Unlike many activists, Tire Extinguishers don’t just protest and rally to spread the word: they also go to war against SUVs, stating that their aim is to “disarm” as many as possible in one single campaign. This gives the group their name, because disarming a vehicle means letting the air out of the tires by inserting sharp objects into the air valves.
After getting their start in the UK and then popping up in the U.S. (in New York City, no less), Tire Extinguishers have now branched out into Canada. In an email to The Record, they’re saying they have been able to “disarm” a total of 60 SUVs in just one night in Kitchener, Ontario. On the other hand, Waterloo Regional Police say that the number is closer to 30 – which is still 30 vehicles more than there should be.
The MO has remained the same as in the UK and the U.S.: SUV owners woke up to find one or two (or even more) tires deflated on their vehicle and a pamphlet in the windshield, informing them that their lifestyle choice is playing a significant role in climate change and the eventual death of our planet.
These notes, as well as the email sent to the publication, were signed “Tyre Extinguishers Waterloo Region,” which points to the emergence of different chapters of the group in various locations.
That the auto industry is partly responsible for the spike in CO2 emissions and, implicitly, climate change is a known fact. Another known fact is that SUVs are higher pollutants, for the obvious reason: they’re bigger in size, so their carbon footprint is also bigger. But activism that leans on destruction of private property inches closer to terrorism – and it’s not the way to solve a problem as pressing and important as this one.