Extinction Rebellion demands to declare climante emergency. Ectinction Rebellipn demands climate emergency. They organise pacific disruption. They gather hundreds of people. Published in The Green Bee: Eco-Journalism. Author Juan Villanueva climate protests

October is gonna hold climate protests all across Europe

Juan Villanueva

29th September 2022

This summer, we have had a lot of hot days, wildfires and daughters. The planet is crossing tipping points, and it is because the anthropogenic climate change. For that, an international activist network is leading climate protests. In that network, there are ten smaller groups from Europe and North America, with the UK and Germany as the most active, and they are being a bit noisy. It's worth saying there is not a group from Spain.
The Green Bee

Indigo Rumbelow for Just Stop Oil (UK) told me she understands how stressful it can be for the general public for these climate protests. Still, she sticks to their unique claim: «We demand that the UK government makes a statement that it will immediately halt all future licensing and consents for the exploration, development and production of fossil fuels in the UK. 

«The scientific evidence is unequivocal: climate change threatens human wellbeing and the planet’s health. Any further delay in concerted global action will miss a brief and rapidly closing window to secure a liveable future.»

Just Stop Oil are the heirs of previous activists who used the non-violent action as its flagship. Extinction Rebellion had three demands, to declare the climate emergency, set citizens committees, and tell the truth. To be fair, except for the latter, the other two were partially accomplished. To achieve that, XR occupied cities, blocked roads and threw -a bit of- paint.

New protesters are coming, and they want to keep disruptions and nudge. They jumped into the F1 race in Silverstone, tied up to the Munich Bayer soccer goal, and glued themselves to the last supper in London. Afterwards, they wanted to force the closure of the road to the biggest oil plant in the UK. 

They did a multi-stage campaign there. On the one hand, the dug tunnels under the road force the close due to collapse threat. A spokesperson said on social media, «We have been digging days and days, and we let the authorities know. We have done as much as we can to close the road due to safety.

«But the police told us it is more important the fuel keep flowing, even though this means heavy truck drivers can die,» On the other hand, they did -a bit of- vandalism in the near petrol station. 

The Climate is breaking into pieces

According to the scientific agreement, the key to the current climate crisis is in the atmosphere, where we dump greenhouse gases 24/7. In 1900, the Co2 level was 290ppm. Co2 is the reference gas. When I was born, it was 353ppm -If you wanna know my age, and 418ppm in July 2022, the last update by NOAA. We know from bubbles trapped in the ice that until the industrial revolution since the last glacier age, the Earth was never over 300ppm of Co2. In 2021, it was an average of 417. The hub is overflowing. 

According to the OECD, we keep burning fossil fuels. The global expenditure in the fossil fuel industry in 2021 doubled in 2020 (Covid allows) in the 51 most developed economies. 

Extinction Rebellion demands to declare climante emergency. Ectinction Rebellipn demands climate emergency. They organise pacific disruption. They gather hundreds of people. Published in The Green Bee: Eco-Journalism. Author Juan Villanueva climate protests
Extinction Rebellion Demosntration in Manchester (File)

A YouGov survey done in March, when Just Stop Oil was just born, revealed an increase in support for the climate action, although not necessarily with the actions of the group. Dr Ben Kenward, a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Oxford Brookes University, who assisted with the research, said, «We don’t know for sure what caused the increase during this period, but the fact that 63% of the population has now heard about Just Stop Oil suggests it might be a factor. Further, this shows it isn’t the case that these protests backfired by causing a largely negative reaction in the population.»

Nonetheless, I shall recall this survey was done before summer, and since then, Just Stop Oil started its climate protests, and the comments on social media just boost polarisation. 

A Non-Violent Action movement is possible in Spain

Although we have daily climate news in the media in Spain, a few news outlets mention these international groups’ actions. Spanish people are polarised in the field of how to face the climate crisis. We found people who accept we need to do something, other people who don’t deny the facts but are busy doing business as usual, and those who simply don’t care… Plain denialism made annoying noise, but they are not remarkable. 


It is urgent to act, and not only in a few countries. In October, there will be several demonstrations across Europe, for instance, in the UK. On the 1st of October, Just Stop Oil plan to occupy London and Westminster, the heart of the British Empire. Extinction Rebellion occupied it recently when the MP were on holiday, and probably there were not too many people there.

Non-violent action has been the most effective strategy in near history for claiming systemic change, such as Martin L. King or Rosa Parks regarding race, the Spanish movement 15M or the Arab Spring. So, we can not waste a minute tobegin climate protests.