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Extinction Rebellion “Quits” Uncivil Disobedience (Parliament insurrection next?)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- January 5, 2023

Ed. note: This is Part III of a three-part series on eco-terrorism heading into the new year. Part I reported on Bloomberg Green’s interview with eco-terrorist Andreas Malm. Part II reviewed Just Stop Oil’s plan for increased eco-incivility in 2023.

The eco-terrorist group Extinction Rebellion, which demands Net Zero in three years (2025), made this recent Twitter announcement:


Our #NewYearsResolution is to halt our tactics of public disruption. Instead, we call on everyone to help us disrupt our corrupt government. #ChooseYourFuture & join us: 21 April, Parliament.

The full announcement:

When XR burst onto the scene four years ago, few could have imagined the seismic shift it would bring about in the climate movement, the climate conversation, and the world at large. 

But despite the blaring alarm on the climate and ecological emergency ringing loud and clear, very little has changed. Emissions continue to rise and our planet is dying at an accelerated rate. 

The root causes? A financial system prioritising profits over life, a media failing to inform the public and hold power to account, and a reckless government entrenched in corruption and suppressing the right to protest injustice.

As we ring in the new year, we make a controversial resolution to temporarily shift away from public disruption as a primary tactic. We recognise and celebrate the power of disruption to raise the alarm and believe that constantly evolving tactics is a necessary approach. What’s needed now most is to disrupt the abuse of power and imbalance, to bring about a transition to a fair society that works together to end the fossil fuel era. Our politicians, addicted to greed and bloated on profits won’t do it without pressure.

We must be radical in our response to this crisis and determined in our efforts to address the climate and ecological emergency, even if it means taking a different approach than before. In a time when speaking out and taking action are criminalised, building collective power, strengthening in number and thriving through bridge-building is a radical act.

XR is committed to including everyone in this work and leaving no one behind, because everyone has a role to play. This year, we prioritise attendance over arrest and relationships over roadblocks, as we stand together and become impossible to ignore.

The conditions for change in the UK have never been more favourable – it’s time to seize the moment. The confluence of multiple crises presents us with a unique opportunity to mobilise and move beyond traditional divides. No one can do this alone, and it’s the responsibility of all of us, not just one group. It may be uncomfortable or difficult, but the strength of all social, environmental, and justice movements lies in working together. As our rights are stripped away and those speaking out and most at risk are silenced, we must find common ground and unite to survive.

It’s no secret that those in power are hoarding wealth and power at the expense of ordinary people, while ignoring the consequences of their greed. Emissions continue to rise, but they couldn’t care less. But people do care, and changes to democracy that free and empower the voices of the people through Citizens Assemblies could balance the tables and bring about the positive societal tipping point we all need.

Some critical comments followed after a LinkedIn repost by Zoe Cohen:

“Realised no one likes them.”

“Not a fan of this doomsday cult, but I’m pleased they’ve finally realised that disrupting the lives of the public only turns people against them.”

“Coldest winter for years. Snow in early December, back to -1c later this week. Bog standard British winter. Guess they’ve grown up a bit and realised blocking ambulances taking patients to hospitals had f all [sic] to do with climate change.”

“Tell them to take off all their personal belongings including their phones and show us how they reject oil!

And some scarcasm:

“That’s a shame I enjoyed reading about jail sentences you were getting”

“Luckily the 12yr olds that mostly make up XR can’t vote.

And this interesting comment:

“Finally, the money is running out and we will be rid of you….. thank god…”

The last word goes to Ken Green, a leading thinker in environmental policy, who commented:

No matter whether you think the stop-oil activists are saintly people engaging in civil disobedience, or if you think they’re eco-saboteurs/terrorists (as I am inclined to see them) one reality remains:

There are laws against the destruction of property, trespass, blocking people’s access to mobility (a form of imprisonment), interfering with one’s place of business (the use of their property) and more;

The ONLY thing that makes Civil Disobedience a somehow noble thing is that the people who do it ACCEPT the consequences of breaking the laws.

Ghandi, Martin Luther King, all the others accepted that they would be jailed, punished, *harshly* for anything they did that violated laws, and they accepted that punishment, and generally, made use of that time to write books and things to serve their cause.

SO: these eco-terrorists deserve all the time behind bars and all the fines, and they MUST be made to pay them, if they want to claim they are engaging in “civil disobedience.”

One Comment for “Extinction Rebellion “Quits” Uncivil Disobedience (Parliament insurrection next?)”

  1. Sam Barro  

    Where does Ken Green get the idea that practitioners who commit civil disobedience do not suffer the legal consequences? Or does he believe that the jailed should be happy to be thrown in jail?

    Sorry Ken, I don’t think you understand what civil disobedience really is. You like it when it was practiced by people who were later proven to be right and noble, but you don’t like it when it’s practiced by people who in the future will likewise be honored for their efforts to wake people like you up.


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