There’s always far more rebellion happening around the world than we can cover in one monthly newsletter. Unchained is a space to savour those beautiful actions we couldn’t quite fit into the main issue.
Eagle-eyed Unchained readers may notice that we have suddenly jumped from Unchained #19 to Unchained #48.
Do not despair! You have NOT missed out on 28 action-packed issues, it is just that we are rationalising our numbering system. From now on, to avoid confusion, Unchained will have the same number as the Global Newsletter to which it is linked.
From the far south to the frozen north, from mining protests in Patagonia (left) to the snowy streets of Warsaw (right), young rebels have been making their presence felt.
25 JAN - 8 FEB | Czech Republic: Czech rebels mounted an online campaign against fast fashion. ‘To Na Sebe Nvemu!, meaning I DON’T WEAR IT!
26 JAN | France: Rebels in Orleans covered consumer advertising with a ‘tapestry’ made of face masks. Covid-19 isn’t the only virus from which we need protection, they said, there is also the virus of advertising.
In the city of Poitiers, the message was more direct: Make love, not shops!
28 JAN | Argentina: Members of Extinction Rebellion Mendoza joined a protest against the expansion of silver mining in Chubut province in Patagonia. Pan American Silver is seeking to exploit deposits on territory occupied by Mapuche and Tehuelche peoples. The communities say the provincial government has failed to consult them as required by the Argentine constitution and they condemn acts of arbitrary arrest and institutional violence committed by the Chubut government against people protesting the ‘mega mining’.
29 JAN | Canada: Four brave Vancouver rebels were arrested protesting against the Trans Mountain Extension Pipeline. The action took place on unceded Coast Salish territory, and the rebels had permission from the host nation to make the protest. One of those arrested said: “We need to be taking action even during Covid because this pipeline must be stopped before it irreparably harms our environment, our relationships with first nations and the last chance we have to avoid climate breakdown.” Photos: XR Vancouver.
20 JAN | UK: After 10 days without food, Lissy Green and Elijah McKenzee ended their hunger strike against a planned new coal mine in Cumbria. They were advised that weight loss and weakness could lead to hospitalisation at a time when the UK health service is under unprecedented pressure due to Covid. Their protest remained unacknowledged by the UK government.
31 JAN | Reunion Island: Extinction Rebellion has spread around the world, even to the small Indian Ocean island of Reunion, population 860,000, where rebels and others in Saint Leu amassed 1,500 kg of plastic and other waste and dumped it in front of the town hall to protest against poor garbage collection. Reunion is a department of France.
9 JAN | France: Normandy rebels decorated motorway bridges near Caen with the message: AIR POLLUTION = 48,000 DEATHS PER YEAR. Several activists were arrested and later sentenced to 35 hours community service, which they refused, stating that their actions were itself a service to the community, nature, and the planet.
25 JAN | Poland: Extinction Rebellion activists took to the streets of Wrocław to give a clear signal: enough apathy, it is ‘Time For Rebellion’ (Czas Na Bunt).
17 JAN | Spain: The blue-costumed sea brigade of Extinction Rebellion Murcia was collecting signatures for a law to grant legal rights - as a ‘legal person’ - to the Mar Menor (’Minor Sea’), a huge ecologically important saltwater lagoon separated from the Mediterranean (Mar Mayor) by a 22km long sandbar. The lagoon has been heavily polluted, mainly by nutrient runoff from agriculture, in what activists call a clear case of ecocide.
The proposed law would recognise the right of the lagoon to “exist as an ecosystem” and to be protected and preserved by three groups: legal guardians, a monitoring committee of “protectors”, and a scientific advisory board. Any citizen or legal entity would be able to file a lawsuit on behalf of the Mar Menor.
18 JAN | Australia: Rebels joined with Fossil Free South Australia to hold a bicycle die-in action in central Adelaide. They were demanding that the Tour Down Under cycle race drops as its sponsor the Australian energy company Santos, which is pursuing the controversial $3.6bn Narrabri gas project in New South Wales. Photo: George Manos
1 FEB | UK: Eight activists from Extinction Rebellion North and Palestine Action were arrested yesterday after causing £20,000 worth of damage when they shut down an Israeli arms factory in Oldham, UK. The activists stormed the factory early in the morning and occupied it for 16 hours, with six blockading three entrances and another two climbing onto the roof. The Ferranti Technologies plant, owned by Israel’s largest arms firm Elbit Systems, was left emblazoned with red paint and smashed windows. Photo: Palestine Action