Rebels rally in Johannesburg, South Africa as part of the Global Coastline Rebellion.
In this issue: Global Coastline Rebellion | XRUK Kill The Bill | Murder In Colombia |
It’s only just begun, but already 2022 has seen a series of catastrophic oil spills devastate coastlines around the world.
First, an oil tanker was rocked by waves from the Tonga tsunami while docked at a refinery in Peru; then an underwater pipeline ruptured off the coast of Thailand; then a pipeline burst in Amazonian Ecuador; and finally, a vast oil production ship exploded in the Niger Delta.
These accidents show with horrifying immediacy the damage that oil extraction can wreak on our oceans. But the truth is that the oil industry causes and courts ecological destruction at every stage. And it is almost always inflicted on the Global South.
Dutch rebels in The Hague condemn the recent oil spills - one of dozens of solidarity actions held as part of the Global Coastline Rebellion.
Multinational oil corporations like Repsol, Equinor, and Shell use seismic surveys that destroy marine life to find new reserves, and then use reckless methods of extraction that many countries in the Global North have banned.
This is about to happen in Argentina, where the government has greenlit plans for offshore exploration, drilling and fracking by Equinor and Shell. Argentinians marched in their thousands against the decision, but have been ignored.
An international alliance of activists watching the unfolding disasters and regional protests decided something more had to be done. These corporations destroying the planet one oil spill and seismic blast at a time needed to be confronted – and not just where the oil was spilling, but also where the profits were collecting.
The Global Coastline Rebellion, a multinational day of resistance against a multinational threat, was conceived just a few weeks before its 4th February launch. Yet it ended up drawing together more than 50 movements, organisations, and communities, from 19 different countries. You can find out more about this unprecedented global action by checking out Action Highlights.
A coalition of activists including rebels rally in London to Kill The Bill. Photo: Crispin Hughes
As well as spills, we highlight a brilliant campaign by XRUK to stop a bill - proposed government legislation that could effectively criminalise all disruptive protests in the country. Finally we have a tragic report on yet more murdered activists in Colombia, one of the most dangerous places to protest in the world.
While the disasters have come thick and fast this year, so has the worldwide mass mobilisation. By uniting activists from multiple movements rooted all over the globe, and shifting the focus from abstract goals to concrete demands about ending corporate extractivism, the Global Coastline Rebellion has ushered in an exciting new template for climate activism.
And one of the organisers has assured the newsletter that this is just the beginning....
The Global Newsletter is brought to you by XR Global Support, a worldwide network of rebels who help new XR chapters grow. Read previous issues here.
We are in a crucial phase of human history, and we need money to make our message heard. Anything you can give is appreciated.
- Action Highlights: Global Coastline Rebellion, Kill The Bill, Murder In Colombia
- Action Roundup: Canada, Austria, Italy, Germany, and even more in Newsletter Xtra
- Upcoming Actions: Women’s Climate Strike, Global Climate Strike
- Announcements: XR Global Blog, Scientist Rebellion Talks, Flooding Is Sh*t!
- Must Reads: Climate Reading List, Whales vs US Army, Cryptocurrency
- Book of the Month: The Nature of Oaks by Douglas W. Tallamy
- Humans of XR: Marguerite, England
Kill The Spills: Global Coastline Rebellion
4 FEB | Worldwide
Activists in Lima, Peru protest the ecocide of Spanish oil giant Repsol, while rebels in Ibiza, Spain tell the company to take responsibility for the oil spilling from its Peruvian refinery.
Thousands of rebels and other activists have united around the world to protest the continuous devastation of coastlines in the Global South by multinational oil companies.
The coast of Peru is still an ecological disaster site after an oil tanker was hit by freak waves at a refinery owned by oil giant Repsol. But rather than take responsibility, the Spanish corporation has downplayed the disaster and tried to deflect blame.
So while Peruvian activists rallied outside their Congress building in Lima to demand Repsol clean up their mess and go, rebels in cities all over Spain staged protests outside Repsol offices and petrol stations demanding the same.
While communities rallied against Norwegian oil company Equinor in 27 cities across Argentina, rebels in Oslo bared all during a frosty visit to its corporate headquarters.
Activists from the Global South and North came together to also condemn Equinor, the Norwegian state owned oil company which is about to start seismic surveys, offshore drilling, and fracking off Argentina’s coastline.
The plan is so ecologically hazardous that it would be illegal in Norway. Yet the Argentine government rubber-stamped it at the end of 2021, sparking huge protests across the entire country. For the Global Coastline Rebellion, thousands of activists mobilised in 27 cities across Argentina. Rallies included artistic performances featuring dancing marine life, dystopian oil-stained beach-goers, and angry nudists smashing up oil wells.
In Norway rebels also got naked, despite the freezing conditions. They bared all as they marched through the snow outside Equinor’s headquarters in Oslo, but only once an 'Army of Cleaners' did their best to wipe the dirty company away. Norwegian embassies in Serbia and Germany also got a visit from local activists.
