Saturday, January 16News For London

Extinction Rebellion Christmas protests leave Londoners concerned

Londoners are divided about whether the “12 days of Christmas” protests are the most effective way to tackle climate change.

An XR member interviewed. Image by Claudia Dashwood

The climate activist group’s “12 days of Christmas” plan to outdo their Autumn protests.

The climate change demonstrations are set to start on December 1, running until December 12, the day of the general election.

The London public are unsure whether XR Christmas protests during the busy period are the only way to deal with the issue.

One London mum concerned for her children’s future said she was worried and wants to get involved in the December demonstrations.

She said: “It is the most effective, but not necessarily the best. It’s the best one at getting an immediate reaction.”

An XR member said the group should be doing “more peaceful protests”.

Another Londoner questioned whether people protesting are doing “all the extras”, like recycling and reducing their carbon footprint.

Despite the XR Christmas protests targeting politicians more than the public, a young man said activists should protest in a large space during the busy Christmas period.

He said: “Protests are good, so long as they remain peaceful and in a more open domain, rather than stopping something from happening.”

It is unclear where XR will be protesting in London.

The High Court recently ruled the October public order ban on XR protests unlawful.

XR protests in front of Trafalgar Square. Image by Claudia Dashwood

The young Londoner said disruptive behaviour like the train incident in October should be avoided in December.

The tube takeover saw commuters pull protesters down from trains and kick them.

Many Londoners agreed that some amount of police management is needed during protests.

But some said the police should take more of a background role.

Met police imposed the blanket ban after finding XR activities seriously disruptive in London.

The ‘Autumn Uprising’ protests cost the Met police £24m and saw over 1,800 activists arrested.

Following the floods in Derbyshire and Yorkshire, XR’s latest demonstration was floating a ‘sinking house’ down the River Thames last Sunday morning.

Katey Burak and Rob Higgs built the suburban vessel in Cornwall to highlight the new rising sea level projections.

The XR builders’ statement on Facebook said: “We need urgent action to address the Climate Emergency and devastation of our beautiful and precious natural world, which is being decimated at an unprecedented and tragic rate.”

“We wanted to make something that people can visually connect to, whilst leaning on the government and the experts to make the changes that need to be made.”