Environmental activists took to the stormy sea one cold Brighton morning in protest of the continuing government inaction on climate change and ecological collapse. The newly formed Brighton arm of Extinction Rebellion has quickly grown from two founding members, to over 70 climate defenders in just under two weeks. The Extinction Rebellion is part of a larger UK movement that has been hitting the headlines for the acts of civil disobedience across London. The movement has received the support of prominent UK activists, academics, politicians and thinkers including Guardian columnist George Monbiot. The 17th November marks the official start of the Extinction Rebellion with a Rebellion Day, with "conscientious protectors" flooding London in raise awareness of sea level change amongst other issues.
Extinction Rebellion has three demands:
- That the Government must tell the truth about how deadly our situation is, it must reverse all policies not in alignment with that position and must work alongside the media to communicate the urgency for change including what individuals and communities need to do.
- The Government must enact legally-binding policy measures to reduce carbon emissions in the UK to zero by 2025 and take further action to remove the excess of atmosphere. It must cooperate internationally so that the global economy runs on no more than half a planets worth of resources.
- By necessity these demands mean an initiative similar to those enacted at times of war. We do not however, hand further power to our Government, we demand a Citizens Assembly to oversee the changes, as we rise from the wreckage, creating a democracy fit for purpose.
The Rebellion Day marks the start of a UK-wide civil disobedience movement, starting in London and expanding across the country to cities such as Brighton and Hove. One of the founders said “ as Conscientious Protestors, change will only come when we are willing to commit acts of peaceful civil disobedience. In the past two weeks over fifty people have been arrested, enough to propel the ecological crisis into the media and public consciousness. If several thousand arrests are made in a short space of time this will trigger a political crisis and force our government and other leaders to take committed and legally accountable action.
Photo credit: Laura Gunbie