Extinction Rebellion warn of return to London's streets next week 'like never before'

19 August 2021, 14:00 | Updated: 19 August 2021, 14:40

The group is set to take to the capital's streets once again
The group is set to take to the capital's streets once again. Picture: Alamy
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

Extinction Rebellion is pledging to return to the streets of the capital ‘like never before’ during two weeks of protests starting on Monday.

Ahead of their 'Impossible Rebellion' which is set to start on Monday, August 23, the group has said it will "combine site occupations and targeted actions, with the first week themed around Crisis Talks."

The demonstrations have been organised in the wake of a landmark study by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

XR says it will largely focus on disrupting financial institutions in the City, though the general public will also be inconvenienced. An animal welfare march, the Impossible Rebellion, is also planned around Smithfield meat market.

The campaigning group claims the City of London, is the main accelerator of the climate crisis and demands the government "agrees to stop all new fossil fuel investment immediately."

Climate change activists are set to descend on Trafalgar Square on Monday morning, warning that the world is running out of time to avoid an environmental meltdown.

The Metro reported the group planned to hold occupations at locations across the capital, alongside themed marches and targeted actions, including on the Bank Holiday weekend, with the City expected to take the brunt of the second week of action after ‘crisis talks’ in week one.

Branded the Impossible Rebellion, activists are being encouraged to take two weeks off work and step up to make the ‘politically impossible inevitable’.

Organisers have already crowdfunded more than £250,00 ahead of the latest demonstrations – which are notoriously creative – with a further £10,000 raised for expected legal costs, suggesting more arrests are likely.

The fundraising page explains: ‘Thousands have been arrested and charged from past rebellions, and 2021 will see the rebellion return to the streets like never before.’

Just last week while speaking on LBC, Met Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick warned protesters that her officers will tackle planned demonstrations with a "fair but firm" response because Londoners do not want disruptive protests,

Speaking on Call the Commissioner with LBC's Nick Ferrari, London's top officer said she was "very disappointed" over the climate protesters' plans to spend a fortnight demonstrating, with a particular focus on the City.

She threatened the climate activists, who she branded as sometimes "disingenuous" when it comes to interacting with police, with "pre-emptive" action to stop them from causing disruption that takes a long time to clear up.

XR co-founder Clare Farrell said: “We are in the midst of a collective act of global social evil which is unprecedented in all of history.

“This government is a joke, telling us how to wash our dishes when they should be leading the world towards a mobilisation that saves humanity.

“People want to live, but we need leadership and it’s nowhere to be seen. So join us, and we will be the leaders we need. Disobey the system that is killing life on Earth.”

The environmental campaign group has recently won a slew of victories after the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) dropped the cases.

The group says that 2,500 people have been prosecuted since April 2019 and that “potentially hundreds if not thousands of the resulting convictions could be unsafe”.

Four more Extinction Rebellion activists had their convictions overturned at the Old Bailey on Wednesday.

The last major XR protests in London were part of the 'Autumn Rebellion' actions in September 2020. Protestors disrupted roads around printing presses owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, which affected the distribution of the Sun, the Times and Daily Telegraph, as well as the Daily Mail and Evening Standard.