The Tyre Extinguishers consider themselves defenders of the planet, but those behind the wheel of an SUV might not be so keen on their methods.
The group — which claims operations in the UK, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Sweden and New Zealand — goes around deflating SUV tires with the goal of making it “impossible to own a huge polluting 4×4 in the world’s urban areas.”
The roadway renegades are slowly gaining notoriety for committing petty vandalism, and for the first time, they have supposedly staged an attack in New York City, draining the life out of the tires of 40 SUVs on the Upper East Side.
BIG NEWS: TYRE EXTINGUISHERS STRIKE FOR THE FIRST TIME IN NEW YORK CITY!
40 SUVs disarmed in the Upper East Side, the first of many.
We have an American English leaflet (‘tire’ rather than ‘tyre’) on our website so USA folks, you can join in! https://t.co/cmqm5IOM5F pic.twitter.com/FLHZn2Ckem
— The Tyre Extinguishers (@T_Extinguishers) June 28, 2022
“Disarming” SUVs refers to deflating the tires of what the group calls “…massive, unnecessary vehicles…” in order to cause “… inconvenience for their owners.”
The group claims to take this action as a defense against climate change, air pollution and unsafe drivers. On Twitter, they promised that 40 disarmed SUVs was only the beginning.
Each allegedly targeted vehicle had a leaflet placed under its windshield wipers with the headline “Attention- your gas guzzler kills.” A link to what they are calling their press release shows a photo of the leaflet, as well as a picture of someone deflating a tire. Describing a need for “emergency action,” their hope is to force people to get around town via public transportation, walking or cycling.
The group’s website also has a page dedicated to teaching others how to deflate tires … and how to anonymously contact the press when you have done so.
There was a mix of support and utter hatred in the Twitter comments.
“Thank you for your service,” wrote @carhelmets.
@JoeTalksNYC wrote “Y’all are fools who the public despises. If someone took the air out of my bike, I would be pissed. (As I can’t go home after 7 hours) I wouldn’t hesitate to beat the crap out of someone tampering with my ride which bring to and from work. Get a real job, and a life.”
@SteveKlang was somewhere in the middle, tweeting “Not a fan of car culture, but this is not cool.”
At the time of writing, the NYPD did not have any reports of deflated tires on the Upper East Side.