The Climate Change protests are entering a new round. Inspired by the continuing student strikes and figurehead Great Thunberg, activist group Extinction Rebellion started their own string of events with the goal to “disrupt ‘business as usual’”. They plan to keep going daily “until change happens”.
Only six months old, this group is joining the bigger movement, but those who attended the first big outing were ready to go. Blocking prominent crossroads and areas in London on April 15th was only the beginning they say. One of the group’s spokespeople, Jamie Kelsey-Fry, told 7Dnews, “We have known the science for so long. We are pushing this species to extinction.”
One of the main spots where people were gathering was Parliament Square in London, which saw several hundred people coming together to voice their demands and concerns. On a podium and equipped with mics and a sound system, organisers gave individual protestors the chance to step up and express ideas and points of importance in quick, little messages to the audience.
Ivy from Cambridge urged her fellow protestors to be inclusive and find the issues relevant to their communities that are underlined by climate change. “Talk to people – find out what they are struggling with,” she said. A sentiment which was echoed by other speakers. Sylvia from Tring pointed out, “We are all starting out on this path. So, the basic point is that we need to get people together and find groups to collaborate with.” Beth from Cornwall continued and explained, “Some councils have already declared climate emergencies, but we need to come together even more.”
The three demands that were expressed on the day were: 1. Transparency and more truth-telling. Kelsey-Fry explained, “Nobody has been told how serious this is.” 2. A move to carbon zero by 2025. A demand the group admits is a difficult one, but necessary, they say, to re-establish communities and be able to “look our grandchildren in the eye.” And the third and final demand was that citizen assemblies should be normalised to “get out of this mess.”
Later on in the afternoon, the crowd would use the built-up momentum to start a march through the city. Their message visible on countless banners and signs: “System change – not climate change.”