Ogoni rebels march through Bori city in Nigeria. The region has been plundered and severely polluted by Shell for decades.
Equinor’s fracking partner in Argentina is Shell, and the British oil company was condemned for its eco-crimes across the globe. In South Africa, where a court recently stopped Shell from conducting seismic surveys off the Wild Coast, activists danced along Cape Town’s beaches and marched down Johannesburg’s streets. Standard Bank also got a visit for its financing of the terrifying regional oil pipeline, EACOP.
In the UK, Shell’s London HQ was visited by a samba band, and rebels sounded an air gun every ten seconds to mimic the seismic surveys that Shell conducts to find new reserves under the ocean, despite the devastating effect the intense blasting has on whales and dolphins and other marine life.
In Nigeria, where Shell has an appalling record of pollution, ecocide and colluding with repressive governments to murder local activists, Ogoni rebels marched through the coastal city of Bori demanding a fossil-fuel-free future and an end to the soot from gas flaring.
A large rally in Berlin visited both the Norwegian and Spanish embassies to demand an end to fossil fuel colonialism in the Global South.
Another highlight was the rally outside the World Bank in Washington DC, where speakers condemned the institution for indebting Global South nations and forcing them to open up their resources to ecocidal corporations, thereby driving the climate crisis.
There were dozens more actions around the world worthy of coverage, from Uruguay to Portugal, and Denmark to Ecuador. Considering the global action was conceived only a few weeks ago, and co-ordinated by a small international team running on little more than loving rage, the result has been spectacular.
Find out about future global mobilisations by emailing email@example.com
Police Bill Threatens XR Protests
15 & 17 JAN | UK
Many hundreds march through central London to Parliament. Photo: Andrea Domeniconi
Rebels joined other activists to rally against The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, a piece of legislation that if made law will severely restrict people’s right to protest.
Thousands of ‘Kill The Bill’ demonstrators marched through cities across the UK to reject the government’s attempt to criminalise future XR and Black Lives Matter protests.
To become law, the bill must be voted through by both chambers of Parliament - the elected House of Commons and the unelected House of Lords. With the Lords voting on the most contentious clauses of the bill just days after the rally, XR Digital Rebellion deluged them with 13,500 emails as well as thousands of calls and tweets.
Rebels in Oxford highlight how the bill criminalises one-person protests & road blockades.
The pressure worked. The government’s attempts to ban ‘noisy’ protests, and imprison protesters who lock-on or block roads, were all voted down by the Lords, along with many other repressive measures.
However the bill remains a fundamental attack on protest in England and Wales, granting police more powers over peaceful protesters, and creating new ‘public nuisance’ offences that could see them imprisoned for up to ten years!
In an open letter published online, hundreds of academics and clinicians warned that the bill would disengage, disempower, and socially isolate young people, the activists of the future.
This rebel officially changed his name to Kill The Police Crime Sentencing And Courts Bill!
The bill could also have terrible international repercussions, with other governments using it as an excuse to further crackdown on their own climate activists. A total of 1,540 land defenders were murdered worldwide between 2012 and 2020.
While the bill is promoted as a means to prevent violence and protect the population, it actually allows the government to stifle dissent, and silence those who demand accountability from them.
That so many people took part in the recent Kill The Bill protests is incredibly inspiring. But while the bill may be diminished, it has not gone away. This fight isn’t over, and future mobilisations will be needed to safeguard many of the recent wins.
Help Kill The Bill both online and off - for future actions check out the official Linktree.
Death For Defending life
21 JAN | Bogotá, Colombia
The Nasa community mourn a teenage boy murdered while protecting thier land.
The year has started with alarming violence in Colombia, where over a period of just ten days five environmental activists were murdered.
Two members of the Nasa indigenous community, one just 14 years old, were shot by an armed gang while patrolling their lands. A few days later another member of the same unarmed indigenous guard was shot when the gang returned onto the reservation.
A die-in outside the Attorney General's Office. The sign: Does defending life condemn mine? Photo: @an.vargasb
20 rebels from XR Colombia joined with other local movements, including Fridays for the Future Bogotá, to protest in front of the Attorney General's Office and demand justice for those activist leaders who had been assassinated.
They made speeches, held up portraits of the victims along with a blood splattered Colombian flag, and called for the long-delayed ratification of the Escazú agreement, which would mandate protection for activists but has been opposed by mining and agribusiness lobbyists. The action finished with a die-in.
10 - 31 JAN | British Columbia, Canada The first wave of actions by Save Old Growth ends with a blockade of a Vancouver bridge. The campaign to end old tree logging saw multiple blockades of the Trans-Canada Highway and 54 arrests. They will return to the roads on March 21st.
1 FEB | Vienna, Austria Armed with an eviction order, police clear a long-standing protest camp on a road construction site, and take 48 activists (including rebels) into custody.
1 - 4 FEB | Rome, Italy Last Generation in Italy rebranded the Ministry of Ecological Transition as the ‘Ministry Of Fraud’. The rebel group demanded a meeting with ministers and went on to blockade more roads in the city.
