Who are Extinction Rebellion — the ‘eco-activists’ grounding planes & shutting down cities

CAP

Calling for civil disobedience in the face of climate change, Extinction Rebellion protesters have been remarkably successful in thrusting themselves into the headlines. But what is the movement all about? And who’s behind it?

Best known for shutting down the streets of London in April, Extinction Rebellion upped its game on Thursday, with a protester affiliated with the group grounding an Aer Lingus flight from London City Airport to Dublin. Another protester – Paralympian James Brown – clambered onto the roof of a British Airways plane and refused to budge, prompting police to eventually remove him.

The disruptions came as Extinction Rebellion threatened a “Hong Kong-style” occupation and shutdown of the airport, and as similar protests hit more than 60 cities worldwide.

“Ultimately, it is part of Extinction Rebellion’s aim to get people arrested,” read a flyer circulated by activists in Dublin. To that end, the group has been successful. More than 1,000 activists have been arrested in London alone this week, including 50 at London City Airport.

CAP

What do they want?

The group’s demands are threefold. First, they call on governments to “tell the truth by declaring a climate and ecological emergency,” a similar demand to that made by Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York last month. A seemingly benign demand, but one that paints opponents as ‘anti-truth’.

Secondly, they demand that “government must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.”  Finally, the group demands that government partner up with activists, and “create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice.” 

While a ‘Citizens’ Assembly’ would draw on a cross-section of society, it would be government-created and guided by a collection of NGOs and academics, as was the case in Ireland when the government convened such an assembly to pave the way for referenda on gay marriage and abortion in recent years. Extinction Rebellion make no mention on whether NGOs with opposing views will be included in the deliberation.

CAP

At XR’s rallies, protesters have called for any number of ways of meeting these goals and more, including government bans on meat and private cars, abolishment of the airplane, boycotts of the fashion industry, and disbandment of the military. Disrupting commerce is fair game for making their points, as is disrupting vital services. As a cancer patient in London was forced to walk to hospital treatment due to XR’s roadblocks, spokesperson Savannah Lovelock told Sky News that while she was “really sorry,” such action is necessary for the good of the planet.

An appeal to authority

Central to all of the group’s demands is a radical expansion of state power. Reducing greenhouse gases to net zero – if a state-led effort – would give government the power to restrict or outright deny its citizens freedom of travel, freedom to choose their own diets, and freedom to build their homes however they want. In the US, drafttext of ‘Green New Deal’ legislation gives a sneak-peek at just how all-encompassing this would be, working wealth redistribution and reparations for “historic oppression” into the mix for good measure.

A potent illustration of the group’s appeal to authority came last November, when XR co-founder Gail Bradbrook marched on Buckingham Palace and read aloud a message to Queen Elizabeth “with great humility,” calling on the monarch to save the planet by royal decree.

“It isn’t enough to live a life of voluntary simplicity,” academic and XR campaigner Rupert Read wrote at the time. The implied meaning is clear: people will have to be coerced into complying.

Who’s behind it all?

Here’s where things get interesting. Exploding onto the scene with a recognizable logo, coherent imagery across multiple continents, a dominant social media presence and a slick website, the leaders of Extinction Rebellion are no rabble of bong-smoking malcontents.

CAP

Especially not Dr. Gail Bradbrook. The co-founder of the movement told the BBC that she came up with the idea after praying in a deep way” while under the influence of “psychedelic medicines” on a retreat last year.

In truth, Bradbrook has made a career out of activism, and has for two decades worked as a professional campaigner. Speaking at a talk in 2016, she admitted that this role is “mostly about securing your own paycheck.” As director of Citizens Online – a charity campaigning for “digital inclusion,” Bradbrook has worked with BT to lobby the British government.

Joining Bradshaw are former organic farmer Roger Hallam, and also involved are Occupy London veteran Tasmin Osmond – a granddaughter of British nobility – and ex-UN worker Laura Reeves.

