It comes ahead of ten days of ten days of demonstrations organised by the movement focused on London, Cardiff and Manchester. There was controversy within the environmentalist group after a number of Young Communist League (YCL) supporters turned up at a protest this week with a banner reading “Socialism not extinction”.
The banner also featured a hammer and sickle, the symbol of communism.
In response some conservatives argued Extinction Rebellion was being used as a trojan horse for far-left politics.
Supporters of the Socialist Workers Party, a small radical left Trotskyist group, have reportedly also been attending Extinction Rebellion events.
According to The Times emails were sent from the group to its members last year urging them to back Extinction Rebellion protests.
The YCL banner triggered controversy within the Extinction Rebellion movement.
‘Challenge’, the environmental movement’s magazine, published an article stating: “The presence of YCL members at the demonstration was…not to support XR [Extinction Rebellion] organisationally but to propagandise for socialism”.
However some younger and more left-wing Extinction Rebellion factions are said to be angry about this response.
Speaking to The Times Rupert Read, an Extinction Rebellion spokesman, said: “Any parasitical organisation that is trying to use XR is worrying, and I’m sure there are groups trying to infiltrate us. But we are much bigger than that and I don’t think it is working.
Some glued themselves to the pavement or poured out fake blood.
Extinction Rebellion activists aim to cause disruption, for example by shutting down roads and bridges, to draw attention to their cause.
In April and October 2019 supporters of the group succeeded in occupying key points across London causing widespread disruption.
Extinction Rebellion are demanding the Government “declare a climate and ecological emergency”, reduce net green house gas emissions to zero by 2025 and create “a Citizens Assembly on climate and ecological justice”.
Separately there was controversy after video emerged which appeared to show an ambulance stuck in traffic after Extinction Rebellion targeted Lambeth Bridge.
A Twitter user commented: “If there was ever in fact any ‘cause’ they may be seeking to promote, they’ve actively extinguished any potential support from decent citizens.
“Their behaviour is fundamentally immature and destructive.
“A much firmer response should be made in clamping down on these idiots.”
Extinction Rebellion activists denied blocking the ambulance and suggested a police road block was instead responsible.
Published at Fri, 04 Sep 2020 23:32:00 +0000