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Figures both in the UK and abroad have been harshly criticizing XR’s tactics. Prominently, Priti Patel, the Secretary of State for the Home Department, castigated the group, saying “I refuse point blank to allow that kind of anarchy on our streets and I’m right behind [the police] as you bring the full might of the law down upon that selfish minority.” Patel continues, ““The very criminals who disrupt our free society must be stopped and together we must all stand firm against the guerilla tactics of Extinction Rebellion,” as the Independent reported.
This characterization of XR, as others have noted, is “spine-chilling.” According to Nick Aldworth, a former counter-terrorism official, such suggestions that groups like XR would be reclassified as “terrorist or organised crime groups ‘are actuallly subversions of the intension of the law.’” He also noted that, “That is hardly an accurate description of the thousands or ordinary people – the nurses, the doctors, the grandparents and others – who take part in Extinction Rebellion’s non-violent protests.”
Previous Home Secretaries have echoed Aldworth’s characterization; for instance, Diane Abbott told news outlets that “They are not criminals… they are protestors and activists, in tradition of the Suffragettes and the Hunger Marchers of the 1930s.”
A Broader Week of Actions
Extinction Rebellion is continuing to use protest tactics in order to push for action on climate change. As TimeOut reported, the group is “currently engaged in a peaceful mass action in Parliament Square to highlight the growing ecological crisis.”
This week, following TimeOut, XR is “intending to deliver litter to Coca-Cola’s UK headquarters in Marylebone to demonstrate against what it claims are the company’s contribution to global pollution and alleged treatment of its workers in some countries,” among other actions.
Arshak Makichyan is a 26-year-old climate activist in Moscow, Russia who has been inspired by Greta Thunberg’s strikes for climate and activism. But, as Reuters reported, “unlike the Swedish teenager, who has galvanized a global movement of young environmentalists, Russia’s tough protest laws and people’s general apathy towards activism has made the 26-year-old’s campaign a […]
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a rock-steady vote in favor of environmental protection and sympathetic on issues involving clean water and air.
Why This Matters: There are many challenges to President Trump’s rollbacks of environmental laws that are working their way to the Supreme Court. Once there, the Court can effectively re-write those laws narrowing them considerably by upholding the Trump deregulatory position even if it is contrary to prior interpretations or other plausible interpretations of the statute itself.
The 26th UN Climate Change Conference was set to take place this November in the UK but the coronavirus has postponed the meeting for another year. But, as the Guardian reported, not wanting to waste any time, young activists in Fridays for Future are pushing ahead with their own online event this November, called Mock […]
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