An international group of protesters is letting the air out of the tires of SUVs all around the world.

The people associated with the group that is involved in the nefarious activity are citing climate change as the impetus for their actions.

Some vehicles that many think to be relatively fuel-efficient are being targeted, as well.

According to several posts on Reddit, protestors have been organizing internationally to strike on the same day.

The Tyre Extinguishers

Calling the vehicles "death machines", the group feels that this is a great way to get their point across without causing any damage.

 

Not many of the people in the comments section condone the actions of the climate activists, but many people understand their feelings and agree that something needs to be done, but deflating tires isn't it.

Most of the activists left a note on every vehicle they targeted (again, it was mostly large SUVs; obvious gas-guzzlers), and it read as follows:

ATTENTION - your gas guzzler kills.

We have deflated one or more of your tyres.

 

You'll be angry, but don't take it personally. It's not you, it's your car.

 

We did this because driving around urban areas in your massive vehicle has huge consequences for others.

 

Car companies try to convince us we need massive cars. But SUVs and 4x4s are a disaster for our climate.  SUVs are the second-largest cause of the global rise in carbon dioxide emissions over the past decade - more than the aviation industry.

 

The world is facing a climate emergency. According to the UN, millions of people are already dying from climate change-related causes - drought, hurricanes, floods, forced migration, starvation. So far, the impacts on you have probably been minimal. We need emergency action to reduce emissions immediately. We're taking actions into our own hands because our governments and politicians will not.

 

Even if you don't care about the impacts on people far away from you, there's also consequences for your neighbours. 

SUVs cause more air pollution than smaller cars. SUVs are more likely to kill people than normal cars in collisions. Psychological studies show SUV drivers are more likely to take risks on the road. SUVs are unnecessary, and pure vanity.

 

That's why we have taken this action. You will have no difficulty getting around without your gas guzzler, with walking, cycling or public transport.

 

(Driving hybrid or electric? These are still polluting, dangerous, and cause congestion. See more on our website.)

 

The Tyre Extinguishers

 

WHO ARE THE TYRE EXTINGUISHERS

According to the Tyre Extinguishers website, the organization has no leader, anyone can participate, they want to ban large vehicles, and they are tired of "being polite".

From their website:

We are people from all walks of life with one aim: To make it impossible to own a huge polluting 4x4 in the world’s urban areas. We are defending ourselves against climate change, air pollution and unsafe drivers.

To "defend themselves", they only do 1 thing: deflate tires.

Deflating tyres repeatedly and encouraging others to do the same will turn the minor inconvenience of a flat tyre into a giant obstacle for driving massive killer vehicles around our streets.

They are taking action because, they say, "governments and politicians have failed" to do anything about the SUVs.

Their vision is to be able to live with clean air and streets void of SUVs, as they deem them unsafe.

Politely asking and protesting for these things has failed. It’s time for action. Join us.

No membership fees, no monthly meetings, no pledge to remember - just know how to release air from tires on SUVs.

We have no leader - anyone can take part, wherever you are, using the simple instructions on this website.

 According to the Tyre Extinguishers Twitter account, activists kept count of how many vehicles were targeted in the overnight attack. Most of the attacks appear to have occurred in the UK. The group claims a total of more than 600 vehicles were targeted with a reported 252 of those vehicles being in the UK alone. 60 in Switzerland. 50 in Denmark. 47 in Germany. 97 in France.

These numbers are just from last night's attack. The group claims that, so far, they've targeted over 9,000 vehicles, deflating at least one tire on each vehicle.

Last night's planned attack was strategically timed: it occurred exactly two months before COP27, which is the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference.

So, if this were to happen in the United States (we could not find reports of it happening here - yet), what could happen to the protesters deflating tires?

They could be facing a criminal mischief charge which, in most jurisdictions, appears to be a "Class C" misdemeanor. The guilty party could face a fine of up to $500 (plus court costs).

Even though no real damage occurs, creating a "substantial inconvenience" for others is actionable through the court system.

The Tyre Extinguishers list instructions on how to deflate tires, and it does not call for removing the valve from the valve stem; they recommend putting a bean or a pebble under the stem cap and screwing the cap down until air starts to escape.

All the owner needs to do is air up the tires and they are still good to go. Yes, an inconvenience (maybe a "substantial inconvenience"), but in most cases no real damage.

If you think that the Tyre Extinguishers are heartless, here's a portion of their instructions that say otherwise:

Avoid: Cars clearly used for people with disabilities, traders’ cars (even if they’re large), minibuses and normal-sized cars.

And by "trader's cars", they mean business vehicles.

The group also asks that anyone who deflates tires leave one of their leaflets on the vehicle so the owner knows that the tires are flat, and so that they'll know why the tires are flat.

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