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Eco-warriors’ plan to shut down London Heathrow Airport

Climate change protesters are planning to shut down London Heathrow Airport tomorrow as the Easter holidays begin.

The Extinction Rebellion demonstrators are expected to start targeting the aviation industry, having already taken over London’s streets and caused commuter misery.

Activists claimed they would ‘raise the bar’ on protests having already taken over Waterloo Bridge, Oxford Circus, Parliament Square and Marble Arch this week.

The location of the protests across London that has caused mayhem over the last four days

Activists are arrested during Extinction Rebellion protests at Oxford Circus in London today

Activists are arrested during Extinction Rebellion protests at Oxford Circus in London today 

Organisers said they are prepared to escalate the group’s tactics if their demands ‘are not met’ – with ‘thousands more rebels’ expected to join in the coming days. 

An Extinction Rebellion spokesperson confirmed the group ‘will be staging protest action at Heathrow Airport tomorrow’.

Today, Heathrow said they are ‘working with the authorities’ to address any threat of protests from climate change activists in London which could disrupt the airport.’

Internal messages seen by the Sun Online said: ‘Tomorrow we raise the bar. We are going to shut down Heathrow. 

‘There is a deep remorse for those whose holiday and family plans will be disrupted tomorrow.  It is not our intention to cause further separation. 

Extinction Rebellion protesters in sleeping bags this morning on Waterloo Bridge in London

Extinction Rebellion protesters in sleeping bags this morning on Waterloo Bridge in London

Climate change activists block traffic on Vauxhall Bridge in London this morning

Climate change activists block traffic on Vauxhall Bridge in London this morning

‘However, the aviation industry needs to be targeted and we are all aware of the deep, structural change that needs to come.’

Nick Robinson blasts Extinction Rebellion’s ‘neo-pagan’ co-founder

Dr Gail Bradbrook told Radio 4 the protests are 'awesome'

Dr Gail Bradbrook told Radio 4 the protests are ‘awesome’

An eco-warrior has been blasted by Nick Robinson live on air this morning for encouraging climate protesters to have fun causing chaos in the streets of London. 

Dr Gail Bradbrook got a rise out of the BBC Radio 4 presenter when she said the protests were ‘awesome’ and asked more people to take the day off work and join them.

The Extinction Rebellion co-founder added: ‘People are having a fantastic time on the streets… I think its really important that people have fun while they’re rebelling.’

Robinson slammed Dr Bradbrook, saying not everyone had the privilege of choosing when to go to work.

Today host Nick Robinson slammed the protester today

Today host Nick Robinson slammed the protester today

The awkward exchange started when the Today host suggested Dr Bradbrook’s protests had been irrelevant.  

He said: ‘Lord Deben and an independent committee were asked to do a target for zero emissions before you took to the streets. So when it’s announced in two weeks time, your protests will have been irrelevant to that, wont they?’

Dr Bradbrook replied: ‘I think our protests have been awesome. We’re making history at the minute, people are having a fantastic time on the streets and we really welcome people to come join us.

The presenter then said: ‘They don’t frankly have the privilege that you do, in order to choose when you can go to work. And they may not appreciate being told they should have fun doing it.’

The climate protester added: ‘I think its really important that people have fun while they’re rebelling actually. What were asking is for people to come and join us if they can and people are taking time. ‘ 

Protesters have been urged to travel to a bus stop near the airport to raise awareness of the impact that flying has on the environment.

The internal message also suggested the idea to demonstrators that ‘if there are lots of us, there will be a low risk of arrest’.

Organisers say they are prepared to escalate the group’s tactics if their demands ‘are not met’ – with ‘thousands more rebels’ expected to join in the coming days.

Dr Gail Bradbrook, a co-founder of Extinction Rebellion, said demonstrators would continue to act despite the first people being charged over the disruption.

It has seen activists glue themselves to public transport and block bridges and major roads across the capital.

The fourth day of protests began with a challenge to Environment Secretary Michael Gove to meet with activists at Parliament Square to find a solution to the issue.

And organisers said they expected even more people to join the protests, with a statement – which was later deleted – adding: ‘Easter Weekend is tomorrow and thousands more rebels will join.

‘Police struggle to arrest 350 and there are ten times that number prepared to be arrested. The hollowed-out British state is overwhelmed.’

A Heathrow spokesman told MailOnline today: ‘We are working with the authorities to address any threat of protests which could disrupt the airport.

