WEEKLY ROUNDUP: EXTINCTION REBELLION, RACISM IN FOOTBALL AND BERNIE IS BACK
by isised | October 20, 2019
Extinction Rebellion Takes Legal Action on Protest Ban in London
Since International Rebellion’s coordinated protests have swept through more than sixty cities around the world, thousands of environmental activists have been arrested in their efforts to demand for more action on climate change. In a recent edict, London’s Metropolitan Police issued a Section 14 order on Monday: “…Any assembly linked to the Extinction Rebellion ‘Autumn Uprising’ must now cease their protest(s) within London.”
Spokesperson Zion Lights representing the environmental group expressed concern around the “draconian policing methods” used by authorities in attempting to block protests, stating that the move to ban the movement signals an “erosion of democracy…while the real criminals continue to destroy the health of our planet.” Another representative, Julian Thompson, stated: “At a time when it’s more important than ever to peacefully assemble and protest on these emergencies, we are now at risk of being silenced by the authorities…This is a dangerous precedent. We need more democracy, not less.” In response to the prohibition, Extinction Rebellion has launched legal action against London’s Metropolitan Police. The group’s legal representatives are seeking a High Court ruling overturning the ban in an emergency hearing this week. – Naomi
Racist Abuse in England’s 2020 Euro Qualifier
England’s Euro 2020 qualifying match made headlines not for their 6-0 win, but for the racist and anti-Semitic chanting from sections of the Bulgarian crowd which stopped play twice. Six of the fifteen ‘Ultras’ the Bulgarian police force have identified as responsible have been arrested, but the problem of racism in football seems continues to haunt the sport at all levels, with calls directed at Uefa (the Union of European Football Associations), to ban repeat-offenders Bulgaria from the competition.
Pupils from Raheem Sterling’s school have spoken out about how seeing Sterling play at the top level inspires them, but that efforts to end racism in football are “not enough” (BBC News). Despite the introduction of Uefa’s three-step racism protocol in 2009, questions are being asked of footballing bodies’ commitment to punishing racist behaviour, with Sweden paying over 70,000 dollars for wearing non-approved socks at the 2018 World Cup compared to the 10,000 dollar fine levied at Russia after a fan flew a Neo-Nazi banner. Indeed, Monday’s game against Bulgaria was just the latest in a long line of incidents, both international and domestic. Danny Rose spoke out in April this year, saying he “can’t wait to see the back of football” after Montenegro was fined for racist behaviour in their Euro 2020 qualifier, while three Chelsea fans were suspended in December for abuse directed at Sterling in a 2018 Premier League Match. As it stands, Uefa’s plan, now a decade old, has failed to protect players, staff and supporters from racism in football. – Isla
Race for Democratic Nomination in US Continues
After suffering a heart attack on 1 October, it appeared that Bernie Sanders’ Presidential campaign had run its course. The 78 year-old Vermont Senator has slowly but surely lost ground to Elizabeth Warren over the last month, seen as the other leading contender from the progressive wing of the party. This week however, Sanders got his campaign firmly back on track. The endorsement of New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez at a rally of 25,000 people in Queens (the largest crowd drawn by any candidate) has revitalised the movement he started back in 2015. It remains to be seen whether Sanders will be successful in his efforts to become the progressive challenger to frontrunner Joe Biden, but his words make clear he has no plans to quit anytime soon: ‘To put it bluntly, I am back.’
In a bizarre development to the race, Hillary Clinton dramatically inserted herself into the conversation this week by accusing Hawaii congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard of being ‘the favourite of the Russians’. Gabbard’s team predictably seized upon Clinton’s comments as an opportunity to kickstart a previously faltering campaign. Why Clinton has chosen this moment to get involved is a mystery, but at a time where impeachment is the number one issue in American politics, it is ill-advised for Democrats to focus on infighting. – Jack
Art by Ng Wei Kai. Words by Naomi SK, Isla Chaplin and Jack Womack.