Extinction Rebellion, an environmental group that has targeted the city of London, announced on Sunday that it would stop public unrest in the UK and instead focus on mass protests.
The group’s UK branch said it wanted to engage more people to fight climate change and hoped to see 100,000 people attend a protest in Westminster in April.
Founded in 2018, the grassroots group has previously closed roads and bridges in central London, sealed off oil refineries, smashed windows at Barclays Bank headquarters and sprayed fake blood on the Treasury.
In April, Lloyds of London, the world’s largest insurance market, was forced to close its headquarters and switch to remote trading.
Extinction Rebellion, also known as XR, said it was the first time a financial institution had been forced to close. The group targets banks to finance the fossil fuel industry.
Extinction Rebellion UK says that after four years of direct action, little has changed and greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise.
As we enter the new year, we make a controversial resolution to temporarily take a break from public turmoil as our main tactic.
Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has introduced legislation that could result in up to 12 months in prison for those who sabotage critical national infrastructure such as airports or printing presses.
A new public order bill being scrutinized in the Senate targets protesters from groups like Extinction Rebellion. It makes it a new criminal offense to equip people with locking or locking equipment to prevent them from locking themselves onto building sites or transportation systems causing disruptions.
In this case, imprisonment of up to 6 months or unlimited fines are imposed. It also makes it illegal to sabotage major transport projects, such as the high-speed line 2 from London to the north of England.
Extinction Resistance said it plans to siege the Capitol with 100,000 people starting April 21.
This year we prioritize attendance over arrests and relationships over obstacles. Because we stand together and become impossible to ignore.
We must respond radically to this crisis and resolve our efforts to address the climate and ecological emergency, even if we take a different approach than before. Building collective power, increasing numbers and thriving by building bridges in a time when speech and action are criminalized is a radical move.
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Curious about FT’s commitment to environmental sustainability? Learn more about science-based goals here.
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