Extinction Rebellion (XR) is the organisation set up to raise awareness of the urgency to act on climate change, calling on local and national governments to declare a climate emergency.
The details below are copied directly from XR’s Newsletter No. 14:
Welcome to the 14th Extinction Rebellion Newsletter!
In the global north, spring is almost here – but Extinction Rebellion is blooming in both hemispheres, bringing our ideas and energy to minds and streets around the world.
In time for the new season, we’ve publicly released our strategy for the coming months – you can read it here. Branching out from the main strategy is a specific actions overview, from which in turn has branched an actions how-to guide which will help people all over the world to organise their own rebellions against our criminally complacent systems.
And in case that isn’t enough preparation, the Spring Uprising festival, coming up on the 16th of March, will welcome rebels from across the UK (or even beyond!) to take part in a weekend of training, celebration and community. You can book tickets here.
But it’s not all preparation – in fact there’s been so much going on over the past few weeks that it’s been hard to keep up. Actions include XR launching in many new countries and cities, rebel teachers marching on the Department of Education in London, XR members blocking coal ports in Australia, and a week of rebellion across Canada.
More and more citizens across the globe are joining our movement and standing up to rebel for life; in celebration of this global solidarity, this week we’re giving special prominence to the actions of our fellow rebels all over the world.
We’re entering a pivotal moment in history – if you’d like to get involved, our volunteers page has just published an exciting new round of available roles which we’d really love to fill. To help out in your area, get in touch with your nearest XR group. If you can’t spare time, but can donate money instead, please see our fundraiser page.
Check out what’s on near you with our full list of upcoming events, available to view on our website rebellion.earth/events. Or create your own event by filling in our talks and trainings form. If you’re new, or haven’t already seen it, remember to check out our Campaign Overview Document.
If you’d like to look back through the newsletter archive, you can find it here.
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- International Highlights
- Recent UK Activity
- Upcoming Activity
- Extreme Weather
- Latest News and Data
- Recommended Content
- Regenerative Culture / Good News Stories
South Africa – February 7, March 15 and 23
Rebels used South Africa’s recent state-of-the-nation address to raise awareness of Extinction Rebellion’s demands, by holding a mock parliament and making their own address to the nation. There’s an ongoing, dynamic discussion about how XR can best tackle South Africa’s unique challenges, and help people affected by climate breakdown.
As well as participating in the upcoming international actions, Extinction Rebellion South Africa has two upcoming events:
March 15 Co-hosting the Cape Town Climate Strike, in solidarity with school students.
March 23 Funeral for the earth events in Cape Town, Jo’burg, Durban and more.
Italy – February 10
Rebels performed a die-in at a Mall in Milan. It was a rainy Sunday afternoon so the mall was busy, and the protest garnered a lot of attention. You can watch Extinction Rebellion Italy’s beautifully produced video here.
Canada – February 10-17
An Extinction Rebellion week in Canada saw a variety of creative actions across the country. As well as road-blocks and die-ins, XR attempted to deliver 4180 dumpster-dived candy canes to a politician to highlight the problem of food waste, and used the occasion of Valentine’s day to invite people to write love letters to trees.
Switzerland – February 12 and 23
Lausanne saw its first Extinction Rebellion action on February 12, when Rebels enacted a silent grieving in front of the city hall. This powerful demonstration asked arriving councillors to vote yes on a resolution that would declare a climate emergency, and prioritise measures to combat climate breakdown. The resolution was postponed but the Swiss rebels remain undeterred, declaring “the pressure on the government is only the beginning”.
Meanwhile, in Zurich, on February 23, Rebels performed a series of die-ins in the city’s main shopping area. More than 25 participants simultaneously dropped to the ground and remained motionless for five minutes, while others spoke to people in the crowd. Despite some negative (though comical) comments such as “you should be at home making babies!”, the response was generally positive.
