Tourists and workers on Wall Street on Monday were met by a jarring spectacle: protesters, some lying in pools of fake blood outside the New York Stock Exchange, some dancing and others chanting, all to call attention to people killed by climate-related disease and disaster.
As usual, the NYT subtly sides with the powers that be, corporations and neoliberals, by down-talking the protest. Democracy Now! reports a total of 700 arrested the first day, 300 in London and “only” 90 in New York City; 90 is not a shabby number. 60 cities are taking part in the protests, which are scheduled to last two weeks.
Here is the lead to the story in the NYT: “The provocative climate group is trying to disrupt the city, hoping for the success it has had in London and elsewhere in Europe.” I see this as a negative comment. Notice the use of language: trying to disrupt, hoping for success. These are subtle ways of undermining what Extinction Rebellion is about. It is not a competition. It is not a sporting event with groups winning or losing: “It is our sacred duty to rebel in order to protect our homes, our future, and the future of all life on Earth,” is how Extinction Rebellion describes their work.
This Is Not a Drill: 700+ Arrested as Extinction Rebellion Fights Climate Crisis with Direct Action Democracy Now!
People are detained while participating in a direct action with a group protest organization called Extinction Rebellion on April 17, 2019 in New York City. The activists are demanding governments declare a climate emergency to combat pollution. (Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)
“Starting on October 7th, for 2 weeks, Extinction Rebellion is calling an International Rebellion. Together, we will peacefully occupy the centers of power and shut them down until governments act on the climate and ecological emergency,” the XR movement says on its website. “Leave your desk. Invite your boss. Walk out of school. Switch off the TV. Put down your phone. Get on the streets. And bring everybody.”
London is just one of 60 global cities where XR members held protests Monday and are planning future actions for International Rebellion, according to the movement’s webpage that sorts upcoming protests by continent. Demonstrators worldwide turned out in droves Monday and are set to continue engaging in peaceful civil disobedience in the coming days across Europe, Asia, Africa, the Americas, and Oceania.
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Excerpt: “We only get one planet and so we’re here to try and defend it.”
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