Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

UK Activists Kick Off ‘Extinction Rebellion’

Climate
UK Activists Kick Off ‘Extinction Rebellion’
UK climate activists lie down to block traffic near London's Parliament Square. Jenny Matthews / In Pictures / Getty Images

More than 1,000 UK climate activists launched a massive civil disobedience campaign Wednesday when they blocked several roads near London's Parliament Square, The Guardian reported.


The newly formed group Extinction Rebellion seeks to push the UK government to declare a state of emergency, work towards a carbon free economy by 2025 and convene an assembly of ordinary citizens to plan out the country's carbon-free future. The group's message has caught on in the wake of increasingly dire reports about the pace of climate change. Organizers had expected a few hundred to show up to the opening salvo near the seat of UK government. Instead, more than a thousand came and decided to block one of London's busiest intersections for more than two hours.

"The disruption we are causing today is nothing to the destruction that our governments are unleashing by not taking serious steps to stop the ecological crisis," 28-year-old demonstrator Felix told The Guardian. "I have never been to prison before but I feel I have to try and do something."

In total, 15 people were arrested Wednesday, then released without charge, but the group says hundreds of members are prepared to go to prison in a series of escalating demonstrations in London next month that will build towards a sit-in in Parliament Square November 17 and occupations of various London bridges.

"People are no longer prepared to sit back and watch our politicians and corporations drive us off the cliff of ecological destruction," organizer Gail Bradbrook told The Guardian. "This is an emergency situation and it needs an emergency response."

The group read out their Declaration of Rebellion against the government's lack of adequate action on climate change.

The movement has the support of prominent UK activists, academics, politicians and thinkers including Green Party Member of European Parliament Molly Scott Cato, Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas, former archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and Guardian columnist and environmentalist George Monbiot, who spoke at Wednesday's protest.

George Monbiot Speech at Extinction Rebellion Protest www.youtube.com

The group hopes to inspire people around the world to take similar actions, but feels a responsibility to act in the UK, where the industrial revolution first began.

For those who can make it to London the week of November 15, the group has posted a video online called "Heading for Extinction and What to Do About it" and is holding civil disobedience trainings in London November 10 and 11.

Heading for extinction and what to do about it www.youtube.com

This fall brings three new environmental movies. David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet | Official Trailer

This week marks the official start of fall, but longer nights and colder days can make it harder to spend time outdoors. Luckily, there are several inspiring environmental films that can be streamed at home.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Amazon Employees for Climate Justice walk out and rally at the company's headquarters to demand that leaders take action on climate change in Seattle, Washington on Sept. 20, 2019. JASON REDMOND / AFP via Getty Images

The world's largest online retailer is making it slightly easier for customer to make eco-conscious choices.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Moms Clean Air Force members attend a press conference hosted by Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) announcing legislation to ban chlorpyrifos on July 25, 2017. Moms Clean Air Force

The Trump administration's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a risk assessment for toxic pesticide chlorpyrifos Tuesday that downplayed its effects on children's brains and may be the first indication of how the administration's "secret science" policy could impact public health.

Read More Show Less
Evacuees wait to board a bus as they are evacuated by local and state government officials before the arrival of Hurricane Laura on August 26, 2020 in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Joe Raedle / Getty Images

By Maria Trimarchi and Sarah Gleim

If all the glaciers and ice caps on the planet melted, global sea level would rise by about 230 feet. That amount of water would flood nearly every coastal city around the world [source: U.S. Geological Survey]. Rising temperatures, melting arctic ice, drought, desertification and other catastrophic effects of climate change are not examples of future troubles — they are reality today. Climate change isn't just about the environment; its effects touch every part of our lives, from the stability of our governments and economies to our health and where we live.

Read More Show Less
In 'My Octopus Teacher,' Craig Foster becomes fascinated with an octopus and visits her for hundreds of days in a row. Netflix

In his latest documentary, My Octopus Teacher, free diver and filmmaker Craig Foster tells a unique story about his friendship and bond with an octopus in a kelp forest in Cape Town, South Africa. It's been labeled "the love story that we need right now" by The Cut.

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch