A global wave of (rock and) rolling rebellions is upon us. With immense courage, cunning and care, rebels are returning to the streets in a dozen countries all across the globe.
As we all know, it’s been a strange and tough few months, and a huge amount of thought and discussion has gone into the decision to return to the streets. Despite our cheerful tone, rebellion is not something we do lightly or without considering the consequences. On the contrary, consequence is something we take very seriously.
Swedish rebels showing us how it’s done, with their exemplary social-distanced, colourful Rebellion.
Our governments and leaders have so far failed to listen to the science or act appropriately in the face of the mounting emergency. Despite all the devastating challenges of the present day, our relationship to the climate will undoubtedly be the defining choice of our generation.
It’s up to us to demand a response to the crisis looming before us. We do this for the future of our children. We do this for each other. We do this for ourselves. Because we want to live.
The choice is simple: Rebellion, or extinction.
Five countries have already seen a flurry of inspiring actions – from pink elks in Sweden to fake blood outside the Trump Tower in NYC, not to mention all the colourful antics of the UK Rebellion. Read below to get all the beautiful details.
Also in this issue, we highlight an upcoming Fashion Act Now, aimed at transforming the international fashion industry and boycotting international Fashion Week. More info below!
"We love the Earth"
Finally, we draw attention to the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) Project which is supported by Standard Bank. XR South Africa is calling on all rebels to spread the word about boycotting Standard Bank. See here for further details.
If you’d like to see previous newsletter issues, you can find them here.
This Rebellion needs your support. If you can’t give time, consider giving money.
7 SEP | Lysekil, Sweden
XR Sweden made a magnificent start to this season’s wave of rebellions! After many weeks of preparations, the weekend opened with an unforgettable pink elk and roadblocks on bridges outside the parliament.
The elk in question.
From then, things got going fast. Rebels brought fake oil and a message of truth to the HQ of Preemraff, a massive oil refinery planning ecocidal expansions. At the same time, rebels on Vasa bridge kept the spotlight fixed on ‘Preem’ with a vividly symbolic oil-pouring action.
Police cleared Vasa down to the very last rebel - only to find a joyous new roadblock had popped up on another bridge! This bridge was also cleared at length and then - you guessed it - rebels reappeared again, now more numerous than ever, on a major road in Stockholm’s centre, keeping Kungsgatan free of cars and filled with song for hours!
The following morning things got more political, with a blockade of Parliament. Singing, flags and glue kept spirits high, despite the rain. When police finally dispersed the action outside Parliament, rebels reappeared once again, this time back at Kungsgatan, before moving onto swarming in the evening.
To wrap things up, the final day saw rebels march en (socially-distanced) masse. The energy was lively, despite police attempts to clamp down using covid legislation.
But XR Sweden wasn’t done with Preem! Just yesterday, four brave rebels blocked the entrance to the Preem refinery in Lysekil by locking themselves to two barrels, once again securing national media coverage in cooperation with the local Stoppa Preemraff campaign. And today, rebels in Stockholm followed up outside the parliament.
Whatever happens with oil refineries, it looks like XR Sweden won’t be short of energy any time soon!
Don't talk about us, talk about the climate crisis.
4 SEP - Ongoing | Poland
Dozens of XR Polska rebels rounded off the third day of Polish Rebellion actions by blocking Świętokrzyska and Marszałkowska Streets in the centre of Warsaw, with some rebels glueing themselves to tyres weighted with concrete.
A young Polish rebel being taken away by police in Warsaw
The police gathered quickly. Several young rebels were detained, but were accompanied by lawyers who ensured their civil rights were respected. XR negotiators de-escalated conflicts between rebels and angry members of the public, some of whom labeled the protestors eco-terrorists.
In the words of one rebel: “In the past, to be a terrorist you had to hijack a plane, shoot people, plant a bomb. Today -- you just make someone late for work.”
Poland’s ‘fala rebelii’ - wave of rebellion.
Rebels are demanding Poland acts immediately and declares a climate emergency, saying that if the government won’t sound the alarm, they will.
XR Polska's message is that the facts are clear. Social dialogue is no longer an option in Poland, civil disobedience is the only way to bring about change.
A clear message to Trump in NYC
7 SEP | New York, USA
Photo: James Messerschmidt
A climate ribbon was created as an arts ritual to grieve what each of us stands to lose to climate chaos and to affirm our solidarity as we unite to fight against it. Rebels were grieving the Earth, demanding system change, and marching for the right to a just, sustainable future.
Later, three brave rebels were arrested outside the Trump International Hotel & Tower in Manhattan after they climbed the Columbus Circle Globe and dropped a banner demanding Climate Justice.
Rebels chanted ‘We are unstoppable. Another world is possible’ against a jazzy backdrop provided by street performers. Videos here.
A Royal Rebellion
1&2 SEP | The Hague & Amsterdam, The Netherlands
A ‘burgerberaad’ (citizens’ assembly) is the latest fashion. Photo: Romy Fernandez
Rebels in The Netherlands announced their upcoming September Rebellion with actions in The Hague and Amsterdam.
As MPs returned to the Tweede Kamer (Dutch Parliament) after their summer recess, they were greeted by 400 climate protestors from a coalition of Extinction Rebellion Netherlands, Fridays for Future and Youth Climate Action.
50 rebels jumped into the pond surrounding the Parliament calling out the government’s inaction on the climate emergency and to kick the fossil fuel lobby out of the corridors of power.
‘Polderen tot het water aan de lippen staat?’ ‘Making political compromises and slow decisions until the water rises to our lips’
With a ‘trashion fashion’ show, where all items were made from discarded materials, rebels called for a citizens’ assembly on the climate and ecological emergency. Rebels will return to Parliament on budget day, 15 September, to shed a tear for what is likely to be another wasted year of climate inaction in their ‘Traanrede’, a tearful pun on the ‘Troonrede’ (a yearly speech by the King from his Throne announcing budget plans).
The next day, rebels moved to Amsterdam for a royal announcement. Two rebels, imitating King Willem Alexander and Queen Maxima, climbed onto the balcony of the palace on Dam Square for a royal wave and to drop a banner sharing their support for the upcoming Rebellion.
The September Rebellion will be back in action in The Hague on 15 September and for a long weekend of disruption from 18 to 21 September in Amsterdam, find out more here.
Scooter sabotage in Lyon
04 SEP | Lyon, France
Rebels in the city claim these ‘free-floating’ electric scooters are clogging up public spaces at the expense of public transport, pedestrians, and ultimately the environment - not least by perpetuating the culture of cheap ‘throwaway’ goods at odds with a sustainable future (see their masterful summary here).
‘Your lithium batteries lead us to the funeral-home’ sounds a lot cooler in French, trust us
The night’s action saw the ‘sabotage’ (generally achieved by spraying the QR code with an extinction symbol) of 100 trotinettes, along with the appearance of awareness-raising posters and posts. As French rebels return from les vacances and build up towards autumnal actions, we’re excited to see what might come next!
UK Rebellion: Stop The Press, Back The Bill.
1 SEP - Ongoing | London, Cardiff, Manchester.
Newspaper printer blockade. Credit: Gareth Morris
The UK is about to chalk off its 8th day of Rebellion. But it’s fair to say that whatever lies ahead, for sheer impact, nothing will top the action we woke up to on Saturday.
Overnight, 100 rebels had blockaded three major newspaper printers, causing a major shortage of newspapers across the country. The targeted titles were owned by 5 billionaires who dominate the UK’s media landscape, and suppress the truth about the climate crisis to suit their business interests.
With the oligarchs unsettled, the mainstream media could no longer ignore us, and the government threatened to reclassify our movement as an ‘organised crime group’. Policing became at times comically overzealous, with no less than 14 police vans lying in wait to dismantle the Lightship Greta, a handmade boat on shopping trolley wheels that had been pushed all the way from Brighton to London by a dedicated rebel crew.
The Lightship Greta. Over 100 police officers were waiting to impound it as it entered London.
While stopping the printing presses was the most exciting action so far, the tabling of the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill in parliament was perhaps the most hopeful.
The CEE Bill represents a new tactic in our fight for a stable planet: a piece of legislation written by scientists, lawyers, activists, and yes, rebels that could turn our demands into UK law.
Yup, that’s a Rebellion. Credit: Chris Jerrey
Other action highlights include the blockading of a polluting waste incinerator in Cardiff to highlight the city’s terrible air quality, a blue marine march, a disco-bedience featuring a polar bear inside Manchester’s local authority (owner of the biggest and oiliest public pension fund in the UK), and the brilliant speeches given by Rebel writers outside a house in Tufton Street - home to a nexus of climate denying lobbyists that have been whispering in our politicians’ ears for decades.
To catch up on more UK action, see past issues of Rebel Daily - the rebellion-time daily newsletter.
Nelson, New Zealand.
Under the cover of darkness, rebels chained themselves to the gates of the Ravensdown chemical depot to stop the illegal importation of synthetic fertilisers and blood phosphate from the Western Sahara, where Indigeonous peoples are persecuted by the Moroccan government.
Jakarta and Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
Rebels placed over 500 shoes donated from across Indonesia during their month of celebrating their independence as a country. The installation represents the people’s desire to be free from the climate crisis too.
With love from Turkey. Rebels join in song to show their solidarity with the UK Rebellion around their own pink boat. ‘Gerçeği Söyle’ = ‘Tell the Truth’.
Are You Ready for the Rolling Rebellion?
Now - Early Oct | WorldWide
Coming soon to a roadblock near you!
From New York City to Warsaw, the rebellion is happening and it’s up to you to get involved. See here for a list of International Upcoming Rebellions.
Fashion Act Now
Early 2021 | WorldWide
If we don’t fix fashion, we’re all f***ed.
Fashion’s glossy facade hides a host of environmental and human rights abuses. The fashion industry’s emissions represent 10% of global total, exceeding those of all international flights and shipping combined. Intensive cultivation of cotton destroys biodiversity and only around 2% of workers in the clothing industry earn a living wage.
XR Fashion Action protest Victoria Beckham show in London. Photo: Ben Darlington.
XR Fashion Action are calling for a cancellation of Fashion Weeks and for activists to boycott fashion. The commercial interests of the fashion industry mean profit is always first. We can’t wait for change. We have to disrupt.
If you’re an expert, industry stakeholder or activist reading this and thinking: ‘I can help with that!’ please get in touch.
And we need your help to fund this vital work. Please visit our Crowdfunder page to find more information on our campaign, money raised will fund actions in different countries.
New study on how a plant-based diet could offset global emissions by 9-16 years.
6 young Portuguese activists are taking 33 countries to court in European human rights case over the impact on their future.
El grave impacto que tuvo el verano de 220 en las capas de hielo y los glaciares (The grave impact of this summer on 220 of the our ice-caps and glaciers)
Californian fires burned more than 1 million acres this week. There are also major fires in Arizona and Colorado.
XR Poland fanning you farewell.
Thank you for reading.
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We are in a crucial phase of human history, and our Rebellion needs money to make our message heard. Anything you can give is appreciated.