(London) Environmental group Extinction Rebellion (XR) kicked off four days of action in London on Friday, ushering in a far less disruptive and more inclusive method than the mass lockdowns that have been its trademark.
“It’s about expanding the invitation to bring together a lot more people,” Clare Farrell, co-founder of XR, told AFP. “For many people, coming to a protest, to a rally, is a first step,” she continued, adding that the group would continue “nonviolent civil disobedience” actions in a targeted manner.
After carrying out blockades and shock actions where members of the group perched on a subway train or on a plane, Extinction Rebellion announced on January 1 the suspension in the United Kingdom of the spectacular operations which have made it known since its foundation in 2018, preferring to mobilize for a large demonstration against the government’s inaction.
The group then hoped to gather 100,000 people around the Parliament. He counted 30,000 registrants and, according to a spokesperson, hopes to gather 40 to 50,000 people during the weekend, during which the London Marathon is also held.
Discussions have taken place with race organizers to reduce disruption.
Among the hundreds or even thousands of protesters Friday in central London, where various environmental organizations have set up kiosks in a family atmosphere, Julia Hailes, has been an environmental activist for 35 years.
“People are now realizing […] that we are facing a devastating future, and there is a window of opportunity that something has to be done about,” she told AFP. , crown of plants on the head.
“The earth is dying”, “we have to stop this”, she insisted.
“More people need to join us and show their support for these actions,” added his son, Connor Bryant, 28.
“The longer companies and governments wait to respond, the more extreme the response will be,” he warns. “It’s inevitable, the closer you get to the fire, the more people will panic and be ready to take more drastic action. »
Lisa Milne would have been worried about participating in a demonstration risking “friction” with the public. “I feel much more comfortable coming,” she told AFP, saying there is “room” for both types of action.