XR to hold Finsbury Park carnival, as central London protests continue

XR protesters in 2019.

XR protesters in 2019. - Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Extinction Rebellion groups are continuing activism around London this weekend with the Carnival for Climate Justice coming to Finsbury Park this weekend. 

XR Unify, a wing of Rebellion focused on promoting ethnic diversity has organised the festival – consisting of music, dancing, food stalls and discussions. 

Member Bhavini Patel, who is of Indian heritage and lives near Finsbury Park, said: “In [other] cultures we talk about the difficulties we face, but we also celebrate the good things.

“So the carnival is about the duality of celebration – joy, food, dance and music – as well as discussing the crisis on our doorsteps and ways to address it.” 

She added that the effects of climate change are being felt locally with the recent flooding displacing some families. 

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Finsbury Park will play host on Sunday, August 29, from 2-6pm with a march to the park beginning from Duckett's Common at 11.30am. 

Other XR groups have been hosting their Impossible Rebellion, a separate event that has been targeting the city over two weeks.

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Already this week, the group has staged a sit in at Cambridge Circus. At the time of writing, more than 100 arrests have been made over the course of the week. 

The events were preempted by a statement from the Met, which included thinly veiled criticism of the group following their previous demonstrations. 

The force said “hundreds if not thousands” of officers had been diverted from their duties to the scene of demonstrations. Meanwhile, businesses were impacted, as was public transport. 

Deputy police commissioner Matt Twist said: “Like everyone else, Extinction Rebellion has the right to assemble and the right to protest.

“However, these rights are qualified and are to be balanced against the rights of others.

“They do not have the right to cause serious disruption to London’s communities and prevent them going about their lawful business.”

Responding to the statement, spokesperson for Hackney Extinction Rebellion, Joe Coroneo-Seaman, said: “It’s a shame the police response is tending to discourage the protest as we are working to protect the planet.

“The disruption caused [by the protests] pales in comparison to the disruption we can expect [from climate change].

“It’s regrettable that the attitude is to deny protests. We are raising the alarm and want the police to understand the necessity of this protest.”

- The story has been modified from the original version, which suggested the central London protests were part of the same series of events as the Finsbury Park Carnival. There is no suggestion Met Police has criticised the staging of the Carnival. 

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