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extinction rebellion

Why Extinction Rebellion needs to address their class issues

Founded almost a year ago, Extinction Rebellion, the “non-violent” worldwide environmental group has made waves, globally.

The aim of XR is to use “civil disobedience to compel government action to avoid tipping points in the climate system, biodiversity loss, and the risk of social and ecological collapse”.

View this post on Instagram

According to the @unenvironment , the earth is in the midst of the sixth mass extinction. 🌎 . Scientists estimate that 150-200 species of plant, insect, bird and mammal become extinct every 24 hours. The rapid loss of species that we are seeing today is estimated by experts to be between 1,000 and 10,000 times higher than the natural extinction rate. Biologists say this is greater than anything the world has experienced since the vanishing of the dinosaurs nearly 65m years ago.. . It is not too late to make a difference, but only if we start now at every level from local to global. We need everyone to come together to create a big positive impact. 🙏 . Here are my top 5 things you can do to be part of the solution: . 1.Spread the word and raise awareness about this topic 🙌 . 2. Join the climate marches and actions from @extinctionrebellion @gretathunberg to make our voice 💪 . 3. Integrate more a plant based diet 🥦 . 4. Start by yourself and reduce your environmental footprint 🙏 . 5. Reconnect and spend time in nature 💚🌳 . LET'S ACT TOGETHER 💪💪💪 #savetheplanet #signofchange

A post shared by Manuel Bergmann (@manuelbergmann) on

But what does this mean? Back in the spring of 2019 Extinction Rebellion were protesting in Waitrose in London’s King’s Cross station. Yes, Waitrose. Whilst this is probably the wackiest thing they’ve done—and they’ve done many—it sums the movement up quite well.

Extinction Rebellion failed to consider that Waitrose isn’t solely responsible for climate change, and the minimum—or just above the minimum—wage workers of the shop certainly aren’t.

Some have even gone as far as to say that Extinction Rebellion are “waging a war on the working class”.

This isn’t surprising though, as just last week they “took over” (some are describing it as “attacked”) London’s Smithfield meat market.

Most people, even if they eat meat themselves, know the harm that meat production is causing the environment. However, Smithfield meat market isn’t the causation of this. Hell, it’s probably the most sustainable and ethical source of meat as its sourced locally and provides working-class people with jobs.

Videos of Extinction Rebellion protesters dancing and doing yoga in inconvenient places are circulating the internet.

With marches such as Greta Thunberg’s Youth Strikes being properly organised, being backed by the police and being respectful, this type of protesting is coming off as arrogant.

It’s arrogant to block roads and make them inaccessible for people. It’s arrogant to cause delays unnecessarily, and almost willy-nilly to “protest climate change”. People have things to do, and places to go, and whilst well-structured protests take this into account usually, Extinction Rebellion is not.

Extinction Rebellion needs to address their lack of consideration of non-middle-class people if they want to be taken seriously.

Working-class people care about the environment too, but Extinction Rebellion are an uninviting group. Last week 1,300 people were arrested during one of their protests, with Princess Marie-Esmeralda of Belgium included.

In a tweet, Extinction rebellion wrote: 'Extinction Rebellion are holding sites across Westminster. Their overnight rebels need hot water, ready-to-eat vegan food, tents, sleeping gear and warm clothes.'

This request is a blatant spit in the face to the rising population of homeless people in central London. Homelessness in London has increased by 18%  in the last year with 5,529 new rough sleepers on the street.

XR also has a lack of racial diversity, which I'm not qualified to comment on, but it means that they need to get better PR fast, otherwise the cause is going to be left behind.

Let us know what you think about XR in the comments below.
Featured image: Rupert Rivett / Shutterstock.com

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