‘We will continue to cause disruption to parliament until serious action is taken following their declaration of emergency over a year ago’
This morning (September 3), Extinction Rebellion (XR) activists glued themselves to the ground outside the Houses of Parliament in London, as part of their latest uprising.
In a video shared to Twitter by LBC journalist Rachael Venables, a line of protesters can be seen sitting on the floor outside one of the entrances, each with at least one hand glued to the ground. In a second video posted by Venables, activists can be seen glued outside parliament’s Carriage Gates, with a number of police officers surrounding them. The group was reportedly occupying the entrances as MPs made their way into Westminster.
XR says it has escalated its disruption following Green Party MP Caroline Lucas’ tabling of the bill yesterday. “We will continue to cause disruption to parliament until serious action is taken following their declaration of emergency over a year ago,” Nuala Gathercole Lam, a spokesperson for the group, tells Dazed.
“The government’s own advisors said this June that they are neglecting even their own inadequate targets, with only four of 21 indicators on track and only two of 31 milestones reached.”
“Everything we love is at stake,” Lam continues, “so we’re here until they act. We will not be bystanders.”
The action is part of Extinction Rebellion’s two weeks of disruption, which began on Tuesday (September 1) and will continue until September 10. After a long break in IRL action due to the coronavirus pandemic, the climate activist group is back to demand that the government support the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill – legislation put forward by XR and other activists.
The next fortnight will see the group occupy streets across the country, making speeches, and attempting to “digitally occupy” the prime minister and chancellor’s internal lines of communication. The full London schedule, which also includes a “carnival of corruption”, a “disruptive cycle”, and a “rebellious disco”, can be found here.
A number of arrests were reportedly made this morning, adding to the 200 people who have already been arrested in the 48 hours of XR’s disruption so far. Yesterday (September 2), a group of activists were dragged away by the police as they attempted to block Boris Johnson from getting to parliament for the first PMQs since the summer recess.
Further action is planned over the next week, with localised XR groups also leading disruptions in Cardiff and Manchester. In a statement announcing the two week rebellion, XR said: “We know our critics will try and make these next few weeks all about Extinction Rebellion. About how we’re selfish, wreckless, jobless, extremists. About how the climate crisis really isn’t as bad as we say, and that we just want power. This narrative is false. This story isn’t about Extinction Rebellion. It’s about a climate and ecological emergency, and those in power who know the truth and choose to only act with their own interests at heart.”
The climate activist group was widely criticsed on Tuesday (September 1) after its UK account tweeted that it is “not a socialist movement”. The group said: “We do not trust any single ideology, we trust the people, chosen by sortition (like jury service) to find the best future for us all through a #CitizensAssembly. A banner saying ‘socialism or extinction’ does not represent us’.”
The group has been accused of “choosing extinction” after seemingly refusing to acknowledge capitalism’s influence in the destruction of the planet. Chris Saltmarsh, the co-founder of the grassroots Labour campaign for a Green New Deal, said on Twitter: “There’ll be no climate justice without socialism. As long as profit is king in the economy, there’s no incentive for decarbonisation, just adaptation or reparations. That’s why we need central planning and democratic public ownership as widely as possible across the economy.”