World News

Extinction Rebellion Protests Begin

Symbol of the Extinction Rebellion.

Starting October 7th, the socio-political movement Extinction Rebellion has called on people to protest for climate change in 60 cities worldwide for two weeks. Extinction Rebellion is an “international movement that uses non-violent disobedience in an attempt to halt mass extinction and minimize the risk of societal collapse”.

After their first series of protests in April, the next protest was promised to be five times larger in size. Organizers blockaded important sites in cities, protested in front of government buildings, glued or chained themselves to cars and roads, or camped overnight on the streets.

Protesters in the United Kingdom have blocked Westminster and Lambeth bridges in London. In addition, hundreds of protesters filled Trafalgar Square, and a car containing a coffin named “Our Future” was parked in same place while the driver was attached to the steering wheel with a bicycle lock. Those in New York poured fake blood over the Charging Bull statue in the financial district, resulting in at least 200 arrests on Monday 7th.

The movement in London disrupted the London City airport on Thursday, October 10th, to protest the impact of airplanes on the environment. Many glued themselves to the floor while James Brown, a visually impaired paraolympian, filmed himself on top of an airplane while transmitting a live message online. “They declare climate emergency and do nothing about it,” he said, “In fact, they go in the opposite direction, they sanction the expansion of airports: Heathrow, Bristol, and others.” After more than an hour, he was brought down and taken by the police. Another man refused to take his seat in the airplane, delaying the flight for over two hours. Both had bought a plane ticket and had passed through security. According to BBC, around 50 arrests were made in the airport that day.

Already, more than 1,000 people have been arrested in London in the four days of protest, while they are still going on in Amsterdam, Sydney, Washington DC, Canberra, and Berlin, among many others.

Stanley Johnson, the father of the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, has voiced his support for the methods used by the Extinction Rebellion protesters. In a large crowd gathering that took place on Wednesday 9th, he said, “On the point of non-cooperative crusties, I wear that badge with pride… A non-cooperative crusty, absolutely superb – do they taste good? That’s my thought, I think they do.” This was his response to his son’s comments, who called the protesters “uncooperative crusties”.

Meanwhile, the protests will continue for another week.

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