AuthorTopic: ☠️ Extinction Rebellion: Climate protesters block roads  (Read 7995 times)

Offline RE

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☠️ George Monbiot arrested for defying Extinction Rebellion protest ban
« Reply #60 on: October 17, 2019, 12:23:48 AM »
Moonbeam should have had a better camera than a fucking smartphone recording this.  ::)

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Re: ☠️ Extinction Rebellion: Rebellions don’t end – they regenerate
« Reply #61 on: October 19, 2019, 12:26:36 PM »


It’s difficult to imagine the number of rebels currently feeling exhausted, disorientated, and proud.

Though we know it’s not over for everyone, this week saw the conclusion of high-intensity rebellion phases in Paris, Berlin, New York, London, and countless other cities and nations. A truly inspiring number of those involved are new to the experience of Rebellion – small surprise, since there’s very little like it.

The most obvious exertions are physical: long days spent roaming streets or (every bit as vital!) glued to screens, sometimes eating and sleeping irregularly. But no less taxing is the emotional journey: through euphoric highs and difficult lows, made both easier and more complicated for being shared by a whole community of other people who feel it all together, and process this journey in different ways.



And when all of this comes to a close, it can be a challenge to adjust: to return to work, family, a slower pace of life. All the more so given the nature of our cause: some might be troubled by the thought that our emergency is only speeding up as we slow down.

This makes it all the more essential that we do slow down: that we take the time to regenerate.

‘Burn-out’ is a major risk in movements such as ours, where our hearts can demand more selfless action at the cost of our own individual well-being. It’s for this reason that regeneration is our third core value; and it’s for similar reasons that our fifth value is to follow cycles of action with reflection and learning.



We’ve achieved an incredible amount in the past two weeks: political changes, deeper cultural shifts, and proving to ourselves that this movement is well-organised, global, and unified by the same compassionate values.

Given how much we’ve achieved, it’s small wonder if we don’t yet have the energy to fathom it.

For now, all we need to know is that it’s the time for some well-deserved rest.



Newsletter : Rebel Day 9

Very long

https://rebellion.earth/2019/10/19/rebel-daily-9/?link_id=0&can_id=d4e96a888a65b26abfffc48652b2e679&source=email-rebel-daily-9-rebellions-dont-end-they-regenerate&email_referrer=email_644288&email_subject=rebel-daily-9-rebellions-dont-end-they-regenerate
Mark Twain — 'There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.'

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Australian artist’s works have sold for up to $1.3m. Police could not say whether they still have the skull, seized among hundreds of artworks during October protests



A skull made by Australian sculptor Ron Mueck

Sinks, toilets, scaffolding, tents and even cars – are all among the items confiscated by London’s Metropolitan police in an attempt to quell the Extinction Rebellion protests in October.

The capital’s police also took into custody hundreds of art works. Among them is a giant skull by renowned contemporary artist Ron Mueck.

The Australian, whose hyperrealistic sculptures have been exhibited at the Saatchi Gallery and the Tate, gifted a test casting to an Extinction Rebellion funeral procession designed to mourn the lives lost to climate change. The prototype served to model one hundred skulls that filled a room in the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne in 2017.

“Having heard that there was an XR skeleton procession planned it seemed an obvious way to make use of it and lend support to a cause I believe in,” Mueck wrote to CHN in an e-mail.

“It was lent to XR to use as visual accompaniment to their peaceful nonviolent protests in whatever way they saw fit. I wasn’t directly involved in its deployment.”

In auctions, Mueck’s artworks have been sold for as much as $1.3 million, the price varying depending on the size and medium of the artwork, according to auction database MutualArt. It is likely that the prototype would be worth significantly less than its final version, though the work could accrue value in time through its association with Extinction Rebellion.

Mueck said he has “no idea where it is now and no idea on what basis it was confiscated”. Extinction Rebellion’s said it was seized along with other skeleton sculptures. Contacted by CHN, the Metropolitan Police did not appear aware of the value of the object and said it was “unlikely we are going to be able to confirm the seizure of individual items at this stage – there are just too many”.

Other less high-profile protest art works, many of which took weeks to craft, were also taken.

Along with 40 people, Bristol artist Simon Tozer crowdfunded, built, mounted and ultimately glued himself to a cubic tower draped with Extinction Rebellion banners. Following the imposition of a city-wide protest ban on London, which is currently being challenged by the movement, the group decided to deploy the structure on the grounds of the Tate Modern.

