Extinction Rebellion protesters blocked major roads and chanted slogans across the world today in the beginning of a series of demonstrations to demand new climate policies.
Australia and New Zealandhours ahead of Europe, kick-started the protests on Monday, with Sydney’s downtown rush-hour targeted by activists, while in Wellington protesters chained themselves to a pink car at a main junction.
Founded in Britain last year, the movement, also known as XR, declared the beginning of demonstrations in 60 cities across the world on Monday.
BERLIN, GERMANY: Activists of global environment movement Extinction Rebellion (XR) block the traffic junction ‘Grosser Stern’ around the victory column in Berlin, Germany on Monday morning
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA: Hundreds of protesters flock to Russell Street as they lock-down the city centre on Monday
WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND: Protsters rally inside a branch of the ANZ bank in the city – many of the demonstrators hold anti-capitalist views
AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS: Protesters chant and shout slogans as they block a bridge to mark the beginning of the Extinction Rebellion protests
Around 1,000 people blocked the Grosser Stern, a traffic circle in the middle of the German capital’s Tiergarten park dominated by the landmark Victory Column, in a protest that started in the early hours.
They also camped outside Merkel’s office, reflecting dissatisfaction with a climate policy package drawn up last month by her government.
In Amsterdam, hundreds of demonstrators blocked a major road outside the Rijksmuseum, one of the city’s most popular tourist draws, and set up tents.
Where are Extinction Rebellion protesting on Monday?
XR advertises contact details for delegates in these cities for Monday’s protests, but they claim there will be at least 60 cities taking part in total:
Adelaide, Amsterdam, Athens, Banjul, Berlin, Bogotá, Bratislava, Brisbane, Budapest, Buenos Aires, Cairns, Canberra, Cape Town, Chicago, Dublin, Hobart, Hong Kong, India (various cities), Islamabad, Istanbul, Madrid, Melbourne, Mexico City, New York, Paris, Perth, Prague, Quebec, Rio de Janeiro, Rome, Sydney, Tokyo, Toronto, Vienna, Wellington
The demonstration went ahead despite the city banning activists from gathering on the road. The protesters ignored police calls for them to move to a nearby square.
Protester Elle van Zeeland told Dutch broadcaster NOS that the group is ‘staying here until the government meets its obligations.’
Dublin’s first disruption was marked by a coffin adorned with the earth carried from Heuston Station in a funeral march to the government buildings.
In Madrid, they blocked roads and staged a sit-in on a flyover which provides major traffic to the Spanish capital during rush hour.
The National Police in Madrid said 33 activists have been taken to their premises and three have been arrested for resisting orders by anti-riot officers.
A few hundred other protesters have camped out in 40 tents at the gates of the Spanish Ministry of Ecological Transition in the city centre.
In Berlin, Merkel’s chief of staff, Helge Braun, criticised the group’s tactics
‘We all share an interest in climate protection, and the Paris climate targets are our standard in this,’ he told ZDF television. ‘If you demonstrate against or for that, that is ok, but if you announce dangerous interventions in road traffic or things like this, of course that is just not on.’
MADRID, SPAIN: A demonstrator holds a banner reading ‘We are Nature defending itself’ as some 300 activists block the traffic in a flyover in downtown
VIENNA, AUSTRIA: Demonstrators set up behind a banner reading ‘For the Future’ as they block a road in the museum district
A protester in a sleeping bag blocks a road around the Victory Column (Siegessaeule) to mark the beginning of the Extinction Rebellion protests in Berlin
Protesters chant and shout slogans as they block a bridge to mark the beginning of the Extinction Rebellion protests in Amsterdam
Extinction Rebellion protesters in Brisbane holding banners decrying animal farming and fishing
He dismissed the idea of declaring a ‘climate emergency,’ saying that the constitution doesn’t provide for such a thing and it doesn’t translate into ‘concrete action.’
Ahead on Monday’s action, hundreds barricaded themselves inside a Paris shopping centre for hours over the weekend, unfurling banners with slogans such as ‘Burn capitalism, not petrol’ above restaurants and fashion boutiques.
In Delhi, one of the world’s most polluted cities, dozens of protesters staged another preliminary event on Sunday by holding a ‘die-in’ on a road in the heart of India’s capital.
Holding up hands covered in red paint and signs such as ‘There is no planet B’, they called on the Indian government to act to tackle climate change.
A climate activist attends an Extinction Rebellion protest in Berlin on Monday as Angela Merkel’s spokesman criticised their tactics
Protesters block the roads around the Victory Column (Siegessaeule) to mark the beginning of the Extinction Rebellion protests in Berlin
Protesters surrounded the busy tourist district in Amsterdam on Monday
Police vans arrived on the scene in Amsterdam as hundreds marched in the city centre today
On its website, XR say: ‘To governments of the world, we declared a Climate and Ecological Emergency. You did not do enough.
‘To everybody else, rebel.
’10am, October 7th, 60 cities worldwide. See you on the streets.’
Campaigners want governments to declare a climate and ecological emergency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2025, halt biodiversity loss and be led by new ‘citizens’ assemblies’ on climate and ecological justice.