The reputations of the Swampys of this world are for being a bloody nuisance, but essentially peaceful - mostly putting themselves at hazard, in fact. XR and Insulate are a bit more "above ground", so to speak, but still basically eschewing outright, first-degree violence. (Death by delayed ambulance is bad enough for victims and their families, but it's at one step removed.) The occasional window gets put in: and the blocking and slow-walking practised by anti-frackers etc doubtless cost their targets time and money. Still, the basic thrust of green protest is broadly non-violent.
Many a hardline leftie has long despised these people, on several grounds. They are predominantly (well OK, almost exclusively) middle class & middle aged (and, errr, white.) They don't look to lefties for leadership (as obviously they ought). And they espouse a kind of 'non-agency': it's all designed to get governments to do things, rather than promoting a classical socialist programme of (e.g.) The Workers doing stuff for themselves, by themselves. In fact, they seem to eschew effective practical agency as much as they do the rough stuff.
I detect something's changing. There seems to be a campaign being organised against the French oil co Total for its big new East African Crude Oil Pipeline project; a campaign which intends to use the broadest range of tactics including what can only be described as sabotage, on the grounds that the project will cause Actual Harm (that much over-used word) both locally and globally; and thus, morally, should be stopped by whatever means possible.
The critique of the doctrine of non-violence now being deployed is that, although some greens espouse non-violence for ethical reasons, most adopt it as merely being the best tactic for not pissing-off the average punter, whose support or acquiescence will ultimately be needed. But (so the new argument goes) to imagine major reforms have ever been achieved historically without violence is "peace-washing"; and climate change is serious enough a threat to demand & justify extreme actions.
We know, on the one hand, how bedsit lefties - while mostly too gentile & idle to lift a finger let alone raise a fist - often drool at the thought of violence perpetrated ... by others. Marina Hyde's telling observation has been cited here before. ("You only have to look at the little faces of Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell in the photos with Gerry Adams to conclude that they’d have been almost erotically impressed by the whiff of cordite".) On the other hand, since the perceptive & predictive comment of one of our BTL anons in the wake of the 2011 riots - wait until an officer-class emerges from the tougher strain of unemployed, disaffected graduate-bedsits to take charge of the inchoate looter-plebs - we've been wondering if and when this would materialise.
Well evidently Remain wasn't enough to stir them; nor Corbyn's putative upsurge (though it might have come close around 2017-18). 2019 seemed to have thrown them right out of kilter: even BLM didn't kick off as maybe it might have.
So: watch this simmering space. If this anti-Total effort develops into something noticeable, what price an anti-Cambo push of more than usual 'vehemence'? Now that Sturgeon has come down against the development, presumably Police Scotland won't be under any instructions to suppress anti-Cambo organisers. Could get messy, if Boris sticks to his guns on this one. To use a phrase ...