Discovering the structure, Tate Modern’s director, Frances Morris, rapidly gave the greenlight to the action, Tozer said, granting permission to the protesters to occupy their grounds the full day.

The police however told the Tate that the ban prevailed over its right to hold the protest on its grounds, prompting the arrest of ten activists.

“Once it was up, we did get permission from the Tate for it to be on their land, so it was quite a surprise to us that it was taken down,” Tozer said. In a statement, Tate told CHN it had declared a “climate emergency” but “as a public body, we are bound not to endorse or actively support protest of this nature. However, as is always the case in relation to peaceful protests, we wouldn’t stand in the way of organisations demonstrating in our public space”.

Tozer described the seizure of the artwork as “very unreasonable”. “It wasn’t being used to block a road or disrupting anybody,” he added.

It is currently being held by the police as evidence, he said.

Kat Brendell, a full-time arts campaigner within the group, recently recovered her car from police, but has yet to see a jacket made by one of the movement’s chief designers, Miles Glyn, with the word “Empathy” embroidered onto it.

“I love the fact that something that says ‘empathy’ and is covered in hearts is deemed a threat to the state,” Glyn told CHN.

“The police tactic has been to portray to protests as a bunch of people, bodies on a road,” Brendell said. “But actually there’s a huge range of creative talents and skills: from cooks and carpenters to sculptors and artists. Humanitarian, creative, community-oriented people.”

“The work that everyone’s put in, they’ve purposefully tried to eliminate that, because it makes us more human, and not the extremists that they like to present,” she added.

The police also confiscated a Noah’s ark made by the Christian Action Group in Bristol, West of England. 15 people crafted the object from wooden pallets over three weeks, including six teenagers from a school in East Sussex.

The Metropolitan police told CHN that protesters could claim back their items. But protesters say they are worried.

“One of the problems is that claiming your property could lead to the police bringing further charges against you,” Tobias Garnett, a member of Extinction Rebellion’s legal team, said.

“Another problem is that the police have been routinely destroying stuff from the camps as they cleared them, which they’re not supposed to do.”

“We would like to claim it back but as yet have not been able to locate it,” Barbara Keal, one of the artists who made the ark, said. “There has been some ambivalence in case doing so could be incriminating.”

“The police’s confiscation of a good deal of artwork and similarly of facilities for disabled rebels – including their toilets and even a wheelchair – seemed particularly heartless aspects of the policing of October’s Rebellion,” Rupert Read, a philosopher and spokesperson for the movement, told CHN.

Although he admitted the confiscation was “a bit heartbreaking”, Glyn remained defiant.

“The more certain actions become illegal, the more space that leaves us to be creative and to create new stories in slightly different ways.”

“I’m going to make more banners saying ‘Love’ and ‘Care’ and watch them get dragged away,” he said.

https://www.climatechangenews.com/2019/11/05/extinction-rebellion-art-seized-police-includes-ron-mueck-skull/
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☠️ Humanity Is Riding Delusion to Extinction
« Reply #63 on: December 04, 2019, 04:48:18 AM »
https://www.truthdig.com/articles/humanity-is-riding-delusion-to-extinction/

Dec 02, 2019
Opinion
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TD originals
Humanity Is Riding Delusion to Extinction


World War I-era photo of a mounted lance corporal of the Household Cavalry wearing a gas mask, Windsor, United Kingdom. His horse is also wearing a gas mask.

Horses sporting gas masks. That, of all things, has been on my mind lately. Bear with me, now. Gaze at the ever-so-cockamamie photo. A horse, wearing a gas mask. Nothing so illustrates the rank absurdity and irrationality of the human condition. It was during World War I—which killed an unheard-of nine million soldiers in just four years—that the armies of Europe still employed horses in an age of machine guns, airplanes (eventually), tanks and poison gas attacks. Rather than call a halt to the inane slaughter in the trenches, the world’s great powers fought that wildly nationalistic war to its macabre conclusion. One result was horses in gas masks. That was only a hundred years ago.

