The Extinction Rebellion already have a notorious reputation for their controversial protests.
Aiming to halt greenhouse gas emissions and Wildlife loss, the Extinction Rebellion UK are calling upon Government to to declare a climate and ecological emergency. Cities located all around the world, such as Berlin, Madrid, Amsterdam and New York are participating as part of an ‘International Rebellion’ to save the environment. But after receiving severe backlash in recent weeks, the group is left to ‘reflect’ on their controversial means of protesting. Extreme protesting, including their attempt to ‘shut down Central London’ has been especially ill-received by the public.
Many of the activists were seen disrupting public transport in East London on Thursday morning during rush hour, causing waves of fury amongst the commuters. Only hours after the incident, it was confirmed by the British Transport Police that eight people had already been arrested for the obstruction of the railway. These rowdy and questionable outbursts are becoming a more prominent sight, turning the heads of the British public, and not all for the good.
“The more they disrupt people’s day to day life, the more people will hate the extinction rebellion because you can’t do anything about commuters on a train, trying to get into work,” said Rebecca Wallis, a student at Plymouth Marjon University, “They are not the problem. They’re making the point to the wrong people. They need to make a point to Parliament, not the people going about their everyday lives.”
On the other hand, many people see their unorthodox methods to be very eye opening, and understand that the outrageous public stunts, such as the ones performed more recently, are to gain attention for their cause.
“I feel that, everyone has a right to protest and they’re mostly peacefully protesting, and generally the police need to pipe down a little bit and back off and let them actually protest.” this is the opinion of another Plymouth Marjon University student, Helen Hunt.
It is clear that the public opinion on the matter is vastly divided, with many on the fence about the issue.
Georgia Large, Plymouth Marjon University student said that “My thing is that, they get made fun of online, and it trivialises what is ultimately an incredibly important issue.” she continues,” In America they’re not extinction Rebellion, they’re a slightly different group with the same cause, but they had celebrities like Jane Fonda, they were peacefully protesting just holding up signs, shouting a bit, and they were arrested but they didn’t actually do anything wrong, it’s the third time Jane Fonda has been arrested for peaceful protesting.”
When asked “to what extend to you agree with the way they have gone about protesting and the actual cause itself?” She responded,
“it’s a good cause, and I think good for them, for standing up for the planet that doesn’t have a voice, absolutely, but I think they could almost use someone playing devil’s advocate on their team, so when the Rebellion is planning on doing this and this, they need someone just to point out the smaller flaws in the situation that are ultimately going to get them and the cause more hate than support.”
What are your views on their methods of protesting? Have your say in the comments below.