Greta Thunberg suggests Extinction Rebellion protesters should break the law during demonstrations

Andy Wells
Freelance Writer

Greta Thunberg has told Extinction Rebellion (XR) protesters that they should consider breaking the law so they can continue their demonstrations.

Police this week imposed a section 14 order on XR, meaning any group of two or more people linked to the group’s Autumn Uprising is banned.

The move, which was taken after Londoners began to grow irritated by the disruption on the streets, was swiftly condemned by human rights groups and London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

Now, teenage climate change campaigner Greta has suggested XR protestors continue on regardless.

Greta Thunberg has suggested Extinction Rebellion break the law during their protests (AP)

She said: “If standing up against the climate and ecological breakdown and for humanity is against the rules then the rules must be broken.”

Her comments come on the day that commuters at Canning Town angrily fought back against XR protesters who had climbed on top of a tube during rush hour.

Video footage from the scene showed people on the platform pull protesters down by their feet, leading to scuffles in the crowd and eight arrests.

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A member of Transport for London (TfL) staff appeared to intervene to stop people from attacking the male XR activist further by holding them back.

One man yelled "I need to get to work, I have to feed my kids", while others shouted insults at activists.

XR were condemned for their tactics and no organisers have said they will "take stock" over whether to continue with future disruption to the transport network.

Reflecting on the incident, Howard Reed, a spokesman for the climate change protest group, said: "Was it the right thing to do? I am not sure.

"I think we will have to have a period of reflection. It is too early to say.

"I think we need to take stock of it.”

Mr Rees, a PR worker from London, said the intention was not to "inconvenience hard-working people", and said he did not think the apparently unsympathetic mood on the platform was indicative of a decrease in public support despite many posts on the XR London Facebook page expressing concerns that the stunt was counterproductive and should not have gone ahead.

He said: "It is not our intention to target individuals or inconvenience hard-working people.

"We're in a life or death situation right now.

Angry commuters shouted at Extinction Rebellion protestors and pulled them off the train (Twitter/@HollyJoCollins)

"The only thing the Government is interested in is money, so that's why the transport system was targeted.

"If you're causing disruption but people are impacted, it is nothing compared with the disruption that is coming down the line, let me tell you.”

He said the protests were carried out by activists "affiliated" to Extinction Rebellion, meaning anyone with the same ideals could act under the XR banner.

But XR co-founder Clare Farrell defended the Tube action and said: "The public, I don't think, realise quite how serious this situation is."

The action is the latest in a series from the anti-climate change group, whose October protests have resulted in over 1,600 arrests.

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