extinction rebellion child milk dairy products
© Ana Fernandez / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images; Sandra Mu / Getty Images
(L) A Red Rebel is seen performing under the watchful eye of the police during the demonstration. (R) Nico Mu of St Dominics Primary School enjoys a drink of milk.
Extinction Rebellion's latest stunt is to campaign for vegan school meals because dairy products "discriminate against non-white people." Any credibility they have left is being eroded as they become a parody of themselves.

Some of the woke warriors within Extinction Rebellion may well be the dumbest and most intolerant people on planet Earth. And this world's not short on stupid intolerance.

They would not though, of course, accept that they are behaving in exactly the same way as the people they claim they most despise.

Their basic argument is one that most people would probably agree with. How could you not? They're demanding that governments across the globe take action against climate change because if they don't, most life on Earth will die. Slowly. Your grandchildren won't be able to breathe. That's a pretty persuasive argument.

XR, as they like to be called because it sounds cool, is a "non-violent civil disobedience activist movement that wants the world to declare a 'climate and ecological emergency.'" Fair enough. I'm with them this far. We have to act, as a species. That's very clear.


But then, you see, it all starts to go horribly wrong.

Enter people such as Alison Plaumer. This obsessive XR eco-warrior reckons that giving kids milk is "racist" and is demanding two plant-based days a week be added to the school meals schedule, and that ALL council functions go vegan.

Here's what she said at a local council meeting held over Zoom. It's cracking stuff.
"Arguably, there is a racist element to serving dairy too much because 65% of the world's population are lactose intolerant, many from the BAME community. Loads of parents around here give lots of support to this. What do children want? They want action. They want it now."
Even that end bit sounds like a chant from a march. And note, for the record, she's not black, Asian or minority ethnic - she's not a member of the BAME community (you see how some Guardian writer or other wokeist switched those last two letters around to create a fake word that rolls easier off the tongue?).

Here's a simple solution that perhaps XR hadn't thought of: how about, if you happen to be lactose intolerant, you just don't drink milk? And, err, many councils across the country do actually already give kids a vegan option on their school meal menus. Their parents have the choice. But, here's the rub...many of these activists don't want people to have a choice. They simply want to impose their will upon everyone else.

They want everyone in the world to turn vegan TODAY or they'll shoot you with recycled bullets. Your rotting corpse could come in really handy as fertiliser; plants need food too.
Alison Plaumer
© SussexLive/BPM; Alamy
Alison Plaumer is a social sciences lecturer and former Green Party employee
Ms. - I'm not sure what her preferred pronoun is, but I'm fairly sure it'll be on her list of daily battles - Plaumer, of course, lives in Brighton. I used to live in Brighton too; it's a nice place. It's beside the sea and there's a fast train to London that takes less than an hour (when it works).

Us commuters often saw crusty folk on that train in their recycled clothes carrying placards to a London protest. It would take way too long to walk and would wear out their boots. Plus, of course, it'd be totally impractical - it's a full day's stroll and they'd be too knackered to even get arrested when they got there.

And getting nicked seems to be part of the XR strategy, as around 3,500 of their protestors have been arrested in Britain alone, usually on very minor public order offences. XR was only launched in 2018 though, so that's pretty good going - although I'd bet a pint of soy milk that the same few people have been arrested more than once.

There have been loads of protests in those few years. A couple of weeks ago, on April Fools' Day, XR activists sprayed 'oil' all over the front of the Bank of England as part of the group's action against financial institutions and their role in the oil trade. It wasn't real oil, of course, but black pond dye and a thickening agent called 'guar gum'.

Only this Tuesday, a pair of protesters were arrested for using hammers and chisels to break the windows of a Barclays Bank branch in Norwich. What about the environmental impact of making and replacing that glass? What about the environmental impact of cleaning the Bank of England facade? What about the fuel those police vehicles burnt to get there and then ferry those protesters to the nick?

In September last year, a handful of protesters glued themselves to the pavement outside one of the main entrances to the Houses of Parliament to try and stop MPs from entering and "causing more harm."

It's not just in Britain, of course: 70 protesters were arrested outside the New York Times headquarters after they lay down in the street to demand the newspaper stopped using the term 'climate change' and instead used the phrase 'climate emergency'. Dozens of protesters chained themselves to the Chancellery in Berlin demanding that Angela Merkel's government do the same thing.

And the list goes on, probably forever. You'll be reading about a fresh protest very very soon, that's for sure.

But do not, whatever you do, ever get stuck in a lift with Alison Plaumer or her ilk. I'd rather be trapped with a rabid preacher, rapping out a Psalm to a beatbox.

One of XR's core demands is a citizens' assembly to 'oversee the changes' required. Now, here's the killer question: Would you want Alison Plaumer and people like her to have real power over your daily existence? Can you imagine what that world would look like?

Imagine a world in which your diet, travel arrangements and even your pronouns are policed. It would be a world in which pretty much everything you say or do - think, even - would potentially be breaking some brand new law. And Ms. Plaumer still wouldn't be happy; there would always be something over which to protest. Humans are, after all, only human.

The problem for XR is that when not very bright lumps such as Alison Plaumer make it into the news with their idiotic and control freak demands upon ALL other people, we stop listening to the actual sensible things they might be saying.

And if people aren't listening, the world will continue dying. Slowly. Big-mouthed, politically-inept zealots will only make people rebel - against Extinction Rebellion.
Charlie Stone is an author and journalist who has worked for the BBC, several national newspapers in the UK and international media.