As the U.S. government, as well as far too many Americans, remain fixated on the decidedly minor threat of Islamist “terrorism,” two actual global existential perils persist and are hardly addressed. I’m speaking, of course, of nuclear war and man-made, climate-based catastrophe. Hardly any serious establishment political figure in this country has taken meaningful action on such grave matters, mind you—busy as they are either reflexively attacking or defending Trump’s comparably trivial policies in Ukraine or Syria. Who noticed as the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists ticked the Doomsday Clock a stroke closer to midnight? Who has commented on the absurd reality that one of the two major American political parties denies the very existence of climate change, while the (hardly progressive) Pentagon repeatedly warns of its reality and profound consequences?

Which brings me back to the irrational slaughter of the First World War: its philosophical meaning, consequences, and what it, and a few subsequent events, portends for the fate of humanity. Were the generals of the era simply dumb for sending waves of infantrymen into the teeth of machine-gun fire, or did they face the old “wheel problem?” It took human beings at least tens of thousands of years to even conceive of the wheel. Seen in this context, the three or so years it took the generals to develop a combined-arms (tanks + radios + artillery + small unit infantry maneuver) “solution” to break the stalemate doesn’t seem quite so awful. Not that many, if not most, senior commanders couldn’t be at times, and especially early on, obtuse, arrogant and callous.

They and their civilian political masters ought to have recognized, when around a million soldiers died in the first five months of war, that as of Dec. 31, 1914, nationalism was obsolete. Fighting for one’s “country,” the romance of national power, was essentially—with the advent of efficient machine guns and poison gas—a suicide pact among each country’s young men. Yet on the war raged, and soon enough, an even bloodier Second World War broke out. This happened despite the widespread global antiwar sentiment in the wake of the first war. Few major governments were responsive, and despite the profound hopes among WWII veterans that theirs would be the last, war has continued almost endlessly into our new century.

The Second World War began with its own horse-gas-mask, technology-ahead-of-tactics sort of absurdity, when, in September 1939, Polish cavalrymen (to some degree apocryphally) faced off with German tanks. But the real, philosophical, lesson of that war’s culmination was this: If World War I should’ve made nationalism obsolete, events in August 1945 ought to have proven that countries were themselves outmoded. Because, when the United States (still the only country, ever, to do so) slaughtered hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians with two atomic bombs, the whole game changed.

At that point, for the first time in organized human history and due to the fantastically destructive power of nuclear weapons, a single nation could end the world within minutes. It is that sort of planet that the human race has inhabited for 75 years. And we aren’t scared enough. Until the invention and proliferation of atomic and hydrogen bombs, no single state or empire possessed world-ending power. Even Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan and Adolf Hitler were eventually checked by coalitions of convenience and necessity. The Macedonian spearmen were halted by determined Afghan tribesmen; Mongol horsemen were held off by Egyptian and European armies; and as for the Nazis, the paradoxical duo of the Soviets and the Americans had their number.

The near certainty of planet-destroying nuclear winter in the event of major war has forever changed the entire geopolitical calculus. Or, at least, it should have. These days, a “rogue” state like North Korea, or eventually the Czech Republic or Bhutan, could end the world. Such a ludicrously tenuous situation clearly demonstrates that the only rational model of geopolitics capable of avoiding catastrophe, whether due to nuclear annihilation or collective climate suicide, is some sort of world government.

The United Nations or the European Union (but not military-focused NATO) represent the only rational model for compromise, conversation and war avoidance. Only today, in a paragon of inherent human irrationality, it is precisely such models against which Western (Trump, Brexit, Orban), and other (Bolsonaro, Putin, Xi Jinping) governments react. Collective delusion—reflected in the populist, rightward, authoritarian global political wave—might just spell the end of organized human life on this planet. It seems that plenty of folks worldwide are riding nationalist nostalgia right to the edge of extinction. These sorts of strongman leaders historically have poor records on communal action—exactly what’s now needed to save the world.

Perhaps the key metaphysical problem is this: Human beings simply don’t live long enough. Limited life spans inherently seem to encourage selfish, expedient, short-term, and thus delusional and destructive, thinking. In that sense, climate change, though it’s becoming increasingly imminent, may just be too big (and long-term, and existential) of a problem for the truncated life spans of most humans. Especially, it appears, among the wealthy elites clearly living it up in what may the last days of their species’ existence. Egyptian pharaohs, who once had themselves entombed with their worldly treasures, have a current equivalent in the CEOs set to drown in rising seas while their wealth is stashed in (far more virtual) mutual funds and subprime mortgage bundles.