‘While we respect the right to peaceful protest and agree with the need to act on climate change, we don’t agree that passengers should have their well-earned Easter Break holiday plans with family and friends disrupted.

‘Passengers should contact their airlines for up to date information on their journeys.’

It came as officers were slammed by their own commander after being filmed raving and skateboarding with the protesters.

Police danced with the demonstrators at Oxford Circus overnight, as one of them pumped his hand in the air and the protesters chanted ‘we love you’. 

More than 1,000 officers have been on patrol each day this week.

Elsewhere police were even spotted skateboarding on Waterloo Bridge and sleeping in a car at a protest campsite, as politicians criticised Scotland Yard’s response to the activists who have now blocked key routes for four days. 

Police talk to motorists as climate change activists block traffic on Vauxhall Bridge today

Police talk to motorists as climate change activists block traffic on Vauxhall Bridge today

Climate change protesters are allegedly planning to shut down London Heathrow (file image)

Climate change protesters are allegedly planning to shut down London Heathrow (file image)

Metropolitan Police Commander Jane Connors said today: ‘I’m disappointed by the video and the unacceptable behaviour of the officers in it. 

‘We expect our officers to engage with protestors but clearly their actions fall short of the tone of the policing operation at a time when people are frustrated at the actions of the protestors.’

An Extinction Rebellion spokesman said of the Heathrow protests: ‘We are facing a man-made disaster on a global scale.

‘It may sound frightening but the scientific evidence is that if we have not taken dramatic action within the next decade we could face irreversible damage to the natural world and the collapse of our societies.’

Freed to cause chaos again: Revolving door as eco-activists go from police cells straight back to demos

Scores of eco-warriors arrested in the capital rejoined the protests hours after being freed from police custody.

As a row broke out about ‘revolving door justice’, a lawyer who was arrested after she superglued her hands to the pavement outside the Shell HQ went on TV and radio to defend the chaos.

Farhana Yamin, who was detained on Tuesday, told Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘I totally want to apologise to people using public transport.

Angie Zelter arrested on Tuesday

Angie Zelter protesting on Wednesday

Angie Zelter was arrested at Waterloo Bridge on Tuesday (left) before re-joining activists at Oxford Circus yesterday (right)

‘Obviously I use public transport as much as possible and we’re encouraging everyone to use less cars, less emissions, less private emissions.

‘But at the same time we need to take actions which are disruptive and the reason for that is to make sure everyone understands the dangers we’re facing right now.’ 

But the fact that so many of the arrested protesters were able to rejoin the fray within hours only added to the chaos at some of London’s major landmarks.

Angie Zelter was carried off Waterloo Bridge by police on Tuesday afternoon after she refused to move.

Zack Polanski was arrested on Waterloo Bridge on the second day of the protest at five locations city-wide and returned after being released. The Green Party candidate complained the police provided no vegan food or soy milk

Zack Polanski was arrested on Waterloo Bridge on the second day of the protest at five locations city-wide and returned after being released. The Green Party candidate complained the police provided no vegan food or soy milk

The 76-year-old spent seven hours in a cell at Brixton police station before she was let out and immediately re-joined the Extinction Rebellion strongholds. 

But by yesterday morning she appeared relaxed as she sat underneath a bright pink boat which had been placed in the middle of an Oxford Circus junction.

She said: ‘When I was released I came straight back out and went around all the four places where the blockades were still held and checked where they needed more support.

‘I went back to a friend’s house, had a rest then came and joined here at Oxford Circus this morning. I plan on being here for at least two weeks. If I get arrested again, so be it.’

Jeffrey Brewster, who was arrested on Monday, returned to the protest and locked himself to the pink boat at Oxford Circus

Jeffrey Brewster, who was arrested on Monday, returned to the protest and locked himself to the pink boat at Oxford Circus

Green Party London Assembly candidate Zack Polanski was back on Waterloo Bridge yesterday after being arrested and spending 12 hours at a police station the day before. 

The 36-year-old ‘cognitive hypnotist’, who once boasted he had the power to make women’s breasts grow, moaned about the lack of vegan food and soy milk while in custody.

Hypocrisy of globe-trotting ringleader 

A privately educated eco-activist who flounced out of a TV interview yesterday has enjoyed a string of foreign holidays despite criticising air travel.

Robin Boardman-Pattison, 21, appeared on Sky News to defend the Extinction Rebellion protests that have brought misery to hundreds of thousands in London.

