So this "extinction rebellion" group have been causing some disruption of transport in London and have had over 300 activists arrested. For those that don't know, its a radical climate change action group that encourages civil disobedience in order to achieve the aim of a zero carbon economy by 2025. They have blockaded Oxford Circus (which is part of my daily commute) for 3 days now.
No matter what your views on climate change, both the problem itself and any solutions are going to have a profound impact on the economy and people's standards of living across the globe in the coming decades. So addressing it, as a society, needs reasoned debate and majority buy-in. The whole narrative of "this is an emergency there's no time to argue just do what we say" is bullshit and an unstealthy version of social control.
TBF (even though they are ferals) the message isn't as you describe.
The message is that debate and evidence has been continually ignored over short term needs/desires and the situation not adequately addressed.
I do agree with that statement (if not the exact means of getting it across) so have a little sympathy. They are also maintaining a peaceful non violent stance and when deemed to be breaking the law are being arrested.
Let it play out.
So, I described it as:
" its a radical climate change action group that encourages civil disobedience in order to achieve the aim of a zero carbon economy by 2025."
From their twitter bio (emphasis mine):
" Non-violent direct action and civil disobedience for action on climate breakdown and ecological collapse."
From their website (emphasis mine):
"Government must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025."
So fair enough, "zero carbon economy by 2025" and "greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025" aren't exactly the same thing, but pretty bloody close.
Broader point is that they are trying to hijack the debate by shutting it down, effectively saying "my(our) way or the highway". Which in my opinion is a completely fucked way of addressing a genuinely important issue.
Fair view. I was referring more to … "The whole narrative of "this is an emergency there's no time to argue just do what we say" is bullshit and an unstealthy version of social control."
Protest doesn't get into nuance, protest is about slogans and chanting. I agree that this can appear like a simplistic 'do as we say' view but as you quote yourself it is more about trying to force the govt's hand to make the firm commitments they have managed to avoid or waffle around.
Of course it is a complex subject, but also one that many govts only pay lip service or token statements to.
I doubt it will force any kind of quick reaction but if a message gets through to pull finger then it is a good thing IMO. The civil unrest thing is a PITA for some but, as I said, let it play out.
The alternative is to have a 'green party' holding balance of power. I think I'd rather have the main parties wake up.
BTW I work a few minutes from Oxford Circus and have been unaffected by the civil disobedience so maybe that slants my view.