Behind the movement is a bulwark of elite cash. Heiress Aileen Getty has kicked in nearly £500,000 of her family’s oil wealth to the group via the Climate Emergency Fund, claiming that “disruption” is necessary to take on climate change. According to its own data, Extinction Rebellion has raised just short of a million pounds in large donations since March, from groups like the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, set up by a hedge fund manager and run by a former vice-chairman of billionaire financier George SorosOpen Society Institute.

What has the group achieved?

CAP

Aside from annoying motorists and boosting superglue sales, Extinction Rebellion has achieved some of its aims. Eleven countries and dependencies, beginning with Britain and Ireland, have declared a state of “climate emergency,” even if Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar did say afterwards that the declaration was a “symbolic gesture.”

What Extinction Rebellion has also been successful in is pandering to the wishes of global financiers and the new captains of green industry. The group’s call for “net zero” carbon emissions is echoed by the World Bank, and a host of investment firms, including HSBC, JP Morgan Chase and Citi, that see “profits to be had” in “climate-related sectors.”

None of this is a bad thing on the surface, except that these groups – which have banded together to form the Climate Finance Partnership and Blended Finance Action Taskforce – want access to taxpayer money and pension funds to do this. This Western money, according to the groups, will be funnelled into projects in Africa, Asia, and South America.

Rarely do the demands of activists and the will of international finance line up, but not everyone is happy. In London, Police Commissioner Nick Ephgrave has warned that the current protests will hamper officers’ ability to tackle “street-based violence,” and leave the city more vulnerable to terrorism.

Street blockages and airport disruptions may put Extinction Rebellion at odds with the majority of the population, but majority support is unnecessary. XR co-founder Roger Hallam has repeatedly referenced Gene Sharp as an inspiration. An American political scientist, Sharp’s theory of nonviolent action – that only 3.5 percent of a population need to back a protest movement before it reaches critical mass and triggers change – has been adopted and put into practice by ‘color revolutionaries’ around the world, from US-sponsored student protesters in Serbia at the turn of the century, to Arab Spring revolutionaries more recently.

Celebrities have lined up to endorse Extinction Rebellion – from gloom-rockers Radiohead chipping in £300,000 to Benedict Cumberbatch joining protesters camped in Trafalgar Square. With elite cash and backing, as well as round the clock media coverage, Extinction Rebellion is well on its way to Sharp’s tipping point, and has well and truly glued itself to the public consciousness already.

Finland college attack that killed 1 and injured 10: What we know so far

CAP

The Finnish city of Kuopio was gripped by violence on Tuesday after an attacker went on a stabbing spree targeting students temporarily based at a local shopping mall. Here is what is known about the incident so far.

Location: temporary college premises

The violence erupted in the Herman shopping mall in the southern part of the city. Some of its space was temporary rented by the Savo Vocational College while its campus is under renovation. The mall gave rooms to around 600 students and 50 employees of the college.

1 killed, 10 injured

Kuopio police found one dead body when searching the mall after responding to the emergency. Eight apparent victims of the attacker were also found and sent to local hospitals.

The suspected perpetrator was injured after police used firearms to apprehend the assailant. An officer recieved a minor injury as well. Two people were reported to be in critical condition.

CAP

Suspect was student, Finnish national with no criminal record

The police identified the suspect as a student of the college, born in 1994, with no criminal record. He is a Finnish citizen. The police are yet to determine what motivated him to attack fellow students.

Sword attack and fire

The man used a long-bladed weapon to cut his victims, police said, confirming accounts of witnesses, who said a sword was involved. He also had a firearm on him, the police said, but it’s not clear whether he used it or not. He may also be responsible for a small fire at the second floor of the mall, which was quickly extinguished.

Student launched deadly attack at Finnish vocational college using a sword – eyewitnesses

CAP

‘Shocking, completely unacceptable’

Finnish Prime Minister Antti Rinne responded to the violence in Kuopio on Twitter, saying it was “shocking and completely unacceptable,” while extending condolences to the victims.

