Kingston-based climate activists who have been at the heart of the demonstrations in London have insisted they are more than just eco-warriors.
Extinction Rebellion has dominated the headlines this past week after blocking roads, bridges and bringing London to a standstill, but members of its Kingston branch have insisted they are still having a positive effect in the local community.
Charlotte Haigh, a prominent member of the Kingston-based branch, said: “It’s not just a climate and biodiversity movement, it’s also a real community. It’s also modelling a whole new society where people really feel a part of something.”
Ed Hills, a member of the group known by some as Kingston XR, said: “It’s been really good for my well-being. Everyone is really friendly. It’s highly inclusive and welcoming here.
“I think a lot of people who are feeling quite lost and isolated in their concerns about the environment, and in their lives, are drawn to XR.”
Charlotte claimed she had spoken to a number of people in Kingston who were feeling isolated in their anxiety about the climate. She added: “A lot of people say being part of XR has really helped them with mental health issues and a sense of alienation.”
In an interview with the Kingston Courier earlier this week, MP for Kingston and Surbiton Sir Ed Davey said: “I can’t condone law breaking,” but added: “I can completely and totally share their [Extinction Rebellion’s] beliefs and objectives.”
Police have arrested close to 1000 people in connection with the protests so far, according to The Guardian.