Reading Time: < 1 minute Leading environmental journalist George Monbiot speaks during the action (Photo: PBN)
Reading Time: < 1 minute

Around 150 activists have been arrested in London as Extinction Rebellion kicks off two-weeks of protest.

The group – also known as XR – says it is protesting against the government’s ‘lack of action’ on climate change. Describing itself as a ‘non-violent civil disobedience activist movement’, it wants to ‘peacefully occupy the centres of power and shut them down’ in a bid to bring attention to its cause.

Campaigners are also demonstrating simultaneously in other cities across the world, including Berlin, New York, and Amsterdam.

Demands

XR has three demands – firstly, it wants the government to declare a climate emergency, and secondly, the UK to legally commit to reducing carbon emissions to net zero by 2025.

Thirdly, it says these changes must be overseen by a specially-formed citizens’ assembly.

Plant-based solution

Animal Rebellion (AR), which describes itself as a ‘mass volunteer movement using nonviolent civil disobedience to end the animal agriculture industries’ is also protesting in solidarity with XR over the two weeks.

This morning, campaigners gathered in Russell Square before marching to the UK’s largest meat market, Smithfield, where it has opened a fruit and vegetable stall – a symbolic reference to what AR says is a necessary shift to a plant-based diet.

Changing the system

Leading environmental journalist George Monbiot opened the stall, giving a speech, in which he said we can no longer pretend that tweaking the existing system will save the planet. “We have to change the system,” he said.

“We have to change the destruction animal-eating system we have at the moment for another one.”

Maria Chiorando

Maria is the editor of Plant Based News. As a former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers, as well as Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle.