Extinction Rebellion stage climate change protest at Cenotaph
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The protest will take place from June 26-27 – the first weekend after all coronavirus lockdown restrictions are lifted in England. Extinction Rebellion will join a “cross movement national demonstration” on June 26 which will be hosted by People’s Assembly Against Austerity and set to be attended by NGOs, unions, grassroots movements and more. This will see several groups come together “to turn their back on a return to business as usual after Covid-19 and demand a new normal”.
The climate activist group vowed to ramp things up on the Sunday, inviting protestors to reunite “to hold the mainstream media to account for profiting from our division and consistently failing to tell the truth about the climate and ecological emergency”.
Extinction Rebellion said in a press release: “Democracy in the UK is in crisis, with a corrupt media fuelled by the division of the general public playing a significant role in its decline.
“A revolving door between our government and a billionaire press that is obsessed with profit and accentuating hostility is undermining our democracy.”
The group added: “The early summer ‘uprising’ which is scheduled for the first weekend after lockdown restrictions officially end in the UK, aims to capture rising momentum across the country after a difficult year of separation, Westminster and industry cronyism, civil unrest and clampdowns on dissent from a government drunk on power.”
Extinction said the plans for a demonstration in London come amid “growing unrest around the Police, Crimes, Sentencing and Courts Bill which has seen movements, organisations, unions and individuals standing together to defy a government and police force hell-bent on pushing the UK further towards authoritarianism”.
The group has also posted the event on Facebook for the march on June 26, with people asked to assemble at Portland Place at 12pm before joining in a march to Parliament Square.
The event post reads: “This Government has made it clear it wants working people to pay for the coronavirus crisis.
“Its pitiful offer to the nurses, the public sector pay freeze, lack of sick pay, while contracts are granted to their friends and cronies tells you that.
“Meanwhile there are further subsidies to companies while we are facing mass unemployment levels when furlough ends.
“Employers are going on the offensive, especially with notorious fire and rehire policies -but there has been widespread opposition to this including strike action.
“There is visceral anger over the multitude of government failures during the pandemic, with one of the highest Covid death rates in the world.
“This government has failed us and this will be our first opportunity to take to the streets in opposition.
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“The Tories are also attempting to use the cover of the pandemic to sneak through the draconian ‘Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill’.
“Due to reach its final reading in June this bill is an affront to democracy, an assault on our rights to protest and an attempt to silence dissent & opposition to the government.
“The Tories want to take away our rights to demonstrate for our rights! We cannot let that happen.”
But the mass demonstrations from Extinction Rebellion will likely infuriate tens of millions of Britons as the country comes out of a lockdown that has lasted several months.
In the past, Extinction Rebellion protests have resulted in demonstrators glueing themselves to buildings, roads being blocked, transport networks disrupted and the vandalism of buildings.
Earlier this month, the climate activist group targeted the Bank of England, spraying fake oil all over the building in London.
The demonstrators were protesting against investments in fossil fuels, accusing the country’s central bank of “funding destruction in a climate crisis”.
Extinction Rebellion said protests were also held in cities including Paris, Brussels and Melbourne.
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