Extinction Rebellion (abbreviated as XR) is a global environmental movement, with the stated aim of using nonviolent civil disobedience to compel government action to avoid tipping points in the climate system, biodiversity loss, and the risk of social and ecological collapse
Extinction Rebellion were established in the United Kingdom in May 2018, with about one hundred academics signing a call to action in support in October 2018. At the end of that month, XR was launched by Roger Hallam and Gail Bradbrook, along with other activists from the campaign group Rising Up! In November 2018, five bridges across the River Thames in London were blockaded as a protest. In April 2019, Extinction Rebellion occupied five prominent sites in central London: Piccadilly Circus, Oxford Circus, Marble Arch, Waterloo Bridge, and the area around Parliament Square.
Citing inspiration from grassroots movements such as Occupy, the suffragettes, and the civil rights movement, Extinction Rebellion wants to rally support worldwide around a common sense of urgency to tackle climate breakdown and the ongoing sixth mass extinction. A number of activists in the movement accept arrest and imprisonment, similar to the mass arrest tactics of the Committee of 100 in 1961.
“We are facing an unprecedented global emergency. Life on Earth is in crisis: scientists agree we have entered a period of abrupt climate breakdown, and we are in the midst of a mass extinction of our own making.
We are unprepared for the danger our future holds. We face floods, wildfires, extreme weather, crop failure, mass displacement and the breakdown of society. The time for denial is over. It is time to act.
Conventional approaches of voting, lobbying, petitions and protest have failed because powerful political and economic interests prevent change. Our strategy is therefore one of non-violent, disruptive civil disobedience – a rebellion.
Historical evidence shows that we need the involvement of 3.5% of the population to succeed – in the UK that’s about 2 million people.”