Extinction Rebellion – the radical environmental group funded by American millionaires with a global reach – have reaffirmed their support of eco-terrorism.
This call to violence came after David Suzuki, known as the godfather of the Canadian environmental movement, spoke at a recent Extinction Rebellion rally and called for blowing up pipelines. Suzuki said in a media interview:
“We’re in deep, deep doo-doo. This is what we’re come to. The next stage after this, there are going to be pipelines blown up if our leaders don’t pay attention to what’s going on.”
Suzuki later apologized for the remarks that were “spoken out of extreme frustration,” but Extinction Rebellion seized on the opportunity and doubled down on his comments. A press release from the group said:
“The statement by David Suzuki is a prediction of what is to come as the desperation of ordinary people increases while governments fail to address the climate and ecological emergency, and disasters and climate chaos destroy people’s lives.”
Later, a key leader with Extinction Rebellion went even further with threats of violence against government and business leaders. Vancouver Is Awesome reported:
“‘Not only will pipelines be blown up, but we can be certain that world leaders will be put on trial for treason or worse – be killed,’ says Zain Haq, Extinction Rebellion Canada’s National Action & Strategy Coordinator. ‘Although Extinction Rebellion activists are nonviolent, we cannot control the actions of those outside of this movement who may commit acts of violence.’”
Despite the group’s self-described claim to be a “non-violent civil disobedience” movement, this support for blowing up pipelines and threats of violence reveals Extinction Rebellion’s true colors.
Big American and UK Money, Global Reach
Extinction Rebellion is no local grassroots NGO. Instead, it receives major financial support from American and UK millionaires.
A 2019 New York Times story from reported:
“Climate change protesters from Extinction Rebellion snarled traffic in Washington on Monday and again on Friday. You might find yourself asking, ‘Who helps pays for this activism?’ The answer, in part, is the scions of some of America’s most famous families, including the Kennedys and the Gettys.”
That would be referring to Rory Kennedy (daughter of former U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy) and Aileen Getty (a granddaughter of former U.S. oil businessman Jean Paul Getty), who started the Climate Emergency Fund which has given hundreds of thousands of dollars to Extinction Rebellion. Getty’s foundation even touts its support for Extinction Rebellion.
According to Buzzfeed, Extinction Rebellion was started by two British nationals and profile of the group shows that these threats of violence come from a calculated strategy:
“From the outside, Extinction Rebellion looks like a freewheeling movement fond of elaborate costumes and outlandish stunts. There is actually a deeply thought-out method beneath its madness, even as some of its stunts have caused internal tensions, and its message is deadly serious. And as much as it caught the political world by surprise, it didn’t just spontaneously erupt.”
And in the United Kingdom, Extinction Rebellion receives support from hedge fund manager Sir Chris Hohn. Earlier this year, The Guardian reported that Hohn “paid himself just shy of £1m-a-day last year,” and is using his wealth to support the group:
“Instead, he has pumped money into Extinction Rebellion (XR), the ‘respectful disruption’ campaign that has staged high-profile sit-in protests around the world. When Hohn was revealed as XR’s single biggest donor, he said: ‘Humanity is aggressively destroying the world with climate change and there is an urgent need for us all to wake up to this fact.’”
Hohn is also the founder of the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, which spends heavily on climate activism.
This money has helped Extinction Rebellion stage massive, disruptive protests around the world including at the recent COP26 in Glasgow, and in London, New York City, Paris, and Tokyo.
Likewise, Suzuki has also benefitted from big American money. Since 2000, the David Suzuki Foundation has received major financial support from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund – one of the key groups backing the activist and litigation campaigns against the energy industry. More recently, the foundation received a total of nearly $1 million from the Packard Foundation, Hewlett Foundation, and Bullitt Foundation.
Repeated Calls for Eco-Terrorism
The comments from Suzuki and Extinction Rebellion aren’t the first-time eco-terrorists have incited violence and calls for damaging pipelines. In 2017, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued a report warning that a $900 million pipeline in Oklahoma could be the target of eco-terrorism attacks similar to those against the Dakota Access Pipeline.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Pennsylvania State Police also released a joint report on possible eco-terrorism directed at well sites, while in Iowa, two eco-terrorists “caused significant damage” to pipeline infrastructure by deliberately starting fires.
Even when there aren’t attempts to “blow up” pipelines, there has been vandalism against pipelines, including this past summer when protesters in Minnesota tried to stop construction of the Line 3 pipeline arguing environmental justice concerns for Native Americans. However, these not-so-peaceful protesters turned to vandalism and property destruction against Native-owned businesses.
Pipelines are the safest means of transporting oil and natural gas, and having this reliable infrastructure is critical as winter weather sets in across North America. No matter how much “extreme frustration” Suzuki and other activists express, it’s a fact that a significant portion of North Americans rely on pipelines to deliver the fuels that heat their homes – and frustration is no justification for advocating for violent, potentially life-threatening measures to achieve their keep it in the ground agenda just as Alberta Premier Jason Kenney stated:
This incitement to violence by David Suzuki is dangerous, and should be condemned universally.
In Canada we resolve our differences peacefully and democratically, not with threats of terrorism or acts of violence.https://t.co/6qFXmgvOam
— Jason Kenney (@jkenney) November 22, 2021
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