Extinction Rebellion are damaging their own cause | Cheryl Gibbs

It’s not very often I get spooked going to London. I’ve been in the city during some terrible times but when you’re a commuter and your livelihood is in the big smoke, there’s not a lot you can do really.

Thursday, 17th October 2019, 5:59 pm
Picture taken with permission from the Twitter feed of @ChrisChrysanth2 showing Extinction Rebellion protesters on the roof of an Underground train surrounded by angry commuters at Canning Town station in east London. Photo credit: @ChrisChrysanth2/PA Wire

Fortunately I don’t work up there as such anymore, instead I go up for meetings, usually once or twice a week. 

But thankfully I didn’t have to go this week and I’m glad.

Perhaps being pregnant has made me more vigilant to the dangers out there, but some of the scenes I watched this week made my blood run cold.

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The situation with the Extinction Rebellion protests has become dangerous. I rarely voice my opinions on matters like this in my column and certainly don't relate to politics.

I genuinely believe in freedom of speech and the rights of an individual to protest is what helps makes this country democratic – although I fear this term is increasingly becoming questionable. 

Whether you agree with the causes of Extinction Rebellion who are protesting about climate change or not, the situation in London this week got particularly dangerous when protesters descended on Canning Town station, unfurling a banner on top of a train which read ‘business as usual = death’. 

Two men scaled a train as it waited to depart which sparked violent fury from commuters.

There was a video showing a commuter hurling a cup of coffee at one of the protesters and a man being dragged down from the top of a train and then attacked before a London Underground employee stepped in – it really got out of hand.

I’ve been to Canning Town several times during the last month and the thought of being caught up among the protests terrifies me.

Extinction Rebellion are allegedly going to be targeting more London Underground stations and Gatwick airport over the next week too.

Come on, peaceful protests are what makes this nation great  – but peaceful being the operative word here.

We don’t have to all get along and we certainly don’t have to agree with each other’s opinions, but let’s just respect them at least. 


The power of social media never ceases to amaze me

There are still a few A-list celebrities who aren’t on social media and I applaud them. 

But I was thrilled when Friends star Jennifer Aniston joined Instagram this week. She may be several years later than the rest of the world, but that didn’t stop her legions of fans following her which let to the social media site crashing – she became the fastest account holder to reach one million followers, surpassing the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s account Sussex Royal.

To date, she has nearly 11.5m followers – that’s insane! Naturally I’m one of them (you’re welcome Jen) but I did wait a few days before following…crashing Instagram was the least of my priorities.


Congratulations to Blake and Ryan on their new baby

Congratulations to Ryan Reynolds and his wife Blake Lively for the birth of their third child.

The couple shared a rare photo this week, the first with their new baby, having only announced a couple of weeks ago that she was pregnant.

The media-shy pair posted a beautiful photo with their baby who wore a blue hat, but Ryan may have given the game away when he captioned it: 'I want my daughters to experience the same natural playground I grew up in’, relating to the forest where the photo was taken.

I would imagine the blue hat was trying to throw fans off the baby’s gender and my guessing is they’ve had another girl – either way, congratulations!