08 October 2019 - 'Sorry, this is an emergency': Climate protesters block streets around the world
Extinction Rebellion protests: UK arrests as global demonstrations begin
(BBC News, 08/10/2019)
Police have arrested 280 people in London at the start of two weeks of protests by environmental campaigners.
Extinction Rebellion activists are protesting in cities around the world, including Berlin, Amsterdam and Sydney.
Organisers have blockaded key sites in central London, in addition to demonstrating outside government departments.
Boris Johnson Ridicules Extinction Rebellion Protestors As 'Hemp-Smelling Crusties'
Paul Waugh (The Huffington Post, 07/10/2019)
Boris Johnson has ridiculed Extinction Rebellion protestors as annoying “nose-ringed”, “hemp-smelling” “crusties”.
In a broadside at the demonstrators who started a fortnight of disruption in central London, the prime minister used a speech praising Margaret Thatcher to make plain his disdain for the group’s tactics.
Johnson told an event hosted by the Policy Exchange think tank that Thatcher was an environmentalist “long before Greta Thunberg”, taking action on greenhouse gases.
Extinction Rebellion is on the right side of history, whatever you think of the group’s style
Editorial (The Independent, 08/10/2019)
The UK is reducing its carbon emissions almost as fast any developed nation. It also represents just 1 per cent of the global population. In the international fight against climate change, which is not being fought with anything like the urgency it should, its power is extremely limited.
Still, the Houses of Parliament, the building around which the climate change direct action group Extinction Rebellion has tried to build an effective barricade, has, for some years, been way ahead of the curve in the fight on climate change. Its parties are, to a great extent, on the same side.
Thanks to Extinction Rebellion, we’re experiencing a climate culture change
Polly Toynbee (The Guardian, 07/10/2019)
In the Mall, up Whitehall, or crossing Trafalgar Square early this morning, the climate activists looked like rush-hour office workers and civil servants – mainly 30 to 50-year-olds, with no dreadlocked tree-huggers, SWP banners or black-masked anarchists looking for a punch-up. Chanting about the climate emergency, frankly, they seemed a bit sheepish, not used to it. Their ordinariness makes Extinction Rebellion, or XR, especially effective: farmers, scientists, doctors, Cumbrians and other local platoons stand at the 12 key roadblocks.
After their successful capture of central London in April, local cells or “affinity groups” all over the country have trained and planned for this protest. Deciding who would be “arrestable” for highway obstruction – and who wouldn’t be, because of jobs or young families – they were primed to expect a tougher police response after rightwing press complaints against the friendly policing last April, when officers were caught dancing at a blocked Oxford Circus.