Belgium – February 19
In a spectacular first action for their country, Rebels protested outside a high-level international climate conference in Brussels. Rebels challenged the attending world leaders to set more ambitious targets on the oceans and climate change; they also managed to infiltrate the conference and interrupt the opening speech by Prime Minister Charles Michel (you can see a video of that here and more coverage on their facebook page). Their protest received significant media coverage: see here, here, here, and here for a few examples (not in English).
Sweden – February 22
Teachers in Stockholm demonstrated in front of their Department of Education in solidarity with protesting UK teachers and pupils, demanding the declaration of a state of emergency and the prioritization of the climate crisis in education. Students must be taught the truth about the ongoing catastrophe, they insisted, and all student climate strikes must be permitted.
Ireland – February 10
Extinction Rebellion Ireland, in coalition with other groups, held a die-in in Dublin on February 10, to protest a proposed gas terminal. This was covered in the media, including on page two of the Irish Independent, a prominent newspaper (picture shown here).
The Irish Rebels have also been busy holding various meetings and community talks.
Germany – February 23
In Hamburg, Rebels held a ‘funeral’ march in memory of all of the species that have gone extinct due to human activity. It was the first action in Hamburg; Rebels found it to be a good chance to meet each other and plan for the future. This video gives good coverage of the event.
Czech Republic – February 26
Extinction Rebellion CZ had a high visibility action when they dropped a banner in Prague old town square, calling upon the City of Prague to declare a climate emergency. Bravo!
The Netherlands – March 10th
40,000 people demonstrated against climate change in Amsterdam, urging the Dutch government to take action on climate change – see photograph below. Unfortunately, the British press failed to report on this significant event.
Recently, having blocked a coal terminal in Australia for several days, protesters were greeted by a row of police at the gates to Abbot point, Adani. One protester had suspended himself on a giant tripod above the railway line that feeds key Adani infrastructures.
Spain – March 1 and 5
Extinction Rebellion Spain University group, along with FridaysForFuture and Youth4Climate, held a sit-in at the Congress of Deputies in Madrid.
Now, Rebels are inviting climate and ecocide protesters to join them on the March 5th at 7.30pm in Madrid. They plan to hold a ‘jam’ in the city centre and are inviting everyone to share their creative skills. This could involve music, dance, circus skills and art on the streets. For more information click here.
France – March 24
French working groups are busy preparing for the “Jour de Declaration de Rebellion” (JDR) on 24 March, which will mark the start of Extinction Rebellion action there. It will take place at 2pm at the Place de la Bourse, in Paris, and will urge the government to meet Extinction Rebellion’s demands. A declaration statement will go out as a press release on March 20. The event page is here.
Planning is already underway for follow-up civil disobedience locally and nationally, and Rebels are conducting training in non-violent direct action and discussing how best to respond to the questions of the media and individuals.
Recent UK Activity
On Wednesday 27th February, Extinction Rebels disrupted International Petroleum Week by blocking access to the hotel hosting an international gathering of fossil fuel companies, meeting to network and form new partnerships. Global finance’s cynical continuation of the status quo at the cost of life on this planet cannot continue unchecked, and we are supremely grateful to the brave Rebels who took action to disrupt the event and draw attention to the crimes of Big Oil. And despite the ideological clash, some delegates expressed support for Extinction Rebellion and took up the chanting inside.
Filmmaker Jack Harries was among nine arrested at the peaceful action, where activists glued themselves to the glass front doors of the hotel.
The Blue Wave, Glasgow
On March 2nd people flooded into Glasgow dressed in blue and green to draw attention to the rising sea-levels and flooding caused by the changing climate. They came together to demand that Glasgow City Council join local authorities across the country in making a Declaration of Climate Emergency.
XR Media Briefing
On 25th February, Extinction Rebellion held its first mass press briefing at its new London offices. Attended by media from across the world, the briefing shared Extinction Rebellion’s plans for the months ahead in order to ensure maximum coverage of our upcoming actions. Please keep an eye on our Upcoming Activity section and the press section of the website to keep up to date with these developments.
