Extinction Rebellion climate group create road block on Oxford Street
· Climate change activist group cause major disruptions following their second day of demonstrations across the UK
· Heavy police presence called to scene to dissolve group
· NQ at the scene to witness the event unfold from both sides
Protestors from Extinction Rebellion group sat in a large group in the middle of a road in the city centre, blocking cars from passing by for nearly two hours until a large police presence managed to dissolve the group.
The group positioned themselves on the Oxford street cross junction with Portland street, following similar protests across the UK.
Both the police and protestors behaved peacefully and in a respectful manner towards one another with members from both sides seen interacting and even trading a few smiles.
The climate change group designed some colourful posters and banners which were displayed in front of them in the road and other members of the group were handing out flyers stating the group's aims for the protest. They could not have looked more at home and relaxed even though riot vans were strategically parked either side of the group.
From the start of the demonstration it was clear to see that the group would not move, although the police tried their best to talk to the members (one by one) asking them to move several times. When this failed they were forced to act according to law; calling for backup and issuing arrests. It is important to note no-one in the group resisted arrest when arrests were issued.
Northern Quota was unable to obtain an official statement by the police; however, it is thought that the members of the Rebellion group were arrested for acts of public obstruction.
Here is why the group took to the streets;
"Rebellion call for more pressure on the government to deal with climate change in better ways," the group stated on its official website. "Our air is so toxic that the United Kingdom is breaking the Law. It harms unborn children whilst causing to tens of thousands die," (would be interesting to note NQ’s previous article about pollution). Their plan of action was also stated on their website:
"1) That the Government must tell the truth about how deadly our situation is, it must reverse all policies not in alignment with that position and must work alongside the media to communicate the urgency for change including what individuals, communities and businesses need to do.
"2) Good intentions and guidelines won’t save the icecaps. The Government must enact legally-binding policies to reduce Carbon emissions in the UK to net zero (carbon neutral) by 2025 and take further action to remove the excess of atmospheric greenhouse gases. It must cooperate internationally so that global economy runs no more than half a planet’s worth of resources per year.
"3) By necessity these demands require initiatives and mobilisation of similar size and scope to those enacted in times of war. We do not however, trust our Government to make bold, swift and long-term changes necessary to achieve this and we do not intend to hand further power to our politicians. Instead we demand a Citizens Assembly to oversee the changes, as we rise from wreckage, creating a democracy fit for purpose."
They go on to add "We, in alignment with our consciences and or reasoning, declare ourselves in rebellion against the Government and the corrupted, inept institutions that threaten our future. We act in peace, with ferocious love of these lands in our hearts, we act on behalf of life."
The organisation is growing rapidly and it has already been adopted in 15 countries with close to 30k followers on Twitter and thousands more on Facebook. They have plenty of plans for the future to carry on their marches, demonstrations and protests and have extended an invitation for us to cover their movement in the near future.
To know more information about this group you can find it here or on Facebook under the handle: Extinction Rebellion