Beyond Politics are a novel protest group inspired by, but not connected with Extinction Rebellion. Despite their name, they are in fact a political party, but they have just one policy, to install a new form of direct participatory democracy – a Citizens’ Assembly.
They intend to fight the London mayoral elections, as well as any local seats that arise, and eventually a General Election, but as their main concern is the total inadequacy of current political systems to deal with the global climate and ecological crisis, they are also a direct action group using civil disobedience with the intention of bringing down the government.
Once they have done this and installed a Citizens Assembly in its place, they will disband, thus hoping to avoid any ‘Animal Farm’ scenario, and also neatly avoiding the need for any actual policies other than the one focussed aim.
Yesterday they targeted the Kings Road branch of Foxtons estate agents, daubing their windows and handing out leaflets to highlight the crisis around housing costs in Western societies. This is the third protest action, following on from food, and travel.
Four people were arrested at the event on suspicion of criminal damage. When the police arrived, no-one tried to run away from the scene, and although social distancing is clearly difficult during arrests, it seemed the police took unnecessary health risks and despite repeated requests by a vulnerable woman, only one officer eventually donned facial covering. All four activists were released later that night on bail.
The pandemic has shown that our governments and the current systems are unable to adequately cope with global issues, especially highlighting the inequalities in how people are affected in crisis. On the same day as this action, the Met Office issued a stark warning that the world will reach 1.5˚ warming within 5 years. Our governments have made very little progress on the exponentially impending climate crisis and these campaigners believe that radical action is essential.
More info at beyondpoliticsparty.com