This week, climate activists are once again blockading major capital cities to call for immediate action against climate change. Their aim is clear: cause as much non-violent disruption as possible. Their means: blocking traffic at rush hour, organising ‘die-ins’ and attempting to get as many people arrested as possible. More extreme acts of civil disobedience are also occurring around Europe:  in Zurich activists coloured the Limmat River acid green and in London demonstrators glued themselves to government buildings. With the disruption organised to continue for fourteen days, how far should these protests be allowed to go?

Activists involved in the movement say that direct action is the only option. Years of demonstrations and online petitions have done nothing to convince policy makers about the urgency of climate catastrophe. The main organisers of the campaign, Extinction Rebellion, are eager to capitalise on the sudden salience of climate change as an issue. From their perspective, no amount of disruption is too much.

However, there are many who argue that the climate protesters have gone too far and should be stopped. Boris Johnson dismissed activists as ‘uncooperative crusties’. Opponents argue that the protests are causing damage to the economy and could potentially disrupt access to emergency care. The UK Metropolitan Police have also warned that the protests take resources away from other areas of policing.

Are climate protesters going too far? Is it acceptable to shut down capital cities in aid of the climate? Or can conventional political means be used to achieve the same goal? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!

IMAGE CREDITS: (cc) Flickr – Felton Davis

32 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. avatar

    It’s already good that is a pacific movement and that they aren’t bombing places like the stock market or other sensitive targets for them.
    People forgets that Ted Kaczynski created bombs for the same reason.

  2. avatar

    No, they’re not going too far IMHO…

  3. avatar

    Nothing new have seem and experienced the same 30-40 years ago..they were wrong then and are wrong now…

  4. avatar

    Yes… They are absolute hipocrates. I am 100% sure that they are wearing China/India made clothes,have cell phones, live in cities where thier food need to be trucked in, most of them are cafee shop visitors, vegan, allergic etc…, use public transportaiton or cars, sit in airconditioned offices/homes and travel many times as tourist by airplanes…. I woudl like to see a credible protest, where the protesters wear Jesus style non-chemically treated clothes, live in tents adn move out to the countryside where they actually self-reliant in producing their own food….

    • avatar
      Violet McFarlane

      We are trying to get everyone to be better for our planet. This is mostly about big corporations doing bad things to the enviroment. Personal usage does not make too big of a difference and in our society people need most of those things. We are trying to change the system and convince corporations to be better.

  5. avatar

    There are manageable resources for anyone on this planet to live decently. It’s a common capitalistic lie that you need to own things to be happy.
    Life can be organize differently and it can be happy and beautiful in the planet without continuing this exploitation of less fortunate people and countries.
    And yes, we protest but keep living in a world that it’s based upon a flawed paradigm, because people need food and shelter to live decently and energy to change this paradigm, nor it’s acceptable to sacrifice the freedom of information that this civilization has got us.
    What it needs to be sacrifice is the necessity to own things instead of living experiences; to think that you need to appear when you can have a life of discovery in a world that it has been open.
    McDonalds and Ferrari’s are to be destroyed, not tools for information and culture exchange like the internet or traveling
    To think that it is necessary to go back to the caves to be morally right is retarded and you’re just proving yourself as a psychiatric case more than a dialectical failure.

    • avatar

      Gabriella are you always this thick? They’re protesting for the drink to get there in electric truck for the materials of the drink to be sustainable, for the drink to come in a reciclable container, not for the bar to stop having drinks…
      It’s not rocket science!

    • avatar

      I don’t have a car. I take the metro and walk when I can. I reuse everything that I can and I try to tolerate the cold in order to avoid using oil in the winter as much as I can, and I choose km0 product as much as I can.
      I can protest for an improvement because I don’t live an hedonistic lifestyle. I choose also products that will produce only reciclable waste.
      I do what I can. If anyone would choose to live with less instead of groveling behind jewerly shops and other useless stuff, we could all have what we need.
      But hey, you don’t get that being in a cave is not the only way to be right about the environment problem.
      Goods can be moved by trains and boats -> less useless goods -> less trucks and oil used in moving them.
      There are solutions towards sustainability but hey, I guess you can’t be happy without things, your life must be so deep.

    • avatar

      Pedro That is NOTHING!!!!!!! A complete lifestyle change is required.. You morons think you did all you can? THat is why I call you hipocrates…. Electric trucks!!!! How do you think electricity is produced to fill up your “environmentally friendly” trucks? OMG!!!!!! How do you think sustaibalble packing materiulas get produced? Drink from the TAP!!!!!

  6. avatar

    Is our society going to far ?

  7. avatar

    It’s a different kind of protest, it goes deeper. And Its peaceful. I hope it will not go by. I hope it will stay… and its important to tell (my) the older generation that we messed up the planet like no generation before. That we are pigs. In all we are doing, food, waste, transport. And that small is not good enough but major structural changes must come and then some more.

  8. avatar
    EU Reform- Proactive

    What a fashionable subject & activity! Psychologically soothing?

    Watching “anatomically modern homo sapiens from the 1st world”- with big brains of ~1300 cm3- catching a cold on Europe’s paved & washed city’s roads- is actually quite hilarious!

    Ever ventured into the corners of the globe where 2nd, 3rd & 4th world sapiens throw away anything- wherever the live, sleep, sit, walk or travel?

