Socialist Worker

A climate of punishment

Issue No. 2737

Police arrest an Extinction Rebellion protester in 2019

Police arrest an Extinction Rebellion protester in 2019 (Pic: Guy Smallman)


Last year tied with 2016—a year marked by warm climate event El Nino— as the joint hottest year on record.

It shows how, despite a drop in fossil fuel emissions in 2020, the climate catastrophe is definitively locked in to our future.

The carbon emissions that are causing runaway, fast-acting climate change have already been released into the atmosphere.

It’s impossible to turn back the clock on the causes of climate and ecological disaster.

But the people at the top are doing much worse than that—and actively punishing those who draw attention to the scale of the emergency.

More than 1,000 people who took part in Extinction Rebellion protests in October 2019 are being taken to court.

Some are being asked to travel across the country during the pandemic.

The Crown Prosecution Service is pushing ahead with an unprecedented number of prosecutions for activists who engaged in peaceful direct action.

It follows a smear campaign by top Tories, such as home secretary Priti Patel.

She claimed activists threatened the “UK way of life” after their rebellion in April 2019.

Climate catastrophe puts us all in danger.

Ignoring the glaring need for radical action while criminalising those who raise the alarm shows the deadly priorities of those in charge.


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