Climate Protests in Europe: That Calls for Extinction Rebellion

              Monday, October 07, 2019

The name Extinction Rebellion means, according to their own statements, rebellion against extinction.
(Photo: picture alliance / dpa)

              The climate action alliance Extinction Rebellion is launching several street protests to protest more climate protection. In the next two weeks there will be more protests in cities worldwide. But what exactly do the activists want to achieve? What is Extinction Rebellion? The Alliance wants to increase the pressure on governments to do more to combat climate change. The group was founded last year in the UK. Already in London, with traffic in places, it brought traffic to a standstill. In Germany, according to the group, there are around one hundred local groups, many of which are still under construction and not yet active. There are 485 groups in 72 countries worldwide. What is the challenge of the group? The activists in Germany call on the Federal Government to disclose "the existential threat to the ecological crisis" and to declare the climate emergency. In addition, media and other social institutions should also communicate how urgent a change in climate policy is. Specifically, Extinction Rebellion calls for radically lowering man-made greenhouse gas emissions by 2025. In addition, activists are in favor of involving citizens in climate change decisions.What are the methods of protesting activists? Above all, the group is known for actions of civil disobedience. For example, in the morning rush hour, a thousand activists blocked the Berlin transport hub at the Victory Column. "We are ready to be arrested and go to jail", the group explains on their website. What is planned in the two action weeks? In Germany, the protests focus on Berlin. Around the globe, the group is planning demonstrations in around 60 cities. The focus is on Europe, North America and Australia. Protests are also planned in Argentina, South Africa and India. The Alliance for Action hopes to mobilize 20,000 to 30,000 people in London alone for blockades around parliament and government buildings.What's the difference between Extinction Rebellion and Fridays for Future? The groups are close to each other in terms of content and referents. So also the most famous German Fridays For Future activist Luisa Neubauer wanted to give a speech at an event of Extinction Rebellion. However, Fridays For Future is less known for civil disobedience and more for registered demonstrations. Until now, the movement has also mobilized far more people in Germany than Extinction Rebellion – more than a million demonstrations nationwide in September. The Fridays For Future activists are less radical in their approach to more populations, such as families with children.What is criticized for Extinction Rebellion? At the beginning of the Action Weeks came criticism from politics, such as Chancellery Minister Helge Braun. "Dangerous interventions in the traffic, that will not work," he told the "Bild" newspaper. Such activists are then "not a conversation partner". The Green-European politician Sven Giegold criticized the approach of Extinction Rebellion, which wanted to obstruct the air traffic with drones in London. "In no democracy is it possible to force change through protest – with drones at the airport protests go too far," he told the paper.

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