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Global Military 'At the Heart' of Industries Driving Climate Change, Says Extinction Rebellion

© Sputnik / Demond CuretonA display of the world's largest polluters can be seen at the XR camp at Trafalgar Square in London, UK
A display of the world's largest polluters can be seen at the XR camp at Trafalgar Square in London, UK - Sputnik International
Extinction Rebellion (XR) activists have incorporated into their protests a correlation between "militarism and the climate and ecological emergence", despite many on social media accusing the group of failing to address the issue.

A coalition of numerous organisation such as XR Peace, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Trident Ploughshares, and others have surfaced amongst XR's 'International Rebellion' rallies, with recent actions taking place at Trafalgar Square on Thursday to highlight the military industry’s major contribution to global emissions.

The climate emergency and “ever-present risk of nuclear war” were “twin existential threats to human survival,” the group said in a statement.

Four activists from the anti-nuclear weapons campaign group, Trident Ploughshares, locked onto each other to help the organisation hold the occupation of Trafalgar Square on Thursday evening.

Sylvia Boyes of Keighley, 75, Eric Levy of London, 92, Jane Tallents of Scotland, 61, and Brian Larkin of Scotland, 59, took part in the demonstration on late Thursday.

A similar protest took place outside the Ministry of Defence in Whitehall Thursday Morning, where activists staged a die-in near the facility’s entrance. Ms Tallents and Mr Larkin were arrested with two others during the protest but were released later in the day.

One man, David Mackenzie, was dragged away from the steps during the rally. He said that the threat of climate change was a “planetary crisis” involving “climate change, the risk of bio-diversity collapse and the ever-present threat” of nuclear war.

Mr Mackenzie said: “All demand a worldwide awakening and a word-wide response. Being in London this week has given me hope that such an awakening is possible.

Extinction Rebellion has stated that militarism was “at the heart of the industrial system that’s driving climate change”, adding that 21 century conflicts have been about “controlling access to oil”, the organisation said in a leaflet.

“About 6 [percent] of the global carbon footprint results from military-related activity”, the leaflet said. “The US military alone is the largest single emitter of greenhouse gases in the world".

The group also joined others to block the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) arms fair in September, using a large boat to block equipment from entering the ExCeL centre.

The group urged the UK government to create “an emergency budget” to reduce carbon emissions and “halt the loss of biodiversity”, but blamed officials for “continuing to subsidize and support the world’s largest arms fair,” the group added.

One XR protestor, Liam Geary Baulch, said that governments needed to “transfer jobs from the arms industry into the sustainable economy” via an “emergency budget”.

XR protestors launched its two-week ‘International Rebellion’ across 60 cities worldwide Monday, including London, Berlin, Paris and many others. Over 1,000 arrests have taken place in London alone, according to the Metropolitan Police. The movement, which began in May last year, was relaunched in July this year, with activists calling on governments to fight climate change, biodiversity loss and ecocide, among others.

Major disruptions took place against the aviation and travel industry on Thursday at London City Airport, with activists staging sit-ins or gluing themselves to planes and terminal entrances as well as blocking DLR stations and access roads in attempts to fight the “polluter elite” in the City of London.

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