By The Fly On The Wall
Buzzing around Bristol Bridge on Monday, THE FLY was able to savour the delicious aroma of GREENWASH BULLSHIT served up by MIDDLE CLASS TWATS. Yes, it was the start of a week long ‘protest’ in Bristol city centre organised by our favourite WELL HEELED, CORPORATE-BACKED ‘environmental emergency social movement’, Extinction Rebellion.
The surreal sight that assaulted The Fly’s compound eyes from all directions included flags and banners, a few stalls, gazebos and tents, a bright pink yacht in the middle of Bristol Bridge, a DJ sound-system, meditation groups, signs that said ‘Get In The Boat’, or ‘Get On Your Bike’ (a sore point maybe for those of us from the bug world with long memories), a samba parade blanketed in the COPYRIGHTED XR logo with one or two active ‘callers’ and a mass of passive ‘responders’, and hippie stoners chatting away to the cops, some of them openly skinning up only feet away from the ever-smiling filth.
There were legal observers too, in case anyone got arrested (for lighting up a joint just a bit too close to a cop maybe?), but obviously with not much to do. Bristol City Council and their cheerful cop friends were so obliging that BCC even PROVIDED CONCRETE BOLLARDS later on to give the ‘protest’/love-in an air of permanence, all paid for through one of their contractors.
Taking shelter from the sun and the overt Glasto-hippie atmosphere under the ‘information’ gazebo, The Fly overheard one Bristol punter ask questions as to how XR was organised and how its decisions were made. The punter was told that all XR decisions were made by ‘those people with influence and qualification in the movement’, in what was described as a ‘post-democratic structure’(?). Feedback from the plebs however was possible, through the (remember Occupy, anyone?) format of pass-the-mike-and-idea-with-biggest-cheers-gets-accepted ‘peoples assemblies’, a few of which the decision-makers and their wow-celebrity friends might deign to consider at some point in the future.
Later on, the samba parade shuffled off through the city centre, blocking off streets and trailing round the Bear Pit – not once but twice, and perched by a bus stop as multi-colour ragged hippies leafleted the queues of traffic drivers and patiently waiting bus queues, The Fly listened in to the reactions of some more Bristol punters. The overall response was one of bemusement, sighs, weary laughs, and in some cases frustration and anger.
The punters were by and large FULLY AWARE of the issues and how SERIOUS they are, but DIDN’T CONNECT in any way to the XR protestors or their activities. Questions were raised like What’s the point of such tactics? What’s the message here, beyond sound bites? ARE THEY ALL HIPPIES? Why stop our public transport to make a point about private cars on the road? Why don’t they instead OCCUPY the head offices of the offending FOSSIL FUEL corporations and their COLLABORATOR government agencies? Might support them then… Listening to these authentic Bristol voices, The Fly rubbed its legs together in contemplation. Clearly, such voices were NOT going to get the biggest cheers at the ‘peoples assembly’ of yogi-flyers levitating above Bristol Bridge.
So what exactly have XR achieved in their first year or so of existence, beyond some empty ‘declaration’ by government bodies of a ‘climate emergency’, followed as always by business as usual? XR don’t get that a changing-of-the-guard that ‘works within’ an alleged ‘green’ capitalism is going to do fuck all – this way we get at the most a few years respite from disaster, plus a whole bucket-load of bullshit betrayals that in addition may discredit the entire environmental movement. Are XR ever going to realise that the ONE AND ONLY POSSIBLE chance of saving our world from the onrushing Four Horsemen is to DESTROY CAPITALISM UTTERLY, to dig it out root and branch once and for all through A GLOBAL SOCIAL REVOLUTION?
That will sure as hell mean you lose your happy, obliging cops, the fair weather friends, the nice friendly politicians and media coverage, but you GET THE PEOPLE, and can instead authentically call up the MASS MOBILISATION necessary to bring in the total-system-changing measures that are required to get our planet through the mother-of-all-shit-storms that’s coming.
Without such an understanding, XR is itself yearning for extinction. As for THE FLY, it and its scorned, despised, ignored fellow bugs prepare to pad over the soon-to-be decomposing corpse, seeking the orifices in which to lay their eggs and start anew.
By The Fly On The Wall