Saturday, 20 April 2019

Extinction Rebellion: Climate Protesters in Search of a Crisis

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As we debate and ridicule the Green New Deal in America, in Great Britain a new movement, which calls back the non-violent methods of Mahatma Ghandi and Martin Luther King, has sprung up with even crazier demands than AOC and her green cabal. Extinction Rebellion, first formed in the minds of British academics in the autumn of 2018, is now in the middle of their first major offensive against the governments of Great Britain and the world in general. The new group is calling for immediate action on the phony problem of man-made climate change. And although the methods are supposed to be non-violent, they include disruptive acts and civil disobedience that could lead to violence.

As of Friday, nearly 700 protesters have been arrested in London during protests, which have centered on the Oxford Circus area. But getting arrested is a plan of the group, meant to draw maximum attention to their cause. Employing disruptive tactics such as blocking roadways and attaching themselves to buildings, the group claims it is apolitical, while calling for governments to halt the advancement of so-called climate change.

This is the same group that staged a semi-naked protest in the House of Commons during Brexit debates on April 1, gluing themselves to a barrier in the chamber as debate was ongoing. The origins of the group can be traced back to the release of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, claiming that we only have 12 years left to revamp all of society and do away with fossil fuels or the Earth will face ecological disaster.

The report has been widely ridiculed as being fearmongering nonsense by many scientists, but the true believers in Extinction Rebellion haven’t received the message.

Extinction Rebellion has drawn a few high-profile supporters including 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thurnberg, left-wing “intellectual” Noam Chomsky, and Hollywood actress Emma Thompson, who flew in from Los Angeles on a carbon spewing jet to be a part of the festivities in Oxford Circus.

Standing onboard a pink boat moored in Oxford Circus with the phrase, “Tell the Truth” painted on it, Thompson told the crowd, “We are here in this little island of sanity and it makes me so happy to be able to join you all and to add my voice to the young people here who have inspired a whole new movement.”

When asked by a reporter whether her flight from L.A. to London to speak at an event might be seen as a tad hypocritical, Thompson answered, “I plant a lot of trees.”

Police waited until protestors had finished reciting poems before moving in and dismantling the pink boat.

The group, along with its satellite groups in dozens of other countries calls for the UK to declare a climate emergency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero by the year 2025. While claiming the group is apolitical, its demands are:

Tell the Truth: Government must tell the truth by declaring a climate and ecological emergency, working with other institutions to communicate the urgency for change.

Act Now: Government must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.

Beyond Politics: Government must create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice.

Yeah, none of that sounds political at all.

The group’s current offensive is three-pronged and scheduled to last from April 15 to April 29 on all three fronts. The first is the attempt to shut down London, reported above, with actions scheduled for Parliament Square, the Marble Arch and Piccadilly Circus. Second, the group wants to  close London’s Waterloo Bridge and convert it into a “Garden Bridge” of sorts. The Garden Bridge was supposed to be a pedestrian bridge over the Thames River, but the project eventually collapsed over mismanagement and funding issues.

The third prong is an undefined International Rebellion, where organizers call for the international community to create their own events. Protests associated with Extinction Rebellion were reported in Paris and Rome, but the movement also boasts members in the United States, Germany, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Belgium, Switzerland, Canada, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, and Spain.

On Thursday, the group had threatened to “raise the bar” by attempting to shut down roads going into Heathrow Airport, which would serve approximately 250,000 travelers on Easter weekend. Some protesters showed up, brandishing signs about the coming ecological disaster but dispersed on Friday morning. No interruptions were noted by airport personnel.

Give them some credit. They’ve received the attention they were looking for and, thus far, their protests have been non-violent, as promised. Hopefully, the non-violence lasts, but if it does the costs in police manpower are hard to quantify. Will the communities they rally in suffer from a lack of police protection while these nonsensical protests go on? Almost assuredly.

The group claims to be crowd funded predominantly by small donations, although they do admit that they have received money from the Germany-based Guerilla Foundation, a left-wing foundation that supports various “progressive” grass-roots movements throughout Europe. So much for being “apolitical.”

Photo of Extinction Rebellion protesters near Heathrow Airport, April 19, 2019: AP Images

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