Yesterday, environmental activists from U.K.-based group Extinction Rebellion occupied the Greenpeace office in London to say “we love you” — but also to demand more from the organization. Extinction Rebellion now plans to launch a “rebellion” on Oct. 31, described as “a non-violent uprising against the criminal inaction by the British government on the climate crisis,” and to hold actions in the U.K. in November.
It then wants to go global in March 2019.
What’s this all about?
In a column published in The Guardian today, George Monbiot notes, “On 31 October, I will speak at the launch of Extinction Rebellion in Parliament Square. This is a movement devoted to disruptive, non-violent disobedience in protest against ecological collapse.”
“With the exception of Costa Rica, no government has the policies required to prevent more than 2C of global warming, let alone 1.5C,” he goes to on argue.
This is certainly true in Canada where the Trudeau government has just bought a tar sands pipeline that will spew megatonnes of carbon pollution and makes a shameful mockery of their pledge to uphold both the Paris climate agreement and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Monbiot highlights, “The intention is to turn this national rising into an international one.”
“A rebellion on an international scale will follow in March,” according to the Extinction Rebellion Facebook page.
Their Facebook page explains, “Rising Up is coordinating a non-violent rebellion in November this year against 30 years of criminal inaction by the U.K. government on the climate emergency and ecological crisis.”
In an interview, Extinction Rebellion outlined the origins of their climate activism:
“[This project] began with a gathering of the Rising Up network who have been experimenting with civil disobedience campaigns for about two years now. They decided that our time to act is now and that the appropriate response to the humanitarian crisis of climate change is no longer mass marches and petitions.”
Extinction Rebellion has also stated, “The IPCC [the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] fails us, our government fails us, the NGOs have failed us, and business as usual is no longer an option, least of all for our movement.”
Their occupation of the Greenpeace office in London yesterday is indicative of their desire to push non-governmental organizations to take bolder action.
Following their meeting with Greenpeace staff, Extinction Rebellion stated, “We understand that as a large institution they have bills to pay and can be risk averse. These times of unprecedented ecological crisis, require our institutions to change, rapidly, and to be willing to take risks.”
Those inspired by the Tiny House Warriors, Valve-Turners and the Hambach Forest occupation may want to turn their attention to Extinction Rebellion to see how their call to “join the rebellion!” unfolds in the coming weeks and months.
Brent Patterson is a political activist and writer.
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