Extinction Rebellion protesters target WWF headquarters in latest demonstration

31 August 2021, 15:09 | Updated: 31 August 2021, 18:25

XR and WTFWWF protesters are demonstrating against WWF
XR and WTFWWF protesters are demonstrating against WWF. Picture: Extinction Rebellion

By Emma Soteriou

Extinction Rebellion protestors have targeted the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) headquarters in their latest demonstration.

The XR Youth Solidarity group was joined by activists WTF WWF in their stand against the organisation.

In a statement reported by the Guardian, the group - who are calling for community-led conservation - said: "WTF WWF are occupying on behalf of indigenous Maasai communities living in Ngorongoro conservation area in Tanzania, Gbabandi, Cameroon’s Forest Indigenous Peoples’ Platform and the Sengwer indigenous people of Kenya.

"WTF WWF is demanding that WWF UK challenge the mass evictions and human rights abuses being carried out in the pursuit of conservation against these indigenous groups."

Read more: Over 300 arrests made in first week of Extinction Rebellion protests

In a speech shared live on Facebook, members also claimed that the organisation had "invested the donations of their supporters into fossil fuel funds multiple times" and "made studies for Shell", researching where the company could drill for oil in the global south.

In support of the ongoing effort, Extinction Rebellion Youth also tweeted saying: "BREAKING: XRY Solidarity rebels occupy WWF in solidarity with indigenous communities."

Read more: XR protesters glue themselves to railings inside Science Museum and 'refuse to leave'

In response to the allegations, a WWF spokesperson said: "We value dialogue and collaboration on these complex issues but find the actions taken by this campaign group at our UK headquarters today disappointing.

"We share the same ambition to protect our world, tackle climate change and ensure a future where people and nature thrive.

"Communities are at the heart of our work and as a global organisation we will continue to strengthen how we embed human rights into nature conservation, everywhere we work including in the most challenging areas of the world, to safeguard communities and the nature upon which they depend."

Read more: Extinction Rebellion blocks off part of London Bridge as climate protests continue

Conservative MP Alexander Stafford criticised Extinction Rebellion's latest move.

"I used to work for WWF for years, trying to reverse the decline in nature and protect our environment, this protest by Extinction Rebellion is a disgrace," he tweeted.

"They do more harm than good and are little more than an extremist group that care more for their own egos than for the planet.

Read more: Extinction Rebellion co-founder: Two weeks of protest not limited to the City

"They've completely jumped the shark. By attacking those that work to protect the environment, halt our natural decline, and stop climate change, they have revealed their own nihilistic hand.

"Groups like WWF have done far more and will do more for our planet than these extremists.

"Any so called movement that claims to want to protect our planet then targets an environmental organisation like WWF has lost any moral credibility that it tried to have.

"They are little more than wannabe thugs and bullies."

In response to the MP's comments, the group clapped back at his previous work at Shell, questioning whether he had tried protecting the environment during his time at the company.

Protesters glued themselves to railings inside the Science Museum on Sunday, in protest against its partnership with the oil giant.

It marks the beginning of the second week of Extinction Rebellion protests across the UK, which have already seen actions including the blocking of Tower Bridge and Guildhall in the City of London being daubed in red paint.

Meanwhile, Animal Rebellion has been blockading one of the largest dairy factories in the UK, calling on them to switch to plant-based production by 2025.

Extinction Rebellion has been contacted for comment.