‘Counter-terrorism police placed the non-violent group Extinction Rebellion (XR) on a list of extremist ideologies that should be reported to the authorities running the Prevent programme, which aims to catch those at risk of committing atrocities, the Guardian has learned.
The climate emergency campaign group was included in a 12-page guide produced by counter-terrorism police in the south-east called “Safeguarding young people and adults from ideological extremism”, which is marked as “official”.
XR featured alongside threats to national security such as neo-Nazi terrorism and an pro-terrorist Islamist group. The guide was dated last November for police officers, government organisations and teachers who by law have to report concerns about radicalisation.
It says that issues to look out for include people who speak in “strong or emotive terms about environmental issues like climate change, ecology, species extinction, fracking, airport expansion or pollution”.
In the guide people are advised to listen and look out for young people who “neglect to attend school” or “participate in planned school walkouts” – an allusion to the school strikes for the climate, a global movement for which the activist Greta Thunberg is a lead proponent. Thousands of UK pupils, and millions worldwide, walked out of school last year in protest at government inaction on the climate crisis.’