Extinction Rebellion vows to ‘step up’ action if government dismisses two climate demands
If the government does not act by 24 April Extinction Rebellion has threatened to join picket lines “in solidarity” with striking workers
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XR has called on ministers to end all licences, funding and approval for new oil and gas projects - and wants the government to create “emergency citizens assemblies” to tackle the climate crisis.
The group has given Downing Street a deadline of 5pm on Monday 24 April to reply to the demands as they have so far been ignored.
If ministers do not respond XR said escalated protests would involve joining picket lines “in solidarity” with striking workers, organising locally and “to disobey”.
Marjin van de Geer, a spokeswoman for the group, said activists will “remain very disruptive” over the course of this weekend but it will not be the same “intentional disruption” seen from XR previously.
It comes ahead of four days of demonstrations taking place in Parliament Square in London, beginning on Friday 21 April and ending on Monday 24 April.
More than 200 organisations are supporting the protests including Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth. Up to 28,000 people are expected to attend - although XR expects more to join the demonstrations over the course of the weekend.
In a joint press conference on Tuesday, XR insisted that the demonstrations were not intended as “public disruption”, but the group accepted that the sheer number of people attending may cause “logistical issues” in and around Westminster with the London Marathon taking place on Sunday.
This weekend’s protest is named ‘The Big One’ and will be attended by a range of climate, environment and poverty campaign groups including the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) Union.
The UK has witnessed a series of high-profile protests by climate and animal rights protesters in recent days.
The Grand National horse race in Liverpool was delayed after large numbers of protesters tried to storm the track with at least two fixing themselves to a jump using glue and lock-on devices.
On Monday (17 April) play was suspended at the World Snooker Championship after a Just Stop Oil protester jumped onto the table and scattered a bag of orange powder across the surface.
XR said it would “temporarily” stop using public disruption tactics earlier this year after chaos was caused on roads sparking clashes with motorists. But the group said it would continue to protest against the “abuse of power” by vested interests who it said were “addicted to greed and bloated on profits.”