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human activity and the destruction of the planet


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Extinction Rebellion’s October Actions: “the sun rises on a new wave of rebellion”

This has been copied from XR’s latest email:

“It’s happening. It can’t be ignored. It’s only growing stronger.

It’s a rebellion.

We’re back on the roads – with as much joy, fear, love and courage as ever. We’re shutting down cities – not because it’s fun (though it can be), but because it’s our last option for stopping this toxic system in its tracks.

Our world is dying. To save it, we’ll need everyone – wherever and whoever you are – to do your bit.

And though we’re still somewhat short of the shared, global consciousness we need, we’re getting ever closer.

This International Rebellion which began on Monday is so vast it’s almost impossible to take it all in. Thousands of people flood 60 cities across the globe, with over 700 brave rebels arrested as they stand up for their right to life, and that’s just the start.

It’s not just a question of quantity. With every season that passes, we grow more organised, more unified, more creative, more courageous.

Just look at the 11 vibrant sites held around the centre of London, the choir of Amsterdam rebels, the blood poured on the bull statue in Wall Street in New York, the ambition of our banner-hangers, the Red Brigade arriving in Tel Aviv and Istanbul, underwater protest art in Mexico, and the boats of every shape and size that we are so desperately trying to keep afloat.

We’re a movement unlike any other.

This newsletter team will do everything we can to keep up and to showcase the unreal brilliance of our young movement. We can only apologise in advance for not capturing every aspect of this glorious, unfathomably complex process that is our rebellion.

We hope that wherever this reaches you – whether you’re superglued to a road, camping out in the rain, deep in spreadsheets and planning, or at home drinking your coffee – you will be touched by what is going on right now all over the world.

We hope you understand that it’s for you, and for every human being alive and not yet alive.

You are not alone in this. And it’s not too late to join in.

If you’d like to help, please check out our guide and learn more about XR.

To connect to rebels in your local area, get in touch with your nearest XR group. If there’s no active group near you, you can start your own!

If you’d like to see previous newsletter issues, you can find them here.

As we enter this crucial phase in human history, our Rebellion will need money to make sure our message is heard. Anything you can give is appreciated.

London Blockades Westminster

7 OCT | London, UK

Over 275 rebels have been arrested on a momentous day which marks the beginning of XR’s October Rebellion in London. Early on Monday morning, rebels from all over the country mobilised and successfully took 11 main sites around Westminster in central London, including two key bridges.

Rebels drove a hearse into the ‘Burning Earth’ site in Trafalgar Square, parked it, and locked and glued themselves to the vehicle. The ‘undertaker’ in the drivers’ seat D-locked himself to the steering wheel by the neck.

Footage broadcast on ITV News shows police officers desperately trying to prevent more rebels gluing themselves underneath the vehicle, as well as a deeply moving moment where a father locked onto the underside of the hearse reveals why he is taking this drastic measure. In the back of the hearse, rebels had mounted a coffin painted with the words ‘OUR FUTURE’.

 

Meanwhile, a tower of scaffolding was positioned in the road, which rebels climbed and glued onto. They held this for most of the day, before being lifted off in orange sacks by police officers kitted out in climbing gear.

In an exciting turn of events, a rebel wedding was held in the middle of the blocked Westminster Bridge (a first for the bridge, as far as we know!) to the sound of XR cheers and a feisty brass band. Love was truly in the air.

Also seen on the bridge were yoga enthusiasts, a ceilidh with bagpipes, and, floating beneath the bridge, an XR boat headed for the Houses of Parliament.

Despite the efforts of peacefully protesting rebels in London today, pre-planned and persistent police confiscations have left blockades lacking infrastructure and amenities. However, officers failed to confiscate the rebel spirit, which lives on in furious love and determination.

Paris – All in the same boat!

7 OCT | 15:00 onwards | Place de Chatelet, Paris, France

XR France managed to block and occupy Paris’ most central and busiest intersection, near the Nôtre-Dame cathedral. Rebels, aware of the sensitivity of the site, kept the location secret until the last minute and attached themselves to flower planters to complicate police efforts to remove them.

Rebels who remember the pink boat in Oxford Circus will be pleased to hear that its blue brother has crossed the channel for this October and cast its anchor in Parisian waters.

As we are ‘all in the same boat’, its DJs and dancers are inviting passers-by to join this festive occupation in all of its creativity, and keep the troops energized and regenerated for a lasting rebellion.

Climate Camp Berlin

7 OCT | Berlin, Germany

 

Our uprising begins! From early morning, 1000 rebels blocked the “Big Star” roundabout surrounding Berlin’s Siegessäule. As the sun rose, peaceful rebels danced and sang.

Our ship, the Arche Rebella, has been put together once again in a new location.

Berlin rebellion takes to the air!

3000 rebels held Potsdamer Platz with the help of lots of potted plants and a Red Brigade – the site was buzzing. Rebels continued to hold the Platz for longer than expected, with some chaining themselves together.

Even as police threatened rebels with physical violence if they failed to clear the blockade, they were dancing, singing and sending out a strong signal about the climate crisis.

It was early evening before police were able to begin slowly clearing rebels. Two thousand rebels remained and the good mood continued as food was shared, even as police began confiscating our equipment.

Madrid – Dia Uno

7 OCT | Madrid, Spain

Madrid rebels had a dramatic first day of Rebellion! 300 rebels surrounded a pink boat to block a bridge and were greeted by an alarming police response that included twisting arms, pressing thumbs into rebels’ eyes and putting pressure under their jaws.

10 rebels were hospitalised and many others suffered minor injuries. There were 43 arrests that day in Madrid.

But their spirits were not broken. The rebels went onto cause further disruption and set up camp in front of Spain’s Ministry of Ecological Transition. Rebels dressed in red, blue and brown – representing forest fires, rising sea levels and desertification – stalked others dressed in animal costumes in a striking performance about mass extinction.

Read the full story here.

Amsterdam Rebels

7 OCT | Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Amsterdam rebelled against a ban imposed by the mayor and police and brought non-violent direct action to the heart of the city. In the early hours, eager rebels gathered to block off roads in front of the city’s famous museums.

In addition to beautiful paintings by Vermeer and Van Gogh, tourists viewed the modern decor of brave earth-protectors fighting for their democracy and freedom of speech. The site then toured around the Heineken Experience to make sure any tourists there didn’t miss out.

In a miscalculated response, the police blocked off the first protest site, playing into our rebels’ hands, who staged an impromptu die-in on the Dam square instead.

The protests ended in over 100 arrests with rebels responding to police aggression by collectively chanting ‘We are peaceful, what are you?

Four large city buses transported the arrestees away. Cries of peaceful resistance and tunes from the buses echoed far and wide through the capital’s narrow streets and over the canals.

The Bull of Wall Street

7 OCT | New York, USA

Around 90 New York rebels were arrested yesterday after they launched a wave of actions in the city’s famous financial district. Protesters poured fake blood over Wall Street’s iconic Bull statue, held a very bloody die-in outside the New York stock exchange, and then blocked a nearby road.

The die-in was attended by the stunning Red Brigade, and featured a New Orleans funeral band that got the hundreds of rebellious mourners dancing in the streets.

Tombstones mentioning hurricanes and fires made worse by the climate crisis were held aloft, along with a coffin with the words ‘Our future’ written on the side. Once the fun was over, rebels clean-up crews stepped in to mop the fake blood away.

Police set up a perimeter and arrested rebels in waves. Despite the high arrest count, the sunkissed rebellion base in nearby Washington Square park was buzzing.

Actions will be continuing here over the coming days, and are expected to spread to Chicago and Washington DC later in the week.

For more details on what the rebels of New York are up to, check out their daily updates.

A new chapter for XR Canada

7 OCT | Toronto, Canada

XR Toronto gathered at Playter Gardens for a day of Rebellion. After an early morning briefing, protesters took to the Bloor Viaduct with banners, signs, and megaphones, numbers bolstered by other groups and allies.

