Climate change activist group Extinction Rebellion have blockaded major roads and junctions in Central London as part of a planned two week-long demonstrations across the city. The new wave of protests is a call for urgent climate action ahead of the crucial UN climate summit in Glasgow in November.
What is Happening?
- Environmental activist group Extinction Rebellion, also known as XR, have blocked up busy areas in Central London on Monday August 23, as part of a new wave of protests and demonstrations planned over the course of the next two weeks.
- The demonstrators took over major roads including one of Covent Garden’s busiest junctions and formed a human chain, assembling a massive four meter-high pink table with the slogan “come to the table”, signifying the call for more people to get involved in talks regarding climate change and for governments to take stronger action
- The first day of protests also saw protestors converge in the famed Trafalgar Square, where they were greeted by a massive police presence. Guildhall, home of the City of London Corporation was also targeted earlier.
- XR has promised two weeks of disruptions across London – branded the “Impossible Rebellion”. The city was targeted to highlight the role of high finance in the climate crisis, not to mention in the lead up to the UN climate summit COP26 to be held in Scotland in November.
- “As floods, fire and famine break out around the world, it is clear that climate breakdown is here now,” XR said in a statement. “And there is no choice left now but to take urgent action. Everyone deserves a seat at the table to have a say in how to tackle the greatest crisis of our times.”
- Extinction Rebellion, first formed in 2018, is a network of climate activists who uses vibrant demonstrations and civil disobedience to spotlight inaction over global warming and climate change. After causing multiple days of major traffic disruption leaving London in a standstill two years ago, the group looks to repeat their efforts to highlight the urgency for climate action and for their voices to be heard.
- A number of subsets of the group have been formed since then, including in Oslo, Norway. Around the same time on Monday, XR activists in Oslo blocked a major road junction and broke into the oil ministry as part of the two-week protests ahead of the Norwegian legislative elections on September 13. 29 protesters were arrested as a result.
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