TV

Susanna Reid clashes with XR activist for swerving ‘responsibility’

Susanna Reid challenges Extinction Rebellion Media Coordinator

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It comes as the climate activist movement announced it has decided to take on a less controversial approach to attract more people to their cause. In recent years, the activists have come under fire for causing public disruption and stopping ambulances from being able to take patients to hospitals as they force road closures. Marijn Van De Geer joined Good Morning Britain’s Susanna Reid and Richard Madeley on Wednesday, where she deflected the movement’s responsibility over other, more radical factions which were inspired by the initial movement. Susanna clashed with Marijn, accusing her of swerving “responsibility”.

Susanna cited an interview from a few years ago in which a climate activist tried to sell the cause by dressing up as a broccoli on Good Morning Britain and pretending to speak on the phone using a banana.

Labelling those examples of protest as “ridiculous,” Susanna struggled to accept Marijn’s argument that the protester was from a different group.

The activist argued that Just Stop Oil, Insulate Britain and Animal Rebellion were separate from Extinction Rebellion, although each had been linked to the movement.

Marijn continued to explain Extinction Rebellion would be changing its tactics but didn’t elaborate.

“Are you finally admitting that these tactics don’t work?” Susanna asked the guest.

Marijn began to reply: “No, we’re not admitting -“

However, Susanna cut in to point out: “And in that broccoli case, it’s ridiculous and in the case of blocking access to London’s bridges which, as we know, there are documented cases of people not being able to get to hospital for instance, or to appointments or to cancer treatment… that actually you’re just losing more people than you’re gaining?”

The broadcaster fumed: “And you’ve said the people that you’re gaining, you believe you’re putting at risk.

“I mean, when you say, ‘We quit,’ it’s an acknowledgement of failure.”

“No, it’s not,” the guest argued. “So we’re definitely not putting people at risk.

“You know, there’s careful training, we have an amazing legal team, all volunteers.

“We would never put people at risk who don’t want to be at risk.”

Hitting back at the protester, the host remarked: “I mean, you’re trying to make this quite convoluted argument that you don’t have responsibility for someone who dresses up as a broccoli to appear on national television…”

“Yeah, we don’t – that’s Animal Rebellion- they do them!” Marijn laughed.

“But it’s all part of the same network!” Susanna pointed out.

The guest confirmed this before Susanna went on: “Extinction Rebellion say, ‘We quit, not going to do any more of this direct action.’

“Just Stop Oil and Insulate Britain, should they stop as well?”

“No, absolutely not,” the Extinction Rebellion member responded.

She added: “And we haven’t said that we’re going to stop direct action, we’re going to continue direct action but we’re targetting it now to the pillars of power.”

“You’ll protest but you won’t glue yourself to trains?” Susanna clarified.

Swerving the question, the guest answered: “We won’t inconvenience the general public.”

“You won’t shut the M25?” Richard asked. “All that’s in the past?”

“But you’re allowing Just Stop Oil and Insulate Britain to continue that?” Susanna challenged Marijn.

“That’s not up to me,” Marijn replied. “We are in solidarity with what they do.”

Good Morning Britain airs weekdays from 6am on ITV.

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