CAP

Elijah Cummings Probes Trump Officials over Pence’s Stay in Ireland

(INSET: Vice President Mike Pence in Ireland) WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 07: House Oversight ant Reform Chairman Rep. Elijah Cummings speaks at the National Press Club August 7, 2019 in Washington, DC. Cummings addressed members of the organization during a luncheon and touched on a number of issues including ongoing …

SEAN MORAN

Breitbart News has exclusively obtained letters House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) sent to Donald Trump administration officials, as well as Trump Organization officials, regarding Vice President Mike Pence’s stay at a Trump hotel in Ireland.

Democrats quickly attacked Vice President Pence regarding his stay at Trump International Golf Links In Doonbeg, Ireland. Pence chief of staff Marc Short insisted that the VP’s office followed protocol and received State Department signoff on the trip. Short also said that Pence is personally covering the costs for his mother and his sister to stay at the Trump hotel. Pence’s office has insisted that President Trump did not “direct” the vice president to stay the Trump hotel in Ireland.

Breitbart News exclusively obtained letters that Chairman Cummings sent to White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, U.S. Secret Service Director James Murray, Vice President chief of staff Short, and Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselbergregarding Pence’s stay at the Trump hotel in Ireland.

Elijah Cummings Letter to Marc Short by Breitbart News on Scribd

Chairman Cummings said in the letters to the officials that the Democrat-led Oversight Committee “does not believe that U.S. taxpayer funds should be used to personally enrich President Trump, his family, and his companies.”

From these documents obtained by Breitbart News, Cummings wishes to know how much the trip cost the “American taxpayer–or benefited the Trump organization.” The Maryland congressman suggested that this trip might amount to a “conflict of interest” and “waste of taxpayer funds,” or even a violation of the Domestic Emoluments Clause of the Constitution.

Cummings cited that the Emoluments Clause stipulates that the president can receive a salary during his tenure in office but that “he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.”

Cummings demanded that the White House hand over documents with “itemized costs” for Pence’s trip, as well as the costs for President Trump’s June 2019 trip to Trump Doonbeg.

Chairman Cummings’ inquiry into Pence’s trip to Ireland has incensed those close to the White House.

One source close to the White House told Breitbart News, “First they attack the President. If they can’t get the President, they attack the people closest to him. This is nothing more than political harassment to people closest to the President. Will House Democrats ever pass meaningful legislation, or will these witch hunts just never end?” 

POLISH MP INVITES AOC FOR EDUCATIONAL VISIT TO ‘REAL’ CONCENTRATION CAMPS

“This is why when someone cheapens the history, or uses it for political point-scoring, we become agitated and upset.”

Raheem Kassam HumanEvents.com – JUNE 21, 2019

A Polish lawmaker and committee chairman on trans-Atlantic trade has invited Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to visit former concentration camps in his country in an effort to educate the freshman legislator.Polish MP Invites AOC For Educational Visit To 'Real' Concentration Camps

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez has recently been embroiled in a war of words with the political right, and indeed members of her own Democratic Party, after suggesting the Trump administration was running “concentration camps” in the United States (despite the Obama administration operating the same policy).

Dominik Tarczyński, a member of the Polish Sejm (parliament), wrote to Ocasio-Cortez on Wednesday.

In his communication, Tarczyński writes:

Screen Shot 2019-06-21 at 10.55.49 AM

The Congresswoman was reprimanded by the official Twitter account of Yad Vashem, the world Holocaust memorial center in Israel.

Read more here…

Impeccable record, good with email: Why shouldn’t Hillary Clinton give speech on cyber security?

CAP

She’s only just learnt that you can use separate emails for work and home, but Hillary Clinton is to deliver a keynote address at the Cyber Defense Summit. RT looks at the expertise offered by the ex-presidential candidate.

CAP

She might make grandma jokes about “wiping” her server with a cloth, but as RT’s Igor Zhdanov notes, there are few people in the world so adept at deleting information, that is potentially of state importance, off a server that even the FBI had no clue about.

And she would have managed to keep multi-million-dollar-earning Wall Street speeches a secret from the world, if it were not for the dastardly Wikileaks. So, there is a cautionary tale she can tell there.

