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Tipsheet

Climate Activists Are Targeting SUVs in These US Cities. Here's What They're Doing to Them.

AP Photo//Land Rover North America

Environmental activists are known for pulling stunts like chaining themselves to boats, banks, the White House fence—you name it—to get their message across. They’ve glued themselves to famous paintings, smeared frosting on the Mona Lisa, and have a penchant for blocking roads and tunnels. Now, however, they’re taking their activism one step further.

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What started as a trend among environmental activists in the United Kingdom has now come to the U.S.

Known as the Tyre Extinguishers, the international movement has set its sights on American SUVs in major cities across the country.

“We will make it impossible to own an SUV in the world’s urban areas,” the group’s Twitter bio states. “For climate, health, public safety.”

As their name suggests, the organization’s followers deflate tires “because government and politicians have failed to protect us from these huge vehicles. Everyone hates them, apart from the people who drive them,” according to their website.

The group offers instructions for anyone to take part, suggesting that “posh/middle class areas” are targeted. They also recommend printing out a leaflet to leave on the SUV’s windshield so the owner knows why their vehicle was targeted.

A map shared by the group, which was created by the Daily Mail, shows the locations in the U.K. and U.S. where tires have been deflated.

Thus far, more than 100 tires in New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, and Philadelphia were deflated in recent weeks, though as the group notes, the Daily Mail’s graphic is not a complete list.  

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People who drive hybrid or electric vehicles aren't safe from the vandals, either. According to their leaflet, “these are still polluting, dangerous and cause congestion.”

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