Robin Boardman-Pattison got up from his seat and walked out of the Sky News studio during an interview with Adam Boulton

Robin Boardman-Pattison got up from his seat and walked out of the Sky News studio during an interview with Adam Boulton

But he stormed off the set after presenter Adam Boulton suggested he and his fellow middle-class demonstrators were patronising and self-indulgent.

During the interview Boardman-Pattison, who has twice been charged with criminal damage over previous protests, said his group would like to see aircraft ‘only used in emergencies’.

Boardman-Pattison at the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy

Boardman-Pattison at the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy

But it later emerged that his Instagram page features a series of photos of him enjoying skiing holidays abroad. He has also posted pictures online of himself in Italy three years ago visiting the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

It is unclear how he travelled on his foreign breaks. But a carbon footprint calculator reveals that if Boardman-Pattison took a 1,800-mile return trip to Pisa by air he would have generated 0.20 tons in CO2 emissions.

A similar journey in an average-sized car would result in 0.46 tons. If he had taken either a bus or train from London to Pisa his CO2 footprint would have been 0.04 tons.

Last year Boardman-Pattison sprayed the words ‘Make Ecocide Law’ over the entrance windows of Bristol magistrates’ court in an Extinction Rebellion demonstration.

He and a fellow protester were arrested after reportedly taking ‘too long’ to wash off the paint under police orders. They pleaded not guilty but were eventually convicted and fined a total of £1,804.

Boardman-Pattison has spent much of his life living in Beckenham, Kent, where his parents Roger and Mary own a £1million four-bedroom home.

He previously attended the £17,500-a-year boys-only Trinity School in Croydon, south London, the Guido Fawkes political website reported.

On Sky News yesterday, he said the Extinction Rebellion protests were to ‘wake the public up’.

But Mr Boulton told the activist: ‘I feel very patronised by you. You’re like the incompetent middle-class, self-indulgent people and you want to tell us how to live our lives.’

Boardman-Pattison then got up from his seat and walked out of the studio.

‘I’m a vegan and they were pretty bad about getting me some vegan food,’ he said. ‘If you are going to arrest 300 activists you have got to think about getting some vegan food ready. There was no soy milk either so I had to have my tea black.’

Charity worker Sarah MacDonald, 52, rejoined the protests after spending seven hours in a cell. She said police were ‘really lovely, really kind’ after she was arrested. 

She was taken to Wood Green police station in north London after being forcibly removed from Waterloo Bridge on Tuesday. She had travelled to London with her 19-year-old son, a student. 

‘I could see police had circled around my son so I went over to stand next to him. He moved off the street but I stood my ground and they arrested me,’ she said. 

‘The police were actually really lovely, really kind. They gave me something to eat, a cup of tea, let me keep my book. My first thought after being released was that I wanted to get back out into the thick of it. I went back to Marble Arch and camped in a tent.’

Jeffrey Brewster, 59, praised the ‘fantastic’ police after he was arrested on Monday evening after refusing to move off Waterloo Bridge. He was taken to a police station where he was kept until Tuesday afternoon.

‘Myself and others had to wait for two hours outside the police station because there simply wasn’t enough room for us inside,’ the retired electrician said.

‘We then had to wait another two hours inside because there weren’t enough resources to process us all. They had 24 cells and we filled up the cells.

‘The police were fantastic. I became very friendly with one of them and heard his life story. I was let out at about 5.30pm on Tuesday. A group of us went to the pub for a couple of pints then came here to Oxford Circus. I camped at Hyde Park overnight. 

‘There’s a group of us who have come up from a sleepy Somerset village. I’m going to stay until Friday, but there are others who are staying two weeks.’

Mother-of-three Katerina Hasapopoulos, of Stroud, Gloucestershire, who was arrested on Monday for causing damage to the Shell building, was back out protesting yesterday. 

She was held on Monday after activists smashed glass doors at the Shell HQ in Waterloo and spray-painted graffiti on to the building.

Yesterday she returned to Waterloo Bridge, where protesters have been told they face arrest if they do not comply with a condition to continue demonstrations in the Marble Arch area.

‘As soon as I was out of the cell I went and served some food at Marble Arch, then came here,’ she said. ‘I left my three children, all under six, at home with their father to do this, because their future depends on it.’

Caroline Vincent, 56, who was arrested on Waterloo Bridge on Tuesday, said she planned to return to protest at Parliament Square.

‘They arrested me for obstructing the highway. They were very polite, I was equally polite,’ she said.