Teachers March on Department of Education
Friday 22nd of February teachers and students of all ages, supported by Extinction Rebellion, marched on the Department of Education in London to demand that climate and ecological emergency is made an educational priority. The protest came in the wake of a letter signed by more than 200 academics in support of the Youth Strike 4 Climate. As it stands a student can go through the state education system and only hear climate change mentioned up to 10 out of approximately 10,000 lessons.
After some inspiring speeches from activists of all ages, teacher and Extinction Rebellion member Tim Jones spray-painted “Tell the Truth” outside the door of the Department. The peaceful act of protest was followed by a children’s sit-in outside the building, where they sang protest songs.
Speakers at the event included Professor David Humphreys (Open University), Dr Anne Andrews (Cambridge University) and Dr Alison Green, who recently stepped down from her Pro Vice-Chancellor role to focus on full-time climate activism and who authored the academic letter published last week.
During the opening of London Fashion Week on Sunday 17th February, Extinction Rebellion began a day of disruption by swarming outside Victoria Beckham’s show at the Tate Britain.
Following the protest, Extinction Rebellion member, organiser and fashion designer, Clare Farrell was barred from entering London Fashion Week, even though she was a Product Developer for the event. A police officer approached Farrell in the queue for the show, addressing her by name and informing her that she would not be allowed to enter as they did not want anyone from Extinction Rebellion to attend.
Decentralisation is a key element of XR’s ethos. So while high-profile actions will often take place in the big cities, we’re eager to celebrate all the amazing actions across the country and the world every week. If you’re involved in your local XR scene, in whatever part of the world, and if you’ve got a story to share, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘Story Contribution’ in the subject line. For major bonus points, it’d also be really helpful if you could write the story as you’d like it to appear in the newsletter!
Extinction Rebellion campaigners held a mock funeral parade through Canterbury to raise awareness about climate change. At the end of the procession, the traffic was blocked near Westgate Towers, drawing praise as well as anger from drivers.
XR Shrewsbury organised a climate march through the town centre on February the 16th, and it was so much better attended than we were expecting. It was a fabulous day!
Rebels in Marlborough have been spreading the message of emergency with leaflets, letters in bottles, and a banner right outside the town hall.
The Blood of our Children: an Act of Civil Disobedience, March 9th
Join our bloody but non-violent civil disobedience at a central London government location. The science is done. We are in a climate and ecological emergency. We’re sending our children into a future likely to involve mental breakdown, starvation, war and early death. There are no words to describe the horrors we risk if we do not make governments act immediately. So we all have a responsibility and duty to take action. Even if that means breaking the law.
So whatever your age, beliefs, or background, Extinction Rebellion is calling for you to come and pour (artificial) blood on the ground outside a key government location. We’ll make the gravity of the crisis viscerally clear and show that we’re prepared to make the sacrifice of our own freedom by being arrested. This is now what’s required. We also wish to apologise to the next generation for our complicity in bequeathing them the toxic legacy of climate and ecological breakdown.
The event page is here. Say you are “going” or “interested” on this page and we will message you with a full briefing. Please share and spread the word. If you have any questions, email us at email@example.com.
Here is a picture taken at this event:
Protestors use red paint to symbolise climate deaths. Action taken outside
Wales Rising Up: Carnival of Animals, March 9th
Extinction Rebellion Wales will be taking over some central streets in Cardiff with a colourful eclectic carnival of insects, animals, and plant life. People across Wales will come together to openly declare rebellion and to call on the Welsh Government to declare a Climate Emergency. There will be music, costumes, performance and more. Check out their Facebook page for more info.
XR Rig Rebellion – Edinburgh, March 8th
On Friday 8th of March, the Scottish Oil Club, an exclusive body representing the international oil and gas industry, will hold their annual celebratory dinner at the National Museum of Scotland.
A major driver of the climate emergency, the fossil fuel industry should not be celebrated, and definitely not on International Women’s Day! Women across the globe are on the front line of facing climate chaos, while rarely being the drivers of it.
Extinction Rebellion Scotland will protest this event through a dance-demonstration, driven by love, music and compassion. We’ll be dancing, singing, speaking and sharing – bring music, instruments, and your dancing feet!
