A Debate on the Extinction Rebellion. Opinions?Watch this thread
My personal problem with the 'Extinction Rebellion' is the way they go about disrupting other peoples' lives. I fully defend anybody's right to a peaceful protest, that should be a foundation of any democracy. However, 'ER' protests tend to impact other people's lives quite significantly; there have been road closures, violence, and even attempts to storm governmental buildings. Your right to a protest should be conditional on you not affecting others' rights. When you're causing disruption of things like transport and private businesses you happen to disagree with, that's when it ends.
This is not to say that this is unique to the 'ER'; you can see numerous displays of these disruptive protests across the world, whether it be the 'Yellow Vests protests in France, or the Hong Kong freedom protests. The primary reason this behaviour continues is because it provokes media coverage, this is where I'm going to get a bit more political. The media coverage of the 'Extinction Rebellion' is an interesting display of media bias; think about the coverage left wing protests like this get, even the relatively small protests get titled with "Breaking News". Now, right wing groups like the previously mentioned Yellow Vest movement, which was a massive event in France, get far less media coverage. No matter where you stand on the political spectrum you can surely agree that this is an undeniable truth. You can look at the amount of archived reports for the protest you're comparing, sometimes protests that become huge riots won't be mentioned simply because of their subject matter.
The Hong Kong protests were covered not because of their action obstructing civil rights or transport, but for their amazing size. The majority of Hong Kong was protesting against Chinese rule at one point, and yet, they barely get as much coverage as a single 'ER' protest outside of the Bank of England.
Now onto the Extinction Rebellion's policies: My first observation is that of many people's; they seem very unrealistic and extreme. If they hope to accomplish anything they need to list realistically applicable policies. This would not only rally many more people to their cause, but also make any government action more likely based on the shear volume of protesters and their more 'easy to implement' policies, like in Hong Kong. Secondly, I find the ER's ties to socialist individuals and groups fairly worrying. You may say this is because I'm a Capitalist, which is true, but I'm not the only one whom dislikes socialism. This is another factor that will see the ER struggling to gather people to its cause; giving to much power to an organisation based on a single issue you agree with is a bad idea, and again, I'm not the only one who sees that. The Extinction Rebellion should try and make its cause more universal. It has found an issue that most agree is universal, now, if they truly care about the issue they've been trying to raise awareness for, they must limit their ties to other more divisive political groups.
Well, that was very nearly turning into an essay. I hope you all found my opinions interesting though, whomever may be reading. Please let me know your thoughts, it is always fascinating to hear different insights to the Extinction Rebellion.
The government & law enforcement agencies urgently need to adopt a more robust approach to prevent ER events from resulting in sharp spikes in covid infection rates plus minimise the appalling disruption that ER seek to inflict upon the public and police forces.
The most extreme, reckless and criminal of ER activists need to be held personally liable for the consequences of their actions.
In terms of large fines, financial liability for all cleanup/legal/injuries/criminal damage and long community service terms.