‘I spent the night at Sutton police station [in south west London] and was released this morning. I will be back on the streets tonight. I’m on Parliament Square duty.’

Grandmother Lucy Craig, 71, said she also plans to rejoin the protests after she was arrested at Oxford Circus on Monday.

‘If they arrest me again, so be it, I’ve got nothing to lose,’ she said. The grandmother was arrested after joining the protest at Oxford Circus on Monday with members of her family.

She was taken to Kingston police station – miles from her north London home – but described the officers as ‘charming’. 

Forget Brexit, this lot’s making Britain a global laughing stock: ROBERT HARDMAN on eco-warriors’ London takeover

With the politicians off for Easter, some might imagine Britain has been granted some respite from international self-embarrassment. Well, think again.

We might be enjoying a couple of weeks without our MPs but that image of a rudderless, incompetent country is now being ably maintained by, among other things, a pink yacht, currently parked across one of London’s most famous intersections, and the transformation of one of the capital’s most important bridges into a yoga mat.

Now entering Day Four, the so-called ‘Extinction Rebellion’ is settling down nicely as our new national joke.

Waterloo Bridge became the scene for yoga parties yesterday despite Scotland Yard officers ordering crowds to disperse

Waterloo Bridge became the scene for yoga parties yesterday despite Scotland Yard officers ordering crowds to disperse

Between them, a handful of earnest, peaceful and impressively organised eco-warriors have managed to bring the capital to a standstill while the police make inconsequential arrests and the other 99.9 per cent of the population are left asking: who, exactly, is in charge here?

Among yesterday’s highlights were one group who shut down the Docklands Light Railway and a quartet who glued themselves to Jeremy Corbyn’s house (though they later unglued themselves and said they were very sorry). Today, we are promised widespread chaos on the Tube network.

Who decided that people should be allowed to enjoy an extended camping holiday at central London landmarks? Who agreed that people should be allowed to build plywood lavatory cubicles in the middle of London’s Oxford Street? They are not even public ones, it transpires, but only available to those with the key.

Who said that more than 50 bus routes should be blocked with impunity? Who gave permission for a musical stage to be erected indefinitely across both carriageways on Waterloo Bridge, not to mention a skateboarding ramp?

London has seen protests of every stripe over the years, some of them violent. However, they have tended to come and go in the course of a day or two.

This one, which, it must be said, remains peaceful, is now settling in for the long haul. The organisers say that they are preparing for an open-ended stand-off with the police until the Government agrees to their core demands.

Environmental campaigners smiled as they protested in the centre of Oxford Circus in London yesterday afternoon

Environmental campaigners smiled as they protested in the centre of Oxford Circus in London yesterday afternoon

Since these include supplanting Parliament with a ‘citizens’ assembly’ and the end of capitalism, it might be a very long wait. Yet how much longer is London prepared to have some of its most important thoroughfares sealed off to traffic by a self-appointed cadre of we-know-best activists?

I arrive at Oxford Circus – the crossroads of Britain’s two best-known shopping thoroughfares, Oxford Street and Regent Street – to find a 20ft bright pink sailing boat on a trailer parked in the middle. Around 20 recumbent protesters are chained to its trailer. A couple of hundred others stand around it swaying to tunes played by a grey-bearded disc jockey who has set up his sound system in the boat’s cockpit.

He fires off revolutionary slogans in between his Radio 2-style repertoire of hits from the Seventies and Eighties. ‘We’re here to tell the politicians: F*** you!’ he shouts, to a few lame cheers.

It is the middle of the afternoon. It’s wholly inappropriate on a road junction next to the world’s largest toy shop, Hamleys, as a steady stream of children pass by.

But the police do not bat an eyelid. Most stand around ‘monitoring the situation’. I find one police sergeant politely enduring an interminable lecture on the state of the planet’s permafrost by a pimply teenage know-all in a Green Party bib.

I wait and wait for the policeman to ask him to move on but, instead, he asks him a question about tree-planting.

The protestors on Waterloo Bridge, pictured yesterday, are settling in for the long haul and preparing for a stand-off

The protestors on Waterloo Bridge, pictured yesterday, are settling in for the long haul and preparing for a stand-off

The police are certainly keen to keep the temperature down. All are in soft hats and hi-vis vests rather than riot gear.

Every now and then, a team of seven or eight move in and pick up one of the protesters lying by the boat. Most of their targets go quietly, having volunteered for arrest in advance of these protests.

