Some people are doing the rest of our dirty work. Cathy Eastburn, 51, from south London, Mark Ovland, 35, from Somerton in Somerset, and Luke Watson, 29, from Manuden in Essex, have been put on remand for a month after a demonstration as part of the Extinction Rebellion. Stretching throughout London and aiming to reach worldwide, this particular act saw protestors climbing on top of a train at Canary Wharf, while other protests have virtually taken over Parliament Square, Vauxhall Bridge, and other areas of London. Already in their fourth day, the protest shows no signs of stopping — and is hoping to gain more support over the holiday weekend. This non-violent protest has three main demands, according to the group: “tell the truth about climate change”; to reduce carbon emissions to zero by 2025; and to create a citizens’ assembly to oversee progress.
According to the Guardian, over 400 arrests have taken place. Young, old, rich, poor — people from ever cross-section and every part of the country have joined this fight to minimize the effects of climate change and demand a real response to the growing crisis. Many of those who have found the protest disruptive have still voiced their support — seeing people take a stand for an issue that can’t be ignored any longer.
Indeed, it is the sheer number of people behind the cause that are holding these protests afloat. A report from Bing Jones, 66, a retired NHS doctor from Sheffield in Parliament Square, shows the power of the huge numbers. Jones told the Guardian:
“It’s remarkable, because there was an absolute troop of police marching in military style in a great long line. But lots of us lay down on each roadblock and managed to hold three of the five exit points from the square. It was quite exciting because they came in such numbers that it looked as if they were going to swamp us.
They took a certain number [of activists], then looked at the number of us and left. I think that’s the story of Extinction Rebellion: the police come, they have a policy to arrest, they arrest and arrest and arrest, then they just can’t take any more; they look at the quantity of people waiting to be arrested and then they just give up.”
There have also been reports of police targeting legal observers who are there to collect evidence for protesters.
Thousands more peaceful protesters queuing up to join them… We have clear demands for the government, the first of which is so easy… #1) TELL THE TRUTH ABOUT THE CLIMATE AND ECOLOGICAL EMERGENCY https://t.co/q496nQl1x3
— Extinction Rebellion 🐝⌛️🦋 (@ExtinctionR) April 18, 2019