On Monday, as thousands of demonstrators clogged the streets of central London to trumpet their concerns about climate change, some went even further, gluing themselves to street furniture.
The protests were organized by the organization Extinction Rebellion; other protests were scheduled globally in roughly 80 cites in 33 countries, according to CNN. CNN noted, “Extinction Rebellion, which launched late last year with climate protests that shut down five London bridges, made headlines earlier this month when members of the group disrupted a Brexit debate in Parliament with a nude demonstration.”
Other stunts perpetrated by the demonstrators on Monday included gluing themselves to the revolving front door of the Shell Centre building as well as smearing black paint on the building. One Shell spokesman told CNN: “We respect the right of everyone to express their point of view, we ask only that they do so with their safety and the safety of others in mind.”
Financial Times reported:
The several thousand protesters set up a temporary garden of trees and plants across the centre of Waterloo Bridge, parked a pink boat in the middle of Oxford Circus, blocked roads around Marble Arch and gave speeches in Parliament Square. They also temporarily blocked Piccadilly Circus.
The cofounder of Extinction Rebellion, Roger Hallam, told Financial Times that his motive in creating the organization was “overwhelming evidence of the demise of the human race … We’re actually speeding up towards the cliff, if we’ve not already gone over it. Our objective is to create a political crisis, if that means people being arrested and going to jail then so be it.”
Financial Times also noted that Extinction Rebellion makes a point of having demonstrators arrested; in the last six months or so, over 200 people affiliated with the movement have been arrested.
Prior to the demonstration on Monday, Extinction Rebellion wrote on their website:
A host of nonviolent protests are planned including occupations of various public spaces and the blockading of bridges, roads, harbours and transport systems. There will also be creative actions including die-ins, displays of grief or ‘cry-ins’, funeral processions, banner drops, Blood of Our Children actions involving the spilling of ‘blood’ at strategic locations, plus street art and theatre.
The International Rebellion is intended to force governments to agree to Extinction Rebellion’s demands. These differ between countries, but at their core include that governments and other institutions must tell the truth and declare a Climate and Ecological Emergency, must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025 and must create and be led by the decisions of Citizens’ Assemblies on climate and ecological justice.
Last November, Extinction Rebellion forced Westminster, Lambeth, Waterloo, Blackfriars and Southwark Bridges in London to close, issuing a statement that read, “Extinction Rebellion demands that the UK government immediately tells the truth and declares a climate and ecological emergency, that it reverses inconsistent policies and reduces to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2025, and creates a citizen’s assembly to oversee these changes.”