Extinction Rebellion: Ah, my climate warriors, you must learn to win friends, not annoy folk – Susan Morrison

Lockdown is ebbing. The protesters are hitting the streets. Anti-vaxxers, now. What a vigorous bunch.

By Susan Morrison
Friday, 8th October 2021, 12:30 pm
Police break up an Insulate Britain protest at a roundabout leading from the M25 motorway to Heathrow Airport in London (Picture: Steve Parson/PA)
Police break up an Insulate Britain protest at a roundabout leading from the M25 motorway to Heathrow Airport in London (Picture: Steve Parson/PA)

Storming buildings, sometimes the wrong ones, protesting against a thing they don’t have to do. Fine, don’t have the vaccine. But don’t stand next to me in a crowded bar. Come to that, the publican might not want you next to anyone, so you guys stick to your principles and stay outside. Seems fair.

Extinction Rebellion are firing their opening protest shots ahead of the UN Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow. They say they will bring the traffic to a halt, apparently unaware that ‘standstill’ pretty much describes rush-hour traffic on the M8.

Not sure what they are actually protesting about. For years, they’ve been screaming that no-one is taking climate change seriously and yet here’s this mahoosive conference. People are flying in from all over the world, burning up the old jet fuel, spewing out the emissions and racking up the air miles to talk about… climate change.

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Couldn’t they have done the whole bang-shoot over the internet?

ER’s spokesperson announced that they have “no choice” but to protest and disrupt, but worry not. Vulnerable communities were consulted to minimise impact. Just who those vulnerable communities are is a secret, lest the police get wind of their plans and foil them.

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The trouble with disruption is that you don’t know who you’re going to disrupt. Last week Insulate Britain hit the headlines. They stopped traffic during London’s rush hour and were promptly confronted by a sobbing woman trying to get to her sick mother in hospital.

Not entirely sure how stopping traffic helps to insulate British houses, incidentally. Why not sneak into people’s lofts and lurk up there like a sort of human insulation? Creepy, but effective.

Presumably ER have factored the ‘weeping women on camera’ problem in. Perhaps they’ve hired a lifting device, so they can stop all the traffic, but still haul anyone vulnerable out of a tailback all the way to Ardrossan.

Ah, my climate change warriors, please remember, wrecking the lives of ordinary folk just getting about their business makes no allies.

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