Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Climate protesters from the Extinction Rebellion group hold placards and banners as they block traffic in Elephant and Castle on November 21, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

Climate protesters from the Extinction Rebellion group hold placards and banners as they block traffic in Elephant and Castle on November 21, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

'The Only Sane Thing We Can Do': Extinction Rebellion Swarms Streets of London to Demand Urgent Climate Action

"To those inconvenienced by the climate change roadblocks in London, we've tried all other options. The scientists have yelled at us for decades. Civilized negotiations with governments. Greening capitalism. Not enough."

Jake Johnson, staff writer

Days after thousands of demonstrators shut down major central London bridges to demand bold climate action from world leaders, environmentalists and members of the Extinction Rebellion movement were back in the streets again on Wednesday highlighting the world's "ecological emergency" and calling for immediate steps toward the goal of reducing carbon emissions to net zero by 2025.

"Standing up to save humanity from extinction is not criminal, it's the only sane thing we can do."
—Donnachadh McCarthy
While politely apologizing for the major traffic disruptions caused by the demonstrations, Extinction Rebellion declared in a statement that "this relatively minor inconvenience could save us all from catastrophic consequences in years to come."

"I think it's going well—a little light disruption to raise awareness of the biggest threat to our future, climate change," said Josie, a 23-year-old activist from Bristol. "We need to do everything we can to spark some thoughts, plant some seeds, and also—it's just good to be part of this community—to act and resist together. We are planting seeds to grow some new ideas."

"Standing up to save humanity from extinction is not criminal, it's the only sane thing we can do," added author and activist Donnachadh McCarthy.

Aiming for "gridlock across the capital," Wednesday's demonstrations took place at major traffic hot spots in London such as Vauxhall Bridge and Earl's Court.

"To those inconvenienced by the climate change roadblocks in London, we've tried all other options," activist Hannah Scott wrote on Twitter. "The scientists have yelled at us for decades. Civilized negotiations with governments. Greening capitalism. Not enough. Sorry but we have no other option. "

Demonstrations and disruptions across London demanding urgent climate action are expected to continue for the rest of the week, culminating in "Rebellion Day 2" on Saturday in Parliament Square.

Dr. Larch Maxey, research fellow at the University of Plymouth, said in a statement that he has been "really amazed" by how effective the mass demonstrations have been thus far.

"It is clearly causing a lot of economic disruption which is what you have to do to get the government to listen," Maxey said. "In terms of reaction from people, when they hear that this is about climate change they understand. We’ve had so many people thanking us, even had a high-five."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.
We need your help.

Support progressive journalism.

Common Dreams is not your average news site. We don't survive on clicks or advertising dollars. We rely entirely on your support. And without it, our independent progressive journalism simply wouldn’t exist. Every gift of every amount matters.

Join the fight and support our common dreams today.

MSNBC Declines to Voluntarily Recognize Newsroom Union Effort

Organizers said that "we want to support one another and make this an even better place to build a career."

Jessica Corbett, staff writer ·


Sanders Speaks Out Against 'Dangerous' Chorus Pushing for New Cold War With China

"Developing a mutually beneficial relationship with China will not be easy," the senator writes. "But we can do better than a new Cold War."

Brett Wilkins, staff writer ·


Indigenous Women Invite Deb Haaland to See Devastation of Line 3 for Herself

The tar sands project "poses a significant threat to water, Indigenous treaty rights, and worsens the global climate crisis," the group wrote to Biden's Interior Secretary.

Kenny Stancil, staff writer ·


After SCOTUS Upholds ACA, Progressives Set Sights on Medicare for All

Now, said campaigner Michael Lighty, "we can instead go to a system that will actually guarantee healthcare to everybody, which the ACA does not do and cannot do."

Jessica Corbett, staff writer ·


McConnell Makes Clear 'All Republicans Will Oppose' Manchin Voting Rights Compromise

"The idea that Manchin can pass a law to protect the vote with help from the very people it needs protecting from is suspect at best."

Jake Johnson, staff writer ·