Thursday, April 18, 2019

Get Arrested for Climate Change

Oxford Street in London, UK has been empty of traffic since activists parked a pink boat in Oxford Circus on Monday 

On Tuesday, Oxford Circus is still blocked 

Organizers said protests had been held in more than 80 cities, including Edinburgh where 29 people were arrested on Tuesday 

Protesters formed a human blockade and resisted requests for them to disperse, police said

In the UK, climate change activists are aiming to "shut down London" – as they entered their third day of protests. 

Already, Central London traffic has been disrupted by protesters who blocked off major hotspots as part of their campaign of civil disobedience. 

Organizers said the plan was to cause a major havoc with small mobile teams of 20 or so activists moving around London. 

"These disruptive protests aim to cause gridlock across the capital, highlighting the impending economic and environmental breakdown we face if the government fails to act now", a spokesperson said. 

Since their launch last year, climate change pressure group Extinction Rebellion members have shut bridges, poured buckets of fake blood outside Downing Street, blockaded the BBC and stripped semi-naked in Parliament. 

They have three primary demands: for the government to "tell the truth about climate change", reduce carbon emissions to zero by 2025, and create a citizens' assembly to oversee progress. 

Controversially, Extinction Rebellion are urging people to break the law and get as many arrested as possible to save the world. 

One of the group's founders, Roger Hallam believes that mass participation and civil disobedience maximize the chances of social change. 

As at Wednesday, more than 300 people have been arrested. The Met Police said "contingency plans are in place should custody suites become full". 

Extinction Rebellion claim "thousands" more people are willing to be arrested as part of the non-violent disruption to "highlight the emergency of ecological collapse" and persuade ministers to meet group members. 

Environmental lawyer and a mother of four children Farhana Yamin, who was arrested on Tuesday, told BBC Radio 4's Today program: "…we need to take actions that are disruptive so everyone understands the dangers we're facing right now. People should understand that we are at a critical moment in our humanity's history".

Presently present in 49 countries and already attracted high-profile supporters from US intellectual Noam Chomsky and actress Emma Thompson to young Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg. Truly, this environmental movement is growing fast and furious.

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