It should come as no surprise that this government has set out to deligitimise protestors when each protest pierces the bubble of complacency surrounding their climate record. This is the desperate act of a government in denial, to censor the voices of dissent rather than face the reality of the situation we are in.
Just two weeks ago the UNFCCC report showed that world leaders are completely neglecting their pledges to reach net zero – the UK included. The UK government would like us to believe they are “world leaders on climate” but the reality is, like the pandemic, they have no real plan to get out of this crisis.
Alanna Byrne of Extinction Rebellion, said: “What is the real issue here? At a time when the country is experiencing anger and frustration about an uncertain future, about racial inequality, about nurses on the front line who are being told to feel thankful they are employed, and environmental destruction, it’s not new police powers that we need but some compassionate leadership from the government.
“Priti Patel can try and make the UK a protest free zone, but it’s clear that the government is not going to do the right thing without protestors holding them to account so we don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. They can try to make it a crime to care but they will not stop people from caring.”
So, they can label Extinction Rebellion, BLM and nurses on the front line as ‘aggravated activists’ all they like, but the suffragettes, civil rights movement and gay rights movement were all called similar things, all of whom have subsequently, despite their repression by the authorities, been found to be on the right side of history.
Notes to editors:
 Police need to find the correct balance between the rights of protesters and the rights of others https://www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmicfrs/news/news-feed/police-need-to-find-the-correct-balance-between-the-rights-of-protesters-and-the-rights-of-others/
ABOUT EXTINCTION REBELLION
Time has almost entirely run out to address the ecological crisis which is upon us, including the 6th mass species extinction, global pollution, and increasingly rapid climate change. If urgent and radical action isn’t taken, we’re heading towards 4˚C warming, and the societal collapse and mass loss of life that that implies. The younger generation, racially marginalised communities and the Global South are on the front-line. No-one will escape the devastating impacts.
Extinction Rebellion believes it is a citizen’s duty to rebel, using peaceful civil disobedience, when faced with criminal inactivity by their Government.
Extinction Rebellion’s key demands are:
- Government must tell the truth by declaring a climate and ecological emergency, working with other institutions to communicate the urgency for change.
- Government must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.
- Government must create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice.
About Rising Up!
Extinction Rebellion emerged from the Rising Up! network, which promotes a fundamental change of our political and economic system to one which maximises well-being and minimises harm. Change needs to be nurtured in a culture of reverence, gratitude and inclusion while the tools of civil disobedience and direct action are used to express our collective power.