As oceans flood the coasts, famine breaks out wholesale and resource-driven inter-state combat breaks out, my guess is that most desperate people will ignore John Lennon’s advice and turn toward religion—or the irrationality of the humanity-unique casino/gambling culture—to endure the absurdity of their existence. Perhaps eventually, though time is ever-so-short, people will force governments to unite, organize and (just barely) avoid disaster. I’m rooting for humanity, no doubt, but my own limited life experience has made me unlikely to bet on our species.

All the knowledge needed to save the world from climate catastrophe (and even nuclear war) is on our iPhones. Unfortunately, most Americans are too busy watching porn and trolling their exes on Facebook to unite, organize and save themselves. It’s an irrational, and classically human, defense mechanism of sorts. Such is life, in all its bizarre glory, all its absurdity.

————

Danny Sjursen is a retired U.S. Army Major and regular contributor to Truthdig. His work has also appeared in Harper’s, The LA Times, The Nation, TomDispatch, The Huffington Post, and The Hill. He served combat tours with reconnaissance units in Iraq and Afghanistan and later taught history at his alma mater, West Point. He is the author of a memoir and critical analysis of the Iraq War, “Ghostriders of Baghdad: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Myth of the Surge.” He co-hosts the progressive veterans’ podcast “Fortress on a Hill.” Follow him on Twitter at @SkepticalVet.
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☠️ Greta Thunberg named Time Person of the Year for 2019
« Reply #64 on: December 11, 2019, 07:48:42 AM »
The Swedish Climate Joan of Arc is Person of the Year according to Time Magazine!  ::)

Photo Ops available with the Pope and at the UN.  So far no Photo Op with Trumpovetsky.

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https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-50740324

Greta Thunberg named Time Person of the Year for 2019

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/yKgi8Fh0K6g" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/yKgi8Fh0K6g</a>

Greta Thunberg, the Swedish schoolgirl who inspired a global movement to fight climate change, has been named Time magazine's Person of the Year for 2019.

The 16-year-old is the youngest person to be chosen by the magazine in a tradition that started in 1927.

Speaking at a UN climate change summit in Madrid before the announcement, she urged world leaders to stop using "creative PR" to avoid real action.

The next decade would define the planet's future, she said.

Last year, the teenager started an environmental strike by missing lessons most Fridays to protest outside the Swedish parliament building. It sparked a worldwide movement that became popular with the hashtag #FridaysForFuture.

    Who is Greta Thunberg?
    Island nation's 'fight to death'
    What is climate change?
    Where we are in seven charts

Since then, she has become a strong voice for action on climate change, inspiring millions of students to join protests around the world. Earlier this year, she was nominated as a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize.

At the UN Climate Conference in New York in September, she blasted politicians for relying on young people for answers to climate change.

In a now-famous speech, she said: "You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words. We'll be watching you."
Image copyright EPA
Image caption Time magazine's cover for its Person of the Year edition

The teenager's message, however, has not been well received by everyone, most notably prominent conservative voices. Before her appearance in Madrid, Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro called her a "brat" after she expressed concern about the killing of indigenous Brazilians in the Amazon.

"Greta said that the Indians died because they were defending the Amazon," Mr Bolsonaro told reporters. "It's impressive that the press is giving space to a brat like that," he said, using the Portuguese word for brat, "pirralha".

The activist responded by briefly changing her Twitter bio to "Pirralha".

She has previously been at odds with US President Donald Trump, who has questioned climate science and rolled back many US climate laws, and Russian President Vladimir Putin, who once called her a "kind but poorly informed teenager".
Media captionGreta at UN climate change talks - one year apart

Announcing Time's decision on NBC, editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal said: "She became the biggest voice on the biggest issue facing the planet this year, coming from essentially nowhere to lead a worldwide movement."

The magazine's tradition, which started as Man of the Year, recognises the person who "for better or for worse... has done the most to influence the events of the year". Last year, it named murdered and imprisoned journalists, calling them "The Guardians".
What happened in Madrid?

At the COP25 Climate Conference in Madrid, Greta Thunberg accused world powers of making constant attempts to find loopholes to avoid making substantial changes.

"The real danger is when politicians and CEOs are making it look like real action is happening when, in fact, almost nothing is being done apart from clever accounting and creative PR," she said, drawing applause.
Media captionWhy does this cattle farmer moves his cows every day?

Summits on climate change seemed "to have turned into some kind of opportunity for countries to negotiate loopholes and to avoid raising their ambition", she added.

"In just three weeks we'll enter a new decade, a decade that will define our future," she said. "Right now, we're desperate for any sign of hope."
A speech grounded in research

This was meant to be a big moment in the talks, the elixir of the "Greta effect" bringing new energy to a flagging process. The teenager is almost certainly the most famous person here, attracting far more attention than other celebrities like Al Gore, and the UN badly needs a boost.

Her talk came over as measured, grounded in the latest research, and avoided the flash of hurt and anger she displayed in New York in September. Looking around the hall, it was striking how many of the national delegations had not turned up for this morning session at the conference.

A snub by the big fossil fuel economies? Or maybe they were too busy in the negotiations themselves?

In any event, the passion among the millions of young people who have taken to the streets to demand action on climate change feels very remote from the diplomatic struggles in these halls.
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☠️ Trump attacks Greta Thunberg on Twitter, GOP does nothing
« Reply #65 on: December 14, 2019, 01:21:41 AM »
Greta is definitely out-Trolling Trumpovetsky!  :icon_sunny:

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On Greta Thunberg: A Letter to my Non-Western Friends
« Reply #66 on: December 15, 2019, 08:12:58 PM »


youtube-Logo-2gc2reddit-logoOff the keyboard of Ugo Bardi



Video & Audio by RE



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Published on Cassandra's Legacy on December 12, 2019






Discuss thiss article at the Extinction Rebellion Table inside the Diner



 



On Greta Thunberg: A Letter to my Non-Western Friends





 



Dear non-Western friends,



first of all, let me tell you that I understand your perplexity about Greta Thunberg. I understand how you see this latest stunt of the Western Media of naming her "Person of the Year." From your viewpoint, it looks just like another trick of the West, one among many. And I understand that it makes you even more suspicious that the whole story of climate change is nothing but a hoax created by the Western Empire to maintain its grip on the whole planet.



Yes, I understand. But I would like to ask you to make an effort to understand us, the Westerners. You see, sometimes I have a feeling that one of the characteristics of Hell could be that the people who are in it don't realize that they are in Hell. It would be truly wicked, but it was a Western poet, Baudelaire, who said that the best trick of the devil is to convince you that he doesn't exist. So, if Hell is a place where you are told lies about everything, including that you are not in it, then we Westerners are truly living in Hell, at least a certain kind of hell.



It is not just lies, it is the kind of lies. The Western media have evolved into a machine for manufacturing fear and hatred. Anyone, any group, any belief, can be destroyed by this machine. And you cannot do much to fight back. If you doubt the official narration, you are a conspiracy theorist. If you plead for peace, you are Putin's stooge. If you protest against your government, you are a terrorist. If you deny the role of the West in leading the world, you are a traitor. And, on top of that, most Westerners are convinced that propaganda is a thing of the non-Western world and that their media are free and independent. Indeed, Baudelaire was right.



Of course, don't make me say that the non-Western world is a Paradise of truth. All nations, all states, all cultures, have their biases, their filters, their entrenched beliefs, and, in many cases, their propaganda machines. Every one of us, Westerners and non-Westerners, sees the world through the filters that our culture, our traditions, and our media place in front of us.  But you, non-Westerners, have a possibility that's denied to us, Westerners. You can use English to peer into the Western media without being embedded in it. And, as I said, I understand that often you don't like what you see.



And so, we are back to Greta Thunberg. Of course, I understand that this girl is not a "grassroots" phenomenon as some might want to believe. She is supported by a top-class team of media experts, she couldn't possibly fight the Western Media Behemot alone. And I understand that her message may be misunderstood, mongrelized, and exploited for yet another round of greenwashing. I know that.



But that's not the point. It is how the appearance of Ms. Thunberg has been both amazing and unexpected. If she is a product of propaganda, then it an unusual kind of propaganda. It would be the first time in many decades that our media are presenting to us a message that's not based on the idea of something or someone evil to be destroyed. This girl crashed through all the media barriers with just a simple message: the truth about climate change. She wasn't telling us to kill or hate anyone, she was just telling us to work together to ensure that her generation could have a future. And she carried the message with an inner force, a way of posing herself, a capability of saying things straight that was nearly unbelievable. It is amazing how she attracted upon herself all kinds of insults, abuse, and curses, but nothing really stuck on her. You remember Ronald Reagan's "Teflon presidency"? Well, this girl is not just Teflon coated: she wears a Mythril armor like the heroes of the trilogy of the ring.



