Angry at Western Civilisation Not Dismantling Itself Fast Enough, Eco Activists Will Protest Indefinitely

An activist is arrested by police officers at a demonstration against the HS2 hi-speed rail line where protesters sprayed fake blood and graffiti outside the Department for Transport, as part of protests by the Extinction Rebellion climate change group in central London on September 4, 2020 on the fourth day …
Getty Images

Radical climate change activists with a history of bringing central London and other cities to a standstill have vowed to “disrupt” the city “until our new immediate demand… is met”, starting from late August.

Extinction Rebellion (XR), the climate change group labelled a “criminal” enterprise bent on undermining British society by the home secretary, has threatened disruption to the UK economy without end unless its demands are met, in a warning that new demonstrations would begin on Monday, August 23rd.

The group, which has launched several large-scale disruptions in London and other cities in Britain and Europe in 2019, including glueing members to commuter trains and setting up camps on busy urban roads and bridges, said they would spend two days teaching supporters how to engage in “Non Violent Direct Action” over the preceding weekend before launching a serious of “occupations”.

While XR called on supporters to take two weeks off — from work, possibly — to “stop all new fossil fuel investment immediately”, it made clear disruptions would continue in some form or another “until our new Immediate demand… is met, because we are out of time and it’s the most obvious and necessary they can do right now.”

UK police were criticised for their handling of previous XR demonstrations, which was frequently interpreted as amounting to simply letting the protests continue unmolested for considerable periods of time. This attitude was underlined in a recent report by independent watchdog the Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services, which found with XR and the recent Black Lives Matter protests, police were risking damaging their own neutrality by being too permissive.

“We found that the police too often do not find the balance between protecting the rights of the protesters and preventing excessive disruption to daily life, which even peaceful protest can sometimes cause… police don’t always do enough to assess the impact that peaceful protests have on the lives of local residents and businesses. So this has sometimes caused enormous disruption and it’s tipped the balance in favour of the protesters,” the HMICFRS report said.

Expressing the essential frustration felt by some at the hands-off policing approach seen in recent years, watchdog spokesman Matt Parr said of the findings of the report: “For some members of the public, it is difficult to understand why the police might not intervene in situations where protesters appear to be breaking the law.” At a 2019 XR protest, officers were photographed fraternising and dancing with protesters.

At some XR protests, public frustration at state inaction over disruptive protests bubbled over. At one occupation where XR activists climbed onto the roof of a commuter train to prevent it from leaving the station and thereby block the whole line, angered members of the public pelted them with rubbish and pulled the demonstrators down to the ground. Police later investigated the members of the public who stepped in to help free up the train, calling their actions “unacceptable”.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.