Extinction Rebellion urged the thousands of people who are taking part in its International Rebellion to “keep strong” on Wednesday, the third day of a planned two-week mobilization to demand climate action and environmental justice, as an estimated 800 were arrested in dozens of cities for global demonstrations including blockades, marches, die-ins, and at least one “nurse-in.”
“You are making history,” the group tweeted to protesters.
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As Common Dreams reported Monday, the global grassroots campaign is organizing two weeks of direct actions, aiming to pressure government leaders to take immediate and decisive steps to stop the climate crisis.
At a “nurse-in” in London on Wednesday, 200 women marched from Westminster to 10 Downing Street where they occupied the street breastfeeding their babies, displaying a sign reading, “Their future.”
“I need to do everything I can,” Anna Moore told the BBC while holding her infant daughter. “I’m frightened and I don’t know what’s going to happen…I want to do everything I can to ensure she has a future.”
On Wednesday, London police began “violently removing tents” that had been set up by protesters in Trafalgar Square.
“They just came and took the kitchen and all of the tents. We were just sitting down and they were just trampling on people,” one demonstrator told The Guardian.
Extinction Rebellion reported that hundreds of people had been arrested in London alone by Wednesday evening. Metropolitan police have made space in the city’s jails for about 1,000 people.
“It is clear that Westminster is beginning to feel some pressure. It’s ironic that the key aim of the government, in giving its orders to the police to remove and arrest protesters…is to put pressure on those things that many take for granted in life: shelter, food, and water,” the group said of the arrests. “These are the very same things that the emergency threatens to take from us—in a much deeper and visceral way. The emergency is not in the future, it is here, now. It is killing people, animals, insects, plants: the earth we depend upon.”
A 92-year-old man was among those who were arrested outside the prime minister’s residence.
In Sydney, Australia, arrested demonstrators have been subjected to what civil rights advocates call “absurd” bail conditions, barring them from going within a mile of Sydney Town Hall or the protests and from communicating with Extinction Rebellion members.
“It offends against the right of freedom of political expression that’s been implied in the constitution,” Pauline Wright, president of the New South Wales Council for Civil Liberties, told The Guardian. “It is likely to affect people’s ability to go about their lawful business, study, and earn a living…It is an absurd condition, it will be challenged and I have faith in the courts that they will make a sensible decision.”
Demonstrations also took place Wednesday in countries including France, the United States, Argentina, and Germany as demonstrators demanded their elected officials declare a climate emergency and act immediately to reduce fossil fuel emissions to net zero by 2025 by ending subsidies for oil, gas, and coal companies; investing in renewable energy; and centering the needs of communities on the frontlines of the climate crisis.