Latest world news Climate activists invade British parliament

Members of the Extinction Rebellion seek a free "Citizens' Assembly."

To demand a Citizens' Assembly to address climate change, three Extinction Rebellion activists have superglued themselves in a chain around the speaker's chair in the British House of Commons. By scheduling a routine tour of parliament on Friday, they were able to enter the chamber.

A speech criticizing the UK political system as "too out of date and out of touch to see beyond the next election cycle and do what needs to be done" was read aloud by the demonstrators in turns. Additionally, they promoted citizen assemblies as "a new method of decision-making" where "the genuine diversity of the nation" could be voiced.

"A crisis has struck. And the daily drama that takes place in this room makes us all seem foolish. We cannot continue in this manner, the protesters declared, joined by other XR members waving signs. There were no legislators present because the House of Commons is in recess until Monday.

A five-phase plan to "get 100k people onto the streets in civil resistance next spring" and "create a movement that is impossible to ignore" was described on the XR website as the "opening act" for the parliament stunt. The group's mischief aims to persuade the government to take immediate, if general, action against climate change.

Over 30,000 UK individuals were mailed invitations to participate in a citizens' assembly on climate change in late 2019 by Parliament, which has already organized at least one such event. After six meetings, a group of 108 "people from across the UK and from all areas of life" published a report in September 2020 expressing their opinions on how they thought the UK should organizedfulfill its climate obligations.

XR criticized the citizens' assembly for not going far enough and stated that they wanted a Citizens' Assembly on Climate and Ecological Justice whose decisions would apply to the entire government. Only an organization with "genuine decision-making power" and "government endorsement" would suffice, they claimed.

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