EXTINCTION REBELLION, also known as XR, is a movement led by climate change activists which began in Britain last year and now has members in 56 countries worldwide.
There protesters use ‘non-violent direct actions and peaceful civil disobedience to disrupt business-as-usual in order to compel governments to act now to save a livable climate’,
This morning they achieved just that in Times Square, a total disruption to early morning commuters. So much so, that though it was a non-violent protest, NYPD arrested over 60 activists.
The demonstrators associated with the environmental pressure group parked a lime green sailboat on Broadway and West 44th Street at around 10:00am, in a stunt to symbolize Earth’s rising sea levels.
Dozens of protesters then surrounded the vessel, glued their hands to the exterior and sat down on the ground in the heart of Times Square, blocking cars from being able to pass.
Officers from the NYPD surrounded the activists, insisting they move. However, the activists refused and responded by chanting repeatedly ‘This is a climate emergency’
The chaos grew as streets were closed on Seventh Avenue from 42nd-47th Streets at 10:30 am, along with 43rd, 44th and 45th Street between Sixth and Eighth Avenues.
Reports say authorities had to use a chemical to free the activist’s hands from the side of the boat.
By mid-day, many of the protesters had been removed and the boat was towed away by police.
The protests are part of a two-week peaceful civil disobedience campaign calling on governments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025 and halt a loss of biodiversity.
The group Extinction Rebellion has urged demonstrators to take action in 60 different cities worldwide such as London, Paris and Berlin this week.
A statement from the group reads: ‘Numerous actions will take place during the week of October 7th, focusing on institutions whose decisions greatly impact the climate crisis. Among the themes of these actions will be finance, media, education and culture,’
Earlier this week, hundreds of environmental activists with the group descended on New York City ‘s Financial District to protest against climate change.
This earlier protest which took place last Monday ended in twenty-six arrests after protesters poured fake blood on the famous Charging Bull statue near Wall Street.
One woman was arrested for reckless endangerment after she climbed on top of the bull waving a green Extinction Rebellion flag.
Other protesters staged a ‘die-in’ by covering themselves with the fake blood and lying in the street.
Justin Becker, who helped organize the NYC protests, said they chose to demonstrate in the Financial District because the fossil fuel industry is directly connected to the financial interests of Wall Street.
‘The blood of the world is here,’ Becker told the Associated Press.
A description on the group’s website warns: ‘The collapse of climate and ecosystems is accelerating. We are nearly out of time.
‘Decades of protests, petitions and donations to environmental groups have done nothing to slow catastrophic change. Food and water shortages, resource wars, economic breakdown, and millions of new climate refugees are on the horizon.
‘Human survival itself is at risk as temperatures continue to rise.’