Extinction Rebellion vs Congress

Today there are three movements that are mobilizing many, many people to draw attention to climate change: the Sunrise Movement, School Strikes, and Extinction Rebellion.

Thousand of students in Europe, and now in the United States, are striking on Fridays. Their message is very clear, about how nothing has been done about climate change, and they are and will continue to be living with multiple and increasingly severe climate disasters. They say they will not longer wait for others to take action.

Recent days have seen massive numbers of people in the streets of London, shutting down traffic. It is interesting that Greta Thunberg, the 16 year old Swede who started the School Climate Strikes, came to London to speak to the Extinction Rebellion demonstrators.

The Extinction Rebellion was one of the topics on Ed Fallon’s radio program last week.

As Britain’s Extinction Rebellion ramps up its colorful campaign of creative nonviolence, moving from the streets of London to cities across the US, that’s the conversation attorney Channing Dutton and I kick around on this week’s Fallon Forum. Are shutting down roads and bridges, disrobing in front of politicians, blockading media conglomerates the kind of actions the climate movement needs? Does posing that question even matter any more? Is it time for an all-out assault on climate apathy?

Fallon Forum, 4/15/2019

I called into the program to say I wasn’t sure what the goal of the Extinction Rebellion (XR) was, and spoke about my own experiences with social change during the anti-war movement in the 1960’s and more recently with anti-pipeline efforts. I wondered about the contrast between XR and the Sunrise Movement. Ed’s guest, Channing Dutton talked about the anti-war movement not having well defined goals when it erupted, but over time changes occurred leading, finally, to the end of the Vietnam War.

This evening Extinction Rebellion members block entrances to the Capitol from the Rayburn and Cannon office buildings. The Guardian was the only mainstream news source to cover that action.

One protester exclaimed: “DC was under water last week. DC was on fire this weekend. We can’t live much longer like this.” Another said: “I know you’re listening, officers, I know you have children. Do you want them to live in a world that’s burning? … I’ve always wanted to have children. Three weeks ago I broke down in my car because I realised I can’t bring a child into this world.”

Then a chant began: “What do we want? Climate emergency. When do we want it? Now.” Another loud chant followed: “Climate extinction rebellion.”

Extinction Rebellion protesters confront politicians at US Capitol by David Smith, The Guardian, 7/23/2019

On Tuesday evening, members of the Washington, D.C., chapter of Extinction Rebellion superglued themselves to each other and to the passages connecting the Capitol to the Rayburn and Cannon office buildings, where House members have their offices. The protesters, who are part of an international group that uses nonviolent civil disobedience tactics to advocate for action on climate change, aimed to confront House members on their way to floor votes.

Many of the protesters, who did not expect the protest to last longer than 15 minutes, remained glued for more than two hours, alongside dozens of demonstrators who rallied as a distraction. They wore signs over their shirts that said “Declare Climate Emergency” and chanted: “What do we want? Green New Deal! When do we want it? Now!” Capitol police asked bystanders and reporters to move back and, after three warnings, kicked everyone out — except, of course, those who were glued. They arrested 13 activists, according to Extinction Rebellion, around 8:30 p.m.

Climate Activists from Extinction Rebellion Glued Themselves to the Capitol to Disrupt House Votes. by Aída Chávez. The Intercept,
July 23 2019
This entry was posted in civil disobedience, climate change, Extinction Rebellion, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Extinction Rebellion vs Congress

  1. Ed Fallon says:

    Thanks for the shout out, Jeff, and truly shameful that the only major publication to cover the protest was the guardian.

    On Tue, Jul 23, 2019 at 10:54 PM Quakers, social justice and revolution wrote:

    > jakisling posted: ” Today there are three movements that are mobilizing > many, many people to draw attention to climate change: the Sunrise > Movement, School Strikes, and Extinction Rebellion. Thousand of students in > Europe, and now in the United States, are striking on Fr” >

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