We will reach out to supporter organisations to step up our campaigns across an ecosystem of tactics - that includes everyone from first-time protesters to those willing to go to prison.
Extinction Rebellion (XR) and other groups will “step up” campaigns to “force” the UK Government to tackle the climate emergency following the end of a four-day demonstration, XR has said.
As many as 80 per cent of protesters voted to amp up future campaigning using civil disobedience and non-violent direct action in a poll involving “tens of thousands” of people, XR added.
XR spokesperson Rob Callender said: “Effectively tens of thousands from different organisations have signalled that they are ready to move into a far more challenging and disruptive posture against a government that is gambling with our lives and futures.” Protesters also voted to organise locally and support pickets.
An estimated 30,000 people marched in London on Saturday and hundreds marched again on Monday as part of a mass demonstration termed “The Big One”, which began on Friday and was supported by more than 200 organisations including Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth.
XR said the end of the demonstration acted as a deadline for the government to respond to a collective request by climate campaign groups to enter negotiations on demands – to halt all new coal, oil and gas exploration and set up emergency citizens assemblies – or “face the consequences”.
Clare Farrell, a co-founder of XR, said: “The government had a week to respond to our demands and they have failed to do so.
“Next we will reach out to supporter organisations to start creating a plan for stepping up our campaigns across an ecosystem of tactics that includes everyone from first-time protesters to those willing to go to prison.”
On Monday, traffic came to a halt as XR’s drum band continuously played from the Houses of Parliament to the London Eye, with the march ending at the headquarters of oil giant Shell. Marchers waved signs with slogans including “fossil filth is over”.
Yaz Ashmawi, 28, a strategy and actions support member for XR, from Surrey, said the protests have been an “incredible success” with more than 200 different organisations supporting the campaign.
“Never before have so many people come to the centre of power in London to demand meaningful action for the climate emergency – it’s unprecedented,” he said.
Mr Ashmawi added: “The government isn’t able to listen to the science, the scientific consensus is that we can no longer have any more fossil fuel infrastructure projects, period.
“What’s next is we need to figure out how to bring more people on a journey to more and more direct action. Real change comes when tens of thousands of people return and remain day after day [to protest].” XR has estimated that more than 60,000 people demonstrated over the four days.
Just Stop Oil members also joined the march after causing various traffic jams in London on Monday near Piccadilly Circus. The group said their slow marches will continue to take place throughout the rest of the week.
Brendan Montague is editor of The Ecologist. This article is based on a report from PA.