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1,000+ Arrested as Extinction Rebellion Protests in London Enter Second Week
Police removed protesters from Oxford Circus Saturday, and from the roads Parliament Square and Waterloo Bridge Sunday. The last person to be arrested clearing the bridge was a 70-year-old woman who had been arrested once before during the protests at Oxford Circus.
"I have been a nurse and a childminder most of my life," the woman, who preferred not to give her name, told The Press Association. "The world we are leaving for the children and grandchildren is going to be horrendous and we let it happen. It happened on our watch. So we have to stand up and fight or lie down and fight."
Despite the loss of the three sites, the movement is far from over. On Monday afternoon, around 100 protesters staged a die-in at London's Natural History Museum to call attention to the sixth mass extinction, BBC News reported.
Protesters also continue to gather at Marble Arch, where they were addressed Sunday by 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, who has been credited with inspiring the youth climate strike movement.
"Keep going. You are making a difference," Thunberg said, as BBC News reported Sunday.
The protesters are calling for the government to "tell the truth about climate change," to reduce UK greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025 and to create a citizen's assembly to help drive the process. They aim to maximize arrests in order to call attention to the climate crisis.
According to the most recent BBC figures, the protest has led to 1,065 arrests so far, among them Olympic gold medalist Etienne Stott. Fifty-three people have actually been charged. Met Commissioner Cressida Dick said that she had never seen a single police operation lead to so many arrests in her 36-year career. London Mayor Sadiq Khan said that more than 9,000 police officers had responded since the protest began.
On Sunday, Khan, who has spoken in favor of climate action and has committed to divesting London from fossil fuels, urged the protesters to let London return to "business as usual" in a statement Sunday.
"I'm extremely concerned about the impact these protests are having on our ability to tackle issues like violent crime if they continue any longer," he said. "It simply isn't right to put Londoners' safety at risk like this."
In an update on their website Monday, Extinction Rebellion said the protests would enter a new phase in their second week. Protesters held a people's assembly at 3 p.m. at Marble Arch to decide on next steps. They were then planning to offer free food from 5 p.m.
"We fully recognise Extinction Rebellion has caused disruption for many Londoners, so we are extending our love through food to all who would like to join us," the group wrote on a Facebook event for the planned "Earth Feast."
Sky reported that future plans included marching to Parliament Square Tuesday morning for an action lasting through Wednesday, then marching to London's financial district on Thursday.
The group declared the first phase of its protest a success.
"This success can be expressed in numbers: at the most conservative estimate we've welcomed 30,000 new members, and have received almost £300,000 in crowdfunding, the great majority of donations being around of £10," they wrote.
- Extinction Rebellion to 'pause' London climate protests ahead of ... ›
- Humanity is at a crossroads, Greta Thunberg tells Extinction Rebellion ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Company Safety Data Sheets on New Chemicals Frequently Lack the Worker Protections EPA Claims They Include
By Richard Denison
Readers of this blog know how concerned EDF is over the Trump EPA's approval of many dozens of new chemicals based on its mere "expectation" that workers across supply chains will always employ personal protective equipment (PPE) just because it is recommended in the manufacturer's non-binding safety data sheet (SDS).
By Grant Smith
From 2009 to 2012, Gregory Jaczko was chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which approves nuclear power plant designs and sets safety standards for plants. But he now says that nuclear power is too dangerous and expensive — and not part of the answer to the climate crisis.
By Brett Walton
When Greg Wetherbee sat in front of the microscope recently, he was looking for fragments of metals or coal, particles that might indicate the source of airborne nitrogen pollution in Rocky Mountain National Park. What caught his eye, though, were the plastics.
In a big victory for animals, Prada has announced that it's ending its use of fur! It joins Coach, Jean Paul Gaultier, Giorgio Armani, Versace, Ralph Lauren, Vivienne Westwood, Michael Kors, Donna Karan and many others PETA has pushed toward a ban.
This is a victory more than a decade in the making. PETA and our international affiliates have crashed Prada's catwalks with anti-fur signs, held eye-catching demonstrations all around the world, and sent the company loads of information about the fur industry. In 2018, actor and animal rights advocate Pamela Anderson sent a letter on PETA's behalf urging Miuccia Prada to commit to leaving fur out of all future collections, and the iconic designer has finally listened.
If people in three European countries want to fight the climate crisis, they need to chill out more.
"The rapid pace of labour-saving technology brings into focus the possibility of a shorter working week for all, if deployed properly," Autonomy Director Will Stronge said, The Guardian reported. "However, while automation shows that less work is technically possible, the urgent pressures on the environment and on our available carbon budget show that reducing the working week is in fact necessary."
The report found that if the economies of Germany, Sweden and the UK maintain their current levels of carbon intensity and productivity, they would need to switch to a six, 12 and nine hour work week respectively if they wanted keep the rise in global temperatures to the below two degrees Celsius promised by the Paris agreement, The Independent reported.
The study based its conclusions on data from the UN and the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) on greenhouse gas emissions per industry in all three countries.
The report comes as the group Momentum called on the UK's Labour Party to endorse a four-day work week.
"We welcome this attempt by Autonomy to grapple with the very real changes society will need to make in order to live within the limits of the planet," Emma Williams of the Four Day Week campaign said in a statement reported by The Independent. "In addition to improved well-being, enhanced gender equality and increased productivity, addressing climate change is another compelling reason we should all be working less."
Supporters of the idea linked it to calls in the U.S. and Europe for a Green New Deal that would decarbonize the economy while promoting equality and well-being.
"This new paper from Autonomy is a thought experiment that should give policymakers, activists and campaigners more ballast to make the case that a Green New Deal is absolutely necessary," Common Wealth think tank Director Mat Lawrence told The Independent. "The link between working time and GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions has been proved by a number of studies. Using OECD data and relating it to our carbon budget, Autonomy have taken the step to show what that link means in terms of our working weeks."
Stronge also linked his report to calls for a Green New Deal.
"Becoming a green, sustainable society will require a number of strategies – a shorter working week being just one of them," he said, according to The Guardian. "This paper and the other nascent research in the field should give us plenty of food for thought when we consider how urgent a Green New Deal is and what it should look like."
- Reduced Work Hours as a Means of Slowing Climate Change ›
- How working less could solve all our problems. Really. | ›
- Needed: A shorter work week – People's World ›