11th January 2023
In December I compared climate actions with strike action. I noted how many people had taken to the streets in previous years to protest to the Government against the poll tax in 1990 when between 180,000 and 250,000 people march to the Houses of Parliament, and against the Iraq war in 2003 between 750,000 and 2,000,000 people marched to Hyde Park.
On New Year’s Day Extinction Rebellion made an unexpected announcement: “We’re quitting!” Certainly that was the phrase picked up by the media. Quitting what? The climate crisis arena? Activism? Public life?
The group is quitting, for the moment, disruptive actions such as glueing to things, blocking roads or breaking glass, and instead sticking to such legal protests as are still permitted. “As we ring in the new year, we make a controversial resolution to temporarily shift away from public disruption as a primary tactic…This year, we [will] prioritise attendance over arrest and relationships over roadblocks, as we stand together and become impossible to ignore.” https://extinctionrebellion.uk/2022/12/31/we-quit/
So this morning I joined a hundred people from XR with a hundred flags (or thereabouts) for the launch of 100 Days. A hundred days until the 21st April when everyone passionate about protecting the world from the further ravages of climate change is invited to unite in protest in Parliament Square.
The message to the Government is that we need action now on the climate crisis to safeguard all our futures.