There, they cordoned off the bridge and nearby Danforth Avenue from rush-hour traffic, allowing the space to play host to a multitude of activities. In addition to activist speeches and performances, the group participated in singing, meditation and yoga sessions while other protestors chalked messages along the concrete.

As the morning wore on, police announced a request for dispersal, yet several rebels remained. This group sat or stood in front of large, red and yellow “Act Now” block letters while the rest of the protesters swelled to either side of Danforth Avenue with songs of peace and hope.

19 arrestees were eventually taken into police cars and driven off; the remaining group returned to Playter Gardens for camaraderie and regeneration.

Toronto’s action upon the Viaduct reached a wide audience of receptive hearts. Hard work is ahead but another river has undoubtedly been crossed. With actions from Halifax to Victoria, today marked a new chapter of XR’s fight for climate justice in Canada.

Aussie rebels bring the heat

7 OCT | Melbourne, Australia

The day began with a sacred ceremony on the steps of Parliament House, when rebels, still waking up, took gum leaves and received the welcome via smoke cleansing before moving back to the central campsite of Carlton Gardens.

Upwards of a thousand people came together at 16:00 for a march through the CBD (Central Business District), which was successfully disrupted from 16:00 – 19:00, in a colourful, energetic, peaceful, respectful action. Some carried a glass coffin, like a fish tank, filled with aquatic plants and rocks to illustrate concern for about the impact of climate change on oceans.

The plan was to march through the city creating swarms in key intersections as a taste of actions that will follow for the entire week. The police had a strong presence, including mounted officers. 11 rebels were arrested, sacrificing their liberty to draw attention to the climate emergency and the need to act.

XR Victoria acknowledges that Camp Carlton and the Spring Rebellion take place on the stolen land of the Boon Wurrung and Woiwurrung (Wurundjeri) peoples of the Kulin Nation. Sovereignty was never ceded.

Everyone puts their oar in to help block this intersection in Wellington, New Zealand. 45 were arrested on the first day

Excitingly, XR India and Sri Lanka held their first ever XR actions on the 6th – rebels acted with incredible heart and courage even amidst possible police interference. Meanwhile in New Zealand, rebels blocked streets with the iconic pink boat.

In Latin America, rebels turned out in Chile, Colombia, and Mexico to call for immediate action from their governments. Brazilian rebels held a die-in on Copacabana beach and XR Argentina held three different rebellious actions in Buenos Aires.

Europe truly outdid itself this time, with bold, creative actions happening all over, including Athens, Vienna, Rome, Istanbul, and Chisinau, Moldova (to name but a few).

Across the globe, rebels took to the streets with fiery love to call on everyone to act now to mitigate the climate and ecological crisis.

Blood runs over Italian rebels in front of Montecitorio Palace, Rome

Rebels in Los Cabos, Mexico, perform underwater in a stunning piece about modern life called ‘The vanity, the distraction, the blindness’

In Vienna, rebels turned out in their hundreds to peacefully disrupt the city. 70 rebels were arrested.

Argentine rebels proudly hung a banner off this lovely tower in Retiro, Buenos Aires

Sri Lankan rebels braved torrential rain to launch their first ever XR action

XR Content

 

Humans of XR

‘Hi, I’m Nathaniel. I will be turning one during the Rebellion. My mummy is an XR fundraiser and my daddy teaches social justice at University. My older sister went to the Youth Climate Strike, although she is a bit too young to understand the urgency of the situation.

I don’t understand any of these things because I’m a baby. You do.

I can’t act, because I can’t even walk yet. You can. I can’t speak up for the world, because I only know one word. You can.

Thank you

Thank you for reading. This rebellion has been magnificent so far – and it’s only Day 1!

Keep up the good work!”

If you have any questions or queries, please get in touch at xr-newsletter@protonmail.com.



It has been known for a long time that XR was planning a massive 2-week-long demonstration in October 2019.  Now it has started.

It would seem that some agencies in the UK are getting worried about this.

