Extinction Rebellion #2

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The protests continue into their fourth day with protesters having as much of a hold on Central London as at the start of the week. Police have continued to attempt to remove people, however its currently making no difference. Tonight there was an attempt to clear Parliament Square and reinforcements arrived in the form of bands, entertainers and people willing to lay down on the road and refuse to budge. About a hundred police were sent in however they left only with a handful of arrests. Today also saw attempts to disrupt the transport systems when three activists immobilised a DLR train at Canary Wharf.

Extinction Rebellion is a quite new organisation and only began late last year. There have been a number of demonstrations since they formed however the biggest impact before the current action is probably that which took place in Parliament and its probably just this last two weeks that most have even heard of the organisation.

The following pictures are from the second day of the rebellion, this being Tuesday with scenes from Waterloo Bridge and (briefly) Parliament Square.

Perhaps the best thing I liked about Waterloo bridge (as did many others) was the fact it had no traffic and was essentially a garden bridge! Think of the many millions spent on this abortive project (TfL, Boris Johnson, etc) and the ease with which an alternative garden bridge was established at negligible cost!

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Dancing on the Waterloo Bridge.

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Very good catering support! All it needs is a donation.

I don’t think the demonstrators are against progress and development. This has been discussed before and its assumed that people who like environmental issues want everyone to go back to mud huts. There may be a few who advocate that however I think in general everyone is for progress and development as long as it is in harmony with nature and the environment.

The big problem is at the moment we are still progressing and developing with little care for the world. Yes we do have plans and ideas and there have been international accords to try and reduce C02 etc. Those at Paris, Rio are perhaps the most important.

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The stage on Waterloo bridge.

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Temple of Quiet and rest on Waterloo Bridge.

The problem however is the period in which environmental damage occurs. If we all changed our ways tomorrow the damage will still continue. This is because it will take years for the system to change, thus we will continue to experience global warming, environmental destruction etc. Healing is a long term process.

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Fuck the fumes! There’s none at the moment. But when the traffic returns the fumes will no doubt be back!

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This is right. We need different kinds of democracies, and less reliance on banks and profits.

The amount of change we have had to date hasn’t even achieved the necessary reverses that are needed. People are still flying, driving cars, throwing away plastics, and placing huge demands on the planet. At this rate any large scale benefits will take even longer to show through. Quite possibly it will be a century or so before really large scale reversals begin to occur.

The question then is can the world sustain this continued environmental damage? It might be able to but it is going to cause a lot of problems and we have little idea at the moment of what is really happening.

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London’s new garden bridge!

Let me put one small thought forward that few have discussed but its important. If we continue to have global warming and many places get very dry, a lot of towns and cities that depend on mild climates will find their buildings, roads, transport systems at risk of failure or collapse because the ground will get very sandy and foundations will be unstable. There is certain to be a huge environmental cost to this as people move en masse and seek far fewer but more habitable pastures.

(Places like Dubai are different. They are built for a dry environment. However it is at risk from things such as flooding.)

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Colourful road surface on Waterloo bridge! Many slogans to be seen here.

The rising of sea levels is another problem. The melting of glaciers and ice sheets means many places will be inundated, flooded. Millions will be displaced. This means many from these places will be pushed into smaller and smaller areas of suitable habitation and enormous pressure will be place upon these locations.

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Who needs bus lanes when we have a planet that’s going bust?

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There is a fantastic view of the City of London from Waterloo bridge and its getting more impressive with so many new skyscrapers going up. But let’s not forget there are a lot of corporate organisations there n the City that are in some way or other responsible for the climate crisis.

These instances, among many others, are why campaigners want governments to impose changes now. These might be expensive but if nothing is done the costs and the social dis-benefits in the long term will be even greater. And that is why Extinction Rebellion says we need to listen to the scientists rather than governments.

One of the main focal points of the demonstration is at Parliament Square, right on the doorstep of our government. Will it be enough to convince the government that new targets need to be set – seeing that those which have been agreed are not due to come into full force until 2050!

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Demonstrators at the bottom of Whitehall. The wording on this banner is quite apt. There’s no-one else to sort the mess – we are all in this together.

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Blockade at the north end of Parliament Square. There are five entry/exit points into the square and each has been blocked.

In timely fashion the Daily Mirror has this front page feature for its Thursday editions that forms part of an impassioned appeal by Sir David Attenborough to save the environment:

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