[WSMDiscuss] Fwd: Extinction Rebellion swarms London, paralyses nature's enemies!
jai.sen at cacim.net
Tue Apr 16 13:48:08 CEST 2019
Monday, April 15, 2019
Climate in movement…, Britain in movement…
Extinction Rebellion swarms London, paralyses nature's enemies !
Matthew Taylor <https://www.theguardian.com/profile/matthewtaylor> and Damien Gayle <https://www.theguardian.com/profile/damien-gayle>
“The protests are part of a global campaign organised by the British climate group Extinction Rebellion, with demonstrations planned in 80 cities across 33 countries in the coming days.
“The group is calling on the UK government to reduce carbon emissions to zero by 2025 and establish a citizens’ assembly to devise an emergency plan of action to tackle climate breakdown and biodiversity loss.”
Extinction Rebellion : Climate protesters block roads
Thanks for the compilation, Patrick
> Begin forwarded message:
> From: Patrick Bond <pbond at mail.ngo.za>
> Subject: [climate justice now!] (Fwd) Extinction Rebellion swarms London, paralyses nature's enemies!
> Date: April 15, 2019 at 2:54:49 PM EDT
> To: DEBATE <debate-list at fahamu.org>, "cjn-south-africa at googlegroups.com" <cjn-south-africa at googlegroups.com>, Climate Justice Network <cjn at lists.riseup.net>, CJA International <climate09-int at lists.riseup.net>, demandclimatejustice <demandclimatejustice at googlegroups.com>, Durban Port Expansion <Campaign_DPE at googlegroups.com>
> Reply-To: Patrick Bond <pbond at mail.ngo.za
("By mid-afternoon five London landmarks – Waterloo Bridge, Marble Arch, Parliament Square, Oxford Circus and Piccadilly Circus – had been blocked by thousands of protesters. Organisers said they hoped to hold the first four of those venues round the clock over the coming days with a temporary camp established at Marble Arch, causing widespread disruption in the capital."
The pics in these reports - even BBC's <https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-47935416> - are inspiring! The activism is absolutely fearless.)
Thousands block roads in Extinction Rebellion protests across London
Climate group occupies major landmarks in campaign that could last several days
Tell us if you are taking part <https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/apr/13/tell-us-are-you-taking-part-in-an-extinction-rebellion-event>
Matthew Taylor <https://www.theguardian.com/profile/matthewtaylor> and Damien Gayle <https://www.theguardian.com/profile/damien-gayle>
Mon 15 Apr 2019
Thousands of people have blocked well-known landmarks and a bridge in central London, bringing widespread disruption to the capital in a “climate rebellion” that organisers say could last several days.
Parents and young children joined older people, scientists, teachers and long-term environmentalists to occupy major junctions and demand urgent action over the escalating ecological crisis.
The protests are part of a global campaign organised by the British climate group Extinction Rebellion, with demonstrations planned in 80 cities across 33 countries in the coming days.
The group is calling on the UK government to reduce carbon emissions to zero by 2025 and establish a citizens’ assembly to devise an emergency plan of action to tackle climate breakdown and biodiversity loss.
By mid-afternoon five London landmarks – Waterloo Bridge, Marble Arch, Parliament Square, Oxford Circus and Piccadilly Circus – had been blocked by thousands of protesters.
Organisers said they hoped to hold the first four of those venues round the clock over the coming days with a temporary camp established at Marble Arch, causing widespread disruption in the capital.
Roger Hallam <https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/oct/26/we-have-a-duty-to-act-hundreds-ready-to-go-to-jail-over-climate-crisis>, one of the movement’s leaders, said nothing like this had been seen on the streets of London for decades. “What’s amazing about this is for 30 years you have just had that closing up of public space – ‘you can’t do this, you can’t do that, you’ve got to finish then’.
“Suddenly what Extinction Rebellion <https://www.theguardian.com/environment/extinction-rebellion> has done is actually say: ‘we are doing this.’ And the state is so weak through austerity that they can’t stop us.”
The campaign cites the civil rights and suffragette movements as inspiration and is backed by hundreds of scientists and academics, including the former archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams <https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/mar/10/rowan-williams-school-pupil-climate-protests>.
Williams, who part in Monday’s protest, said at a meditation the night before that humans had declared war on nature: “We are here tonight to declare that we do not wish to be at war. We wish to make peace with ourselves by making peace with our neighbour Earth and with our God,” he said.
Action or Extinction? Environmental activists take to the streets <>
The group wrote to the prime minister, Theresa May, on Monday outlining their demands and asking for talks. In the letter they warned they would escalate their disruptive actions over the coming days and weeks unless the government acts.