  • Facebook ads about the rebellion are being removed;
  • The police raided a storage facility in London being used to store equipment to support the rebellion – and removed it;
  • The media is, so far, not giving a high profile in the TV news to events in London;
  • a higher number of people are being arrested in London than were in the April action.

Are similar repressions happening elsewhere in the world?



 


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Three generations left? Or is it only three years? New evidence from climate experts in Nature magazine

Christiana Figueres, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Gail Whiteman, Johan Rockstrom, Anthony Hobley and Stefan Rahmstorff – all experts in climate change issues – have written an article in Nature magazine (28th June 2017) to warn that we have only three years to safeguard our climate. Figueres, a former UN climate chief and executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, under whom the Paris agreement was signed, and her colleagues, who also include prominent figures from the UNFCCC, set out a six-point plan for turning the tide by 2020.

See: https://www.nature.com/news/three-years-to-safeguard-our-climate-1.22201

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Christiana Figueres is second from the left in the front row.  Photograph taken after the signing of the Paris agreement in December 2015 (COP21)

After rising for decades, global emissions of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels have levelled in the past three years – a sign that investment in climate mitigations are starting to pay off.  But there is still a long way to go to decarbonize the world economy.

For example, globally, the mean rate of sea level rise increased by 50% in the last two decades. In 2017, temperatures have already reached their highest levels in history in some areas, from California to Vietnam. And the past three years were the hottest on record.  And, two days ago, the highest ever recorded temperature (54˚C) was recorded in the city of Ahvaz, Iran, a city of 1.1 million people.
Due to increases in global temperatures, driven by human activity, ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica are already losing mass at an increasing rate. Summer sea ice is disappearing in the Arctic and coral reefs are dying from heat stress — entire ecosystems are starting to collapse. The social impacts of climate change from intensified heatwaves, droughts and sea-level rise are inexorable and affect the poorest and weakest first. An American study recently published in Science and reported in the Financial Times, shows that poorer parts of the US stand to suffer damages of up to 20 per cent of their income if global warming continues unabated and that they will suffer disproportionately more than richer areas. 

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The writers of the Nature article believe that the year 2020 is crucially important because if emissions continue to rise, or even stay level, the temperature goals set in Paris in 2015 will become unattainable and they set out the reasons for this.

The six-point plan includes milestones to be achieved in Energy (to 30% renewables worldwide); Infrastructure (decarbonising buildings); Transport (moving to 15% electric vehicles, fuel efficiences for heavy-duty vehicles and a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by the airline industry); Land (reducing deforestation and a shift to reforestation, sustainable agricultural practices and healthy, well-managed soils); Industry (a goal of halving carbon emissions by 2050, especially in carbon-intensive industries, such as iron and steel, cement, chemicals, oil and gas); Finance (to rethink financial investments, the issuing of more green bonds to finance climate-mitigation efforts).

The authors have launched Mission 2020, a collaborative campaign to raise ambition and action across key sectors, so that the carbon emissions will start to go down.  See:

http://www.mission2020.global/

A 29-page report ‘2020: The Climate Turning Point’ can be accessed on the mission2020 website.  It gives the evidential basis for their conclusions that 2020 will be the point of no return, unless carbon emissions have started to drop by then. They suggest actions to bring down the emissions.  These are far-reaching and require a total commitment globally.

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A report on this in the Guardian includes quotes from some of the authors:

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jun/28/world-has-three-years-left-to-stop-dangerous-climate-change-warn-experts?utm_source=Weekly+climate+roundup&utm_campaign=f65ae632b3-Election+special+-+weekly+roundup&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_81339309ed-f65ae632b3-141770409

Joachim Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, commented: “The maths is brutally clear: while the world can’t be healed within the next few years, it may be fatally wounded by negligence [before] 2020.”

Johan Rockström of the Stockholm Resilience Centre said: “We have been blessed by a remarkably resilient planet over the past 100 years, able to absorb most of our climate abuse. Now we have reached the end of this era, and need to bend the global curve of emissions immediately, to avoid unmanageable outcomes for our modern world.”

The authors hope that their 6-point plan will be adopted at the G20 summit in Hamburg on 7-8th July.