    Could our 1st world protester be pursued to- please help- to educate, clean up our polluted planet- not act superficially sapiens & pc in spic & span orderly 1st world cities?

    Please cheer up, go and clean up & get perspective!

  9. avatar

    Can you join forces and fight against the worst countries, please? Go to China to protest. They are the people who pollute more the planet. Together with the Indians. Both countries pollute more than almost everybody else together.

    • avatar

      Let’s go to the usa together then comrade.

  10. avatar

    Yes and I wonder why. Within our lifetimes we will feel nothing extreme. For the next generations… well that’s their problem.

  11. avatar
    Catherine Benning

    Are climate protesters going too far?

    It is extraordinary that the media, the press, political blogs, any discussion on all of this subject, including with protesters, to not look at or want to address the reality of the situation they are plugging. is lacking in the extreme

    The main crisis regarding this global warming and fossil fuels use, is directly and mainly connected to over population of billions on our earth. Not a word spoken. Not a question asked. No reference whatsoever regarding that major cause and effect. Why? Anyone want to address it?

    Next, what are they personally doing to reduce their own carbon footprint. They refuse to answer any question on this when asked on air. Do you have a TV set or two, three? Do you eat at Macdonalds frequently? With your kids? Do you have a car and use it? Is it diesel? Do you have air conditioning, central heating and use it? Is your tent made of plastic, the hundreds you have all over the streets? Do you realise the time frame you are putting on your request is the speak of an illiterate? Have you studied the global warming issue in detail? Do you have up to date scientific knowledge or evidence on the subject? Who is paying for these demonstrations? Why would they do that? What are their interests in the outcome? What is your interest in the subject? Did you know having full knowledge of the issue will show you categorically doing what you suggest will not change the situation as far as planetary movement is concerned and will have very little if any effect?

    Until they can and are willing to answer any of the above questions, then yes, they are being ridiculous. And more than that, they are being led by completely ill informed and ill construed plans. To block very ill people with cancer, etc., from accessing treatment, and various other horrendous inhumane activity, it is cruel and futile behaviour. Why should anyone give a monkeys about them and their demonstration if they care not about their fellow man? Childish lack of concern for anyone else does not bring warmth toward them or their cause.

  12. avatar

    In a democratic society you have to obey the law. If You need to get more attention by demonstrating you have to do in a legal framework and by obeying the police.

  13. avatar

    Well it’s certainly reasonable to force what politicians should have done years ago: shut wasteful single-driver commuting down and force them out of their wasteful habit once and for all. If governments don’t dare to do it, I see no problem in a bit of civil disobedience passing the responsibility to those who contribute most.

  14. avatar

    Yes, protest is an ends justifies all means. Its your only true political power. Even stronger than voting

  15. avatar

    Here in the NL the farmers are doing it with their Vehicles, in other countries Truckers have done it with their trucks, soooo…. why shouldn’t other people do it with their bodies ?

  16. avatar

    Observe carefully that they are asking for the declaration ofca ckimate emergency…that is fine and correct. However, what they di not do is spell out what radical steps are needed in order to have an effect. Targeting popular subjects like aviation or diesel cars is misleading and far from enough. However if they did in fact spell things out, most of their supporters would go home. It is that simple. Shouting is easy, actually telling people the bad news is not.

  17. avatar

    Yes it goes too far for a lot of people. They have a chance to give their opinion when we vote. Don’t force it too much…

  18. avatar

    Whats being missed is that this has little to do with climate change and everything to do with changing the political and economic systems under which we live . Extinct rebels is an offshoot of Rise up an anarchist movement that sees revolution as they way to change democracy to their liking . Yes the climate argument is involved in their thinking but I feel that’s more to get the popular green campaign on side rather than their main objective

  19. avatar
    Giulia Angelica e Sofia

    if they want to protest, they have to be noticed through gestures that, although they may seem exaggerated, reach their goal: to attract attention.

  20. avatar
    Leila, Giorgia, Francesco, Martina

    we think it is important to save the planet because we need to think about future generations. some people don’t care about waste on the floor. If a lot of people do this, it will create a big mess. We need to be more respectful of our planet.

  21. avatar

    We think it’s good to have someone who takes care of our world but they are exaggeranting beacause they block roads and it is dangerous for emergency vehicles to pass.

  22. avatar
    Daniel Van Mosnenck

    The main problem is the people manipulation and the lobbies…look, we are closing the nuclear power plants, but the renewable energies sources are not able to fullfil the needs, even worse, the electrical power requirements are increasing drastically, the co2 is simply a subject hiding lot of realities, the renewable capacity factor are so low, less than 20 %for Photovoltaic, same to onshore wind, luckily, offshore wind can com up to 60%, water and nuclear are the only ones over 85%.
    Also,the surface used to generate some energy is so large by unit of produced energies, the worse is the food surface lost, when people are requiring more, even going to die because of lack of…
    Green Hydrogen is a medium term solution, today the way Australia is producing this hydrogen is a real scandal, the browcoal in germany… But green, ecologist are very often only like sheep,
    We must have, not only need, SOLUTIONS, transport is a very important problem…

    Housing, 3300W for a normal family, 70 %68% is THERMAL , only 32, is electrical, the one for 100%photovoltaic, when 1 third is the one asking for 250% political and financial importance…
    Electrical cars, the most side polluant solution, by all means… We don t know what about the futur, again, we are building on sand, and the various attractions are acting, like on the sea… But on the shore not a lot remains with the time…

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