“Make no mistake, people are already dying,” the letter said. “In the majority world, indigenous communities are now on the brink of extinction. This crisis is only going to get worse … prime minister, you cannot ignore this crisis any longer. We must act now.”
At Waterloo Bridge, protesters blocked the roads and turned the crossing into an impromptu garden bridge <https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/apr/09/london-garden-bridge-fiasco-dented-trust-in-charities-says-regulator>, with people bringing trees, flowers and setting up a miniature skate park and stage.
At Oxford Circus thousands of protesters danced to live music at the normally busy junction. A lifesized model of a boat was parked in the middle of the crossing with the slogan Tell the Truth emblazoned on the side. At nearby Piccadilly Circus the youth section of Extinction Rebellion <https://www.theguardian.com/environment/extinction-rebellion> held a sit-down protest, writing messages in chalk on the pavement.
Organisers hope the rebellion will last for several days and say its success depends on the number of people willing to occupy the sites in the days and nights ahead.
Laura Sorensen, a retired teacher who travelled from Somerset to join the protests, was one of thousands who gathered on Waterloo Bridge in the sunshine.
She said: “I am so worried about what’s happening to the planet. We are on a knife-edge now and I felt strongly that I needed to get out and show myself, rather than just talk about it in the pub.”
Sorensen said she had not previously been active in the environment movement but that as a child she had been given a love of nature by her parents. “I see this disaster unfolding all around me … it is terrifying and the government have done nothing despite all the warnings, so we have to act now.”
Trey Taylor, 19, was with two friends in Piccadilly Circus. He said he felt compelled to act when he realised the scale of the emergency.
“We are facing environmental breakdown and nothing remotely proportionate is being done about it … when you look at the facts this is happening now and the government response is utterly woeful.”
In Parliament Square about 2,000 people gathered under a sea of flags, placards and banners. From an octagonal stage erected on the green for speakers, Jamie Kelsey Fry, the contributing editor for New Internationalist magazine, said: “This is not a political movement, this is a movement of humanity. We are all backgrounds, all ages, all races, bound together in one wish, one dream, which is that we will have a good, decent, loving future, for generations to come.”
Five protesters were arrested for suspected criminal damage when they staged a demonstration at Shell’s headquarters. A glass revolving door was shattered and hundreds of passersby watched as two activists climbed above the entrance, writing “Shell knew” and “Shell knows” on the building.
At Marble Arch hundreds of people sat in the sun, listening to bands playing from an open-sided truck.
Damien Gayle (@damiengayle)
Simon Bramwell, who was glued to a revolving door at @Shell <https://twitter.com/Shell?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw>, said: "Shell has known about the impact the fossil fuel industry is having on our planet for decades. They've done nothing but deceive, lie and undermine any efforts at transition to renewables." #extinctionrebellion <https://twitter.com/hashtag/extinctionrebellion?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw>pic.twitter.com/efAb6QO7C0 <https://t.co/efAb6QO7C0>April 15, 2019 <https://twitter.com/damiengayle/status/1117759527384944643?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw>
Police walked among protesters, many of whom had come with their children, while groups of activists at the periphery blocked the various roads feeding into what is usually one of London’s busiest junctions.
Alex Armitage, an NHS doctor, had been drafted in as a spokesperson for the Marble Arch group. He said he hoped the police could be brought on side. “Eventually if this is going to work, if we are going to have the massive change in the economy that we need to protect ourselves from climate change, we are going to need the police to be unwilling or unable to restore order, and then the government has no option but to negotiate,” he said. “It all seems really grandiose – but so is the scale of the problem facing us.”
A number of major roads in the capital were brought to a standstill with roads gridlocked in surrounding streets. The AA said the disruption had been significant.
Police on Waterloo Bridge said there were no plans to move protesters on for the time being. One officer said: “It’s been very peaceful so far. Everyone has been really pleasant. The only grief we’ve had is from passing motorists shouting at them to ‘get a job’ – that’s about as exciting as it’s got.”
The events in London were the biggest demonstrations but there were smaller protests in other cities around the world.
Extinction Rebellion: Climate protesters block roads
Climate change protesters have blocked roads across central London sparking traffic disruption.
Extinction Rebellion campaigners parked a boat at Oxford Circus and blocked Marble Arch, Piccadilly Circus and roads around Parliament Square.
Protester Yen Chit Chong said: "This is our last best shot at survival."
Three men have been arrested on suspicion of criminal damage after a glass revolving door at oil company Shell's HQ in Waterloo was smashed.
Police have advised people travelling into London to allow extra journey time.
Organisers claim protests are being held in over 80 cities across 33 countries.