I understand that it is possible that this girl will disappear from the mediasphere in a short time, as it happens for most ideas over the Web, nowadays. But she may turn out to be something more, maybe not the specific person of Greta Thunberg, but in the message she represents. A strong message telling humankind to respect the things that make humankind live: our planet and all the living beings in it.



Let me tell you of something I learned not long ago when I was in Iran. It was the time of the Arbaeen, the commemoration of the martyrdom of Imam Husayn ibn Ali, forty days after the Day of the Ashura. Someone told me (or maybe I read somewhere) that "Imam Husayn is a figure that we Shi'ites offer as a gift to the whole humankind as an example of virtue and of justice." And that struck me as something worth remembering. In all cultures, we have something or someone we revere as a treasure: a person, a poem, a work of art, a way of seeing the world. And these treasures, I think, we should share with the rest of humankind as gifts.



Now, of course, I don't have the authority to say what the entity we call "The West" should or should not do. For sure, we shared with the world plenty of poisoned gifts in the past. But this girl, Greta Thunberg, might be a true treasure, a gift we could offer to the rest of the world. For once, there would come from the West a message of peace and harmony. Could that really happen? Difficult to believe, sure, but it is a great hope.



 



 





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☠️ German railway claims Greta Thunberg lied about taking first class
« Reply #67 on: December 16, 2019, 06:53:29 PM »
Time for Corporate Greta Bashing!

So what if she took 1st Class?  ???   :icon_scratch:  It doesn't cost more in Energy Usage.

RE

https://nypost.com/2019/12/15/german-railway-claims-greta-thunberg-lied-about-taking-first-class/

German railway claims Greta Thunberg lied about taking first class

By Joe Tacopino

December 15, 2019 | 9:10pm | Updated
German railway claims Greta Thunberg lied about taking first class


More On:
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Greta Thunberg apologizes for 'against the wall' remark
Melania Trump has no problem with president taunting Greta Thunberg
The surprises so far in the 2020 Democratic race
Trump tells Time's Person of the Year Greta Thunberg to 'chill'

It’s just a bunch of hot air.

A German railway company has taken back an apology they made to Greta Thunberg after they realized the climate activist wasn’t schlepping it on the train’s floor but instead was treated “friendly” in first class.

The rail company was responding to an image Thunberg tweeted of herself sitting amid bags and suitcases on the floor of what she called “overcrowded trains through Germany.”

The company, Deutsche Bahn, initially released a statement that said they “continue working hard on getting more trains, connections and seats.”

They also thanked Thunberg for supporting the company’s battle against climate change and pointed out that the train she used had been running 100 percent on eco-friendly electricity.

But upon reflection, Deutsche Bahn said Thunberg’s “overcrowded” claims were just hot air.

The rail company claimed the teenager had a seat in first class between Kassel and Hamburg and that other members of her team were already sitting in first class from Frankfurt onwards.

“It would have been even nicer if you had also reported how friendly and competently our team served you at your seat in first class,” the company added.

Thunberg then claimed that jam-packed trains were actually great and having to sit on the floor wasn’t an issue.

“…this is no problem of course and I never said it was,” she tweeted. “Overcrowded trains is a great sign because it means the demand for train travel is high!”
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Does Greta know how much Carbon the Internet burns?  Does David?  ???   :icon_scratch:

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Re: ☠️ Extinction Rebellion: Climate protesters block roads
« Reply #69 on: December 30, 2019, 06:50:55 PM »
A Hallmark moment.
Under ideal conditions of temperature and pressure the organism will grow without limit.

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Police scramble to recall guide issued to teachers putting climate activists alongside far-right groups


An Extinction Rebellion protest at the Australian embassy in London on Friday.

Counter-terrorism police placed the non-violent group Extinction Rebellion (XR) on a list of extremist ideologies that should be reported to the authorities running the Prevent programme, which aims to catch those at risk of committing atrocities, the Guardian has learned.