And for the encore Clinton could explain how she cracked the Kremlin’s plan to meddle in the 2016 election and swing the result to Donald Trump, and then infiltrated the media to present her as a somewhat sore loser.

https://www.rt.com/usa/460978-clinton-cyber-security-email/

‘Create a new category’: Fury after transgender runner claims US women’s college title

Screen Shot 2019-06-03 at 10.48.03 AM

US transgender runner Cece Telferm, who previously competed against men, has become embroiled in controversy after winning the women’s 400m hurdles title – with many fans accusing the athlete of having an unfair advantage.

Franklin Pierce University senior Telfer took the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) women’s 400m hurdles title in dominant fashion at the end of May, setting a new personal best of 57.53 and finishing more than a second ahead of rival runners.

READ MORE:Transgender powerlifter stripped of world records after drug tester rules she is ‘actually male’

However, the victory was met with mixed reaction on social media, with many users insisting that Telferm should not have been allowed to compete against women.

“Cheat. It’s a shame that cheats are also given awards and celebrated,” one user wrote.

Screen Shot 2019-06-03 at 10.51.19 AM

A number of fans fumed that the result of the race was highly predictable, as a mediocre male runner is stronger than even the best female athletes.

“This is getting beyond ridiculous. Natural born female sport is now in absolute crisis and if this is permitted to continue unchecked, XX chromosome World and Olympic records will shortly be consigned to history. XX female athletes cannot beat CeCe, it’s simply not a fair fight!” one person wrote.

Screen Shot 2019-06-03 at 10.53.56 AM

Some users suggested that there should be a new division introduced for transgender athletes to ensure fair competition in sport.

“There needs to be men’s, women’s and ‘others’ categories then. It has to be a level playing field or it’s just not fair,” one commentator suggested.

Screen Shot 2019-06-03 at 10.55.52 AM

“I am so thinking this is not fairness or sporting. Create a new category,” another user added.

Screen Shot 2019-06-03 at 10.57.05 AM

“Sports need another category—men , women, and transgender. The women are competing with a biological male, in this case. In other words, more muscle just by nature’s biology,” one more comment reads.

Screen Shot 2019-06-03 at 10.58.07 AM

Should HBO’s ‘Chernobyl’ have had more actors of color? Twitter suggestion met with ridicule

Screen Shot 2019-06-03 at 10.24.59 AM

HBO’s hit new series based on the Chernobyl tragedy has divided opinion online, but the oddest reaction yet has come from a budding UK actor wondering why the show’s creators had not chosen more people of color for the cast.

While the docudrama has come under criticism for various historical inaccuracies, until now, the lack of racial diversity among the actors was not one of those criticisms — for the simple reason that 1980s Ukraine was not exactly a thriving hub of modern-day multiculturalism.

Screen Shot 2019-06-03 at 10.26.22 AM

That should have been no reason to leave black and brown actors out though, according to actress Karla Marie Sweet, who tweeted that there are “so many great actors of colour” in the UK who “would’ve been amazing” in the series. Sweet felt “disappointed” to see “yet another hit show with a massive cast” that “makes it looks like PoC don’t exist.”

Screen Shot 2019-06-03 at 10.27.15 AM

Just to clear up any confusion, the show “makes it look” like that to reflect the reality of the time and place — and the producers seem to have been at least trying to create an authentic vibe.

Needless to say, Sweet’s tweet didn’t exactly go down well on Twitter, where she was promptly told to “learn history.”

Screen Shot 2019-06-03 at 10.28.16 AM

“You didn’t see PoC because they’re not there!”

Screen Shot 2019-06-03 at 10.29.08 AM

One user said perhaps the actors were chosen for the same reason that Martin Luther King should probably not be played by a white person — because he was black.

Screen Shot 2019-06-03 at 10.30.08 AM

Another said he was taking a screenshot of the thread because “nobody will believe” something so stupid could have been posted.

