Extinction Rebellion Climate Activists: Eight Facts You Need to Know

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Extinction Rebellion (XR) is a group that have received quite a lot of news coverage over the last couple of years. I have done quite a lot of research on the group in order to really understand who they are and what they want. That resulted in this article.

This is eight facts you really want to know about Extinction Rebellion (also called “XR”).

Eight (fun) facts about XR

1. They operate globally.

2. Some of their demonstrations are quite radical and annoying (you can read some examples later in the article).

3. Boris Johnson doesn`t really like them. To be fair: who does he like?

4. They are quite interesting to follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

5. Some people claim that groups like Extinction Rebellion do more harm than good.

6. The group shut down the whole transportation system in London in April 2019.

7. Extinction Rebellion have created an official list of demands to the world-leading politicians. This might be why Boris isn`t a big fan..?

8. Several thousands of their members have been arrested.

Want to read more about them? If you are still curious, I would really recommend that – there is a lot of useful information that can be found below. 🙂

1. They are global.?

XR was founded in the UK in early 2018. However, it didnt take long until the organization spread to other parts of the world.

On their website, they are actively organizing simultaneous demonstrations across more than 20 countries. However, their biggest “market” is definitely in Europe. Recent demonstrations have been held in UK, Denmark, New York, and Spain.

2. They are not afraid to go far

Extinction Rebellion is, by far, the most radical environment group on the planet. Greenpeace have been famous for their many bold attempts to stop “crime against nature”. But they are nothing compared to Extinction Rebellion.

Stopping cars in the middle of the road and destroy slaughter houses are only two of many things they have done in the past.

Some people ask themselves: how far are they really willing to go? Are they dangerous?

Examples of XR demonstrations outside the UK:

Extinction Rebellion International Activist Demonstrations

Group of Extinction Rebellion activists blocked the entrance to the biggest subway station in Berlin. They sang songs, played drums and stopped people from getting on and off the subway in the German capital.Berlin, Germany.Youtube.
20-25 activists from XR blocked the entrance of a McDonald's restaurant. According to the newspaper (only written in Danish), the activists were met by a large group of angry people that wanted to buy hamburgers. One guy was aggressively jumping into the crowd of XR members, threatening to quote "smash your head, you f... hippies".Copenhagen, Denmark.Ekstrabladet (only in Danish)
Pouring fake blood over the famous "capital bull" in New York City.

As you can read later in the article, Extinction Rebellion is not only a group that want politicians to act on environment. They have also taken a clear stand against corruption and capitalism.
New York City, United States of America.The Guardian

What is NVDA?

You have probably not heard of it before, but they are using something called NVDA. What that stands for is “Non-Violent Direct Action“. It literally means that they are never going to hurt any people (nor animals), but that they will use “all” other tools in order to push their agenda.


3. Criticized by the British Prime Minister

This radical type of behaviour was exactly what the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson criticized in a speech 8th October 2019. He simply had enough of them. In a speech in front of the parlament, Mister Johnson used words like “uncooperative crusties” and “heaving hemp-smelling bivouacs”.

You can read about this incident on my favorite newspaper The Guardian. The link will guide you directly to the relevant article.

PS! Many people claim that Boris Johnson and Donald Trump are quite similar on several political topics. If you want to know more about what the American president think about climate change, feel free to read this article. It is quite interesting, but at the same time quite sad…

PS2! Exctinction Rebellion do not only care about the environment. They are also quite eager to fight high-level corruption, which is illustrated by this picture taken on one of their demonstrations in UK:

Exctinction Rebellion march
“March against corruption”. Photo: Extinction Rebellion/Pexels.

4. Active social media profiles

For some reason, I love to have a look at everything they post online. You can`t really have a successful environmental activist organization without a great presence online these days. And Extinction Rebellion do know that.