The climate emergency campaign group was included in a 12-page guide produced by counter-terrorism police in the south-east titled Safeguarding young people and adults from ideological extremism, which is marked as “official”.

XR featured alongside threats to national security such as neo-Nazi terrorism and a pro-terrorist Islamist group. The guide, aimed at police officers, government organisations and teachers who by law have to report concerns about radicalisation, was dated last November.

It says that issues to look out for include people who speak in “strong or emotive terms about environmental issues like climate change, ecology, species extinction, fracking, airport expansion or pollution”.

In the guide, people are advised to listen and look out for young people who “neglect to attend school” or “participate in planned school walkouts” – an allusion to the school strikes for the climate, a global movement of which the activist Greta Thunberg is a lead proponent. Thousands of UK pupils, and millions worldwide, walked out of school last year in protest at government inaction on the climate crisis.

The document also flags young people taking part in non-violent direct action, such as sit-down protests, banner drops or “writing environmentally themed graffiti”.

The disclosure that XR has been listed alongside proscribed groups such as National Action and Al-Muhajiroun is likely to be deeply embarrassing for counter-terror chiefs. They have for years faced claims that Prevent can cross the line to stifle legitimate free speech, thought and dissent.



When the Guardian first asked police about the document, officials said they would review the guidance to clarify their position on Extinction Rebellion. But following further questions, counter-terrorism police confirmed it had been circulated to “statutory partners” and had now been recalled. They said they now accepted that the protest group was not extremist.

The guide, bearing the counter-terrorism policing logo, urges those in “regular, direct contact with young people or members of the public” to look out for various warning signs and consider a referral to Prevent if they believe someone is falling prey to “ideological extremism”.

Setting out its purpose, the guide says: “This document is designed to help you recognise when young people or adults may be vulnerable to extreme or violent ideologies.

“Identification of any one of the signs presented here, in isolation, may not be indicative of vulnerability or radicalisation. However, in combination or in circumstances where they do not ‘fit’, they may indicate an individual at risk. In such cases, consider whether the individual is vulnerable to extremism and should be referred to the UK government’s Prevent programme.”

The guide runs through various extremist ideologies, and contains a whole page on XR.

Explaining why it is considered a threat, it states: “Anti-establishment philosophy that seeks system change underlies its activism; the group attracts to its events school-age children and adults unlikely to be aware of this. While non-violent against persons, the campaign encourages other law-breaking activities.”

It adds: “While concern about climate change is not in itself extreme, activists may encourage vulnerable people to perform acts of violence, or commit such acts themselves.”

The Guardian understands that counter-terrorism officials at a national level believe including XR in the guide was a mistake and insist they do not view its ideology as extremist. They say any such advice was issued by Counter Terrorism Policing South East (CTPSE) in the south-east of England and not in any other part of the UK.

In its first statement, CTPSE said: “This document was produced at a local level to help our partners to spot the signs of vulnerability to radicalisation. By including Extinction Rebellion in this document, it gives the impression we consider them to be an extremist group, which they are not. We will review the guidance to make this clear.”

Later, after further inquiries from the Guardian, police said they would recall the document.

DCS Kath Barnes, head of CTPSE, said: “I would like to make it quite clear that we do not classify Extinction Rebellion as an extremist organisation. The inclusion of Extinction Rebellion in this document was an error of judgment and we will now be reviewing all of the contents as a result.

“It was produced by CTPSE to assist our statutory partners – including police forces and government organisations – in identifying people who may be vulnerable as a result of their links to some organisations.

“The document was designed for a very specific audience who understand the complexities of the safeguarding environment we work within and who have statutory duties under Prevent. We are in the process of confirming who it has been shared with and recalling it.

“We as Counter Terrorism Policing, along with our partners, have a responsibility to protect vulnerable people. Officers are trained to spot those who may be vulnerable, and the membership of an organisation that supports environmental or animal welfare issues alone would not be a trigger.”

Extinction Rebellion is a global environmental movement with the stated aim of using nonviolent civil disobedience “in an attempt to halt mass extinction and minimise the risk of social collapse”. The group has won the backing of a range of MPs and celebrities.

A spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion said: “How dare they? Children up and down the country are desperately fighting for a future. Teachers, grandparents, nurses have been trying their best with loving nonviolence to get politicians and big business to do something about the dire state of our planet. And this is how the establishment responds.

