Just weeks from Cop26 – recognised as the planet’s most important climate summit to date – XR’s latest demonstrations, lasting two weeks in central London, are considerably diminished from what they were in 2019. Is the movement in crisis? With surging concern over the climate emergency, isn’t it something of a surprise that fewer activists are on the street? What does this mean for the environment movement and the pressure it is exerting on government at this critical juncture? The Independent spoke to former XR strategist and spokesperson Rupert Read, who is also a professor of philosophy at the University of East Anglia, to find out what is going on. Read concedes XR is “not on a growth trajectory” and “the numbers are clearly much lower than during the October 2019 rebellion”. But crucially, he describes it as XR having “moved the Overton window – the window of what’s politically possible”. “XR has opened this huge space but it may now be for others who don’t seem so polarising to the average person to enter this huge space and really use it.” It is this new space that Read is now intensely focused on.
Independent 5th Sept 2021 read more »