Extinction Rebellion capped off a rough week in the United Kingdom with a tough weekend on the West Coast, as people, inconvenienced by the group’s ongoing, intentionally disruptive climate protests, fought back.
Last week, the group failed in its attempt to shut down the state opening of Parliament in London. Its protests in downtown London passed without much notice and its final attempt to draw Londoners’ attention to climate change ended in disaster after working class commuters confronted protesters chained to subway trains and, in one case, actively pulled protesters down off the tops of subway cars.
Video of the incident, which took place at the city’s Canning Town station, quickly went viral, as did another clip of average commuters lecturing a member of Extinction Rebellion, who had glued herself to a subway train’s door, on how she was actually the climate hypocrite.
— Mahatir Pasha (@mahatir_pasha) October 17, 2019
— Jenny Longden (@JenLongdenNews) October 17, 2019
Police arrested the protesters to cheers.
Extinction Rebellion initially said it did not plan the subway protest and that it would better instruct “rogue” elements on how to conduct an effective demonstration. After a video surfaced of angry commuters confronting Extinction Rebellion’s cameramen, there to film the protest, the group admitted that they supported the protesters and that the demonstration was likely a mistake.
Extinction Rebellion cameramen who were part of the protest exhibition were exposed by the crowd of angry commuters whose trips to work were delayed due to protesters jumping on top of the train. pic.twitter.com/e5JccMaP0N
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) October 17, 2019
On Saturday, perhaps inspired by London commuters, Americans shut down two Extinction Rebellion protests meant to shame Californians in San Francisco and Long Beach into submitting to the group’s aims.
In San Francisco — a city which is certainly sympathetic to Extinction Rebellion’s aims — at least the ones that XR typically makes public — an angry commuter wearing scrubs came upon a line of Extinction Rebellion protesters blocking traffic with a huge sign and quickly took matters into his own hands, ripping down their banner and chucking it away, clearing the path for cars to continue on their way.
you have officially left the safe space pic.twitter.com/KKg4ZwO1BP
— TyIer (@tyIerzilla) October 18, 2019
A camera looking down on the protest from one of the surrounding buildings captured a better angle.
Hah. This is so good dude, I’m so glad to see the view from below. pic.twitter.com/XuMavivG4q
— Micah|Micycle 🎃 (@Micycle444) October 19, 2019
Later reports from Extinction Rebellion San Francisco’s Facebook page indicate that the protesters tried to get police involved and that the group filed an official complaint against the unnamed man who stole their banner. But, the activists said sadly, police officials told demonstrators that they probably wouldn’t investigate the incident.
Further down the California coast, in Long Beach, Extinction Rebellion ran into another set of “intolerant” Americans after the tried to invade an In ‘N Out burger and were summarily ejected by several non-plussed restaurant workers.
Climate change activists raid a burger joint and harass the workers. Neither the employees nor police are having it. People are fed up with Extinction Rebellion. pic.twitter.com/6bIPK4pb9U
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) October 18, 2019
That didn’t quite go as planned.
Inspired by Greta Thunberg, Extinction Rebellion says it plans to continue its climate change protests until its demands are met — a goal that probably won’t be reached any time soon. According to reporter Ian Miles Cheong, the group is now coming clean about its environmental goals and several key ER personnel have admitted that climate change is simply a “symptom” of the “problem” they really want to tackle: Western civilization.
“XR isn’t about the climate,” one XR higher up admitted recently, according to Cheong. “You see, the climate’s breakdown is a symptom of a toxic system of that has infected the ways we relate to each other as humans and to all life. This was exacerbated when European ‘civilisation’ was spread around the globe through cruelty and violence (especially) over the last 600 years of colonialism, although the roots of the infections go much further back.”
“As Europeans spread their toxicity around the world, they brought torture, genocide, carnage and suffering to the ends of the earth,” he added.