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Planned Prague protest aims to “disrupt business as usual”, says Extinction Rebellion organiser

 
photo:  (radio.cz)
 

The Czech branch of Extinction Rebellion has joined a wave of climate protests organised by the environmental group around the world. Protests calling on politicians to take urgent action on climate change began in Prague on Thursday and will culminate on Saturday with a demonstration and a traffic blockade on Wenceslas Square.

 

I spoke to Filip Rosenkranc, one of the organisers, and I first asked him about the aim of the gatherings.

“All the small gatherings will culminate with a big event on Wenceslas Square on Saturday, which combines a festival and a blockade. We are using the strategy of mass civil disobedience to achieve our goals, which are based on our understanding of climate crisis.

“We only have several months to change the course of our civilisation regarding the carbon emissions and the mass civil disobedience is the only reliable way how to achieve these changes. So Saturday’s event our first blockade of its kind.”

Many people would say this is not the right time to do it now, with the public memorial event for Karel Gott.

“We are hearing these voices and we want to honour people’s rights to grieve for Karel Gott. We are not aiming to disrupt these events. We also believe is that what we are working here for is most important. It is actually about life and death of all of us so we are not planning to change our course of events.

“I would agree that they are disruptive. That is actually one of our main strategies and goals to disrupt the business as usual. Because it is the business as usual, which leads us to the brink of extinction.

“Actually the sixth mass extinction of species is already happening because of our society and our carbon emissions. So we are trying to disrupt this to have a chance for life in the future.

“What is important is to say that our actions are not violent. We are not using any violence against people in actions and in speech. We are not even blaming or shaming anyone. Our actions are always peaceful and even celebratory in a way.”

Extinction Rebellion is a relatively new group. How many members do you have worldwide and how many supporters do you have here in the Czech Republic?

“The numbers are growing so fast that it is hard to measure. Currently we have more than 400 active rebels on our communication platform.”

To what extend do you choose your own agenda or is it all centrally planned?

“We work as a decentralised movement. We are active in more than 60 countries now. There is a team which coordinates the overall strategy, setting the date for the international rebellion, which started on Monday, October 7.

“But each country and each local group can choose if they want to follow these dates. So it is up to them really, what they want to do.”

 
 
Author: Český rozhlas Radio Praha
 
Added: 10.10.2019
 
 
 

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