Extinction Rebellion restarts protests

Climate activists will target Britain's parliament and other institutions next week as Extinction Rebellion restarts large-scale protests for the first time since the Covid-19 outbreak, organisers said on Thursday cited by Reuters. The group said small-scale, regional protests would take place over the coming weekend ahead of larger scale demonstrations in London, Cardiff and Manchester.

The protests are expected to continue for a couple of weeks. “In London, we’re going to be gathering in Parliament Square, and around parliament on 1 September,” Extinction Rebellion organiser Anneka Sutcliffe said in an online briefing. “In the following few days we’ll be taking our action to other key institutions of power to really demonstrate the harm that our government are doing.”

Extinction Rebellion said it was targeting parliament with the aim of getting backing for a ‘Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill’ and a ‘Citizens’ Assembly’, and was not put off by the threat of heavy new fines for gatherings.

Extinction Rebellion say an emergency response and mass move away from polluting industries and behaviours is needed to avert a looming climate cataclysm. The group called off major protests planned for May as the Covid-19 pandemic unfolded, saying that the need to protect public health meant large gatherings could not be justified.

With Britain now past the peak of the pandemic, organisers pointed to the re-opening of pubs and other social activities as evidence that protests could now go ahead, adding that social distancing would be encouraged.

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