(Looking at that picture one might be tempted to surmise that the planet can be saved with interpretive dance alone!)Battle of Waterloo Bridge: a week of Extinction Rebellion protests
On Monday morning a strange sight appeared, edging its way through the buses, taxis and shoppers on Oxford Street in London.
A bright pink boat, named Berta Cáceres after the murdered Honduran environmental activist, was being pulled carefully through the traffic, eventually coming to a halt in the middle of one of London’s busiest thoroughfares.
By late Friday evening police were saying that 682 people had been arrested in London. Three supporters who glued themselves to a train on Wednesday have been imprisoned. That same day four more attached themselves to the fence outside Jeremy Corbyn’s house, declaring the Labour leader “the best hope this country has got” to meet the challenges of the unfolding climate crisis.
And on Friday about 20 young protesters, all born after 1990, unfurled a banner on a road outside Heathrow airport, asking: “Are we the the last generation?”
But perhaps the protesters’ biggest achievement is that millions of people have heard their message that the world is in a spiralling climate emergency that demands transformative change to avoid catastrophe.
Through hundreds of articles, editorials, and radio and TV interviews, including some hostile critiques of its tactics, Extinction Rebellion’s message has gone mainstream...
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With regards to that last paragraph, it's amazing to think that the huge impact of human activity on the environment might be something not within the mainstream consciousness. While politicians of all stripes have been paying lip-service to the idea of 'protecting the environment' for decades now, currently we're seeing the rise of political leaders with a more overtly 'fuck the environment' dogma. The problem with the Environment (big E) is that it belongs to everyone, which is to say that it's owned by no-one and, because it can't be bought and sold like a commodity, nobody can put a price on it. As a result nobody is interested in trying to work out how much dropping nuclear waste in the Marianas trench, or polluting the atmopshere, or whatever, does or should cost.
Extinction Rebllion's message is that marketplace capitalism has failed to address the environment because their just isn't an effective capitalist model which can deal with it - and so it's time for governments to put aside their natural alliances with corporate movers-and-shakers and just start doing something hard and swift.
There's been a lot in the Daily Mail this week about the ongoing protests in London. It hasn't quite broken out into out-and-out OUTRAGE by it's certainly qualified as trite, niggardly and overall dismissive criticism of so-called crusties and dope smoking hippies and focusing mainly on the difficulties people have had getting to and from work. That's an editorial choice of course, but it kind of sums up the general political attitude towards environmental concerns -- "It's no use complaining to me. Now settle down and don't make a fuss."
As usual, our man on the ground has the real story...