Screen Shot 2019-06-03 at 10.31.00 AM

To be fair, Sweet did at least acknowledge the lack of people of color in the USSR in another tweet, but suggested that since the actors spoke with British accents (it was a British production), the creators should have just thrown accuracy completely out the window and hired a more diverse-looking cast. Emotions like fear, panic and sadness can be “communicated just as effectively” by people of color, she added, missing the point entirely.

‘Chernobyl’ is a blast of a TV series – but don’t call it ‘authentic’

Screen Shot 2019-06-03 at 10.32.15 AM

Having actors of another race would “break immersion” for the viewers, another user tried to explain — but ultimately, Sweet didn’t seem open to criticism, later tweeting about the reactions she had received from “racist Twitter.”

Screen Shot 2019-06-03 at 10.34.10 AM

So Woke: Disney, Netflix Threaten Georgia Boycott But Continue Work in Countries Where Abortion Is Illegal

Screen Shot 2019-05-31 at 2.01.15 PM

By Dr. Susan Berry

Film industry giants Disney and Netflix are threatening to boycott the state of Georgia over its new “heartbeat” abortion law, but have continued and even stepped up filming in countries in which abortion is entirely illegal or highly restricted.

Variety reported Monday Netflix intends to increase production in Egypt – where abortion is illegal – with Paranormal, directed by Amr Salama and based on the horror books by late Egyptian author Ahmed Khaled Tawfik.

“We are excited to continue our investment in Middle Eastern productions by adapting the highly acclaimed Paranormal novels into a thrilling new series,” said Kelly Luegenbiehl, Netflix vice president of international originals.

Variety reported Paranormal is the third Middle Eastern Netflix original series. It follows Jinn, a teen drama with supernatural themes that was filmed in Jordan, where abortion is illegal, except to save the life of the woman or if her health is threatened. Women as well as abortionists can be penalized for defying the law in Jordan.

Despite filming in these nations, however, on Tuesday Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer, told Variety the company has “many women working on productions in Georgia, whose rights … will be severely restricted” by the Georgia law that prohibits abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected.

Sarandos said Netflix would be working with the ACLU to fight the new law.

“Given the legislation has not yet been implemented, we’ll continue to film there, while also supporting partners and artists who choose not to,” he added. “Should it ever come into effect, we’d rethink our entire investment in Georgia.”

While Disney Chairman Bob Iger commented that it would not be “practical” for his company to continue to shoot in Georgia, given its new abortion law, the Washington Free Beacon reported that Disney filmed part of its 2019 film Aladdin in Jordan as well.

The Free Beacon also noted that Disney owns the Star Wars franchise. In 2015, the company distributed Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which was filmed in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, where abortion is illegal except during the first 120 days of pregnancy and only when the mother’s life is threatened or the baby is diagnosed with a “lethal abnormality” that is “incompatible with life.”

Republican pollster Logan Dobson also observed on Twitter that Star Wars: The Last Jedi filmed scenes in Croatia, Ireland, and Bolivia – all nations in which abortion was highly restricted at the time of filming:

Screen Shot 2019-05-31 at 2.04.18 PM

The Wall Street Journal editorial board noted the inconsistency in Disney’s policies, and specifically pointed out that the company also touts its theme park and films in China, where Turkic Muslims are being held in internment camps:

More than a few Americans may also notice the contradiction that Disney is more worried about filming in a U.S. state that has passed a law democratically than it is operating its theme park and hawking its films in China, which uses facial-recognition software to monitor its population and has a million Uighurs in re-education camps.

For decades, China also attempted to force control of its population with its “one-child policy,” which restricted the number of children a couple could have to only one.

Georgia’s Living Infants Fairness and Equality (LIFE) Act (HB 481) prohibits abortions in the state after a heartbeat is detected, usually at about six or seven weeks of pregnancy. Cases of rape, incest, or if the life of the mother is in danger are exceptions to the law.

Georgia is the third largest production hub in the country, due to its generous tax incentives.

Actress and political activist Alyssa Milano called for a Hollywood boycott of Georgia if Republican Gov. Brian Kemp signed the bill into law. Milano then followed with a call for a sex strike – urging women to engage in abstinence from sex – to protest the end to “reproductive rights.”

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