What’s Going On Here?
The Extinction Rebellion ‘International Rebellion’ started on Monday – forcing the climate change debate to the forefront of public awareness. Curious Earth spent a few hours this week mingling with activists in London.
What Does This Mean?
Far from being tree-huggers, hippies or fringe-groups, we were struck by the normality – the ordinariness – of the people involved. We met a scientist, a computer programmer, a PR exec, a recruiter from a multinational corporation, ops staff from NGOs, and countless others.
These were ordinary people fighting an extraordinary crisis.
As for real public opinion, most people were positive towards the protesters. Some were understandably frustrated at delays. But hey, the most effective protests are those that don’t inconvenience anybody or gain media attention, right? One thing is for sure, these are not, as some UK newspapers would have it, a “far-left mob”.
In fact, most protestors were empathetic about bothering the public, but the message seemed to be: if you think blocking a road causes outrageous inconvenience, boy are you in for a shock when climate chaos engulfs the planet. I don’t know about you but we think they’ve got a point.
Why Should We Care?
Late into the evening, a quiet man in his 50s or 60s wearing a fleece and wooly hate and sipping tea from a thermos flask sat next to us holding a placard. It read:
“I’m here for the young people I love – Ruth, Pete, Sophia, Sam, Ellie, Mabel, Rebecca, Fay, Caitlin, Jamie, Joe, Louis, Oliver, Noah, Max, Sophie, Ryan, Tom, Pippa, Lois, Holly, Michael, James, Ellie, Emily, Simon, Jess, Tess, Roz, Eleanor – I want a bright future”.
Swat up on Extinction Rebellion’s 3 demands if you’re not sure what they’re after. If you like what you’re reading then consider heading down to support them this bank holiday weekend. We should say, not everyone at Curious Earth agrees about Extinction Rebellion.
Is it a necessary democracy-in-action movement which is ultimately going to force the government to the negotiating table? Is it a high-risk, potentially counter-productive exercise which could turn public opinion against the climate debate?What do you think about the tube protests? Should public transport – seen by some as near-sacred in the environmental movement – be off limits?
Finally, if you do one thing this week, take a moment to spark a conversation about Extinction Rebellion, be it with your colleagues, pals, or family. Get the climate change debate out in the open.