Extinction Rebellion

February 2024 Forums General discussion Extinction Rebellion

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    “Our task as socialists is to do all we can to help people come to this conclusion.”

    Indeed. However, I’ve always found trying to convert others to real socialism is the perfect example of the saying: “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink”.

    All well, to quote the song ‘Lovers in a Dangerous Time’ by Bruce Cockburn (no joke): “[We’ve] got to kick at the darkness ’till it bleeds daylight”.

    P.S. Check out the fantastic Barenaked Ladies cover-version of that song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Age3O5cXAK4


    Roger Hallam, the mad theorist behind XR and now its breakaway Just Stop Oil, is quoted in today’s Times as saying:

    “You can basically save the next generation with 2 per cent of the American population mobilised, engaged in an intense intra-relationship between high-level disruption and intense mobilisation.”

    It used to be 3 percent but seems to have been reduced now to 2 percent (unless he has been misreported) and is he really proposing to try those tactics in America where the police are not likely to be so polite as here?

    But that’s not the main point I want to make. The assumption behind his thinking is that governments could “just stop oil” if they wanted to; that it is just a question of political will, and that governments can be forced by a determined minority to exercise that will.

    The fallacy here is that it is just a question of political will. It’s not. It’s a question of economic reality which no government can overcome as long as capitalism lasts. But Hallam and Just Stop Oil don’t envisage this. They imagine that what they want could be implemented under capitalism. Not even a majority voting for it, let alone a determined minority, could overcome the economic laws of capitalism that dictate that the cheapest energy source will be used as long as remains the cheapest.


    Two-thirds of people supported taking non-violent direct action to protect the UK’s nature, with 34% opposed. Support for such action dropped to 44% among Tory supporters.



    The polite public backlash

    Drivers left their cars in Harleyford Street to remove demonstrators

    “We’ve asked you nicely, you are doing the wrong thing by blocking innocent people going about their business.

    “Can you please move before we pick you up and move you?

    “You are stopping the wrong people, I’ve got to go pick my kids up, I’ve got to get my lorry back to work. We can’t help you, go to Westminster.”

    Isn’t that the truth of it? Choosing horses for courses

    But it will strengthen the government’s campaign for draconian law changes on protesting


    I see they have arrested Hallam on a charge of conspiracy and are holding him in custody pending the trial. It’s probably what he wanted (and a lot of other people too but not for the same reason) as part of his strategy of building up the number of his activist followers. He has claimed that he only needs 2 to 3 percent of activists practising civil disobedience and he can change the world.

    He obviously did “conspire” to disrupt the M25 motorway but they will have difficulty proving it. And so they should as “conspiracy” never used to be a crime and can catch all sorts of people just for meeting to discuss some activity that breaks the law.

    If he does get 5 years (as he could) he will have time to reflect on his absurd prediction that if global warming is not stopped 7 billion of the world’s population of 8 billion will die — which was the justification for the name “Extinction Rebellion” and for the extreme action its offshoots are taking. Not sure what’s happened to the original XR.


    Journalists arrested

    Apparently the police have taken to arresting any journalists who turn up to these events on ‘suspicion of conspiracy to cause a public nuisance” – partly, it seems, to try and get access to their phones to see if they can find out who their sources/contacts are, but I suspect it’s also to try and dampen publicity.

    Now, this could be similar to their unlawful arresting of hunts sabs (and they could end up funding XR through compensation claims).


    Conspiracy to cause a public nuisance seems pretty wide-ranging if they want it to be (not that magistrates and juries will always let them get away with it).

    “What is conspiracy to commit public nuisance?
    Public nuisance is a common law offence in which a person carries out an act which has the effect of endangering life, health, property or comfort of the public, or to obstruct the public enjoying its rights. It is both a criminal offence and a civil wrong.
    It typically consists either of an environmental nuisance, such as carrying on works producing excessive noise or smells, or of offensive or dangerous behaviour in public, such as noisy parties and hanging from bridges.
    In criminal law, a conspiracy is an agreement between two or more persons agree to carry out a criminal act.
    Source: gov.uk / CPS”


    What the dickens…or words to that effect.

    Extinction Rebellion protester who targeted King has egg shopping ban lifted

    Protester who targeted King has egg shopping ban lifted



    I didn’t know he was a climate activist. I thought he was a simple anti-monarchist. Sounds as if the Times is using his case to discredit XR and Just Stop Oil. At least they can’t use his case against vegans if he eats eggs or even throws them at people.


    Starmer might as well declare that he stands foursquare behind the billionaire-owned, extreme right-wing press who have vilified climate activists as ‘eco-zealots’ and ‘eco-mobs’ (Daily Mail); ‘sociopaths with sickening levels of entitlement and self-importance’, a ‘lunatic fringe’, ‘criminal cult’, ‘extremists’ (The Sun); and ‘eco bullies who inflict misery on epic scale’ (Daily Express). Daily Telegraph columnist and assistant editor Michael Deacon published an article under the headline: “Just Stop Oil are no longer simply activists – they’re a cult.” Another Telegraph comment piece, from the notorious climate sceptic Ross Clark, was titled: ‘Will the environmental extremists of Just Stop Oil slowly morph into terrorists?’

    Extinction Rebellion is standing firm in the face of media demonisation:

    ‘Do radical protests turn the public away from a cause? No, despite what people say on social media.

    ‘Do radical protests bring attention to that cause? Absolutely.’

    Indeed, an opinion poll published last month showed that two-thirds of the British population supports peaceful direct action in support of the environment. In any case, as the independent journalist and political writer Jonathan Cook noted recently:

    ‘criticism of the protests has missed the point. The activists aren’t trying to win elections – they are not engaged in a popularity contest.

    ‘Their goal is to disrupt narratives and mobilise resistance. That requires building consciousness among those parts of the populace more receptive to their message, swelling the ranks of activists prepared to take part in civil disobedience, and making life ever harder for things to continue as normal.’

    ‘On The Highway To Climate Hell’ – The Climate Crisis, Activism And Broken Politics


    Their goal is to disrupt narratives and mobilise resistance. That requires building consciousness among those parts of the populace more receptive to their message, swelling the ranks of activists prepared to take part in civil disobedience, and making life ever harder for things to continue as normal.’

    That is precisely their strategy. The aim of their campaign is not to stop oil but to build up their following. Their leaders and ideologues (as opposed to their foot soldiers) have the same mindset and approach as the Trotskyists — put forward a slogan that cannot be achieved with a view to those who fall in behind it turning, when it’s not achieved, towards more radical action. In some respects their vanguardism is even more extreme than that of the Trots as their leaders think that they can change the world through the action of 3 percent of the population.

    Once again, Alan, you have posted something without introducing it. Anyone reading the post will think that the first two paragraphs are you expressing your own view. It is only because we regulars here know you are a socialist that we know that you weren’t😊

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