An Extinction Rebellion Society has started up at Cardiff Uni and four students have already been arrested
Four students were arrested at recent London protests
One of the new societies started at Cardiff this year is Extinction Rebellion, part of the non-violent environmental movement. The society has attracted 80 members so far.
The movement started in 2016, by a smaller group called 'Rise Up!' where environmentalists discussed the threat of climate change. This year, the group has increased tenfold, with the protests in April shut down Central London for 11 days. However, as Governments 'did not do enough' (according to the Extinction Rebellion website), XR rebels returned to London for 2 weeks earlier this month.
Students from the Cardiff University group attended this protest.
Matt Tomlin is a Journalism student at the university and President of the group. Matt told the Cardiff Tab, "I set the group up as an SU society because I could tell that students generally weren't getting involved in the main Cardiff Extinction Rebellion group".
He wanted "more students" involved to raise further awareness of the group and their demands, which are:
1. Government must tell the truth about the climate/ecological crisis.
2. They must act now and go carbon net zero by 2025.
3. They must set up a Citizens Assembly for the climate/ecological crisis.
Cardiff University students played an important role in the recent London protests as Matt (with support of Welsh XR groups) gave an 'alternative broadcast' outside the BBC building, in criticism of them 'not prioritising the climate crisis as an issue'.
The group has serious concerns over the findings of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which states greenhouse gas emissions need to have peaked by 2020, and decline from now on as to stand a chance of remaining at safe levels of global heating. The same statistics were found by the groups Mission 2020 and the World Economic Forum.
Four Cardiff students were arrested for 'minor crimes whilst peacefully protesting' during the protests, and have chosen to remain anonymous. Matt Tomlim said, "taking part in non-violent direct action against this government on climate inaction is not dirty or foul play by these students."
Going forward, the group is looking at new climate emergency policies of the University and the SU and plan to make both take radical action. They also have plans to put forward a motion at the SU's Annual General Meeting (AGM), however the specifics of this are still unknown. Their talk 'Heading for Extinction (And What To Do About It)' will return next month.