Extinction Rebellion protests: Where they will be and what are they hoping to achieve?

6 October 2019, 20:40

The opening ceremony for the two weeks of demonstrations happened on Sunday
The opening ceremony for the two weeks of demonstrations happened on Sunday. Picture: PA

By Maddie Goodfellow

Monday marks the first day of Extinction Rebellion's two weeks of environmental protests.

Extinction Rebellion have planned two weeks of protests across the capital. But where will they be and what are they hoping to achieve?

Extinction Rebellion&squot;s "International Rebellion" campaign begins on Monday
Extinction Rebellion's "International Rebellion" campaign begins on Monday. Picture: PA

What happened at Marble Arch today?

Extinction Rebellion activists held an "opening ceremony" at Marble Arch ahead of planned protests across London.

More than 1000 people attended the ceremony, which featured meditation and dancing as "inspiration" prior to the protests.

Groups of artists held a procession and protesters were told to "surround" the upcoming demonstrations with love.

Extinction Rebellion spokesperson Zoe Jones said Marble Arch will be used throughout the two-week protests as other sites are moved between.

She said: "We're here to pressure the Government into action because we can't wait any longer."

"The next two weeks will involve marches and family friendly events, there'll be some spicier actions as well and some will be arrestable."

She continued: "We've had 4,000 rebels sign up and say they are willing to be arrested - which is a huge increase on the number arrested in April of 1,000."

"The public perception of XR is that we're disrupting ordinary people's lives by blocking roads and that's why this time we're taking our protests to the seat of power and taking it to Westminster."

"We are on the public's side and we are ordinary people who are extremely concerned."

Protestors gathered at Marble Arch today
Protestors gathered at Marble Arch today. Picture: PA

Where will the protests be?

The group have stated their plans to "shut down" London over the next fortnight.

30, 000 members are expected to take part in demonstrations throughout mid-October.

The group have peaceful protests planned for Westminster from October 7 for around 14 days.

They also aims to shut down roads and stage a sit-in at London City Airport, among other demonstrations.

Key sites, including Westminster and Lambeth bridges will also be targeted, in addition to protests outside key Government departments.

On its website, the group states: "Take two weeks off work, bring your family and friends and join us in the streets for a one time only ā€˜chance of life.'"We cannot do this alone, everybody counts and we need everyone to join us, now."

What are they wanting to achieve?

Extinction Rebellion say they want to "shut down Westminster" for two weeks with their London protests.

The protests are part of a wider "international rebellion" aiming to cause nonviolent disruption in 60 cities worldwide.

On their website the group say: "The International Rebellion is intended to pressure governments to meet Extinction Rebellionā€™s demands."

"These actions vary from country to country, but at their core include the same fundamental demands, these are: that governments and other institutions must tell the truth and declare a Climate and Ecological Emergency, must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025 and must create and be led by the decisions of Citizensā€™ Assemblies on climate and ecological justice."

"These are the key principles that unite activists across the planet."

Protestors say they want lawmakers to "save their future".

14-year-old protestor Grace Maddrell said: "I'm here today because I am angry that no one is doing anything to save my future."

"I'm scared for that future and I'm here out of love for life and the animals that have gone extinct and everyone's voice that has been silenced because they were not heard in time."

"People are rebelling in these numbers because they realise the time to address this is right now, not in the year 2050, or even 2025. Scientists are despairing because we are almost out of time. They are telling us to panic."

"The weather won't wait for politics, and so we will gather in Westminster and stay until the Government tells the truth that families across this country need to know."

30, 000 protestors are expected to take part
30, 000 protestors are expected to take part. Picture: PA