Hundreds arrested in climate protests

Last chance: Extinction Rebellion say it is rebelling against politicians who “have failed us”. © Getty

Did the protesters go too far? This week, the Extinction Rebellion climate action group brought the city of London to a standstill. They wanted to get as many people arrested as possible.

What’s happening

This week, thousands of climate change protesters took to the capital, seizing control of famous landmarks and disrupting buses and trains. Many Londoners were enraged by the chaos.

Extinction Rebellion, the group behind the protests, is demanding that the Government take immediate action on climate change.

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Extinction Rebellion has previously blockaded the BBC, poured fake blood outside Downing Street and invaded Parliament.

They say the Government must reduce carbon emissions to zero by 2025 and create a citizens’ assembly to oversee a plan to save the environment.

The “non-violent, peaceful acts of rebellion” are taking place in 80 cities across 33 countries. Almost 300 people were arrested in London.

Some have taken it even further. On Monday, three men were arrested for shattering a glass door at oil company Shell’s offices. “Shell kills” was painted on the walls.

Not all of the marchers are radicals.

“I see this disaster unfolding all around me,” said one retired teacher who joined the movement.

Is Extinction Rebellion too extreme?

Some say…

No! It is not just radicals joining the protest, but normal people realising that the time to panic is now. We cannot keep going on like it is “business as usual”. Criminal actions are harmful and pointless, but there is nothing wrong with taking part in non-violent protests that force the Government and other people to pay attention.

Others think…

Yes! The movement is targeting the wrong people. Rather than the Government and business executives with the power to act, the protests are hurting ordinary Londoners who need to get to work and might be trying to help the environment themselves. By creating so much trouble, the protesters only make people less likely to listen to what they are saying.

You Decide

  1. What are the best things you can do to help the environment in our own life?

Activities

  1. What would you like to protest about? Is it climate change or something else? Design your own protest sign that you could carry on a march.

Some People Say...

“What if we’re wrong about climate change and we create a better world for nothing?”

What do you think?

Word Watch

Immediate
Straight away.
Blockaded
When you stop people from going in and out of somewhere.
Carbon emissions
The gases that are released, for example by cars and planes, that make climate change worse.
Citizens’ assembly
When ordinary people, who are not politicians, can help to make decisions.
Radicals
Wanting to change the world dramatically.
Waterloo Bridge
The protesters blocked traffic from coming on to Waterloo Bridge. Instead, they made a display of plants and trees.

Subjects

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