Extinction Rebellion activists target European capitals
More than 130 arrests have already been made in London, including 81-year-old Sarah Lasenby, a Quaker and retired social worker from Oxford. She said: “For 21 years, my main concern has been to help get rid of UK nuclear weapons. I am still keen to do this but once I came across XR I was so relieved to have something I could do about the ghastly state we have got our planet in.”
The environmental activists have attempted to occupy Westminster Bridge, Trafalgar Square, the gated entrance of Downing Street and nine other sites.
Protesters expect the gatherings to be approximately five times bigger than those in London in April when more than 1,100 arrests during 11 days.
Amsterdam, Berlin, New York Dublin, Paris, Budapest and Sydney are also seeing protests.
Extinction Rebellion (XR) says it is “an international movement that uses non-violent civil disobedience in an attempt to halt mass extinction and minimise the risk of social collapse”.
In Trafalgar Square, a hearse was parked carrying a coffin saying: “Our future.” The driver had locked himself to the steering wheel while other protesters attached themselves to the bottom of the vehicle and others lay in the road.
XR has been criticised for the lack of diversity among its members and protester Natalie Fiennes said the group was “beyond politics” and waking up to its white-privilege “problem”.
Another protester Marilyn Taylor said, “we’re still not making the progress we need” on climate change.
“I’m here because I’ve been interested in environmental issues for years.”
The movement was launched in October 2018 when activists surrounded the UK parliament to make a “declaration of rebellion against the UK government”.
Some activists glued themselves to the gates of Buckingham Palace.
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said XR caused “miserable disruption” to Londoners with an estimated 500,000 people affected.
XR activists attempted to fly drones at Heathrow Airport last month but failed to cause any disruption.
Last week activists used a fire engine to spray the UK Treasury with fake blood.
XR plans to block access to Westminster roads, bridges, government departments, and also target the City of London and City Airport.
London’s police have been busy. Picture credit: YouTube