Boris Johnson labels Extinction Rebellion protesters 'uncooperative crusties on hemp bivouacs'

He's made an enemy of most politicians in the British Parliament, now Boris Johnson is in the crosshairs of climate protesters after labelling them "uncooperative crusties" occupying "heaving hemp bivouacs".

On Monday, hundreds of protesters swamped streets around the world calling for more urgent action to combat climate change. 

London was one such city brought to a standstill by the Extinction Rebellion demonstrators who camped on the streets and demanded the Government make large structural changes to lower carbon emissions.

The protests were so large, Prime Minister Johnson was advised not to attend an event launching a biography of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

He ended up going to the event held at Banqueting House in central London and, while there, attacked the protesters in a speech.

"I am afraid that the security people didn't want me to come along tonight because they said the road was full of uncooperative crusties and protesters of all kinds littering the road. And they said there was some risk that I would be egged," he said. 

Boris Johnson labels Extinction Rebellion protesters 'uncooperative crusties on hemp bivouacs'
Photo credit: Getty.

He then went on to praise the book, written by his former boss at the Daily Telegraph, Charles Moore, and said the protesters could learn from Thatcher.

"The best thing possible for the education of the denizens of the heaving hemp-smelling bivouacs that now litter Trafalgar Square and Hyde Park, the best thing would be for them to stop blocking the traffic and buy a copy of Charles's magnificent book so that they can learn about a true feminist, green and revolutionary who changed the world for the better."

But the "crusties" have hit back, with one protester, Nicola Hargreaves, telling The Guardian that the comments were ridiculous. 

"I'm a solicitor… I'm dressed in clothes from Whistles that I'm pretty sure don't have any hemp in them at all. So Boris can shove his comments up his arse."

"It makes me half angry, and half I laugh at him because he's so ridiculous, he's devolved from reality."

Extinction Rebellion's political strategist Ronan Harrington told The Independent that he was confused by Johnson's criticism considering the Prime Minister's family are environmentalists.

"His father Stanley came out in support of Extinction Rebellion, his partner Carrie is a vocal advocate of action on the climate emergency. They are many of the diverse voices that are speaking for the urgent threat that we face," Harrington said.

"Extinction Rebellion, of course, has hippy activists but we're also a movement of mums, doctors, lawyers, builders, priests and rabbis that are uncooperative and will continue to make great sacrifices."

Johnson's image on environment and climate change issues has been carefully managed. Last week, an aide grabbed a disposable cup out of his hand in fear that the Prime Minister may be pictured with it. 

More than 60 cities are expected to see Extinction Rebellion protests this week, with the London demonstration planned to last two weeks.


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