Written By: - Date published: 11:53 am, November 18th, 2018 - 42 comments
Categories: accountability, activism, democratic participation, Environment, global warming, International, political alternatives, Politics, the praiseworthy and the pitiful - Tags: AGW, civil disobedience, extinction rebellion, protest, rise up
Six thousand people took part in an event of mass disobedience that closed down five of London’s Bridges. Their motivation is inadequate political action in the face of global warming.
As Jenny Jones, a Green Party peer quoted in The Guardian put it –
Basically, conventional politics has failed us – it’s even failed me and I’m part of the system – so people have no other choice.
The Guardian further reports that Extinction Rebellion or ‘XR’ as it’s being abbreviated as in some publications, is making international contacts and currently planning events in several other countries. I might be wrong, but the impression I get is one of a quite deliberate and ongoing organising effort that’s intended to develop and persist over time. If accurate, that sits in welcome stark contrast to previous ‘flash in the pan’ type events – “global days of action” that have momentarily flared and instantly disappeared.
The days leading up to the closure of London’s bridges had seen several other actions by people affiliating themselves to XR. More actions are to follow.
The demand being made of government is to-
This isn’t being pushed by fired up younger people whose actions many an older folk might be tempted to dismiss as “a phase”. This is a full cross section of society including and representing politicians, scientists, professionals and non-professionals, peers and the working class, students, children, parents, and grandparents…it’s not dismissible and (I hope) it’s not going away.
Here’s a link that’s been provided for people outwith the UK who want to throw their weight behind Extinction Rebellion. Should we expect Jacinda Ardern to have already signed up given her rhetoric on global warming and her claim to view it as a second “nuclear moment”? Maybe she’s ready to “take the table”?
Or should we expect her to be more in line with the BBC, who gave space to their so-called Environment Analyst to ask of the action closing down the bridges across the Thames “Is the Protest Fair?” The suggestion made by the BBC’s Roger Harrabin is that government is ticking along just fine in its efforts to avert climate change; that it’s headed in the right direction and citizens are being a bit unfair to allege woeful shortcomings and to demand that comprehensive meaningful and effective action be taken.
Me? I’m with Jenny Jones, the Peer quoted above and everyone else who recognises the dire situation we’re in and the need to cut the crap, drop the excuses, and get on with it. So block the bridges, walk off the pavement, refuse to fly for work, talk to people, disrupt our demise and practice around how we might organise tomorrow’s world today.