Extinction Rebellion (XR) is a global environmental movement that aims to force governments to take emergency action on the climate and ecological emergencies. The movement was founded in the United Kingdom in 2018 and has since spread to over 80 countries around the world.
Their actions often involve non-violent civil disobedience, such as blocking roads or staging protests. The movement’s demands are threefold: for governments to “tell the truth” about the climate and ecological emergencies, to “act now” to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2025 and to create a citizens’ assembly to oversee the changes.
The group has been praised for its ability to mobilize large quantities of people, with some estimates suggesting that more than a million people have taken part in protests and demonstrations since the movement began. However, they have also faced criticism, with some arguing that their tactics are disruptive and ineffective.
The movement was founded by a group of academics in the UK, who were inspired by the East London-based campaign group, Rising Up! The founders of XR were also influenced by the work of US climate activist group, 350.org, which advocates for global action on climate change. The founders, Gail Bradbrook, Roger Hallam and Simon Bramwell, originally planned to call themselves “Rising Up! Extinction Rebellion”, but later decided to adopt the name “Extinction Rebellion” for simplicity.
Their first major action was a coordinated blockade of five bridges in London on 17 November 2018, which saw thousands of activists occupy the bridges as part of a protest against climate change. Since then, the movement has been involved in various actions around the world, including a wave of protests that took place in more than 60 cities in April 2019, which led to over 1,100 arrests in London alone.
Despite facing criticism from some quarters, the movement has been praised by environmentalists, politicians and activists around the world for its ability to galvanize a global movement for climate and ecological justice.
XR’s tactics are rooted in the principles of non-violent civil disobedience, which involves deliberately breaking the law to raise awareness or draw attention to an injustice. The group has several tactics that it uses to achieve its aims, including blocking roads, staging peaceful protests and organizing mass “die-ins” or “swarms” to disrupt public spaces.
The movement’s tactics are designed to be disruptive in order to attract media coverage and raise public awareness about the severity of the climate and ecological crisis. The group also uses social media to promote their message and encourage supporters to take action.
XR’s tactics have faced criticism from some people who argue that their protests are too disruptive and have a negative impact on people’s daily lives. However, the group argues that this disruption is necessary in order to force governments to take action on the climate and ecological emergencies.
The impact of XR’s actions has been significant, with the group helping to raise awareness about the severity of the climate and ecological crisis. The movement has also achieved some notable successes, including convincing the UK government to declare a climate emergency in May 2019 and the subsequent establishment of a Citizens’ Assembly in the UK to oversee changes.
The group has also inspired similar movements around the world, including “Fridays for Future”, which was started by Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg and has involved school strikes and protests in over 100 countries. XR’s tactics have been emulated by other climate activists, with some groups using similar methods to achieve environmental goals.
However, the group has faced criticism from some quarters, with some people arguing that their tactics are too disruptive and counterproductive. Some have also criticized the group’s demand for net-zero emissions by 2025 as being unrealistic and an unnecessary distraction from more practical measures that could be implemented.
Extinction Rebellion is a global environmental movement that aims to force governments to take emergency action on the climate and ecological emergencies. The group’s tactics are rooted in the principles of nonviolent civil disobedience and are designed to be disruptive in order to raise awareness of the severity of the climate and ecological crisis. The movement has had a significant impact, helping to raise awareness of the issue and inspiring similar movements around the world.
However, the group has also faced criticism, with some people arguing that their tactics are too disruptive and counterproductive. Despite this, XR remains a prominent voice in the global climate and ecological justice movement and will continue to push for urgent action on the climate and ecological crises.