Extinction Rebellion vows to ‘step up’ climate action and ‘not leave’ until demands are met
An Extinction Rebellion activist said the group “needs to keep getting more radical” to force the government to end the use of fossil fuels
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Extinction Rebellion (XR) has warned of a “whole new range of campaigns and action” across the UK after the government failed to respond to its demands.
Around 60,000 protesters took to the streets of Westminster demanding an immediate halt to all new coal, oil and gas exploration during a four-day demonstration over the weekend, calling on the government to set up emergency citizens assemblies
The movement, called ‘The Big One’, was organised by XR and the group was joined by more than 200 other leading environmental and social justice groups including GreenPeace and Global Justice Now.
Campaigners gave the government a deadline of 5pm on Monday (24 April) to respond to its climate demands and “agree to enter negotiations”, but the government “failed to do so”.
An XR activist told NationalWorld that the group “needs to keep getting more radical” to force ministers to take action to end the use of fossil fuels.
XR co-founder Clare Farrell said the group will now “reach out to supporter organisations” and start creating a plan for stepping up its campaigns “across an ecosystem of tactics that includes everyone from first-time protesters to those willing to go to prison.”
She warned: “This time we won’t leave until our demands to the government are met.”
XR has unveiled that talks have already started between the groups and movements involved in ‘The Big One’ about creating a unified national campaign of stepping up from the powerful sense of community.
Ms Farrell said that “everything we do will be aimed at building and mobilising the huge climate movement that turned out over the last four days” so they can return to Parliament this year “in even greater numbers”.
Despite the government not responding to the deadline, activists vowed to keep on campaigning, saying “it’s all we can do”.
One protester told NationalWorld: “I doubt they are going to say anything by 5pm. There are always demands and usually they do not get met but we just keep on putting the pressure on. It is all we can do”.
She added: “It is an ongoing process, we are not going to win today. It is not going to happen like that, the system is so entrenched.”
‘We are ready to take back our power’
Daisy Pearson from Global Justice Now said it “could be the beginning of a movement truly capable of bringing an end to the fossil fuel era” if all the varied groups from the weekend “continue to build outwards and coordinate inwards.”
XR claims more than 60,000 people demonstrated over the four days, with Just Stop Oil members joining the march after causing various traffic jams in London on Monday near Piccadilly Circus. The group said their slow marches will continue to take place throughout the rest of the week.
Ms Farrell added: “People gained a sense that together we are unstoppable and that we have the power to halt the Business As Usual mindset in its tracks before it destroys all of our futures.
“We are all ready to do the important work of taking back our power and creating a better future for everyone.”
Joe Davies from Don’t Pay UK said the organisation is “looking forward to the next stages”, adding: “We will be telling people how they are able to individually leverage their energy provider to pay attention to the already critical climate crisis.
“We will be showing people how they can claim back the credit owed to them by those providers, as well as moving on to other methods of individual energy disobedience.”