For the uninitiated, Extinction Rebellion is a global movement of environmental activists demanding immediate change to the world’s climate policies. Small factions of XR stage demonstrations all year round – from Animal Rebellion blockading McDonalds’s suppliers to Money Rebellion breaking windows at Barclays HQ.
But the group gets most of their attention (and subsequent notoriety) from their mass week-long demos that shut down major parts of capital cities. Their usual tactic is to get as many protestors as possible to sit in or occupy the roads, with those willing to be arrested being detained in vast numbers to clog up the legal system.
The first demo of this new wave started gathering steam at Hyde Park before thousands of protestors marched through central London. Then, they staged a sit-in on London's busy shopping areas of Oxford Street and Regent Street, and finally Extinction Rebellion shut down the Trafalgar Square roundabout for a series of speeches, free food and, naturally, a huge drum circle.
More demonstrations are planned throughout London in the coming days. Here's a glimpse of what it was like on the ground at the dawning of a new XR mass protest.