation of how the road and airport expansion would coincide with the net-zero emission target.
Mixed Reactions of Public on Extinction Rebellion Protests as they face inconvenience
The Extinction Rebellion protests have recently sparked controversy with many public opinions going against the XR’s means of protesting.
On October 16th, around 100 mothers with their babies blocked the entrance of Google’s London headquarters. They protested against Google’s funding to climate deniers and asked for an immediate stop to such notorious funding.
A major blow came to XR on 17th October, when an XR protester was pulled down from the top of a London underground tube by angry commuters at rush hour. A couple of protesters had climbed the roof of the tube disrupting transport which caused utter inconvenience for the public.
The XR protesters apologized for disrupting tube. They also claimed that they are not against public transport as it is an environment-friendly way to travel. However, blocking roads and staging protests outside organizations has not helped them much. They haven’t been heard and this is their way to make the government listen to their demands and take action.