Rich elites and corporations have corrupted democracy, and pushed a blind faith in markets and money so far that over the last 30 years they have caused us to breach critical planetary limits. Climate breakdown is their doing.
It has been hard to ignore the Extinction Rebellion (XR) protesters who have taken over bridges, blocked major roads, planted trees, danced and even temporarily brought a halt to the DLR tube line. Leading on from their naked protest in parliament, they have certainly grabbed the headlines, generating countless column inches (including this one), garnering radio and TV interviews, and, to the chagrin of many of the big green NGOs, sparked more discussion about climate change than years of their campaigning had done.
There are rightly many criticisms and discussions about the XR protests, from the whiteness of its mobilisation, the long term viability of building a movement solely around the tactic of “non-violent civil disobedience and disruption”, to the lack of concrete political demands to build broader public support.
As well as to the very real concern that it effectively sidelines the very people who are already facing the devastating impacts of climate change – those who are dying today and not sometime in the future, the people of the global south, who are also the ones least responsible for the climate crisis. But whatever one thinks about Extinction Rebellion, the truth is that for good or worse the School Strike for Climate and the Extinction Rebellion protests have propelled the issue of climate change up the news agenda. Read More