Update: SUN 21. April 2019: During the ongoing Extinction Rebellion protests in London over 963 arrests have been made and 42 people were charged.
Climate change protesters who have brought parts of London to a standstill said Sunday they were prepared to call a halt if the British government will discuss their demands.
On the seventh day of demonstrations that have occupied key spots in the British capital, Swedish teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg addressed the demonstrators, telling them: "Humanity is standing at a crossroads."
Organizers said they were willing to switch tactics from disruption to dialogue next week - if the government enters talks.
"We are prepared to pause, should the government come to the negotiating table," Extinction Rebellion spokesman James Fox told AFP. "What the pause looks like is us stopping an escalation. We can discuss leaving if they are willing to discuss our demands. At the moment, we haven't received a response from the government... so we're waiting on that."
Extinction Rebellion was established last year in Britain by academics and has become one of the world's fastest-growing environmental movements.
Campaigners want governments to declare a climate and ecological emergency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2025, halt biodiversity loss and be led by new "citizens' assemblies on climate and ecological justice.
"We're giving them an opportunity now to come and speak to us," Fox told AFP. "If they refuse to come and negotiate with us, then this is going to continue and this is going to escalate in different, diverse and very creative ways."
682 protesters have been arrested over 5 days in London.
Over 100 protesters were arrested on Friday alone in London, as part of the ‘extinction rebellion’ days of action that seeks to draw attention to climate change.
Friday represented day five of the group’s direct action protests. The 100 people arrested brings the total number to 682 detained this week. This action had protesters planting a makeshift boat in the middle of Oxford Circus, London’s busiest shopping strip. The boat was named the ‘Berta Caceres’ boat, in honor of the Honduran environmental activist who was murdered for her activism against extractive companies.
The ‘extinction rebellion’ group seeks to organize direct action, and their website states that they are “an international movement that uses non-violent civil disobedience to achieve radical change in order to minimise the risk of human extinction and ecological collapse.”
They list three demands, the first being that governments reveal the ‘truth’ about the severity of climate change. Second, for action be taken so as to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2025. Thirdly, that a ‘citizens assembly’ be formed to oversee ‘climate and ecological justice.’
The group has a strategy of maximizing the number of arrests so as to capture public attention. All activists are instructed to lie on the ground, meaning that an arrest would require 4 police officers. London’s police force have complained that they are being overstretched, with many working 12 hour shifts to deal with protesters.
Protester Dagan James spoke to teleSUR’s U.K. correspondent Pablo Navarrete Thursday, expressing the frustration that led to the protests, “We’ve been trying to get change, we’ve been trying to get the government to do more than what they’re doing, and they’re not doing enough, so then these protests started on Monday”, he continued “Everybody you talk to knows the environmental problems we’ve got, the climate change problems we’ve got, are now getting so bad, and are so out of control, that we can’t just sit by and allow it to happen.
The group’s branch in France organized similar actions in Paris, where over 2,000 took part in a sit in, thought to be one of the largest acts of civil disobedience seen in the capital. Organizers commented, "Through this action of extraordinary civil disobedience, the French climate movement denounces the toxic alliance that Emmanuel Macron and his government maintain with the large companies whose activity accelerates climate change”.
Previous actions have included stripping naked and gluing themselves to the public gallery in the House of Commons, the U.K.’s parliament, while MPs were in session.
MUST READ: Live Updates: WATCH Yellow Vests Protesters Rally in Paris for 23rd Week
Yellow Vests Demonstrate in Paris as Notre Dame Donations Highlight Wealth Inequality
"Victor Hugo thanks all the generous donors ready to save Notre Dame and proposes that they do the same thing with Les Miserables."
And couldn’t care less for others-
Just their name in the papers - I’m sure they’ll be celebrated.
their donations won’t be taxed
and will again
benefit them -
while they look like heroes???
Life is not fair.
It has to change