Facebook event here.
Second UK-Wide Youth Strike – March 15th
Last month saw 10,000 young people across the UK rising up and demanding change, as part of the Global Youth Strike. Their voices caught national media and political attention. Unfortunately, the Government hasn’t received the message yet, as No.10 tweeted that it was a “waste of lesson time”. Together, we can show that that the inaction of political leaders for the past 30 years is much worse, as Greta rightfully pointed out. Join your local strike next Friday, found out more here.
Spring Uprising – Festival – March 16th
WINTER IS OVER, WAKE UP – THERE’S A REBELLION ON
LET’S GET TOGETHER, CELEBRATE XR, GET TRAINED, GET ORGANISED
AND HAVE A DAMN GOOD TIME DOING IT
The weekend of 16/17 March in Bristol, Extinction Rebellion will put on its first ever festival of rebellion, activism and music – dubbed ‘Spring Uprising’ – at which up to 1,000 people at a time will be trained in peaceful non-violent civil disobedience.
Bringing together an unprecedented gathering of people from different backgrounds for nonviolent direct action workshops, music and art, the festival to be held in Bristol’s Motion venue (74-78 Avon Street, Bristol, BS2 0PX) is part of Extinction Rebellion’s planning for what is expected to be one of the largest non-violent civil disobedience acts in decades – International Rebellion beginning 15 April 2019.
The event is supported by music industry and festival organisers such as Boomtown Festival, Buddhafield, Ninja Tune Records, Alfresco Disco, The Green Gathering, Woman Fest and Burn Punk, and over a dozen musical acts have so far been confirmed.
Don’t miss it!
See the website for details – and bookings!
For two weeks beginning April 15th is XR’s week of international action. This is a report from action in London from the Evening Standard:
And the Morning Star:
“Over 120 environmental activists were arrested today as thousands of protesters resisted police efforts to end their occupation of key central London sites.
Traffic jams and road closures continued for a second day as members of Extinction Rebellion (XR) stood their ground at Parliament Square, Oxford Circus, Marble Arch and Waterloo Bridge as part of an international action demanding that a climate and ecological emergency be declared.
Four activists chained and glued themselves to the underside of a lorry parked on Waterloo Bridge, where they slept overnight. The campaigners, equipped with blankets and sleeping bags, plan to continue with their action “for as long as possible.”
Out of the 122 total arrests made by midday, five were for alleged criminal damage at oil giant Shell’s headquarters.
Further demonstrators were dragged away from Waterloo Bridge by police officers after continuing with roadblocks.
Officers were met with chants of “we are peaceful, what about you?” and cheers of support for those being removed. One protester was taken away in an ambulance after he hit his head on a police van and fell to the floor while being arrested.
Activists remained in high spirits on the second day of the action, waving colourful banners and playing music. More arrests are to be expected as the campaigners say protests will continue “throughout the coming weeks.”
One, who gave her name only as Hannah, said she would continue protesting until taken into custody as she does not want to see “children of today suffer in the future.
“I’m aware that people are suffering as a result of climate collapse much more than I will suffer getting arrested,” she said.
Scientist and XR co-founder Dr Gail Bradbrook apologised for the inconvenience caused to the public, saying that the activists “don’t want to wind people up.
“We’re here to get people to have a conversation about climate change,” she said. “I have two boys, 10 and 13, and they won’t have enough food to eat in a few years’ time.”
Labour’s shadow chancellor John McDonnell tweeted his support for the activists. He said the disruptions “will be worth it” if it “moves us all a step further in tacking climate change.”
In the Netherlands, some 25 XR members also occupied the International Criminal Court in The Hague, calling for “ecocide” to be recognised as an international crime.
They added that the “ongoing violence against the ecosystems that sustain all living things has been left unpunished.”
More than 200 people have been arrested during a second day of climate protests which have caused serious disruption in London.
Extinction Rebellion demonstrations have been taking place at Parliament Square, Waterloo Bridge, Oxford Circus and Marble Arch.
email received from XR on 18th April 2019:
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