Many will be back again as soon as they are released. There are none of the combative anarchist element who trashed Oxford Circus during the May Day anti-capitalist protests a few years back.

There are no balaclavas, no finger-jabbing conspiracy theorists aggressively filming the police or the media. It is, largely, a combination of fresh-faced college activists and a lot of grey-haired people in sensible walking boots who look ready to ramble.

‘I’ve only been on three demonstrations in my entire life,’ says Bob Hill, 65, a retired civil engineer from Abergavenny, who genuinely knows his stuff about pollution levels and global warming. ‘This is so important that we just have to do everything to make the politicians listen. And it’s no use having a one-day protest. It’s got to go on.’ 

Here, too, is Robin Boardman-Pattison, 21, one of the organisers. He has taken a year’s break from his modern languages degree course at Bristol to focus on this cause. Viewers may have seen him walk out of a heated television interview with Sky’s Adam Boulton yesterday. ‘He wasn’t asking me proper questions,’ Robin explained. ‘The media need to take this seriously.’

He had no problems whatsoever with the police, he went on, merely with the Government. ‘We are a world-leading economy and we have to set an example. And we will maintain our programme of economic disruption until the politicians listen.’ How does this win hearts and minds? And why on earth make all this noise when the entire political class is on holiday and thus cannot hear?

Extinction Rebellion demonstrators continue to occupy Oxford Circus in London with their 'tell the truth' boat

Extinction Rebellion demonstrators continue to occupy Oxford Circus in London with their ‘tell the truth’ boat

‘This is an international movement and this was the date that was set in advance,’ says Robin, from Beckenham, Kent.

I explain that a lot of people look on all this as a lot of posturing by an arrogant middle-class minority who are inconveniencing millions and achieving nothing.

‘A lot of middle-class people also know that we need to cut back on our consumption,’ he replies.

Over on Waterloo Bridge, there are similar scenes. The mass yoga session from earlier in the day has finished. Many just lie in the sun reading a book, as homebound commuters weave past their rucksacks and the potted plant displays which some demonstrators have erected. Some office workers make little attempt to hide their contempt for the people who have added half an hour to their commute but there is no abuse.

Again, there has been a slow trickle of arrests here too, although they do all add up.

By the end of the day, the Met puts the total thus far at 340. But if most of those are simply going back to their original spots straight afterwards, the police strategy seems a little flawed.

‘It’s about proportionality,’ one police officer explains when I ask why it is permissible to park a boat, trailer and toilet block in Oxford Street for days on end but not permissible for an ordinary person even to drive a car down it.

‘If we tried to move everyone, there’d be a riot.’

At some point, in the not too distant future, there is going to be a riot if they don’t.

DAVID BLUNKETT: Why hasn’t the full force of the law been used against these eco anarchists who fill me with contempt? 

Sorry, but I don’t need any lectures from any Johnny-come-lately on the urgent need to tackle climate change.

Eleven years ago I was one of more than 600 MPs who voted to pass the Climate Change Act, committing Britain to slash carbon emissions by 80 per cent on 1990 levels by 2050. I am committed to much more ambitious action in future.

But by causing mayhem in London’s transport system over the past three days, the group Extinction Rebellion has not won my sympathy. On the contrary, it has left me feeling outraged.

Police officers remove a protester as activists from the Extinction Rebellion campaign group blocking Waterloo Bridge yesterday

Police officers remove a protester as activists from the Extinction Rebellion campaign group blocking Waterloo Bridge yesterday

I feel angry and irritated that it has chosen to make people’s lives a misery. By yesterday, because of road blockages, 55 bus routes had been suspended, inconveniencing 500,000 passengers.

While the group pulled back from trying to close the Tube network, it has not withdrawn the threat — saying that it wanted to see how yesterday’s disruption of the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) went before making a decision on whether to block the Underground system.

By yesterday the police had failed substantially to clear any of the areas affected by the protests. Attempting to move protesters from one area to another, as they have been trying to do, simply doesn’t work.

Last night, they appeared to be making some attempt to clear protesters from Oxford Circus, Waterloo Bridge and Parliament Square, yet these vital thoroughfares have been blocked for three days, which is simply not acceptable when people need to go about their business.

As Home Secretary between 2001 and 2004 I had to deal with the anti-globalisation protests and the Reclaim the Streets movement. I had to make decisions as to how far you allow these protests to go.

