Extinction Rebellion (XR) concluded its “impossible rebellion” on Saturday after two weeks of actions, marches and more than 500 arrests.
Up to a thousand people joined a walk for nature in central London and XR-affiliated groups including Animal Rebellion, Ocean Rebellion and XR Doctors all joined the protest.
Many rebels said on Saturday that they believed the two weeks had been a success.
Masud from Birmingham said that while the numbers may not be as big as the other rebellions, people were still drawn to recent reports of the climate action emergency. He also believed he had based himself on XR’s work previously.
“We have been explicit about the need to rebel against the system and the fact that it is an emergency. I still think people are drawn to it, ”he said.
Martha, a student, said the impact of Hurricane Ida is a stark reminder of the worsening climate crisis.
“Watching a storm destroy a country like the United States that is so rich is always shocking. I think it will really open people’s eyes, ”she said.
Martha added that she and other students at her school are organizing for the September 24 global climate strikes.
There was a festive atmosphere at the demonstration with rebels disguised as bees, birds and even an elephant.
Activists carried placards with slogans such as “You cannot buy your way out of extinction” and “Stop the war on nature”.
The protest gathered in Trafalgar Square and marched to Hyde Park for a closing ceremony.
Many rebels on the march have expressed their opinion on XR’s next destination.
Gillian from London has made it clear that she believes XR should ‘follow the money’ first and foremost.
“We must continue to target finance and banks. They are the ones who decide and lead us to disaster. ”
Lola, who had joined the Tower Hamlets protest in east London, told Socialist Worker that she believed Covid-19 had an impact on the number of people joining the rebellion.
But she also highlighted how important it is to build XR stocks as large as possible.
“If we have enough people we can block the road we want, we can create a lot more disruption. Our goal should be to build this movement as big as possible, ”she said.
Liam is a teacher and a member of the NEU union. He said workers should play an important role in the fight for climate justice.
“As teachers, we need to push for climate education, make schools cleaner places and push for them to be net zero schools.
“Workers should focus more on XR more broadly, we could add a lot to the movement,” he said.
Lola also added that while this week has been a positive one, XR must be part of the fight against the police bill targeting Tory protests. Otherwise, future rebellions could face even more repression.
She said, “I’m afraid the police bill will pass. If so, we must be ready. We need to plan and think about how we can be even more disruptive next time around. ”
The XR rebellion successfully highlighted the main climate issues. And there are intense debates ahow to win a change of system and face capitalism.
Socialists must be part of this movement. They must advocate for mobilizations around the global climate strike of September 24 and actions focused on the international climate conference Cop26 in Glasgow in November.