“The climate, nature and humanity face disaster. We know it’s time to act. Do you trust politicians to do the right thing for us? For the planet?”
This weekend sees the Extinction Rebellion (XR) staging its most ambitious protest yet. Following their ‘We Quit’ new years resolution, XR has shifted their tactics to prioritise ‘attendance over arrest’ and ‘relationships over roadblocks’ in order to become ‘impossible to ignore’.
From Friday 21 – Monday 24 April, XR are preparing to welcome 100,000 protestors to Westminster in a show of defiance against the government, who’s current policies are wholly insufficient to deal with the current climate emergency. As the latest IPCC report outlined, radical action is needed from policy makers to address the climate emergency. The demands from the protest are simple: Tell the Truth; Act Now; and Decide Together.
The event is designed to be family friendly, accessible and inclusive to all. If you have never attended a demonstration before, but care strongly about our climate, then this is the ideal first event for you.
Whilst some may have preconceived ideas about XR, no roadblocks, locking, gluing, paint throwing or anything of that nature is planned. Instead, a whole host of creating and engaging activities are scheduled, including art, music, talks from climate experts and interactive workshops.
Measures will also be put in place for people who may ordinarily feel unable to engage in protest, if, for example, large crowds or police presence can ordinarily cause anxiety. Transport subsidies, accessible toilets, British Sign Language interpreters and well-being stewards are just some of the steps being put in place to ensure the event is as welcoming as possible for all.
The full schedule is as follows:
Friday 21st — Unite to Survive. Westminster is filled with flags, banners and people.
Saturday 22nd — Earth Day. An enormous, celebration & family-friendly march for biodiversity!
Sunday 23rd — Running Out of Time! The Big One coexists with the London Marathon.
Monday 24th — Choose Your Future. Parliament returns, the demand is delivered.
Attendees can dip in and out of the event, stay for as long or as little as you like and go on any day.
Day 3 of the event coincides with the London Marathon. When the event was first held in 1981, there was 340.36 ppm carbon in the atmosphere. Today there is 416.43 ppm. For reference, the IPCC states that in order to keep global warming below 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels (as per the Paris Climate Agreement), the levels of carbon in the atmosphere must not exceed 430ppm. We cannot outrun the social and ecological crises without changing course. Urgent action is needed, now.
The warnings are there. Without radical action, climate change presents an existential threat to life on this planet. You are needed. We are needed. Pledge your support for the movement today.