Extinction Rebellion activists are ‘ordinary people’? I think not

Extinction Rebellion activists are ‘ordinary people’? I think not, by The Mocker.

An open letter to journalist, writer, and climate activist Chloe Adams, whose article “I’m an Extinction Rebellion protester and I’ll be disrupting your work commute. Here’s why” was published by ABC on Tuesday. …

You say XR (what an edgy abbreviation) is composed of “ordinary” people, something you repeatedly stress in this piece. I assume you mean those adults who glue themselves to the road, chain themselves to rail tracks, buzz about in giant bee costumes, ponce about in public, do a nude parade, sob hysterically, or dress up like they’ve just been transported from JRR Tolkien’s Middle-earth. When I saw those flamboyant “Red Rebels”, which I mistook for an Oxford Street version of Emperor Palpatine’s Imperial Guards, I thought “Wow, these are ordinary people like me.”

For example, in your article there is an accompanying photo of activists with the banner “Socialist Rebellion — Burn Borders Not Coal”. One of XR’s demands is that Australia “Dismantle colonial systems of oppression: decolonise and replace oppressive government structures with systems of self-management & true participatory democracy.”

Stuart Basden, one of XR’s co-founders, freely admits that “XR isn’t about the climate”. He denounces concepts such as “heteronormativity”, “class hierarchy” and “patriarchy”. He also calls for white people to pay reparations to black Americans descended from slaves. “It’s a call to the XR community to never say we’re a climate movement,” he writes. “Because we’re not. We’re a Rebellion.

Or this from Gail Bradbrook, another of XR’s co-founders: “For me this is part of reweaving the human family back together again, it’s part of dealing with systemic racism, white supremacy and the wounds of patriarchy that want to separate us, make us feel powerless …” It sounds like XR is more concerned with my rehabilitation than it is the earth’s.

And yet you wear a “Tell the Truth” badge and maintain “it is this ordinariness that is perhaps the most compelling aspect of Extinction Rebellion.” This movement is about as ordinary and mainstream as a verdant Vladimir Ilyich Lenin.