Monbiot-backed group takes direct action to highlight climate emergency

Environment journalist and activist George Monbiot addressed the new Extinction Rebellion group in London. Photo credit Michael Kay

A new direct action group demanding action on climate change is currently obstructing access to key government buildings as part of a week of non-violent uprising.

Extinction Rebellion, which is backed by prominent environment journalist George Monbiot, is protesting against what it calls the government’s “criminal inaction” on the climate emergency and ecological crisis.

Seven people have been arrested so far for being glued to the fence outside Downing Street, while another team are blocking vehicle access. Activists have also dropped banners from Westminster bridge.

The week is due to culminate this Saturday (17 November), dubbed Rebellion Day, when the group will block five bridges across the capital.

The group wants the government to reverse all policies inconsistent with addressing climate change; introduce legally binding targets to greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2025; and create a citizen’s assembly to oversee these changes.

Those joining the action and who said they are prepared to be arrested include labour councillor Skeena Rathor and her daughter, who said: “We believe in miracles and human genius but the reality is we are on the threshold of social and climate collapse. We are about to lose all our present freedoms and so we offer ourselves for arrest with hope and courage in our hearts – to ask for leadership and truth – for our children.”

The group is encouraging people to rebel against the government’s inaction on climate

Another protester, Joseph Mishan, a father and healthcare professional, said he joined the group after seeing the recent IPCC report, which warned the temperature rises must be limited to 1.5 degrees if climate collapse is to be averted.

He said: “I am putting myself forward for arrest because I was shocked by the IPPC report and the silence that followed. It was like being given a terminal diagnosis but without a treatment plan. I wondered if I was the only person who heard it. Or if I had dreamt it.”

The Extinction Rebellion action began this week with a march address by Monbiot and other activists, and occupation of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Speaking on a podcast episode by news outlet Novara Media, Monbiot said radical action such as that taken by Extinction Rebellion could help other members of public, as well as politicians, wake up to the severity of climate breakdown, and inspire a more wide-ranging and effective response.

19 responses to “Monbiot-backed group takes direct action to highlight climate emergency

  1. Please only send me blogs regarding Riverford or food. Any other subjects I will investigate myself if I am interested.

  2. I’m sorry to see the Riverford blog starting to look like a mainstream news outlet. I usually look forward to the weekly update from inside a system that works, and would ask others to read it, too. I don’t at all like the new frequency of blog posts; it makes reading them a chore rather than a pleasure. Now this news article doesn’t read like Riverford at all.

    Please don’t go all Facebook and turn into yet another media reposting service. I understand that Monbiot and others are handling vital issues, but we can access these elsewhere. We can’t get Riverford other than from Riverford.

    • Well I’m more than happy to see them and find them interesting and illuminating. So whilst I – and many others – read it with interest you could just delete it. Then everybody’s happy

      • Jonny,

        Of course! If Riverford chooses to turn ‘News from the Farm’ into a five-or-more-posts-per-week, general-ecological newsfeed, then I have the right to filter/delete.

        Equally, as a customer I’m entitled to protest changes which detract from what had been an excellent communicative relationship with my organic vegetable provider – one which until now I’d felt glad to pay close attention to each week because it spoke from credible expertise.

      • That’s fair enough. I think what I’m seeing is a news from the farm one still, a recipes one and a couple of general point-of-view ones to boot. I think it’s good for them to highlight such things for anyone out there who may not til now have an interest in such things. I personally don’t really follow the recipes one too much but a lot do so I guess they’re trying to cater for all types

  3. Absolutely delighted to see that you have posted this!

  4. Can’t see the point of this unless they’re throwing rotten vegetables at those idiots in Parliament who can’t even work together to produce a solution to the dreaded Brexit which is damaging our economy and causing instability for businesses

  5. I know this is not what we usually read from Riverford. This is particularly,important though because it doesn’t seem to be getting covered by the mainstream media. We don’t have the luxury of enough time to wait until Brexit is sorted before we take real action about climate change.

  6. Please Riverford don’t be put off by the negative responses. I don’t have any social media accounts nor the time to do so, nor do we , by choice, have TV, so I would not have heard about this cheering and commendable effort otherwise. Internet mainstream news has indeed been nothing but Brexit politicking and not mentioned Monbiot’s crew. We have got our work cut out in ”the north” trying to stop fracking for shale gas, a ‘new’ fossil fuel to pollute the environment for all of you, never mind irreversible damage of all sorts done getting it out. Please you naysayers get out there and do something real to stop fracking and indeed Government lack of action before it IS too late. Our grandson is two: what world will there be when he is just 14???

  7. I am sure all those vehicles left idling whilst waiting for the bridges to be unblocked or stuck in jams on the alternative routes will do wonders for the environment and air quality especially with the fog and mist at this time of the year.

  8. Thank you for sharing this very important news – why I am not hearing it or reading about it anywhere else!?

  9. With the environment in mind, I buy and grow as much as I can organically, and abominate pesticides and herbicides.
    Concerning climate change this has been part of the universal make up since the formation of our planet – obviously I will be labelled a Flat Earthist,but before all this concern gripped us scientists were writing simple to understand histories on the Ice Ages and the between time warm eras.
    It is more likely that we will have poisoned our planet before it is frozen or fried.

  10. Posting again as my previous has not been published, possibly because it contained links to news articles. If the substance of the below therefore eventually appears twice, my apologies.

    This news did appear in the mainstream media: the BBC, Mirror, Standard and Guardian all covered it two days ago, as did various ecological groups.

    The above article is not attributed to an author. The credibility of the Riverford blog has been that the points of view and insights it expresses are attributable to a credible individual.

    I have no problem with new individuals writing for the Riverford blog, so long as they are willing to put their name to what they write.

    Please could Riverford stick to being Riverford? Activism takes different forms. Customers can as well support sustainable change in food production by chopping onions as by breathing teargas.

  11. Oh dear , this subject has to be aired the main stream media do report on these problems, but they aren’t consistent, things hit the head lines on week and are gone the next, the situation is dire, by all of us expecting the politicians to sort it nothing gets done, a little inconvenient traffic jam won’t increase won’t increase the pollution that much if engines are turned of.
    I digress some how young people need to be educated from an early age to see the importance of the farming environment a love of horticulture,ecology and the wider environment and balance.
    It is happening, but it will take time as generations have been discouraged entering this area over mechanisation has not helped, the farmers of the EU still have people to work the land it’s time we started to do the same, to help the organic farming it is the only way to improve our land, Big business caused this problem using cash as carrots . Sorry this is to long but we all need to be woken up.

  12. Thanks so much for the Minbiot info!

  13. Thanks Riverford for sharing this information. I can’t quite believe how people can say that this is not relevant! In fact this info is relevant for each and every person in the western world. I haven’t heard/read about the Monbiot action anywhere else before so will go and research of the back if your blog post.

  14. Well done for posting this. And keep it up. The world is in the mess it is because companies and organisations are told they should express their opinions so as not to offend their customers. However we need a new model where organisations feel comfortable standing up for what they believe is right and arguing for it. That goes for environmental concerns, fair taxation, social responsibility and even Brexit. If all of the large companies that are now leaving the UK had made that point during the campaign the referendum result may have been different. We seem to be on the brink of wholesale environmental disaster after forty years of inaction, we’ll done for taking a side.

  15. (Not express…!!!)

  16. Yes. Well done. I totally agree with all your views.
    We have known for years that destruction due to rising temperatures was spiralling and that some damage like the melting of the ice, the warming of the oceans and perma frost was irreversible. Politicians would rather concentrate on lesser things
    All effects need to be spelt out loud and clear.

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