Extinction Rebellion movement here to stay, says Chris Packham

The Extinction Rebellion movement is here to stay, will not go away, and is set to keep growing, wildlife television presenter Chris Packham has said.

Speaking on Waterloo Bridge in London, after addressing the activists still gathered on the River Thames crossing from the top of a bus shelter, he said the movement has already achieved change.

Asked by the Press Association if he thought the Government would listen to their demands, Mr Packham said: “Well if they don’t listen next week they’ll listen next time, because we are not going away, this movement is here to stay.

“We will continue to peacefully demonstrate our concerns and the Government will eventually come to the table – we know these things work, it’s worked all the way throughout history.

“This is the most important time in our planet’s history to make things work.”

He praised the efforts of the XR movement and the campaigners who have glued and locked themselves on to surfaces, and said that because of its success he is “absolutely certain it will grow”.

“It is very important that the movement makes sure it keeps public support on its side,” the 57-year-old broadcaster said.

“Therefore we need to change our plans, we also need to gather more public support and to do that we need to be more imaginative, when we do something next time it has got to be different.”

Chris Packham
Chris Packham said it was a human movement (Victoria Jones/PA)

Asked whether he had a message for Prime Minister Theresa May or Environment Secretary Michael Gove, Mr Packham said: “Come and say hello, we are nice people, we are really polite.”

He added: “I really hope that our politicians look at us and think ‘this has not been a mob, this has not been a riot, it’s not been a rabble, this is a rational collection of people who want to talk’, that is it basically.

“So please come to the table and show us that we can begin to trust you again when it comes to making effective and instant changes and when it comes to protecting our climate.”

Asked which animal species he would compare the XR movement with, Mr Packham said it was a “very human” affair.

“It is very resourceful, it’s very adaptable, it’s very intelligent and intellectual – it is a human movement,” he said.

“But of course that movement is responsible for looking after other species on the planet, and that’s one of the principal reasons I am here as well.

“I love life, all life, not just humans or butterflies or birds, all life.

“And to protect that beauty of life on our planet we need our politicians to act and we need to do it now.”