The unusually warm climate of the tail end of March might have been the perfect weather for a street party to the average Londoner – perhaps not so for the environmentally conscious activists Extinction Rebellion.

The organisation, which campaigns for government action to prevent the impending climate disaster, took over Crouch End Broadway on Sunday 24th of March with banners, bakes, signs and songs to spread awareness, potentially attract new members, and incite change.

Though activist groups are often demonised in the media for being destructive and radical while protesting, Extinction Rebellion seemed keen to promote the family-friendly, peaceful nature of their event. Indeed, the green outside Hornsey town hall was populated by small groups of children enjoying face painting activities and buying cakes to raise funds for the organisation.

Of course, alongside the hopeful and positive tone of the entertainment was a rightful undercurrent of anger. Musicians and speakers stood tall on a makeshift podium spreading information about what the government hides about climate change, as well as promoting dates for future events.

The most impactful aspect of the event for me personally was when banner-holders swarmed the road to halt traffic for four minute bursts, forcing drivers to pay attention to their cause and encouraging them to switch off their engines for the interval.

A representative from the Muswell Hill and Hornsey branch of Friends of the Earth was also in attendance; Tim Root was there to inform the public about the environmentally irresponsible investments that HSBC have made recently in developing countries were the ecological impact will be dire. His group would be collecting signed postcards from the public at HSBC’s Muswell Hill branch on Saturday 30th March to pressurise the bank to withdraw these disastrous investments.

Overall, the impressive number of names and email addresses that filled the activists’ clipboards evidenced that their street party had certainly been successful in engaging the community in ecological issues.

Regardless of where we live, what we earn, or who we support politically, we are all facing a catastrophe of a future where our very lives are uncertain. Therefore, I would encourage as many people as possible to get involved with events run by Extinction Rebellion, or at least learn more about the environmental crisis so that all of us can make some degree of positive change.

The next major event that they are organising is a two week campout from April 15th in cities across the country, such as in Parliament Square in London, blocking the roads to draw attention to their cause and pressurise the government to enter talks with them.

It will be fascinating to see the response to this from the government. Environmental protests have been booming recently, most notably with the students’ ‘school strike for climate’ which I myself was involved in. However, the length of this protest – a whole two week stretch of blocked roads – is unprecedented, and is sure to garner attention providing that enough people join in.

On their website the group point out that activists have been lobbying using marches and petitions for years to minimal effect, especially when considering the urgency of our precarious situation. They deem it necessary for activists to match this urgency by upscaling the intensity, hence the unusual length of their protest and willingness to accept arrests if necessary.

The unfortunate side of this unique approach is that many people who would normally get involved will not be able to attend, simply due to being unable to commit a full two week stretch of their time. For example, many students in the Easter holiday will be restricted by the approach of their mock exams. This could negatively affect the numbers at the protest, making it smaller and lower profile.

Potentially it could even be regarded as somewhat elitist, as it excludes activists who may not be able to afford to book a full two weeks off work to camp out in the square.

Nevertheless, the steadfast passion and determination shown by Extinction Rebellion is inspirational and a ray of hope in a society that tends to forget about long term crises like climate change among short term, superficial political issues like party infighting. As a result, I truly wish them all the success they deserve for their protest on April 15th.

You can find out more about Extinction Rebellion and sign up to get involved on their website at