CLIMATE CHANGE PROTESTS
The Somerset Guardian, 24th April 2019
Recently, there have been several demonstrations held in central London by armies of climate change protestors and groups such as Extinction Rebellion, who forced Parliament Square, Waterloo and Marble Arch to shut down completely and commandeered part of the Natural History Museum.
Peaceful protest has been long-used as a way for people to collectively articulate either their dissent or support and it is an important democratic tool as those who participate may feel that their opinions are not heard beyond the ballot box. However, the recent rallies in the capital have not only been disruptive for people working and living there but have come with a cost to jobs and businesses.
The Metropolitan Police announced that Extinction Rebellion's arrest have risen to 1,065 and that seventy-one people have been charged. Those charged in connexion with the group's demonstrations have been accused of obstructing Police, obstructing a highway and breaching public order legislation.
It is undemocratic that these groups are able to cause such a level of disturbance that, in some cases, is intimidating and leaves others fearful. It is also hypocritical not least on the part of those who flew in specially and there is no respect for their immediate environment nor the welfare of other citizens who their actions are affecting. If these individuals feel so strongly about a subject standing for election, whether it be for parish elections, local council or for Parliament, would be a more effective and civilised way of challenging aspects of our system that they deem undesirable.