Extinction Rebellion protestors are being accused of taking the police away from battling violent crime, according to Met Commissioner Cressida Dick.
Writing for the Evening Standard, she says her force’s attention has been drawn away from ‘priorities that matter to you most’.
The commissioner of the Metropolitan police has said her force is being “stretched” by the continued protests.
Sky News reported that the end of a week of demonstrations “has seen more than 1,100 arrests”. It’s claimed rather than investigating crimes such as the rising rate of stabbings in London, officers have been called to deal with events such as a protestor’s decision to climb up the outside of an aircraft at London City Airport
Extinction Rebellion was established in the U.K in May 2018. By November 2018 five bridges across the River Thames in London were blockaded. According to their website rebellion.earth their demands include:
- For the government to tell the truth by declaring a climate and ecological emergency,
- For the government to act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025,
- For the government to create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice
Since their uprising, the group have:
- Occupied the road in front of Houses of Parliament,
- Glued themselves to the gates of Downing Street,
- Closed all access to Trafalger Square,
- Sprayed the Treasury in Westminster with fake blood,
- Undressed and glued themselves to the glass in the House of Commons viewing gallery
- And most recently, “Extinction Rebellion protesters dragged from Tube train’ according to the BBC New
The protests have had an impact on those living and working around them. East London University, which is directly opposite London City Airport has had to have extra security measures. But engineering student Fatimah Baker says she still respects the protestors:
“Well as a student I’m around people who are passionate about what they’re working towards. So, I can only respect that those who were protesting had a cause they viewed as relevant. With that being said, the protesting did have somewhat of a negative impact on my university routine. We had police guarding the premises along with curfew timings preventing us from moving about freely.”
However students at another university, London South Bank, feel knife crime should be more of a priority. One told Journalism.London,
“I think people getting stabbed is more important because people’s lives are at risk. And lives are not at risk in the Extinction Rebellion, they may be arrested but not killed.”
Another said, “I think that the main authority of the police at the moment should be the crime that’s going around in London. I think that’s a huge public safety issue.”
A third explained “The police have wasted so much time on Extinction Rebellion.”
So, some people would argue (attribution, we can’t have an opinion) the extinction rebellion’s movement may have been causing more harm than good, irrespective of their intentions.
The ‘peaceful’ protestors, according to some students, are causing more disruption than peace.