Extinction Rebellion says Democracy is a 'problem' and calls for Citizens Assembly like 'Ireland'
The group says that democracy is "part of the problem" and is "incapable of making the radical long-term policy decisions" needed to address climate change and is urging the UK government for a citizen's assembly pointing to the one in Ireland .
Extinction Rebellion believes that part of the problem is the way that government operates. The UK's parliamentary democracy is a form of representative government power is in the hands of a few representatives who are elected by the people. This form of government has proved itself incapable of making the radical long-term policy decisions . To break this deadlock, Extinction Rebellion is urging the government to commission a Citizens' Assembly on the Climate and Ecological Emergency to create a roadmap for the UK to navigate through this crisis
In recent years, Ireland has used citizens’ assemblies to successfully break the deadlock on two controversial issues: legalising same-sex marriage and the repeal of the Eighth Amendment on abortion. The recommendations of the Citizens’ Assembly informed public debate and emboldened politicians to advocate for change regarding these issues. The Irish Citizens’ Assembly website provides information on all issues deliberated by the assembly. For example, Making Ireland a Leader in Tackling Climate Change (scroll down to the Recommendations section to see their conclusions on this issue). The Irish parliament are currently considering a Climate Emergency Measures Bill, which will ban oil and gas exploration
One of Extinction Rebellion's founders Roger Hallam said the ambition of the group was to "bring down all the regimes in the world and replace them" starting with Britain , In a video posted on YouTube, he said protesters "should be willing to die". Mr Hallam has said in the past: 'You need about 400 to go to prison and you need two to three thousand people to get arrested". Mr Hallam is currently researching a PhD in effective radical campaigning.
Another leading member of the group and financial backer is Gail Bradbrook who said she "does not condemn" protesters who "choose to damage property in order to protect nature" . Ms Bradbrook who has a PhD in molecular biophysics , flew to Costa Rica a few years ago to take a dose of ibogaine, a hallucinogenic shrub growing in West Africa , she said the drugs 'rewired' her brain and gave her 'the codes of social change'. Afterwards, she ended her marriage and began her activism in Extinction Rebellion .
Nearly 400 protestors have already been arrested in London including its co-founder Simon Bramwell, who was taken away in a police van on Monday after supergluing himself to the glass door of a building .
On their website rebellion.earth , the group says that the protests will last from 15 April to 29 April . Earlier this Month , 11 activists from the same group stripped off in the House of Commons public gallery and glued their hands to surfaces in an attempt to draw politicians attention to the Climate Change. Two of the group wore full grey body paint and elephant masks to bring the message that politicians neglect of the climate crisis has become an ‘elephant in the room’.The group said the protests were inspired by the suffragettes protest in the same building over 100 years ago .
Extinction Rebellion first came to notoriety last October and November . On 31st October 2018, it assembled on Parliament Square in London to announce a "Declaration of Rebellion against the UK Government" . In November Activists blockaded five bridges across the River Thames in a day of havoc for commuters in order to "pressure the government to tackle climate change" . They chanted "We are the ones we’ve been waiting for" . Since then , Dozens of countries now have groups springing up, from the Solomon Islands to Australia, from Spain to South Africa, the US to India.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has come under heavy criticism by the Police for lending his support to the protests . John Apter , chairman of the police federation said "officers are under enough pressure as it is". He told the Daily Telegraph: "What we don't need, as well-intended as it might be, is a politician aggravating the situation and making it worse. The likes of Sadiq Khan should be supporting the police, especially when we are having to deal with rising crime on our streets."
A recent YouGov poll has shown public opinion has shifted against the protests. The survey of 3,561 British adults found 52% either "somewhat oppose" or "strongly oppose" the action, compared with 36% who "strongly support" or "somewhat support" it.
A Spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion , Ciaran O’Carroll , says they will also target Dublin this weekend and disrupt roads as people attempt to head off for the Easter Weekend including a no move march and sit down on O’Connell Bridge on good friday .
Climate Change - political radicalisation of School Children in Ireland