Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Extinction Rebellion appears to be retreating in the face of growing pressure to stop disrupting the lives of ordinary people, though they call the retreat “a new phase of rebellion” .
Humanity is at a crossroads, Greta Thunberg tells Extinction Rebellion
Swedish climate activist’s speech comes amid police action to clear protesters from Waterloo Bridge
Governments will no longer be able ignore the impending climate and ecological crisis, Greta Thunberg, the teenage climate activist, has told Extinction Rebellion protesters gathered at Marble Arch in London.
In a speech on Sunday night where she took aim at politicians who have for too long been able to satisfy demands for action with “beautiful words and promises”, the Swedish 16-year-old said humanity was sitting at a crossroads, but that those gathered had chosen which path they wish to take.
The London mayor, Sadiq Khan, said the disruption was “counter-productive” to the cause of climate change and was stretching resources so much it could damage police’s ability to fight violent crime.
“I’m extremely concerned about the impact the protests are having on our ability to tackle issues like violent crime if they continue any longer. It simply isn’t right to put Londoners’ safety at risk like this.”
Extinction Rebellion is discussing withdrawing from some sites in return for being allowed to remain in others and having its demands met.
One manifesto from Farhana Yamin, an international environmental lawyer, advocated a “pause” in disruption next week to better project their demands and press for negotiations with government.
She wrote: “Today marks a transition from week one, which focused on actions that were vision-holding but also caused mass ‘disruption’ across many dimensions (economic, cultural, emotional, social). Week two marks a new phase of rebellion focused on ‘negotiations’ where the focus will shift to our actual political demands.”
…Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/apr/21/extinction-rebellion-london-protesters-offer-pause-climate-action
Has Extinction Rebellion run out of puff? Did they fall for “beautiful promises” that politicians will now listen to their demands? Or is the lure of Britain’s deliciously warm beach weather weekend too much even for the most committed global warming activists? Time will tell.