It has been a matter of some speculation as to how a farmers protest, localized at the borders of Delhi, ended up making news around the world. But after the protest toolkit was accidentally tweeted out by Greta Thunberg, and its creators have begun singing, details are beginning to emerge. And one of the organizations that helped take the protest international was something called ‘Extinction Rebellion’.
Nikita Jacob, who had been editing the toolkit and now has a non-bailable arrest warrant in her name, says that the toolkit had been made by the volunteers of Extinction Rebellion. Extinction Rebellion, for the uninitiated, is a group founded in UK in 2018 that has a stated aim of “using nonviolent civil disobedience to compel government action to avoid tipping points in the climate system, biodiversity loss, and the risk of social and ecological collapse”. It had risen to prominence in the UK, when its members had brought the city of London to a standstill, supposedly to protest against climate change.
Ever since the toolkit became public, Extinction Rebellion has tried to play down its role in the protests. All tweets around the farmers protests from its India chapter’s Twitter account seem to be deleted, and its Instagram account has been made private. But there are still clues on the internet as to how Extinction Rebellion spread the farmer protest issue through its web of global Twitter handles.
It’s now apparent that the toolkit wasn’t created simply by the India chapter of Extinction Rebellion — knowledge of the toolkit went up to the very top of the organization. On 23rd January — three days before Republic Day — Gail Bradbook, who is the co-founder of Extinction Rebellion, tweeted out something from the toolkit. “Why is India allowing big corporate bail-outs and tax rebates but not small farmer bail-outs and loan waivers?” she tweeted. She also added the tags that were mentioned in the toolkit, including the #AskIndiaWhy hashtag, that was a part of Khalistan-supporting Poetic Justice Foundation’s website, and tagged prominent Indian leftists including Rahul Gandhi, Shashi Tharoor, Derek O’ Brien, Barkha Dutt, Faye D’Souza and Alt News’ Mohammad Zubair.
At this point, the tweet was picked up by Extinction Rebellion’s vast global network. 8 minutes after Gail Bradbook’s tweet, the exact same tweet was tweeted out by Extinction Rebellion’s Gambia chapter.
It was tweeted by some other users who were associated with Extinction Rebellion, and then around 45 minutes later, was tweeted by the Scotland chapter of Extinction Rebellion. This time, they also attached a picture from the toolkit.
The tweet was also sent out by the Ottawa chapter of Extinction Rebellion in Canada, tagging Canadian PM Justin Trudeau, and Extinction Rebellion’s Canada account.
It was also tweeted by Extinction Rebellion’s Uganda chapter.
On 24th January, two days before Republic Day, the tweet was sent out by the main Extinction Rebellion account, which has over 3.5 lakh followers.
It was picked up by other Extinction Rebellion accounts in the UK, which also tagged the people mentioned in the toolkit, including Barkha Dutt, Faye D’Souza and Alt News’ Mohammed Zubair.
The tweets kept coming in till Republic Day, when they abruptly stopped. It’s unclear if that was because of the violence that occurred in Delhi, or the accounts had been given instructions to only post till 26th January, but not a single tweet with the same text has been sent out after Republic Day.
It was these tweets, in part, which led to the farmer protests becoming a worldwide issue on Twitter. Extinction Rebellion didn’t only create the toolkit through its volunteers, including Nikita Jacob and Shantanu in India, but also spread the tweets through its network of Twitter accounts. Ironically, the chief message that was being sent out wasn’t even true — all the Extinction Rebellion accounts insisted that India wasn’t giving out loan bail out to farmers, which is not only inaccurate, because India often waives farmer loans, but loan waivers has nothing to do with the farm laws.
George Soros allegedly funds Extinction Rebellion
It’s odd how an organization that claims to fight climate change decided to take a political stand against a bill that is decidedly beneficial for the environment, but it would appear that Extinction Rebellion’s climate advocacy is just a cover for its political ends. In 2019, Extinction Rebellion’s Finland chapter had left a detailed document open to the public, which had been saved up an anonymous user. That document, which couldn’t be independently verified, but is still up on the internet, says that George Soros had been listed as one of the donors to Extinction Rebellion.
And Extinction Rebellion’s actions would be right out of the George Soros playbook. Last year, George Soros had committed $1 billion towards fighting “nationalists and climate change”, and Extinction Rebellion’s actions in targeting the Modi government over what was portrayed into an environment issue would check both boxes. This ought to being Extinction Rebellion’s India activities under immediate scrutiny — were its India members acting at the bidding of a foreign player to attempt to destabilize India’s democratically elected government?