Feel free to have a look at their social media profiles:

Facebook ( https://www.facebook.com/ExtinctionRebellion/ )
Twitter ( https://twitter.com/ExtinctionR )
Instagram ( https://www.instagram.com/extinctionrebellion/?hl=en )

5. “Do these guys really just help people to criticize the big eco-friendly movement?

Many people find this group counter-effective. Most of these people think that XR are simply going too far. You can clearly see other environmentalists go:

“Yeah, it`s great that they love nature and all that, but you should not stop people from entering the bus on their way to work! Idiots!”

You can find such comments all over their social media pages. I would say that the comments are:

– 50 % that support XR.
– 30 % that like what they do, but hate their demonstration methods.
– 20 % hate comments. Some of these are quite harsh.

6. Exctinction Rebellion shut down London city center on 17th April 2019

I have previously written an article called “five times climate activists went waaaay too far” . One of the points referred to what happened in London on 17th April 2019. Several of their members glued themselves to train, stopped cars and buses and created a mayhem in London city center.

One of the things that people questioned was their eager to harm the public transportation system. After all, taking the bus is quite an eco-friendly way of commuting to work…

My favorite newspaper, The Guardian, (Didn’t I mention that previously..?) made a quick 2 minutes summary of the whole demonstration that they eventually uploaded on Youtube:

7. What do they really want?

It`s quite obvious that they want political action on climate change. However, their demonstration methods can easily be described as radical and somewhat annoying?

If you were to divide environmental activists/organizations into a list of how much of a mess they create, I guess it would look something like this:

1. Greta Thunberg and the other students joining the #climatestrike.
2. WWF.
3. Greenpeace.
4. No one.
5. No one.
6. No one.
7. Extinction Rebellion.

Based on what has been in focus throughout their demonstrations, you can start to put together a list of things they want to happen. Some of them are*:

– They want all public transportation to be free.

– Global oil production must immideately stop and be replaced by renewable energy.

– People must stop eating meat. One of their posters had “MORE MEAT = MORE HEAT” written all over it (referring to the fact that livestock is heavily connected with high CO2 emissions and therefore also global warming).

*= If you are a group member of Extinction Rebellion and feel that I am not right by writing this list, please let me know in the comment section. However, these are all things that have been highlighted through your demonstrations.

Official demands from Extinction Rebellion UK

According to this article from The Guardian, the UK office got three demands:

1) Don`t hide the truth.
2) Net zero emissions by 2025 in the UK.
3) The government must create a citizens’ assembly to hear evidence and devise policy to tackle the climate crisis.

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/oct/08/what-are-extinction-rebellion-key-demands-climate-emergency

8. How many people have been arrested in various Exctinction Rebellion demonstrations?

Loads. There are no official numbers, but there have been made arrests in almost all of their demonstrations.

In almost every newspaper covering the big demonstrations in UK, they mentioned that “several hundred arrests have been made“.

5 thoughts on “Extinction Rebellion Climate Activists: Eight Facts You Need to Know”

  1. Avatar

    Extinction Rebellion are absolute crooks.

    People who struggled in their childhood that feel they need to punish someone later in their life. Sad.

    One thing is that they’re annoying creatures. Another thing is that they want to brand themselves as “left-winged”. I’ve been a semi-famous left-winged politician in Germany for many years and can already say this: no serious politician will ever support people who act so childish.

    1. Avatar

      Hi Dietr. I tend to agree with you.

      As far as I know (after researching on Google), no political parties in Europe have ever wanted to be affiliated with Extinction Rebellion. So I guess you are right. 🙂

  2. Avatar

    The list of crazy stuff Extinction Rebellion members do just keep growing. It tells a lot about them.

    They are NOTHING better than ANTIFA people. Claiming that they want the better for the world (less global warming for XR) and for ANTIFA (less racism). However, all they do is to make people more annoyed because they act like childish 8 year old people.

    When the society isnt EXACTLY going as they want, they start to cry and destroy the environment around them.

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