New York Times Hails Cultish, Disruptive Extinction Rebellion Protests as 'Worth a Try'

October 9th, 2019 7:30 PM

Extinction Rebellion, a burgeoning radical group of self-proclaimed environmentalists, that originated in England in the summer of 2018, now has a following among the hard left in America, as they do the usual left-wing protest things, like disrupting the commutes of ordinary people trying to get through the day.

New York Times reporter Anne Barnard predictably cheered them on in Tuesday’s “Disrupting Business as Usual to Bring More Attention to Climate Change” (click “expand”):

Tourists and workers on Wall Street on Monday were met by a jarring spectacle: protesters, some lying in pools of fake blood outside the New York Stock Exchange, some dancing and others chanting, all to call attention to people killed by climate-related disease and disaster.

“Drowned in attic,” read one sign in the shape of a cardboard gravestone that was lying next to a protester playing dead; another read, “Couldn’t Outrun Wildfire.”

The demonstrators, led by the protest group Extinction Rebellion, were kicking off five days of civil disobedience planned across the city, the country and the rest of the world.

By disrupting several landmarks in the heart of New York’s financial district and by blocking traffic on Broadway, the group hoped to start building up its relatively small American movement with the kind of street muscle and influence it has quickly amassed in its birthplace, the United Kingdom.


Now, the group’s American members -- at least 200 protested on Monday -- are importing those tactics to a country where climate-change denial is more common.

Organizers and onlookers were unsure if the group’s tactics -- demonstrators getting arrested, shutting down traffic -- could work in the United States. But they agreed that with climate becoming more prominent on the political agenda here, it was worth a try.

Well, then. It’s certainly “worth a try,” with major news outlets like The Times cheering them on and since the paper approved of the radical leftist’s “targets” (click “expand”):

Organizers say New York -- with its liberal population, vulnerability to sea-level rise, growing youth climate movement and ambitious new city and state climate legislation -- is a good place to accelerate the group’s push into the United States.

And Wall Street, a center of the global financial system that the group blames for the continued use of fossil fuels, was a good first target.

But to succeed in the United States, said Russell Gray, an organizer with Extinction Rebellion, the group will have to improve on its efforts to form coalitions with poor communities of color, which have been disproportionately affected by environmental problems.

There was also the standard New York Times attempt to mainstream left-wing protesters, though even The Times couldn’t really sell this crowd as “just normal folks”:

The crowd consisted of people of all ages and styles: a “grim reaper” in a white skeleton mask and cloak; a gray-haired woman in a gauze-and-feather fascinator and a pearl necktie; a group calling itself the Red Brigades, whose members wore red costumes with white face paint.

(The Red Brigades were murderous Marxist thugs in Italy in the 1970s, so this new group is making an offensive historical reference that Barnard either ignored or failed to grasp.)

A follow-up from England by culture reporter Alex Marshall also showered praise on the performative hard-left movement in “Plan to Force Climate Action: Get Arrested.” The online headline deck enthused: “Arrest Us, Please! Extinction Rebellion’s Path to Success -- In barely a year, the group’s tactics have propelled it from a handful of members to worldwide protests. But can it keep that momentum as its actions get more disruptive?”

At least Marshall got the word “radical” in:

.... the climate activist group that in its short existence has arguably become the most prominent and radical climate movement worldwide. The approach those activists hit upon -- using nonviolent mass disruption to increase awareness of climate change and force action on the issue -- has catapulted the group to worldwide recognition and leadership on the issue.

See, they’re not making the police’s job more difficult, they’re helping them!

In a major departure from past British climate movements, the group urges its members to try to get arrested so they can use the judicial system as a platform to force change. They tell the police about all actions in advance and view police officers as equal victims of the climate crisis....

Marshall blandly took notes on the truly bizarre nature of this movement (which may not be as much about “saving the planet” after all) like hunger strikes.

Extinction Rebellion’s blunt language and apocalyptic message were also critical, Mr. Bramwell said, because they reflected how many people feel about climate change. “Children are facing the bleakest of bloody futures,” he added.

You know you’re radical when you accuse Greenpeace of “complicity” with your enemies.

The Times refused to capture the disturbing nature of the group, so we have to hear it from the organizers themselves, and from less starry-eyed observers. Stuart Basden, who describes himself as a co-founder, revealed the movement at heart has nothing to do with protecting the environment, but is using it the issue to target the usual leftist suspects: white supremacy, patriarchy, and Western Civilization in general.

Spiked had a jaundiced view of the group’s End Times preaching and general creepy fanaticism.