Extinction Rebellion 'doorstep' Sir David Attenborough after he criticised group

27 October 2020, 15:01 | Updated: 27 October 2020, 15:08

The documentary film-maker criticised XR for breaking the law
The documentary film-maker criticised XR for breaking the law. Picture: PA

By Matt Drake

Extinction Rebellion (XR) activists turned up on the doorstep of Sir David Attenborough after he criticised the group for "disturbing lives" and said they should act within the law.

The 94-year-old was asked about XR's actions such as blocking roads and newspaper printing offices.

Although he said he agreed with the group's message but its law-breaking protests could deter people from taking the action needed to save the planet.

He said: "You have to be careful that you don't break the law... disturbing their lives... is a serious thing to do and could disenchant an awful lot of people.

"Of course I agree with their message, it's a question of what is politic and sensible in persuading other people to join you?"

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Members of the XR group arrived on the BBC documentary film-maker's house in Richmond, London, on Sunday to confront him and deliver a letter and a "starter pack on how to engage in civil disobedience".

They claimed Sir David's comments "re contributing to the erasure of the voices and sacrifices of front-line earth protectors around the world".

XR wrote: "With your unique position and influence, we fear your comments are contributing to the erasure of the voices and sacrifices of front-line earth protectors around the world.

“The UN’s special rapporteur for indigenous peoples estimates that indigenous peoples are protecting 80 per cent of the world’s biodiversity. They know they have no choice but to break the law.”

They urged him to "rethink" his position and left him other items such as an olive tree with photos of environmental campaigners who had been murdered.

The activists told The Times that they had no intention of intimidating Sir David, but the reason they gave the letter in person was “so it was a bit personal . . . like a friend to a friend wanting to reach him where he lives”.

Former-Conservatives leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith told the paper: "It's appalling and shows how extreme they have become."

LBC has contacted XR for comment.

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