Extinction Rebellion want to save the planet, however how will they do so whilst alienating those who do not share their radical left-wing agenda? They are just petulant Corbynistas, Tom Bromwich argues.
Extinction Rebellion has reared its ugly head over the past fortnight, protesting outside Cambridge's HSBC and Barclays, the Bank of England, and Brussels' financial headquarters in response to increased financial investments in fossil fuels since 2016. Putting Extinction into context, I am reminded of the quote, "one man's terrorist is another's freedom fighter". These irresponsible troublemakers, are also revered as principled civilians passionate about conserving the environment for the future. However, how much of this is true?
Extinction is a protest group advocating for some terrific policies: Stewardship of the planet, institutional environmental change and non-violent protest. It forces us to examine, holistically, what part we have played in climate change, and what we can do to tackle it.
However, whilst the group may stand on a platform emphasising environmental degradation, animal welfare, anthropocene extinction and conservation, my objection is with the people themselves. I cannot disqualify their reasons for protesting, as I believe if no one did we would be in a worse situation. I wish to highlight the politicised nature of those who participate and the sheer hypocrisy of Extinction's leadership who often operate under the veneer of broad popular support.
One simply has to look and see that, seemingly, the vast majority of protesters are the types of people you would expect to see on this type of demonstration. Aside from the fact many of their mung bean-munching membership are dressed like scarecrows, the vast majority are left-wing. Simply browse the Twitter accounts of those who have been on Extinction rebellion previously. Scroll back and you'll find a treasure chest of Corbynista propaganda (#JC4PM), anarchy symbols or #FBPV, #stopbrexit, and #ACAB social media posts.
Now, I'm not saying they aren't allowed to believe in these things. I don't share their beliefs. However, for such a protest to look representative it needs the inclusion of a broad coalition of many, like me, who want to help save the planet, but don't want to be associated with Extinction's radical leftist leadership and agenda.