Extinction Rebellion, abbreviated “XR,” has been called many things: a climate change group, eco-terrorists or a socio-political movement.
The group’s goal is to nonviolently protest climate change, loss of biodiversity and impending environmental collapse.
Originally established in Mau 2018 in the U.K., Extinction Rebellion has protested in many prominent locations around central London, including Oxford Circus, Waterloo Bridge, Marble Arch and Parliament Square.
While the group is nonviolent, they have recently threatened to take further measures, using drones, if their demands are not met.
Their demands are as follows:
- That the U.K. government tell the truth about climate and ecological changes and impending emergencies, through policies and media communication.
- That the U.K. government enact policies to reduce carbon emissions to zero by 2025.
- That the U.K. hold a national citizens’ assembly to talk about the changes.
While many may not see their demands as radical, others do. Extinction Rebellion and their demands have been compared to terrorists.
As Extinction Rebellion protested at Heathrow Airport against the plan to expand the airport, 1,130 people were arrested over the 10 days.
Now, Extinction Rebellion has threatened to use drones near Heathrow airport on June 18th and also from July 1st if the plans to expand the airport were not met.
As a BBC report noted, an XR spokesperson said the group is “fully committed to non-violence” and it would “not take action that would put airline passengers at risk.” However, “in the face of climate and ecological collapse [would] continue to build a peaceful movement.”
The plan to use drones was leaked from within the XR group.
In response, Heathrow has said: “We agree with the need to act on climate change, but that requires us to work together constructively — not commit serious criminal offences just as hard-working people prepare to spend a well-earned holiday.”