Monday a group of Extinction Rebellion vandals gathered at Trinity College and dug up a portion of the lawn to protest the school’s potential sale of farm land for development. That stunt did generate headlines but not all of them were sympathetic.
“It has been polarising,” said an XR spokesperson of the last 36 hours of scrutiny and debate. “Sometimes the public come up to thank us, others say we’ve gone too far and see it as vandalism but Trinity College didn’t want the sale of Innocence Farm to be on the national news so it was always going to be controversial. It highlights issues of land equality as well as climate change.”
The following day the group held another protest outside a research building connected to oil production. Protesters spray painted the outside of the building and at least one glued her hand to a police vehicle.
Yesterday rebels from XR Cambridge headed to Schlumberger, a leading fossil fuel and oil research facility. Activists glued onto police vans to stand up for climate justice and demand divestment.#rebelforjustice #climatejustice #ExtinctionRebellion #Cambridge pic.twitter.com/DHIa3oJ63C
— XR Youth Cambridge (@xryouthcambs) February 19, 2020
Here’s a brief video that will give you a feel for the second protest:
The result of these two protests was several arrests:
A man and two women have been charged with criminal damage after Extinction Rebellion activists dug up a lawn outside a Cambridge University college.
Three others have been charged with criminal damage over a protest that took place the following day outside a research building run by the oilfield service provider Schlumberger.
Despite the arrests, the protesters returned to the scene of the crime at Trinity College Friday saying they had no intention of apologizing:
Extinction Rebellion (XR) returned to the front lawn of Trinity College this afternoon, handing out assorted wildflower seeds in order to “re-wild the planet and grow something new”…
One activist told The Tab Cambridge: “We’re not back here to apologise, and the statements we made with regards to Trinity lawn still stand. We’re here to move forwards and to progress, we’re here distributing wildflower seeds…
He concluded by saying that “we’re not vandals, we’re not thugs, we don’t do this kind of stuff for no reason”.
Sorry, but people who vandalize other people’s property are vandals. But the Daily Mail reported yesterday they aren’t the only UK extremists looking to change the world. Several socialist groups that considers Extinction Rebellion’s vandalism stunts too tame have taken over a former police building:
Rallying to a slogan of ‘F*** the Banks, F*** the City’, this menacing rabble — a coalition of anti-capitalist and environmental extremists who regard Extinction Rebellion as too limited in aim and insufficiently radical — will do whatever it takes to cause mayhem in the financial district around the Bank of England.
Yes, you read that correctly. A bunch of hardline agitators have commandeered what was once Britain’s most secure police station, and are not only ‘occupying’ this former bastion of law and order, but using it as a base from which to wage war on the very society it was built to protect.
The squatters belong to groups singled out for attention in a police anti-terrorism document recently uncovered by the Guardian newspaper. They include Anarchist Federation, the Industrial Workers of the World and Reclaim Power.
These groups will be holding a “Rally Against Capital” next Friday the 28th, so expect to see more vandalism, possible violence, and hopefully many more arrests. Here’s the group’s description of the planned event:
We are living through the willful destruction of Earth’s ecosystems and the billions of people who depend on them to survive. We know what is causing this destruction – the capitalist system we live in and the people who get disgustingly rich while knowing that they are only able to do so by destroying the future for everybody. Currently they ignore the plight of the global south while stealing resources to pad their pockets all the same; it’s about time we said no more. No more exploitation. No more capitalism. No more climate change!
This is basically AOC’s world view. I wonder if she’ll tweet support for these groups.