August 13, 2020

London, epicenter of the rebellion against the climate crisis

London's Trafalgar Square, where hundreds of environmental activists have been camping since this week, has become one of the epicenters of the rebellion against the inaction of governments in the face of the climate crisis.

The Extinction Rebellion movement, which has blocked numerous streets of the British capital during the last three days, plans to keep its protests in London for the next two weeks and has warned that it plans to try to occupy London City Airport, in the east of the city.

The actions of disobedience, which have so far led to the arrest of about 600 activists, are organized from the Trafalgar square camp and its surroundings, which have become the provisional home of hundreds of people from all corners of the city. United Kingdom.

From the coast of southern England, Abby, 22, explains to Efe that he has traveled 173 kilometers to camp in the crypt of a church in the immediate vicinity of the square.

On his neck he has a sign that says "Crusty" ("tramp"), a term recently used by British Prime Minister, conservative Boris Johnson, to refer to protesters.

"Parliament has declared a climatic emergency and our leader, instead of being proactive, mocks people who are really doing something," lamented the young woman.

A "mockery", which this morning has been refuted by Johnson's own father, Stanley, who has come to the square to show his support for the climate movement.

"I am here because I believe that what they (Extinction Rebellion) are doing is extremely important. Small movements bloom large movements," he said to a large number of protesters.

Extinction Rebellion, a group created a year ago in the United Kingdom, has so far mobilized climate protests in about fifty countries. Berlin, Paris, New York, Melbourne and Madrid are other epicenters of this international "rebellion."

The environmental movement not only transcends physical boundaries, “transcends ideological, generational and social boundaries. It is a matter that concerns us all, ”Jonathan, one of the London activists, told Efe, who spoke while his two-year-old daughter slept on his chest.

In the camp installed in Trafalgar square, families play a very important role. In fact, there is a section dedicated exclusively to them. They call themselves the "rebel families."

Within three tents, there is an impromptu nursery with toys, books and a trampoline at the entrance.

Vivian sits on the floor, surrounded by paintings. Spend the mornings in the nursery painting the face of dozens of children who walk around the camp running around.

The 36-year-old activist has no children of her own. “Thank God I don't have children. In the conditions in which our planet is, if I had children I would be very worried about their future, ”he says.

Andy, 47, also does not want to have children because although he feels "optimistic", because "a global consciousness has finally been created," he continues "thinking that the environmental collapse will come."

“We don't want to create panic, we want people to know that this is the right way. We, the people, are much more important than all those politicians who refuse to listen to us, ”Vivian adds.

Some participants in the "rebellion" have had offspring. As part of the protests, hundreds of women organized a mass event today where they appeared to breastfeed and bottle feed their babies in the vicinity of Downing Street, the official residence of the prime minister.

At a citizen assembly held in Trafalgar Square, activists agreed that they intend to star in a "Hong Kong-style" occupation of London City Airport, among other actions.

“Where are the government's emergency climate plans? We don't want words, we want action! ”, Expressed one of the spokesmen for Extinction Rebellion at that meeting.

"The government is carrying out measures that further accelerate this state of emergency, such as the expansion of airports," explains David, a homeless man who has come to the rally.

Although he is "more optimistic than a year ago," David believes that "if we continue at this step we will get to the point that whatever we do will be irreparable."

Claudia Böesser

. (tagsToTranslate) London (t) epicenter (t) rebellion (t) climate crisis (t)

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