Global Newsletter #44

Thursday, October 08, 2020 by Extinction Rebellion

A true Atlas from XR Austria

Dear rebels,

The wave of rebellions continues! Rebels are sounding the alarm across the globe and inspiring more and more to take action for the planet. Despite extremely challenging circumstances, individual doubts, and police brutality, still we rise up as one unified (decentralized) movement.

Tree huggers have never been cooler. From XR Université de Goma (DRC)

This issue covers fashion actions in Czech Republic, concerts in Austria, camps in Switzerland, and a report from the front lines of Finland, where police have been brualizing and pepper spraying rebels. Also actions across South Africa as part of the Global Climate Strike, roadblocks in Israel and tea parties in the UK.

Learn more about Fashion Act Now, an exciting global fashion group which aims to transform the ecocidal fashion industry. Check out their crowdfunder here.

XR Switzerland brings out the secret weapon - clowns ! Capitalism doesn’t stand a chance.

We have a special ‘Must Watch’ section this time, with a selection of documentaries to get you all informed and motivated, including Once You Know, an XR film about realization, despair and courageous action.

You can also check out XR Global’s blog posts, like How to Stop Funding Fossil Fuels by Moving to an Ethical Bank.

There’s so much going on that this team barely has time to write up one action before news of the next one comes in. Congrats for keeping us so busy!

If you’d like to help write the newsletter or have ideas about how we could better serve the needs of rebels, please email: and see Upcoming below for more details.

If you’d like to help, please check out our website 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.

This Rebellion needs your support. If you can’t give time, consider giving money.

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  • Action Highlights
  • XR Unchained
  • Upcoming
  • Announcements
  • Must Watch

Action Highlights

UnBEElievable Rebels Swarm Vienna

26 SEP - 4 OCT | Vienna, Austria

The XR Austria concerto: one solo instrument accompanied by a rebellion.

The Austrian Rebellion kicked-off with an energising Rebel Ride, despite the police trying to shut it down by banning the use of the motorway. Like water, the 80 riders simply took another route to the opening rally in Sigmund Freud Park!

The ‘Honeycomb Campaign’ saw rebels swarm the city’s main square, Michaelerplatz, and establish hexagonal lock-on formations and hexagonal blockades on key roads in reference to our third demand of Citizens Assemblies. Genius!

XR Austria Protestor polygons pepper Platz

Socially distanced die-ins, amazing Discobedience dance moves, beautiful music, and a lecture by Esteban, a scientist and environmental activist persecuted in South America, were featured too.

The police even stood up against hate messages and calls for violence against non-violent rebels!

The final rally at Maria-Theresien-Platz marked a ceremonial hand-over to XR Germany, Italy, and Spain for the next waves of the Rebellion.

Fast Fashion: Exposing the Naked Truth

26 SEPT | Prague, Czech Republic

The Protestor’s New Clothes.

Four rebels bared all on Prague's luxurious Příkopa Street to protest fast fashion. The rebels glued themselves to the inside of a shop window completely naked except for signs with messages like ‘Fast fashion kills, I'd rather be naked’.

Other rebels draped a banner outside the shop that read: ‘There is no economic growth on a dead planet’.

Police ripped the rebels from the glass and shut down the store, apparently to “protect the public” from the peaceful protest.

Shoppers in Prague were greeted by a bold message.

One rebel said: "Fast fashion is the second most polluting industry in the world, responsible for 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

“By buying fast fashion, we accept that the quality of human life is less important than cheap clothing. Gigantic companies that use the fast fashion model literally benefit from modern-day slaves, and privileged Europeans allow this because they also benefit.”

No Water, No Life!

25 SEP | Port Elizabeth, Pretoria, Cape Town, Johannesburg, South Africa

Rebels march with other activist groups through Pretoria. Photo: Shiraaz Mohamed.

In cities across South Africa, rebels took to the streets with a coalition of activist groups to mark the 6th Global Climate Strike, a day of worldwide climate protest called for by Fridays for Future.

Rebels in Mandela Bay organised a coalition march to the City Hall of Port Elizabeth, where they protested against the city’s continuing water crisis.

The region is suffering prolonged droughts made worse by neglected local infrastructure and political inaction on the climate crisis. Many residents do not have access to even basic sanitation.

The activists called on the mayor to reject plans for a costly and polluting desalination plant and instead solve the water crisis with a climate jobs programme and green infrastructure.

Mandela Bay rebels assemble for a day of marching

In Pretoria, the activist coalition marched to the Department of Mineral Resources and handed over a memorandum demanding a green restructuring of national electricity provider Eskom, and an end to government promotion of fossil fuels.

Activists also braved heavy rains in Cape Town to rally outside Parliament, where they demanded an immediate transition to renewables and an end to coal power.

This week rebels in Johannesburg will demonstrate against Standard Bank for their funding of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline, which will link Ugandan oil fields to ports in Tanzania. The 900-mile heated pipeline has a carbon footprint equivalent to Denmark’s and will devastate local wildlife as well as small farmers.

