Extinction Rebellion have begun an international fortnight of rebellion (7 – 19 October 2019). Photos and text by Steve Eason, reporting on the first day of the rebellion in London.
After a weekend of police raids, Extinction rebellion activists from all over Britain blocked bridges and roads at key locations in central London.
Lambeth and Westminster bridges were occupied in the morning and crowds built up around Trafalgar Square and Downing Street.
In the Square rebels had set up scaffolding, handcuffed themselves in a hearse and even brought a full kitchen sink unit.
Activists plan to continue the October Rebellion for eleven days.
Over 270 arrests were made on this the first day – around a quarter of the figure for the entire April action in London. Many had volunteered for arrest and held placards to confirm this.
The first arrest I saw outside Downing Street was met by jubilant celebration by a crowd of thousands.
At the Ministry of Defence activists from CND and other anti-war groups held a small Peace Blockade.
In the afternoon Caroline Lucas of the Green Party spoke to the crowd on Whitehall with the message: ‘Brave XR activists shouldn’t be arrested, they should be applauded and listened to’.
Caroline Lucas is right that XR activists shouldn’t be arrested for taking action in the face of mass extinction and climate chaos. But there’s also a difference between being prepared to risk arrest and encouraging people actively to volunteer for arrests which will affect participants differently and disproportionately.
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Endgames: Capitalism and the Climate Emergency
A day of anticapitalist discussion on the politics of the climate emergency.
9.30-17.00, 26 October 2019
Elvin Hall, Institute of Education, London WC1H 0AL
Free professional childcare
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