Extinction Rebellion

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  • People aren't generally interested in ideas about non-centralised whatnot -- they just wanna get to work, school, hospital, home or wherever. The pissedoffness (made up word) will only gather momentum.

    I'm pretty sure Gail Bradbrook told (or implied) everyone to go out and cause havoc -- they have no right to claim their democratic right to protest, or behave like victims when they're causing general havoc all over London (and beyond).

    They're not issuing apologies for all the people whose lives have been messed up with in any other ways -- what we saw today was the result of two weeks of sustained nuisancing, not a one-off group of disgruntled commuters.

  • The statement above seems to completely forget all the people who climbed on top of trains in the summer, the guy who glued himself to a train at Shadwell last week, and so on...

    I quite like this article...



    What’s interesting is the response from the anarchist groups and individuals we know. A response that was pretty much unanimous in condemning the actions of the XR cell at Canning Town as being anti-working class and totally counter-productive. Followed up by some useful discussion of what direct action really means.

    Generally, we can all agree that actions such as the attempts to shut down the Defence & Security Equipment International fair held at Excel in London or the activists who blocked the Bristol site of the BAE arms manufacturer the day after Turkey invaded Rojava were precisely targeted, legitimate actions.

  • Spot on...I stopped following XR some time ago but im not aware of any attempt by them to inconvenience or shut down the stock market or invade the lobby's of high end hotels frequented by the business people who control polluting corporates.

    They seem to have consistently hit soft targets or inconvenienced people who ultimately they need on their side.

    At least GreenPeace and FOE have specific selective targeting to further their aims. XR seems to be more uncoordinated ill thought out jolly wheeze for a few and dragged a few odinary folks along for validation.

    What other environmental protest group has celebs jetting in to take part in protests while theyre continuing with their own hyper consuming and running fleets of cars boats and helicopters or personal jets.....genuine question,im curious.

    Something smells about it all to be honest,like a disorganised chaotic distraction. An exercise of throwing a dead cat on the table.

  • What other environmental protest group has celebs jetting in to take part in protests while theyre continuing with their own hyper consuming and running fleets of cars boats and helicopters or personal jets.....genuine question,im curious

    It's a new tactic for sure and hypocritical to the extreme, but if that's what it takes in today's world to make people take notice, then i think it's worth a shot.

  • ... What other environmental protest group has celebs jetting in to take part in protests while theyre continuing with their own hyper consuming and running fleets of cars boats and helicopters or personal jets.....genuine question,im curious ...

    Before I get round to addressing some of your more important points, would you mind naming some of these celebs who run fleets of cars, boats, helicopters or personal jets and who take part in the protests, please? Genuine question, I'm curious :whistle:

    I know Sting has taken a lot of stick for this over the years. My personal opinion, fwiw, is that such criticism may be completely justified, but I've no idea who to believe any more.

  • Thanks, oldkeith, for saving me the trouble, but none of those articles answered my question. There was no mention of anyone running a fleet of anything. The names mentioned appear to take scheduled flights, which is part of how the world works at the moment. Benedict Cumberbatch advertises cars. Is that the same as owning a fleet? The letter stated that the signatories admitted their hypocrisy while those interviewed seemed to be suggesting that they are using their influence to help bring attention to the situation i.e. that it is not just "crusties in hemp-smelling bivouacs" who are causing the disruption, but quite a lot of other concerned people from different parts of society. How helpful or misguided that kind of attention-bringing turns out to be will probably come under the remit of future historians, assuming there are any left when the time comes.

    So without further evidence, I'm left pondering NRT's assertions that XR have failed to take their action to "harder targets". I'm not sure there is overwhelming evidence of that either. On the one hand the feeling of this forum appears to be that XR nvda has been counter-productive. At the same time we rail against those who have been brave enough to take a stand or that the actions have not targeted the right institutions or hit hard enough. I seem to remember that more aggressive tactics of other activists have also been frowned upon in past discussions on here. Greenpeace has been fielding brave activists for decades and still attract opprobrium if they get something slightly wrong. The rest of the time they are generally ignored and the fossil-fuel industry carries on with business as usual. Fuelled by the XR experience I am seeing more activists opposing damaging developments locally. In my area there are people getting involved with public transport campaigns, fighting new road schemes, taking action to thwart the loss of forestry commission land to a new quarrying project. The same core activists saw off American multi-national polluters, Cory Wheelabrator, a few years ago. Now, though, there is a whole new cohort of people who realise that they don't have to accept what some of these big operators want to impose. The industry in which I work is also challenging corporate sponsorship from the polluters, such as BP. That's a pretty big deal. As soon as city institutions were targeted in the recent action, the police stepped up their response and media attention was stifled. That was unlikely to be a coincidence.

    XR is a new phenomenon. As a movement it seems to have caught the imagination of many people who might otherwise not engage in direct action. I agree it does have the appearance of a chaotic rabble (that appearance is fed by media outlets such as those referred to in oldkeith's message), but I personally struggled to deal with the formality of the group. It has its own language, its own very confusing structures and there definitely are rules. Waggling hands at meetings just looks silly to me at the moment and I have to work hard to repress the urge to giggle. I started to look at the required reading for those intending to take part in this recent "uprising" and gave up. I'm from the old-school turn-up-and-march style of action. However, while I have attended one or two actions locally, I decided not to go to London. My main reason was that I couldn't justify the travelling when I've no other reason to be there and there are still things that need to be done here. Even though a new phenomenon, I have seen evidence of changes in the way some things are being done. That shows the movement can learn from previous experience. Inevitably it will break into new factions. Some of these will bring XR into further disrepute while some others will be ignored. Everything will probably still be blamed on XR, because now it is has been named in a Section 14 notice.

    In the UK, Extinction Rebellion has three main demands:

    • The government must declare a climate "emergency"
    • The UK must legally commit to reducing carbon emissions to net zero by 2025
    • A citizens' assembly must be formed to "oversee the changes"

    I have no idea whether or to what degree any of these are possible.

    While I do agree with NRT that there is something suspicious about the whole thing, calling out the hypocrisy of better-known personalities who may appear to be jumping on a band-wagon is yet one more straw man argument. Those hundred or so people have already "owned" their hypocrisy. I struggle every day to own my own and lessen my own impact on my environment. I feel like I'm fighting a losing battle. I'm sitting in a shed next to my boat inhaling foul-smelling smoke from the neighbour who has set fire to a pile of horse bedding. "Whoopee, we're all gonna die."

  • Putting the term "climate emergency" out there and having it acknowledged and supported by wider society is definitely effective..... Extinction Rebellion has done that.

    ER s blurb for those being tried by a court of peers (for protesting) includes the fact that ER activists who admitted to causing thousands of pounds damage to the offices of a petrochemical company were acquitted in court by a jury....

    The implication is that despite being unworthy and imperfect hipocrites Joe Public recognises the emergency and a need for change.

  • I'm not totally cynical about XR, my O/H has taken part in their local demos too. (Not much chance of getting arrested in Northampton, I told her. True. Police were nice and friendly, smiling; a fun day out for them, on overtime too).

    It's just XR's lack of focused direction that makes me think they are a well-funded group of well-meaning do-gooders who haven't got an earthly chance of having their three main demands satisfied.

    By a right-wing Tory government run by the banks and big business?

    C'mon, get real!

    As for celebrities, every time I hear the word celebrity I reach for my Kalashnikov (only it isn't there). Celebrities are a totally manufactured article, a product of our shit society, who lose no opportunity to jump on any passing bandwagon that is going to get them a bit more publicity and adoration from the goggling media-following masses.

    We may all try to become more ecologically aware in everyday life, I'm sure, but there are limits imposed by the society in which we live, and in the environmental conditions we find ourselves in. All of us can only do the best we can, with the resources we have available, in the time that we have been given here. No more.

  • Interesting stuff. A rum chap, but interesting. He doesn't talk like any scientist that I've ever met, but I've only ever met a few over all the years.

    Quite true about the EU not allowing nationalisation, it's in their rule book. Governments in the EU can only lend money (public funds) to businesses to stop them going under; the businesses must pay back in future, or sell off the government shares at low prices to get rid of them, as happened with RBS and others after the 2008 crash.

    So if he gets in, and if he holds a second referendum, and if the result is Remain, Corbyn's plans for nationalisation are stuffed, because the EU won't allow it.

    Unless he brings off a deal that tells them: 'We'll stay in the EU if you will change your rules to allow nationalisation'.

    If he can do that, he'll have done well!

  • Let's face it all these people and so called experts are only repeating what us hippies have been saying for friggin years, the world needs more respect and we dont need all the crap we buy?, if hippies ran the world what a beautiful place it would be amen .