Thousands of activists from Extinction Rebellion gathered in London last week to stage the biggest civil disobedience event in recent British history.
Extinction Rebellion is an apolitical network whose main aim is to persuade governments to take urgent action on the climate and ecological emergency. Their main tactic is peaceful, non-violent direct action.
They have three main demands:
- Tell the truth – Government must tell the truth by declaring a climate and ecological emergency, working with other institutions to communicate the urgency for change.
- Act Now – Government must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.
- Beyond Politics – Government must create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice.
Tactics over the last week in London have included a range of disparate disruptive actions such as blockading bridges, people gluing themselves to selected targets and die ins, all of this in addition to their being larger ‘people’s assemblies’ at various famous landmarks in the capital, with the usual debates, street theatrics, music, and cook-ins.
The cost to the economy is estimated to be millions of pounds, and the number of people arrested stands at over 1000, but with not one single police officer was injured during the last week’s peaceful protests.
Relevance to A-level sociology
The best fit is in with ‘globalisation and green criminology’.
Easy to understand is the fact that this is a global movement, so it’s a great example of ‘political globalisation’. NB – you may have missed this in the news, because as far as I can tell the movement started in the UK and London is by far the largest event.
In terms of green criminology – some actions of some of the protestors are illegal – criminal damage and public order offences for example, but they would claim that the ‘real criminals’ are governments around the world for failing to act on climate change.
There’s lots of other links to, but I’ll let you find them!