Skip Twitter post by @Libomaluc <https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-47935416#jump-linkhttps://twitter.com/Libomaluc/status/1117734875006668800>
Road in Brussels being cleared, non-violent resistance from #ExtinctionRebellion <https://twitter.com/hashtag/ExtinctionRebellion?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw> activists starting #InternationalRebellionWeek <https://twitter.com/hashtag/InternationalRebellionWeek?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw> to declare #ClimateEmergency <https://twitter.com/hashtag/ClimateEmergency?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw>. #InternationalRebellion <https://twitter.com/hashtag/InternationalRebellion?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw>#actnow <https://twitter.com/hashtag/actnow?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw> @ExtinctionRebe6 <https://twitter.com/ExtinctionRebe6?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw> 👊🏽https://t.co/iUTc6hDUkV <https://t.co/iUTc6hDUkV> pic.twitter.com/Qw2LEDIzkA <https://t.co/Qw2LEDIzkA>— Luc Vanhoorickx (@Libomaluc) April 15, 2019 <https://twitter.com/Libomaluc/status/1117734875006668800?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw>
End of Twitter post by @Libomaluc
Extinction Rebellion said protests would continue throughout the week "escalating the creative disruption across the capital day by day".
The group said it planned to "bring London to a standstill for up to two weeks", and wanted the government to take urgent action to tackle climate change.
In Parliament Square, protesters unfurled banners, held up placards and waved flags as speakers took to the stage.
Who are Extinction Rebellion?
Since its launch last year, members have shut bridges, poured buckets of fake blood outside Downing Street, blockaded the BBC and stripped semi-naked in Parliament.
It has three core demands: for the government to "tell the truth about climate change", reduce carbon emissions to zero by 2025, and create a citizens' assembly to oversee progress.
Controversially, the group is trying to get as many people arrested as possible.
One of the group's founders, Roger Hallam, believes that mass participation and civil disobedience maximise the chances of social change.
But critics say they cause unnecessary disruption and waste police time when forces are already overstretched.
By intentionally causing more than £6,000 damage at the Shell headquarters activists aim to get the case into crown court to put their case to a jury, the campaign said.
A Shell spokesman said: "We respect the right of everyone to express their point of view, we only ask that they do so with their safety and the safety of others in mind."
Skip Twitter post by @Andrew9Boswell <https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-47935416#jump-linkhttps://twitter.com/Andrew9Boswell/status/1117730477048254464>
Great atmosphere at banners unfurling in Parliament Square#ExtinctionRebellion <https://twitter.com/hashtag/ExtinctionRebellion?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw>#InternationalRebellion <https://twitter.com/hashtag/InternationalRebellion?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw> pic.twitter.com/wwiJuYAOeU <https://t.co/wwiJuYAOeU>— Andrew Boswell #ExtinctionRebellion (@Andrew9Boswell) April 15, 2019 <https://twitter.com/Andrew9Boswell/status/1117730477048254464?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw>
End of Twitter post by @Andrew9Boswell
Protester Chay Harwood told the BBC: "We live in a very sick society at the moment. There's a lot of social issues and social ills that need curing.
"But at the moment the biggest threat we face is the threat of climate change."
Coffee cup ban sees sales fall £250k <https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-bristol-47629820>
'Nothing gets people going like an earthquake' <https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-47816810>
Plastics exhibition 'highlights pollution' <https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-tees-46855707>
The Met said it had "appropriate policing plans" in place for the demonstrations and officers from across the force would be used "to support the public order operation".
In November, activists blockaded the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy by chaining themselves together on the pavement <https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-46172661>, leading to 85 arrests.
At the scene
By Matthew Cannon, BBC News
The unusual sight of a pink yacht stands in the centre of Oxford Circus, surrounded by protesters holding aloft a sea of coloured flags.
The focus here is on the future of the planet - and there is a sense of urgency.
Some are wearing red to symbolise "the blood of dying species", one group wants to "save the bees", while a man dressed as a centaur holds a placard which says "climate change is not a myth ...unlike centaurs".
Two young women tell me they are not willing to have children due to their fears for the world they will be bringing them into.
Another man, who plans to protest through the night, says the protests will be peaceful but he is willing to be arrested.
"The more the authorities will get fed up with us the more it brings us to their attention," he said.
Organisers have encouraged people to set up camp in Hyde Park overnight into Monday - an offence under Royal Parks legislation.
A spokeswoman for The Royal Parks said Extinction Rebellion had not asked for permission to begin the protest in the park and that camping was not allowed.
Independent researcher, editor
jai.sen at cacim.net <mailto:jai.sen at cacim.net>
Now based in New Delhi, India (+91-98189 11325) and in Ottawa, Canada, on unceded Anishinaabe territory (+1-613-282 2900)
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