Extinction Rebellion Protests Take Over London

Moving into their second week of protest in London, Extinction Rebellion continues making headlines worldwide. This international movement utilizes non-violent civil disobedience in order to bring awareness to impending mass extinction and social collapse.

Behind the Organization

Extinction Rebellion only began just under a year ago. Protesters gathered in Parliament Square in London announcing a “Declaration of Rebellion against the UK government.”

This protest quickly grew to 1,500 people. For the coming weeks activists blocked bridges, planted trees, and more.

Following these events Extinction Rebellion surged in popularity and chapters began popping up all over the world.

All protests center around preventing the impending mass extinction through spreading awareness and demanding action regarding the current climate crisis. Read more on their vision here.

Principles and Goals

Extinction Rebellion holds ten principles and values:

  1. Shared Vision of Change
  2. Set Mission on What is Necessary
  3. Needing a Regenerative Culture
  4. Openly Challenging Themselves and Our Toxic System
  5. Value Reflecting and Learning
  6. Welcome Everyone and Every Part of Everyone
  7. Actively Mitigate for Power
  8. Avoid Blaming and Shaming
  9. Non-Violence
  10. Based on Autonomy and Decentralization

Evidently, the organization operates with the best interest of all in mind. Beyond their outlined modes of functioning, Extinction Rebellion also has specific demands articulated under the Climate Ecological Emergency (Declaration, Emissions, Target, and Citizens’ Assembly) Bill or the Three Demands Bill.

Under this Bill the UK government will be forced to “declare a climate and ecological emergency, specify a 2025 target date and establish a Citizens’ Assembly to determine the wide-ranging policy changes needed to transition to net zero greenhouse gas emissions and halt the extinction of species.”

With their intensity and numbers, Extinction Rebellion has undoubtedly ran into some conflict amidst their massive successes in the past week.

Current Protests

From London City Airport to Trafalgar Square, Extinction Rebellion has been all over the city this past week.

They have closed roads, disrupted air transport, and more. While the protests seem a surface-level inconvenience, that’s the point. The goal is to “alert the public to crisis by disrupting their daily lives.”

Despite a city-wide ban on demonstrations announced last night, the protests continue. This morning leader, Gail Bradbook, spearheaded an event at the Department of Transport in London. Police soon arrested her after she smashed glass panels of the building with a hammer.

Later the same day, 20 protestors blocked traffic during rush-hour on Queen’s Road in Cambridge.

As the week continues, many protesters have stated that the group plans to stop the Tube on Thursday.

So far, around 92 people have been charged with offenses and last week 1,300 protestors were arrested.

Get Involved

The message of Extinction Rebellion is a powerful one and so are their antics. If you’re interested in joining or starting a chapter near you visit the Extinction Rebellion website.

First you must watch the ‘Heading for Extinction‘ talk. Then, look over their informational materials. And lastly, join a group.

As their website states:

We need you – whoever you are, however much time you have – to help build a powerful movement. Our vision of change involves mass participation. Together we’re unstoppable.

Cover image via Alexander Savin

Also published on Medium.