Extinction Rebellion activist shared the tactics they use to get away from the police in a documentary broadcast this Sunday.
In the Channel 5 documentary Extinction Rebellion: The Inside Story, those who belong to the British branch of the protest movement, called XR for short, show how they took over Trafalgar Square in October last year and kept themselves hidden from the police for the last minute.
The global movement, which arose from public anger over the state of climate change, organized street blocks and stunts as a way to force governments to take more action against global warming and awareness increase.
In the documentary on Sunday at 9 p.m., an intense clip shows activists from the woodwork to take the streets of Trafalgar Square, a stone’s throw from Buckingham Palace.
XR members run into the street and go as far as breaking their fingers to make their message heard, but blocking streets is illegal in the UK and gives a powerful police response.
Paolo, a police liaison officer for extinction insurrection during the protest on Trafalgar Square in 2019
On the day of the operation, cameras first show how a noisy protest was created as a distraction by other “rebels” on one site of the historic monument, while others silently wait for lampposts, walls, and even in cafes while waiting for the rally .
Some pretend to be sitting on their phones, while others stay quietly away from the square and pretend to be waiting for friends.
All rebels then receive an SMS with the instruction to take action.
“There are people waiting around behind lamp posts, behind corners and such,” one of the participants said.
A group of doctors join the protest of Extinction Rebellion in 2019 in London. The documentary sheds light on how the organization works
“It’s amazing how it can look like there’s nothing and then everyone is suddenly there,” she continues.
Finally comes the long-awaited text message: “REBELS, Hour Zero is here !!!”
In the blink of an eye we see people running into the street, some pushing scaffolding until they reach a pedestrian crossing and stop there, so that cars cannot continue.
An XR demonstrator is dragged by police during a demonstration. The police found that the protests cost £ 24 million to the police and led to 1,828 arrests, with 165 people accused of violations
A superficial look at the Extinction Rebellion protest on Trafalgar Square that lasted several days in October 2019
Spectators who seemed in no way to be at Extinction Rebellion reveal themselves as
The police on site respond quickly and immediately try to prevent ‘rebels’ from climbing on the scaffolding. Some rebels stop, others insist while a member starts to rally: “Extinction”, others react enthusiastically: “Rebellion.”
Trafalgar Square is immediately blocked, with hundreds of people descending on the street, sporting XR banners and flags.
The most extreme activists even go so far as to cling to cars to prevent the police from removing them.
“I do this because I accept the reality of a climate breakdown and what that means,” says a man locked up on the floor.
He is holding a photo of two children and sobbing stars, while the police are fighting around him to get hold of all the participants.
Eradication rebellion October 2019 protest
The Extinction Rebellion protests of October 2019 lasted ten days and saw different groups of activists take action in different parts of London, including Westminster and Trafalgar Square.
Targeted sites also include
The police found that the protests cost £ 24 million in police and led to 1,828 arrests, with 165 people accused of violations.
Police forces issued a ban throughout London on October 14 under Article 14 of the Public Order Act.
The prohibition was ignored by the demonstrator and subsequently lifted. It was found illegal in early November by the Supreme Court.
“We have Trafalgar Square, we did it,” an activist celebrates.
‘This is great, TF is one of the most disruptive sites […] I am impressed, “he continues. “These people were great.”
The organization’s messaging and media team has set up stores in a nearby café. We were then informed that the operation was a good time, so that national media could report news about the protest during the 13.00 hours.
On the day of the protest, the Met police on Twitter confirmed that they had made 212 arrests after the Trafalgar Square stint.
In another clip we see what happens when a group of police forces raid an extinction uprising locally in an unusable courtroom in Lambeth, make arrests and seize the barricades that the group uses to block streets.
XR participants are informed of the stint by an organization-wide message: “Emergency, we are excluded, all hands on deck.”
“The police are very intimidating for anyone who has tried to get something in or out of the building,” says one spectator.
Ten rebels have already been arrested during the incident on suspicion of conspiracy to cause public nuisance.
Protesters wave flags and flags during the Trafalgar protest in 2019. The organization planned street blocks and stunts in the past year as a way to force governments to take more action against global warming and to raise awareness
A group of different activists who have escaped into the building through large windows at the back why the police are breaking the main door while passers-by and members of XR are watching.
Inside, the activists are trying to remove expensive pieces of technology such as solar panels so that the police cannot confiscate it, while they also create an obstacle course to delay officers.
Within a few seconds, the rebels managed to disable a few solar panels without being detected by the police who are still entering the building.
Extinction Rebellion: The Inside Story will be broadcast on Channel 5 on Sunday at 9 p.m.