Extinction Rebellion vows to block areas of London every day for at least a week, and on the next three weekends.
A Cabinet minister on Monday slammed environmental activists who have staged protests in London and blocked oil terminals – accusing them of seeking “to cause havoc with other people’s lives”.
Environment Secretary George Eustice also argued that “extreme protests” are not needed as ending the world’s dependency on fossil fuels was already part of the “mainstream agenda”.
The climate demonstrators – who have promised a week of action as they continue their calls for no new investment in fossil fuels – gathered at The Albert memorial in Kensington Gardens on Monday morning dressed in doctors’ scrubs and holding signs saying ‘the Earth is in a critical condition’.
Earlier today, the activists met in Hyde Park to hold ‘non-violent’ direct action training, while others carried out a ‘mass outreach’ in central London which included the presence of a papier mache elephant at Kensington Gardens.
This month they are calling for an end to the use of fossil fuels and demand the government listen to them. Protesters believe the COP26 summit has failed the world, and this is the last chance to save the planet as was stated by a damning UN climate report released at the start of the month.
Founded in the UK, the movement has some of its strongest roots in its home country and has staged several “rebellions” in London so far. As the group begins their newest mass action, due to last the rest of this week, MyLondon has put together a quick guide to all of April’s protests and everything we know about them.
Extinction Rebellion always comes prepared to any of its “mass rebellions”. From a giant boat, to a huge pink table to plenty of fake blood, they do their research and planning well in advance of any of their actions. But as well as preparing physical parts of their protest, they also ensure to train any protesters who want to undertake non-violent action training.
MyLondon understands that this training focusses on explaining to new followers of the group why Extinction Rebellion take the disruptive actions they do, and how protesters can best protect themselves. This includes a five-point plan which they advise anyone arrested while participating in peaceful protests to abide by – such as asking what power they are being arrested under and giving no personal details to officers.
They then plan to meet at Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park at 10am on Wednesday for action before launching further protests across parts of London from 12pm.
Protests will continue on Thursday with activists meeting at the Tate Modern at 12pm for “mass outreach, talks and music”.
A statement released by Extinction Rebellion, titled “Fossil Fuels must end: Why we’re back and bigger than ever” read: “You might be asking yourself, what has causing disruption got to do with stopping climate change?
“Aside from disruption from the climate crisis itself being far more annoying than our protests, history shows us – from the Civil Rights movement to the Suffragettes – that disrupting business as usual is the most powerful way to create rapid change – it’s simple really, to make big changes you have to be impossible to ignore.
The climate change group, also known as XR, held the session in Hyde Park on Monday morning, after holding large demonstrations in the capital over the weekend. A total of 38 activists were arrested on Sunday after crowds of people sat in the road to block traffic on Lambeth and Vauxhall Bridges, the Metropolitan Police said.
Holidaymakers fleeing the capital for the Easter weekend face a double whammy of environmental protests and rail upgrade works as police admit they cannot help travellers plan their routes.
After a week of delays and cancellations at airports and ferry ports, Extinction Rebellion is planning to bring parts of central London to a standstill over the weekend.