UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tapped John Woodcock, a former Labour MP who now sits in the House of Lords as Lord Walney, to look into the claims that far-left activists have “hijacked” the Black Lives Matter (BLM) and Extinction Rebellion (XR) movements.
The British prime minister’s pick, Woodcock, told The Telegraph that some left-wing groups had previously “overstepp[ed] the mark into antisocial behaviour”, citing XR as one example. In September 2020, hundreds of XR activists were arrested during climate crisis protests in central London on suspicion of public order offences and violation of coronavirus rules. Earlier, in summer, a series of Black Lives Matter protests took place across the country, with some of them being accompanied by violence and vandalism. These incidents prompted Prime Minister Boris Johnson to suggest that the anti-racist movement had been hijacked by a minority “using them as a pretext to attack the police, to cause violence and to cause damage to public property”.
Racial & Environmental Issues Have Become Vehicles for Rioters
Although the goals declared by the Extinction Rebellion and BLM appear to be laudable, No 10 believes that some organisations and activists have jumped on the movements’ bandwagon to promote ideas unrelated to the original agenda.
In October 2019, the Extinction Rebellion movement’s shutdown of central London created havoc in the streets, prompting criticism from the government. Boris Johnson denounced the…