The environmental organization Extinction Rebellion, created in 2018, says it is suspending’ public disruption’ tactics in the United Kingdom to organize a large demonstration against the government’s inaction scheduled for April 21 in front of the British Parliament, hoping to bring together 100,000 people.
This network of activists regularly uses civil disobedience to denounce what they consider to be insufficient decisions by governments in the face of the effects of climate change. Its activists have notably distinguished themselves by sticking to the roads or even the tarmacs to block traffic.
At the end of August, they blocked London’s iconic Tower Bridge Weighbridge again. “This year, we favor participation over arrests, relationships over blockages.” The group of environmental activists, Extinction Rebellion indicated in a press release a change of strategy and a resolution, presented as “temporary” for 2023, by suspending its actions of blockages and civil disobedience.
The organization recognizes “the power of disruptions to sound the alarm” but says it is “necessary” to evolve and wants above all to “disrupt the abuse of power” by putting pressure on the political class to put an end to the use of fossil fuels.
According to the press release from Extinction Rebellion UK, the conditions have “never been so favourable”. Between the energy crisis and inflation, dissatisfaction is increasing in the country. The organization hopes that the different movements can come together to overthrow a power “that keeps the money and the power for itself at the expense of ordinary people”.
Extinction Rebellion’s actions have often been controversial, with the group infuriating part of British opinion, conservative power and part of the press, by attacking the public. Activists have regularly been arrested during these actions, and the British government plans to further tighten the conditions for the right to demonstrate.
Apart from Extinction Rebellion itself, many movements have emerged since 2021 and have multiplied shock actions. In the United Kingdom, the group Just Stop Oil, which fights against fossil fuels, notably stood out by launching tomato soup in October on “Sunflowers” by Vincent van Gogh. The Italian group “Ultima Generazione” also targeted several works of art, including Botticelli’s Printemps in July.