Helsinki Police Hit The Brake

3 OCT | Helsinki, Finland

Rebels in Helsinki were pepper sprayed by police and stopped from washing their eyes during an ‘Emergency Brake’ blockade in the city centre.

Police also detained 49 peaceful demonstrators, including pensioners, children, teachers and nurses.

The protest, part of XR Finland’s Autumn Rebellion week, involved blockading Unioninkatu, a major street in central Helsinki. Around 200 rebels decorated the area with flags and banners, a small yellow boat sailed in with “Tell the Truth” on its sail, and people danced to live music.

But when their order to leave was ignored, police came in hard, dismantling the blockade and carrying protestors into police vans. When rebels moved to a nearby intersection and sat down to block traffic, police started pepper spraying them at point blank range.

10 protestors suffered serious effects and many more were forced to take off their face masks to breathe, ruining rebel attempts to adhere to Covid-19 safety measures. Police even stopped some rebels from washing their eyes with water.

All detainees were eventually released, and XR Finland has condemned the violent police response. Their Autumn Rebellion week will continue as planned until Wednesday.

Some rebels were stopped from washing the pepper spray from their eyes.

An In-tents Rebellion

21-25 SEP | Bern, Switzerland

Signposting rebels around camp and government towards a just green transition. Photo: Climatestrike Switzerland

XR Switzerland joined the September Rebellion wave with Rise Up For Change, their first ever mass action.

Around 400 protestors from XR, Climate Strike Switzerland, Greenpeace and other allied groups gathered at 4:30am on Monday morning to set up camp in Bern’s Bundesplatz (Federal Square). They occupied the square for nearly 48 hours before police forced a cold and rainy evacuation that dragged on for 6 more hours.

At the camp, rebels held their own Citizens’ Assemblies, debates, conferences, and talks, while choirs and nighttime concerts kept spirits high. Doctors4XR hosted an action right on the doorsteps of the Federal Palace.

A sea of protesters rising against our rising sea levels. Photo: Climatestrike Switzerland

A 3000-strong march capped off the week of rebellion, with members of various climate groups standing shoulder to (distanced) shoulder and sending a clear message to their leaders.

For more sweet Swiss news, check out this seriously impressive XR Switzerland Newsletter.

XR Unchained

The Mad Hatter’s Tidal Tea Party. Sept 30. Only the mad are still at the table! North Devon, UK

XR Israel in a protest during full closure in Tel Aviv. Sept 22. Day without cars.

Actions in the Wall street of the Netherlands, Amsterdam South. Sept 18. When lobbyists block climate policy, we block them!


Rolling Global Rebellion

The rolling rebellion is underway! Rebels from Italy, France, Spain and Perth (plus others we may not be aware of) will be hitting the streets with courage and colour soon.

Are you planning to be at one of these global rebellions? Will you be making demands, having a dance, or just basking in the drama? If so, we want to hear from you!

We’d love to publish some reader experiences alongside our rebellion reports in future issues. Whether it’s personal highlights or unforgettable sights, we want to hear those little stories that make rebellion time come to life.

Short write ups could be anything from a sentence to 150 words in length; longer accounts are welcome too, though they may not make it into the body of the email. Your photos are always welcome. Send them to


XR Africa News

Telling the XR story from an African perspective. The XR Africa News team is doing wonderful work. Check out the latest broadcast here.

Fashion Act Now

Despite the rise of ‘sustainable fashion’, the industry remains one of most polluting and wasteful. And with global fashion consumption predicted to grow by 63% over the next decade, efforts to make the industry sustainable could be easily overshadowed.

Photo: Immo Klink. XR Fashion Action protest at Victoria Beckham Show. London Fashion Week

To ensure that the industry ‘Act Now’ to help mitigate climate and ecological breakdown, Fashion Act Now will unite a global coalition of activists, industry experts, economists, scientists and garment workers to action a plan that puts wellbeing before profit.

We’ll seek to answer a vital question: How do we reduce Fashion’s appetite for resources quickly enough to keep global warming to below 1.5C and protect biodiversity, whilst centering the most vulnerable?

We need your help to fund this vital work. Please visit our Crowdfunder page to find more information.

Global Content Submission Form

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Check out the brand spanking new Content Submission Form.

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Must Watches

Thank you

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Sobre a Rebellion

Extinction Rebellion é um movimento descentralizado, internacional e politicamente não-partidário que usa a ação direta não-violenta e a desobediência civil para persuadir os governos a agir de forma justa em relação à Emergência Climática e Ecológica. O nosso movimento é feito de pessoas de todos os sectores da sociedade, contribuindo de formas diferentes com o tempo e a energia que podem dedicar. Temos um ramo local muito perto de ti, e adoravamos ter notícias tuas. Participa …or considera fazer uma doação.