Extinction Rebellion: The power and limits of protest movements

Measured by attention received, or noise made, London's climate change protests have been a rousing success over the past week. As ever, there are doubts about whether the campaign of civil disobedience will make any real difference, but it does pose questions about the limits of democratic politics in the age of legislative gridlock.

With their banners, their graffiti, their drums, their street performers and their celebrity supporters, climate protesters marched, danced with police, delivered speeches and street performances, poured fake blood in front of Downing Street, got arrested, showed environmental catastrophe films, glued themselves to trains, disrupted traffic and generally made as much of a din as possible.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 25, 2019, with the headline 'Extinction Rebellion: The power and limits of protest movements'. Print Edition | Subscribe