Tyre Extinguishers go global as climate activists vow to make owning SUVs ‘impossible’ around world

Controversial group claims activists in US and Europe have shown interest in their campaign against 4x4s

Samuel Webb
Thursday 24 March 2022 19:31
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<p>A climate activist deflates the tyres of a 4x4</p>

A climate activist deflates the tyres of a 4x4

Climate activists who have been deflating the tyres of SUVs in the UK have said they are going global with their campaign to make it “impossible” to own the vehicles/

The Tyre Extinguishers claim followers in the US states of Arizona and Colorado have already ‘disarmed’ 4x4s, with supporters in Europe geared up to follow suit.

The group say the luxury vehicles, also known as SUVs, are a climate disaster, cause health problems through air pollution, and make roads more dangerous.

Activists targeted the wheels of dozens of SUVs in the Didsbury suburb of Manchester on Tuesday evening.

But the owner of one of the cars said it was an electric vehicle and condemnd the group’s actions as "dangerous and irresponsible".

"It’s not just an inconvenience," he told the Manchester Evening News . "My wife’s pregnant and I need to get her a hospital at some point.

"If I can’t do that because my car tyres have been let down, I’ve got to call an ambulance which takes that off of the road for somebody else, which is frankly dangerous and irresponsible.”

A still from an instructional video put out by Tyre Extinguishers

Last month the Tyre Extinguishers claimed to have ‘disarmed’ over a thousand SUVs in Brighton, London, Manchester, Birmingham, Sheffield, Bristol, and Edinburgh.

The group’s aim is to make it impossible to own a 4x4 in urban areas across the UK. A spokesperson told The Independent earlier this month they were planning to ramp up their campaign.

Tyre Extinguishers said they were preparing to launch French, Spanish, Italian and German versions of leaflets “at the request of activists”.

Activist Marion Walker said: “We’re looking forward to people all over the world getting involved when we have our leaflet in five languages.”

A mission statement on the group’s website reads: “The Tyre Extinguishers are a leaderless group where citizens take action in their local area by using a website to learn how to deflate the tyres and to print off a leaflet to leave at the SUV to inform the owner of what has happened, for their safety.

“The group is taking this action because SUVs are a climate disaster – if SUV drivers were a country, they would be the seventh-largest polluting country in the world.

“SUVs cause air pollution. Larger cars belch out more toxic fumes, worsening air pollution in our town and cities. Scientists increasingly link air pollution to a whole range of health problems, from heart attacks, strokes, cancer, lung problems, miscarriages, even mental health problems.

“SUVs are unnecessary. Three-quarters of these ‘off-road’ vehicles are sold to people living in towns and cities. They exist purely for the vanity of their owners, who see them as a status symbol.”

The group instructs activists to avoid cars used by people with disabilities, traders’ cars, minibuses, and normal-sized cars.

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