No protesters were arrested across the whole of Extinction Rebellion’s four-day ‘The Big One’ action in central London this weekend, in a reflection of the group’s decision to ‘quit’ disruptive action.
In a weekend which included the London Marathon passing through several parts of the city occupied by Extinction Rebellion, the climate activists focused on “attendance over arrest and relationships over roadblocks”, hoping to attract new faces to their movement.
Extinction Rebellion estimates over 60,000 peopleturned out for the protests, which were the first mass mobilisation by the group since the Police, Crime Sentencing and Courts Act came into force in June 2022, giving the police wider powers to crack down on disruptive protests.
“The Big One was always designed as an event which prioritised attendance over arrest so that we could build alliances with other organisations, knowing that we are united by the multiple crises we face and that we are stronger together,” a spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion told The Big Issue.
“The 200 organisations that supported The Big One were operating collectively for the whole weekend under a Unity Agreement which explicitly ruled out any escalation. Thankfully to everyone involved, everyone abided by this agreement, policing never became genuinely hostile and no arrests were made.”
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