What I learned was that you had to be tough. The full force of the law needs to be used against those who have been warned and yet who persist with their anti-social protests.

Anarchists

Over the past few days, police have arrested more than 340 people, yet many of them have been released and allowed to go straight back to join the protests.

The protesters are treating it as some kind of game. What we need is a firm hand and decisive action. Without it, these anarchists will see all the publicity they are enjoying and will engage in this kind of action again and again.

Metropolitan Police officers  lead away a demonstrator near Parliament Square yesterday as the protests continue in the capital

Metropolitan Police officers  lead away a demonstrator near Parliament Square yesterday as the protests continue in the capital

It is hardly as if the police have had no warning about these protests. Extinction Rebellion has been blocking streets and bridges since November. It has repeated its tactics on a regular basis.

On this occasion, police held meetings in advance with the protesters. They knew who was behind the protests, where and when they were going to be held and the methods the protesters were going to use.

So why have the Met not provided a stronger response as the great metropolis of London has ground to a halt? And where is the Home Secretary?

The problem with anarchists — which is what Extinction Rebellion are — is that by disrupting the lives and wellbeing of their fellow men and women they damage the cause they are trying to advance. Instead of engaging in debate and dialogue they have turned against them the very people they are trying to persuade.

They are using tactics — bullying and intimidation — which in any other context they would condemn. They have disrupted emergency services and put lives at risk.

Extinction Rebellion says it has no option but to cause chaos because we are facing a climate ’emergency’. Yet over the past three days, as ever in a large city, there have been dozens of genuine emergencies which have required ambulances, fire engines and police cars. The actions of the anarchists have made it much more difficult for emergency vehicles to respond and have diverted valuable police resources.

Not only that, their actions have resulted in deeply perverse outcomes. They claim to be campaigning to cut pollution, but by choking up a capital city and causing traffic jams, they have achieved exactly the opposite: increasing pollution and damaging the environment.

Climate change protestors stand on top of a DLR train at Canary Wharf station in East London on the third day of the protest yesterday

Climate change protestors stand on top of a DLR train at Canary Wharf station in East London on the third day of the protest yesterday

You don’t have to be highly intelligent to work out that, by blocking bus routes and disrupting trains, you discourage people from using public transport and force them to take to their cars to find a way round the jams.

Jeopardy

Bankers who normally commute by DLR were reported to be resorting to taxis to get around — spewing out diesel fumes in the process.

As the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: ‘It is absolutely crucial to get more people using public transport, as well as walking and cycling, if we are to tackle this climate emergency.’

Extinction Rebellion has launched its assault not on the politicians it is trying to address — the Commons and the Lords are both in recess this week — but the poor men and women who are just trying to make a living.

Many fear their Easter breaks are in jeopardy. Businesses face severe losses. According to West End shops, hundreds of millions of pounds could be lost to the London economy.

These anarchists seem to think they own the issue of climate change, yet they have blithely ignored the serious efforts that are being made to reduce pollution more generally. Last week, for example, the first phase of London’s new ultra-low emissions zone came into effect, banning the most polluting vehicles from the city centre.

There has been huge investment in renewable energy, improving insulation in buildings, promoting hybrid and electric cars and tackling carbon emissions in many other ways. UK carbon emissions, according to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, have fallen by 44 per cent since 1990.

These are achievements which Extinction Rebellion should surely be praising. Yet the anarchists ignore them, and instead try to make out that governments, over many years, have done nothing, while only they have recognised the seriousness of the threat of climate change.

Unlawful protests in a democracy ultimately achieve nothing. Just look how Occupy the Streets failed in its campaign to bring down capitalism. If climate change protesters want an example of how they should be conducting their campaign, they should instead look at the Make Poverty History movement, with which I worked when I was Home Secretary.

Contempt

The organisers didn’t break the law. Instead, they organised peaceful demos and staged concerts around the world. They conducted their campaign in a manner which persuaded rather than alienated — and as a result they achieved their objectives. They persuaded world leaders to agree to debt relief for developing countries and also contributed to efforts tackling climate change.

It fills me with contempt to hear the protesters ‘apologising’ to the public for causing disruption. People who make no effort to engage in public debate don’t deserve our support. They claim to care about the public, but frankly they don’t care one bit.

Extinction Rebellion wants us to think that it is central to the fight against climate change, but it is rapidly turning itself into an utter irrelevance. The real work tackling climate change is being done with those who engage in proper political debate, not those who engage in childish acts of sabotage.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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