Extinction Rebellion: Activist Greta Thunberg, 16, tells protesters they are ‘making a difference’

'For way too long the politicians and people in power have got away with not doing anything at all'

Peter Stubley
Monday 22 April 2019 08:35
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Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg tells Extinction Rebellion supporters 'humanity is at a crossroads'

Teenage climate change activist Greta Thunberg told the Extinction Rebellion protesters in London that they are “making a difference”.

The 16 year-old Swedish schoolgirl was welcomed with cheers as took to the stage in Marble Arch on the seventh day of the demonstration.

“For way too long the politicians and people in power have got away with not doing anything at all to fight the climate crisis and ecological crisis,” she said.

“But we will make sure that they will not get away with it any longer.”

It came as police cleared the last protesters from Waterloo Bridge and the total of arrests reached 963.

Greta has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize after she inspired the movement which saw pupils skip school all over the world to demand action against climate change.

Last week she urged MEPs at the European Parliament that they should “panic” about the environmental challenges facing the world, including species extinction, deforestation and ocean pollution.

The teenager is due to meet environment secretary Michael Gove, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Green Party MP Caroline Lucas during her visit to the UK.

She arrived at Marble Arch on Sunday and tweeted a picture of herself standing among the tents of protesters.

Speaking at a rally at 7pm, she said: “Humanity is now standing at a crossroads. We must now decide which path we want to take.

“How do we want the future living conditions for all living species to be like?

“We have gathered here today, and in many other places throughout London and across the world too, we have gathered today because we have chosen which path we want to take and now we are waiting for the others to follow our example.”

Greta told the cheering crowds: “We are the ones making a difference – we the people in Extinction Rebellion and the children’s School Strike for the Climate – we are the ones making a difference.

“And we will never stop fighting, we will never stop fighting for this planet, for ourselves, our futures and for the futures of our children and grandchildren.”

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As she took to the stage, the Metropolitan Police announced that a total of 963 people had been arrested since the protests began a week ago.

A total of 40 people, aged between 19 and 77, have been charged with obstructing a highway and obstructing police.

The Extinction Rebellion protesters are now debating whether to pause their demonstration and change tactics, after the protests at Oxford Circus, Parliament Square and Waterloo Bridge were dismantled.

Additional reporting by Reuters and Press Association

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