After a long Corona-related break, Extinction Rebellion announced activities in Berlin again. The week after next, its members intend to take control of an undisclosed location in the city.
Triptis/Thuringia, August 7th, 2021 (The Berlin Spectator) — Extinction Rebellion (ER) is getting ready to disrupt traffic in Berlin again, in order to attract attention. For the week which starts on August 16th, the radical environmentalist organization announced a “RiseUp” which is supposed to include “civil disobedience”. A statement said “all citizens” were invited to join.
On August 14th and 15th, ER intends to stage a “Climate Festival” at Marx-Engels-Forum in the eastern city center of Berlin. A “bombshell” is supposed to be dropped on Monday, August 16th. “Spectacular activities” were announced. Extinction Rebellion did not volunteer detailed information about the nature of those disruptions, but the group did come up with a justification: The “pressure” on “this federal government and the next one” is supposed to be increased. On September 26th, elections for the Berlin Bundestag will take place.
A “big, colorful rally” was announced as well. “The government is failing!”, Eileen Krausse of Parents for Future, an affiliate organization, stated. “That is why society has to take a stand against the climate catastrophe and the extinction of species”. For ER itself, Nora Schareika said none of the parties represented at the Berlin Bundestag met the necessary requirements “to combat global warming and the collapse of eco systems effectively”. A “democracy update” was necessary. ER wants to establish a “citizen’s council” the members of which are supposed to decide about the climate policy.
Chained to Bridges
Before Corona hit, in 2019, ER had disrupted traffic in Berlin more than once, by blocking major intersections, including the one at Potsdamer Platz, one of the most famous squares in Berlin, and the one at the Victory Column. Members also chained themselves to bridges. Police officers had to use buzz saws to free them and reopen those bridges for traffic.
Critics accuse Extinction Rebellion of being a radical left-wing group which uses global warming for a revolution. Indeed, a “system change for social justice and climate justice” is ER’s official goal. In “onboarding” meetings, members usually say the organization rejected any kind of violence. “Peaceful disobedience” is the strategy.
In a video ER uploaded it says 1.4 million people had been part of its protests in September of 2019. “We are many, and still our future is being treated with contempt. Politicians ignore us while the droughts in the world get worse.” It was “time to break the rules, with love and determination”, it says.
Another e-mail Extinction Rebellion sent out revealed more details about the upcoming “RiseUp” in Berlin: “We want different policies and immediate action”, the message reads. “The turnaround has to happen right now. We will flock into the city center, in order to set up ‘peaceful barricades’ and to occupy locations for days, until things happen.” This sounded like Berlin could experience a difficult week after August 15th.
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