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30th April 2019

“Nothing is being done to stop the environmental and ecological crises that have been ignored for decades by the politicians and the people in power. We will make sure that they will not get away with it any longer. Humanity is standing at a crossroads, we have chosen our path and we are waiting for others to follow. We will never stop fighting for the future of our children and grandchildren. “ 
So says the 16 year old climate activist Greta Thunberg addressing the Extinction Rebellion Rally at Marble Arch on April 20th, 2019 in two weeks of climate rebellion around London ( Greta Thunberg's ongoing school strike outside the Swedish Parliament has triggered similar school strikes around the globe. She is taking action and encouraging other children to do the same because if adults won’t take responsibility for the consequences of Climate Change, then the children must. 
Greta Thunberg was outside the UK Parliament on 31st October 2018 at the launch of Extinction Rebellion, which subsequently held demonstrations outside the Department of Education demanding they “Teach the Truth” about Climate Change, and put it at the heart of the curriculum. Extinction Rebellion demands carbon net zero emissions by 2025 and a Citizen’s Assembly, so that ordinary people have input into transforming the economic system. Meanwhile, Climate Crisis actions are simultaneously taking place in 80 countries worldwide. 
Extinction Rebellion (XR) is led by founding members Dr Gail Bradbrook and Simon Bramwell, along with Roger Hallam and associated campaign groups Rebel for Life and Rising Up!  In May this year, Hallam and fellow campaigners were cleared of criminal damage at Southwark Crown Court after telling the jury their actions were a proportionate response to the Climate Crisis. They spray painted the wall outside Kings College’s Strand Campus with the words, “DIVEST FROM OIL AND GAS” on January 19, 2017 in an effort to force the University to remove £14 million of investments from fossil fuel companies, which they did five weeks later (

Ecocide is a crime against Humanity

George Monbiot, the Guardian journalist has found his place as a spokesperson for the masses which are longing to be heard and want a different kind of politics. He describes Extinction Rebellion as the most inspiring act of civil disobedience he has come across in his whole life. ( scale of it is world changing he says. And, we will look back at the last few weeks as the point at which things began to shift and people see the existential crises because the XR protesters bought it to the front of people’s minds. This, he says, is a fantastic service to humanity: the thinking behind it brave and clever, and one of the great tipping points in world history.
Polly Higgins, (see George Monbiot’s article the environmental lawyer who argued for the International law of Ecocide died on Easter Sunday at the height of XR’s actions in London. Despite Polly’s Stop Ecocide campaign running for 10 years, it was in her last weeks that she refined the definitive document Stop Ecocide Change the Law, which can be downloaded and used as primary evidence to argue a moral right of Freedom of Conscience (ECHR article 9, UDHR article 18). A “Conscientious Protector,” prevents harm to Earth’s ecosystems whilst doing no harm to others, so may be useful for protesting fracking or pesticide spraying in and around schools and other public places (
The joyful dancing, chanting and drumming of XR on the Capital’s streets besieged by thousands of peaceful demonstrators reminds us of the continuing celebration of life. And, a day of protesting at Extinction Rebellion is akin to a really good day out at Glastonbury Festival with people’s assemblies, art actions, stage performances, talks, workshops, delicious vegan and veggie food and family spaces, but all for free. At Marble Arch, the speakers’s stage was powered by solar panels erected beside a host of colourful tents spreading out across the green. 
XR demonstrates that young and old can unite on a single cause, and break the law in ways to ensure change happens. The XR act of defacing the Shell Building is reminiscent of the Suffragettes breaking windows and eventually securing women’s votes. By glueing themselves to railings, trains, to the London Stock Exchange and holding protests at Heathrow Airport is XR’s way of causing as much disruption as possible and drawing media attention to an entrenched and entropic model of infinite economic growth that is wreaking havoc on the well-being of people and planet.

ExtinctionRebellionThe End is the Beginning of Extinction Rebellion

The starting point for XR is that after over thirty years of the awareness of deleterious changes to the Earth’s biosphere, nothing has really happened. Carbon emissions are up by 60%, International Climate Accords have failed, and as many as one million plant and animal species face extinction, many within decades, because of unremitting human activities. These findings are most recently reported by the UN’s  Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)  in May 2019. And, by The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC ) Global Warming Special Report in 2018 (
XR deployed “The Civil Resistance Model” across several London sites in April 2019, including Oxford Circus where a pink ship was anchored to the road. Over 1,000 protestors were peaceably arrested, many of whom returned to disrupting the streets after a hot meal and a nap in a prison cell. Protestors blocked traffic for days on Westminster Bridge to the chagrin of many commuters, but as XR’s Gail Bradbrook said, we may be pissing people off, but at least they are talking about the problems. XR is organised with teams of lawyers, legal observers watching the police’s actions, media people and accountants to handle over £350,000 that has so far been donated by the public. 
Greta Thunberg told the World Economic Forum is Davos in January 2019 that she wanted politicians to panic, and, “I want you to act as if our house is on fire. Because it is.” ( ). Her address to the UK All Party Parliament Group on Climate Change was heard by Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, and Liberal leader Vince Cable. Only Prime Minister Teresa May failed to attend, showing how out of touch she and her government is about the real social and environmental tensions.
As George Monbiot says we need to find a better way of measuring human welfare than perpetual economic growth. There is a universal groundswell in support for this huge wave of activism and Ecocide Law is now the next step in the emerging situation.There is no end date for the Climate Rebellion and XR will keep up the political drama until Governments take action on the Climate Crisis.