Now, she says "I'm a rebel. I'm a tree sister. I am an Earth protector."
October 9, 2019 9:31 AM   Subscribe

Extinction Rebellion [...] has now grown from a small-town band of determined neighbors super-gluing themselves to local city council buildings to a global movement of environmental demonstrators disrupting dozens of cities so policymakers will address climate change immediately. The group has kicked off protests again on Monday [Oct. 7, 2019] — including blocking traffic and landmarks and occupying government buildings, leading to hundreds of arrests in New York, London, Sydney and Amsterdam (BBC) — and it plans to continue mobilizing for the next two weeks. How A Small English Town Spurred The Group That's Reshaping Global Climate Protests (NPR)
posted by filthy light thief (12 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
Oh cool, is this about Stroud?

The area had utopian socialists in the 19th century.
Polly Higgins
also lived there and is where she fought her ecocide campaign.

We lived there from 2011-2017 and I am a proud owner of a Peoples Republic of Stroud T-shirt mentioned in the NPR article. Stroud was really the only place that fit the criteria of 1) Beautiful countryside and 2) Left-Liberal when we decided to move out of London. It had a Green mayor and a huge Arts community. We used to spend Saturday mornings having breakfast at Star Anise, along with Dale Vince who ate quietly and kept to himself.

That something like Extinction Rebellion would be founded there was almost inevitable.

The population of Stroud is about 13,000.
posted by vacapinta at 10:01 AM on October 9, 2019 [3 favorites]

Yes, it's about Stroud (tags added). Thanks for the added context!
posted by filthy light thief at 10:09 AM on October 9, 2019

Climate Activists Glued Themselves to the Capitol (Aída Chávez for The Intercept, July 23 2019)
[M]embers of the Washington, D.C., chapter of Extinction Rebellion superglued themselves to each other and to the passages connecting the Capitol to the Rayburn and Cannon office buildings, where House members have their offices. The protesters, who are part of an international group that uses nonviolent civil disobedience tactics to advocate for action on climate change, aimed to confront House members on their way to floor votes.
Members of Congress, for the most part, ignored the protesters. Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., former vice chair of the House Subcommittee on Environment, mocked the group on Twitter
To discuss someone, and reply to them on Twitter, is to increase their visibility and presence. Thanks, Jimmy!
posted by filthy light thief at 3:11 PM on October 9, 2019 [2 favorites]

These kids are idiots who can't stop talking to cops and getting each other arrested. If XR isn't actually a black op to get activists in front of cops, into jail, and into police databases it might as well be.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:13 PM on October 9, 2019

That's pretty dismissive. They don't seem to be kids, and it seems like arrests are part of their publicity. They get decent coverage (CBS News: Extinction Rebellion stages climate protests across the world; TIME: Extinction Rebellion Climate Activists Block Roads, Stage Protests Worldwide)

And a longer segment from Democracy Now! This is Not A Drill: 700+ Arrested as Extinction Rebellion Fights Climate Crisis With Direct Action (20 minutes) -- "interrupting normality, because it is that normality that is taking us towards distruction."
posted by filthy light thief at 8:49 PM on October 9, 2019 [2 favorites]

What else should they do? The climate situation is fucking dire. Someday it will be thousands if not millions protesting.
posted by agregoli at 5:39 AM on October 10, 2019

Seriously. If the previous generations hadn't been so complacent, maybe they wouldn't have to blockade streets to get your attention to the climate catastrophe unfolding before your eyes.
posted by gwint at 6:47 AM on October 10, 2019 [1 favorite]

I support XR's cause but their emphasis on arrests seems incredibly privileged. Not everyone who goes to prison can just think of it as a way to catch up on their reading and yoga.
posted by Glier's Goetta at 7:45 AM on October 10, 2019 [2 favorites]

I've been following XR very closely since last year. While I support their efforts, I can't help noticing that their concern with "extinction" seems about 90% focused on humans. Other species are being wiped out daily as we speak. Human extinction is of course a very distant threat. We're the most overpopulated species in the history of the planet.
Still, it's the only game in town. And at least they're doing something.
I hope they evolve to question anthropocentrism along with capitalism and overconsumption.
posted by Joan Rivers of Babylon at 1:32 PM on October 10, 2019

I don't know about the US action groups, but in London the XR folks are breathtakingly organised. The police here have procedures designed in response to riots, but this is an occupation. XR are doing a great job of putting forward the people who chose to be arrested (mostly older: including 91-year-old John Lynes), and following procedures on the inside to make it harder for police to arrest more XR folks (encouraging them to save time and space for violent criminals).

The police have responded by putting the roads cordon further back so that people don't see what's going on but still know they're being inconvenienced by XR. That's probably the most they can do, but it's 2019 and it's downright dull to point out that everyone has phones and the videos are spreading everywhere.

There's still a lively debate in other environmental activist circles on just how closely to align with XR. People see civil disobedience and "wasting police time" and clutch their pearls. People see the shutting down of public transport in East London earlier this year and worry it's counterproductive/bad praxis. The one thing nobody disagrees with is that we are in a full-blown Climate Crisis, and we can't stand on ceremony waiting for Other People to sort things out.

posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 12:26 AM on October 11, 2019 [1 favorite]

FAOD: John Lynes was arrested in Devon, not London
posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 1:19 AM on October 11, 2019

I do wish XR would disassociate themselves from people like Rupert Read who has been making the rounds as an XR spokesman. He blames climate problems on immigration and that is not the way to go at all. This is a world problem and any hints that the problem is too many poor people risks turning this into a fascist movement.
posted by vacapinta at 6:49 AM on October 11, 2019 [2 favorites]

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