Displaying items by tag: Extinction Rebellion
Activists have begun two weeks of London protests 'targeting the root cause of the climate crisis'. On 24 August protesters lined London streets with placards, waved banners and erected obstacles to disrupt and block roads around Westminster. They blocked off roads, glued themselves to a giant table, and formed a human chain around the area cordoned off by police. Dozens were carried to police vans by officers who used loudspeakers to warn the crowd to leave or risk arrest. At least 10,000 people congregated near the rallies; by 26 August 196 people had been arrested. The group's co-founder gave a speech expressing solidarity with nations disproportionately affected by climate change. Pray for all the police forces to respond appropriately and proportionately to protest activity in the next fortnight, and for a workable policing plan.
Antarctica’s ‘Thwaites Glacier’ which is a thousand miles from the nearest research base, has been investigated by scientists from the British Antarctic Survey. The glacier is melting rapidly due to warmer water entering the glacier via huge oceanic channels 600 meters below the surface. This glacier, roughly the size of Great Britain, already accounts for 4 per cent of world sea level rise each year. The accelerating meltdown of the most vulnerable glacier in Antarctica would add over 25 inches to global sea levels - inundating coastal areas and cities such as London and New York.
Dr Rowan Williams joined with Extinction Rebellion for their 'September Uprising' climate change protests. The march resulted in the arrest of several Christians including Friar Martin Newell. Dr Williams said, ‘People of faith should be here because they can make a difference. We are at a moment of opportunity. People are talking about building back better., not just recovering what’s been lost but building again something that is genuinely more sustainable. Recently we have seen alternatives that might work and I think people of faith ought to be on board with making those alternatives work, taking that moment of opportunity.’ Bishops Olivia Graham and Paul Hendricks also joined the Christian Climate Action group. Dr Willams held a banner declaring ‘CREATION CRIES OUT’, and before his arrest Friar Newell said, ‘The Christian faith is not an easy one; we are constantly called to step outside our comfort zone.’
Three thousand police will be in London over the bank holiday weekend amid fears of public disorder from Extinction Rebellion (XR) which plans a 'civilly disobedient long weekend'. XR urges its supporters to join a ‘Million People March’ by Black Lives Matter, calling for the defunding of the police. There will be 60 police units of 25 officers, 8 armed response teams and 46 officers with firearms intervention training. Also police will close premises holding unlicensed events and use teams to remove sound systems and barricades. XR is urging local chapters to cause 'high-impact disruption' this weekend before a nationwide 'rebellion' on 1 September. Its website states, ‘Countdown to Rebellion will be creative and nonviolent, and draw attention to the greatest existential threat we face - climate and ecological emergency. People up and down the country will come together in their communities to tell the Government that, frankly, we’ve had enough of them putting us all at risk.’ See
The Bishop of Colchester joined climate activists at Trafalgar Square on 13 October for prayer and worship before moving to Scotland Yard to urge police to return equipment confiscated from disabled activists who were prevented from demonstrating after police impounded ramps and wheelchairs. The Bishop praised God for the rebel group, saying, ‘When our very existence is threatened by our insatiable exploitation of this precious earth, we have to speak up and take action. This is a wake-up call to the world. It is prophetic. I thank God for Extinction Rebellion and I pray that their voice may be heard - for all our sakes.’ Meanwhile, Father Martin Newell was arrested when attempting to glue himself to the floor in support of disabled protesters, and 77-year-old Revd Sue Parfitt was arrested for gluing herself to the roof of a tube train at Shadwell station. See
October Rebellion aims to be the biggest and boldest Extinction Rebellion protest yet. On 7 October a fortnight of planned protests began around the world, calling governments to take action on the climate crisis. In London, Christian faith and prayer played an important role as Christian Climate Action created a space for prophetic prayer, worship, prayer walking, and peaceful actions on Lambeth Bridge, renaming the bridge ‘Faith Bridge’. The family-friendly prayer walks assembled on the first day of protests at 7am on the grassed area on Albert Embankment, to pray and plan before moving onto Lambeth Bridge, securing the space for round the clock prayer and worship in the heart of London and demanding action for Creation from the Government. On Tuesday some groups from Faith Bridge moved to Trafalgar Square to reaffirm their baptismal vows in a paddling pool under Nelson’s Column, where Rev Jon Swales marked people with the sign of the cross. See
Ecuador’s government has moved out of the capital after week-long violent anti-government protests over austerity measures and fuel price rises. The disturbances began with transport workers before spreading to students and then indigenous peoples. An 8pm to 5am curfew has been imposed around key state installations, government buildings, airports and oil refineries, which have been targets for protests. See Meanwhile, Hong Kong streets have been racked by anti-government protests that began in June. Hard-core protesters have clashed with riot police and those with opposing political views, in conflicts leading to more entrenched divisions that carve right through society. See Iraq’s latest wave of unrest has killed 100+ and injured thousands more, calling for the downfall of a corrupt political system that has brought unemployment and poor public services. See Extinction Rebellion activists are protesting in Berlin, Amsterdam, Sydney and London - see Finally, Americans are protesting against Trump ending support for Kurds in Syria: see the next article.
A retired parole officer in his eighties was among climate change protesters arrested on 25 April, after climbing on top of a train in London’s rush hour. Extinction Rebellion want politicians to realise that climate change is actually a ‘climate crisis’. The following are twitter suggestions by environmentalists for transformation: cancel Heathrow expansion and impose graduated taxes on frequent fliers; insulate UK's draughty housing stock; and make electric cars work. They say the Department for Transport is failing to deliver a vitally important charging network as part of its long-term climate plans. Other suggestions are: get farmers to cut emissions, and start widespread rewilding so that trees can capture CO2; stop tax breaks to North Sea oil and gas; ban fracking; and bring back cheap, effective onshore wind power. Many said if we really want to tackle climate change we should be going as fast as we can, not setting arbitrary target dates like 2050.
16-year-old climate change warrior Greta Thunberg has spoken to the Pope, parliaments and MEPs about species extinction, deforestation and ocean pollution. She is not alone in her action against global warming. For two decades David Attenborough has warned of the dangers. He now says that scientific evidence proves that if we do not take dramatic action within the next decade, we face irreversible damage to the natural world and the collapse of our societies. Since 15 April, Extinction Rebellion protesters have been disrupting cities globally in 18 countries, calling on governments to introduce stricter climate change measures. They said, ‘Prosecution for criminal damage allows us to take this strategy into the courts, providing an opportunity to tell them that, without an urgent and radical change, the consequences for humanity and life on earth are likely to be catastrophic.’ See