“In a world of misinformation, where lies travel faster than the truth, we can’t help but wonder was this a deliberate attempt to silence a legitimate cause. Wouldn’t it be nice if they focused on the real extremists, the fossil fuel companies and those that do their bidding?”

In an online response to what the group called the “terrorism slur”, it also included objections from former police officers. Paul Stephens, a former detective sergeant with the Metropolitan police, said: “When are the police going to wake up? The climate and ecological emergency is the most serious threat to public safety in history and the longer this government fails to address it and continues to invest in fossil fuels, the greater the problem will be for the police. Who hasn’t criticised our system of government in recent years? Are we all extremists?”

The document from the CTPSE lists among ideologies to look out for that of the extreme right National Action, warning that followers idolise Adolf Hitler; and Al-Muhajiroun, which pledged allegiance to Islamic State and whose followers have carried out murders on Britain’s streets.

Those behind Prevent argue it is an important part of the fight against violent extremism, some say the most important, seeking to identify and divert people before they carry out violent attacks. In its early years it focussed mainly on Muslims and faced claims of impinging on freedom of speech and thought.

It has recently been beset by problems. The government set up a review of Prevent hoping it would help restore confidence but its chair, Lord Carlile, stepped down amid claims of bias and a replacement is yet to be appointed.

Some senior policing figures believe Prevent needs to be more community focussed. In August Neil Basu, the head of counter-terrorism, accepted mistakes had been made with Prevent as he stressed its continued importance: “It started off as a safeguarding, vulnerability programme. It was, in my view, badly handled

.”

In September, the Guardian revealed a retired doctor who joined XR and took part in non-violent environmental protests was reported to Prevent by his NHS trust.

Police say XR’s protests have cost tens of millions of pounds, diverted officers from crime fighting and caused disruption to the public. The group recently won a case against the police in the courts when a ban on protests in London was ruled unlawful.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/jan/10/xr-extinction-rebellion-listed-extremist-ideology-police-prevent-scheme-guidance?
Mark Twain — 'There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.'

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The group want to see an end to London Fashion Week, claiming the fashion industry is a major climate change contributor.

Climate activist group Extinction Rebellion caused anger in central London on Saturday after it blocked busy roads for its fashion week protests.

Dozens of protesters blocked the Strand in Westminster to demand the cancellation of London Fashion Week, which is being held nearby.

Queues of cars, vans and lorries were prevented from driving down the busy road, and could be heard beeping their horns and swearing at the protesters.

The protesters backed down after 20 minutes to allow waiting traffic through, but the group then moved further down the road, blocking two lanes.

A motorbike was seen mounting the pavement to get past the group at one point, while a taxi driver could be heard telling activists to "just f****** move".

The move is part of a new wave of disruption by Extinction Rebellion, which is calling for an end to the world-famous London Fashion Week. It claims the fashion industry is a major contributor to climate change.

Earlier in the week, members of the group delivered a letter to the British Fashion Council (BFC), calling on it to cancel the next fashion week which is due to be held in September.

It has warned the BFC that if it does not cancel September's event, then it will "build pressure" and "escalate" its actions.

The BFC have been contacted for comment.

Angela Duncan, spokeswoman for campaign group Animal Rebellion, says that clothing companies have a responsibility to protect the environment.

She told campaigners: "London Fashion Week is a perfect place to showcase these new changes we could have for our world.

"We should be excited about being creative and innovative with our clothes, not just in style but in the production of the clothing.

"This is the place to lead by example and change the way we understand fashion. Isn't that in itself a dream for artists?"

Meanwhile, protesters also gathered at London Gatwick Airport in Crawley on Saturday morning, to raise awareness about the impact of aircraft pollution.

The small group gathered in the arrivals hall at the south terminal at 9.30am and welcomed travellers with Extinction Rebellion banners, shirts and badges, alongside a man in a tiger costume.

Dan Burke, 16, said that it is important to act now to prevent the crisis getting worse.

He said: "We are already in climate crisis.

"We need to act now and, as we have seen in history, one of the best ways to bring forward actual legislation is to be in non-violent disobedience."

The peaceful activists were watched by security staff, who were seen chatting with some of the campaigners.

https://news.sky.com/story/extinction-rebellion-block-traffic-on-the-strand-for-london-fashion-week-protests-11934586
Mark Twain — 'There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.'

 

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