The Red Brigade
London, October 2019. Extinction Rebellion and Brexit. At times it seemed chaotic. Massive police presence, sirens, horns, blocked roads, closed bridges, and the constant hum of helicopters. I haven’t seen other big protests in London, so no sweeping statements here, but it felt significant.
I wanted to come away with photos that conveyed a sense of the United Kingdom facing a split from the European Union. There was a chance that the UK would split away or take the necessary step to split away on 31 October, but they got another delay. I’ve read a lot about Brexit, but I still find it confusing. It was reassuring to hear from a few folks there that they also find it confusing. Several I spoke to are just ready to move on one way or another, out of limbo.
I didn’t know about the Extinction Rebellion before I arrived. I was amazed at the amount of grassroots, volunteer-driven planning and coordination that must have gone into that. For about two weeks the Extinction Rebellion shut down various parts of the city. The protesters slept in tents on the streets in the cold and rain. They believe it’s now or never.
I randomly bumped into the Red Brigade. I saw someone in the distance carrying a sign with the Extinction Rebellion logo, and then I saw a few people in red. They were incredible. Silent and mysterious. I followed them for a while. It’s funny, I’d guess for an hour, but it could have been twenty minutes.