When Extinction Rebellion began holding protests two years ago, the movement could not have predicted its rapid growth or the public support it received. But missteps and the Covid-19 shutdown meant the group lost momentum. Now, it is planning a series of new actions in the autumn
Extinction Rebellion (XR) has grown rapidly since it was set up in the UK in 2018. Its early protests had a carnival atmosphere and its demands were simple: the government should, above all else, be truthful about the extent of the climate crisis.
Daze Aghaji started attending XR meetings while still at university and became an influential member of the group’s youth wing. She describes the participatory structure and how decisions are made without a formal leadership – and how XR has grappled with racial equality within its movement. The Guardian’s Matthew Taylor has been following XR since the beginning and is observing it enter a new phase of its evolution. Can it recreate the atmosphere of its early protests and avoid some of the recent controversies and missteps, while still growing as a mass movement?