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Bare-Chested Women Lock Themselves to UK Parliament Protesting for Climate Change

Divya Mridhula

15th September 2020

Thirty female activists from campaign group Extinction Rebellion locked themselves to Britain’s parliamentary gates (Source: Reuters)

A total of thirty female activists from the campaign group Extinction Rebellion (XR) chained themselves to the gates of Great Britain's Parliament to protest for climate change on 10th September 2020.

According to Reuters, the women took a stand against the government to make the public aware of the risk of allowing the global average temperature rise by 4 degrees Celsius, which XR claimed would happen by 2100 unless countries take action now.

As reported by The Indian Express, the women wore ‘4 degrees C’ face masks with words painted on their chest mentioning the consequences of the temperature rise, such as war, starvation, and famine. The protesters also carried a large banner directed towards the lawmakers at the Parliament square reading, "Can't bear the truth?".

Protestors also used metal D-locks—that are generally used to lock up bicycles—to attach themselves by the neck to the British parliamentary estate's railings, reported by Reuters.

According to Reuters, the XR protesters restarted their protests last week after a long pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The previous week, protesters blocked two print establishments from distributing newspapers, accusing them of inaccurately reporting climate issues.

Around 80 people were arrested after Extinction Rebellion activists blocked the path to well-known press organisations. Vehicles were utilised to block roads to the printing plants, while individual protesters chained themselves to structures.

The Extinction Rebellion began in 2018 and is demanding governments declare a ‘climate and ecological emergency’ and take immediate action to address climate change. The organisation recognises itself as an international non-violent civil disobedience activist movement.

XR’s logo, an hourglass inside a circle, symbolises the time that is running out to save the planet. In the United Kingdom specifically, the group has mainly three demands: that the government declare a 'Climate Emergency', legally reduce carbon emissions to net-zero by 2025, and form a citizen's assembly to oversee the changes.

British Home Secretary Priti Patel, labelled XR as eco-crusaders who have now turned into criminals. She was adamant that their ‘guerilla tactics’ must be stopped. “I refuse point-blank to allow that kind of anarchy on our streets,” she informed Reuters.

(Sources: Reuters, BBC, The Indian Express)

Edited by Nayana Dhanya

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