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British climate activists don’t want to be trapped anymore

The group announced this in a message on New Year’s Day titled “We’re Quitting”. Disruptive measures – highly controversial among the public – are critical to mobilizing and denouncing systemic political failure to address the climate crisis. However, “strategies must continue to be developed”: henceforth, it wants to put more pressure on responsible politicians by mobilizing the broad masses of society into forms of collective resistance.

“Evilness” and “Prohibition”

In recent months, climate activists in several countries have repeatedly stuck to works of art, smeared them with tomato soup and mashed potatoes, barricaded buildings and stuck themselves to the streets. Advocates talk of a shock tactic to raise awareness of climate catastrophe. For protesters, these are acts of vandalism or at least annoying interruptions in everyday life. Be it in Great Britain or Germany: acts of destructive rebellion and like-minded groups like Just Stop Oil have left no one cold.

So now the change of course, activists described in their report as a “controversial decision”. “Despite the alarm bells ringing loud and clear about the climate and environmental emergency, very little has changed,” Extinction Rebellion UK said. “Emissions continue to rise, and our planet is dying faster and faster.”

Use crises to mobilize

That’s why he wants to win over more people than ever to climate resistance, making it more difficult for the powerful to ignore important concerns. “The interconnectedness of multiple crises offers a unique opportunity to mobilize and overcome traditional divides,” the report said.

The group made clear what that would look like in the future by calling for protests in front of the British Parliament on April 21: the aim is to shut down the House of Commons and the House of Lords in London’s Palace of Westminster for several days. The support of at least 100,000 people – thereby forcing political decision makers to act. The motto of the planned large-scale demonstration underscores the desire of many to curtail actions in protest. It reads: “Great”.

(sda/mas)