4 FEB | Berlin, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Germany Last Generation in Germany continues its Save Food Save Lives campaign. The group have been blockading motorways day after day, braving driver aggression and arrest, sitting with food discarded by supermarkets to highlight the 18 million tons of food wasted by Germans each year.
So many rebel actions happened this month, we can’t fit them all into the newsletter. Head over to Newsletter XTRA to find out about actions in France, Argentina, Croatia, Northern Ireland, Portugal & more. Newsletter XTRA: A feast for the eyes and extra fuel for the soul!
Women’s Climate Strike
8 MARCH | Worldwide
Women carry the weight of the climate crisis and the burden of waiting for the world to act. Women in most affected regions of the world are already suffering from human caused climate change.
Women in every part of the world will disproportionately suffer in a world of extinction. Patriarchy, sexism, and misogyny seem to increase when society is in a state of stress or collapse – we have seen this during the pandemic, with the rise of domestic violence.
We call on all women to take climate action on International Women’s Day under the theme ‘The Wait of the World‘.
Find out if there is an action happening near you, or get ideas to help you organise one yourself by visiting our website.
Global Climate Strike
25 MARCH | Worldwide
On March 25th, Fridays For Future will strike for climate reparations and justice!
Join us for the Global Climate Strike as we demand that policymakers and world leaders prioritise people not profit! Find out more.
XR Global Blog: Local Stories With Global Lessons
The XR Global Blog team explores the Climate and Ecological Emergency through diverse perspectives on key socio-ecological issues from across the world. Recently our writers have looked at…
The Fallout from Faraway Fires: The environmental and social cost of wildfires and their smoke in the U.S. and further afield.
Fires in Brazil: Their historical causes and contemporary patterns of extractivism which follow the dollar at any cost.
New Kids on the Block(ade): Detailing the genesis of a new wave of radical climate activist groups across the world.
If you have suggestions, questions or want to get involved with the XR Global Blog and Website, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
We are particularly interested in hearing from underrepresented and marginalised voices, and from those with experience of front-end web development.
Scientist Rebellion: Talks
16 FEB - 30 MARCH | 09:00 or 19:30 UTC | Online
Scientist Rebellion is organising a series of talks dedicated to the climate and ecological emergency and what we, as scientists, can do about it.
Each session will last about 1.5 hours and involves an introduction to Scientist Rebellion and our upcoming actions; a talk by and a Q&A with a well-known researcher; and an opportunity to connect with fellow participants and discuss how to get active.
The talks will be accessible for people comfortable with English, Spanish and French through interpretation. For a full schedule and speaker programme go here.
Flooding Is Sh*t! Literally!
17 FEB | 19:00 - 21:00 UTC | Online
Governments are supporting water companies as they discharge sewage into our oceans and rivers. So what can you do in your community to make sure your local water courses and seas are clean and safe?
Join XR Deep Water for presentations by speakers and a People's Assembly where thoughts and ideas can be shared on how to take the Flooding Is Sh*t! campaign forward.
Regen 101 Workshops
20 FEB / 20 MAR | 22:00 UTC | Online
This experiential, practical, and educational workshop is a beautiful introduction to Regenerative Cultures for those new to XR and essential for those rebels already in it.
Join our facilitators Christie and Madi for this nourishing exploration of Regenerative Cultures, Earth Emotions, Community and Self-care, and Emotional Debriefing. There is capacity for 35 folks to join us in each session.
XR Global Media Library: Workshops
16 FEB - 3 MAR | 10:00 or 18:00 UTC | Online
The XR Global Media Library is a collection of 175,000 Photographs, Videos, Radio & Podcasts, Art & Design assets.
These 45 minute zoom workshops will show you how to download media from the library, distribute your own media via XR Social Media platforms, create photo albums for journalists, share your media and amplify local stories across the XR movement.
Join our zoom workshops on WEDNESDAYS at 18:00 UTC (FEB 16 / FEB 23 / MAR 2)
Join our zoom workshops on THURSDAYS at 10:00 UTC (FEB 17 / FEB 24 / MAR 3)
Bringing It Home: Nature-Based Healing Course
MAR 2022 - FEB 2023 | Online
‘This course has turned a flickering candle into a roaring fire‘ – Sally Ann, 2021
Do you long to be part of an earth-based culture rooted in the cycles of nature?
Bringing It Home is an in-depth, yearlong cycle with seven spacious online weekends, solo time in nature (including a supported dusk-to-dawn or 24 hour solo), 16 ‘Ecological Homecoming’ evening calls, personal and peer mentoring, and much more.
Never find time to read? Try locking yourself to a van during rebellion.
Welcome to a special ‘readers edition’ of Must Reads, containing articles and resources recommended (or even created!) by our gorgeous readers. Do you dream of curated climate reading lists? Did you know that whale poo allows the oceans to sequester 2 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide per year? Or that Bitcoin has the same carbon footprint as New Zealand? Read on rebel, read on…
XR Czech Republic: Reading List on the Climate and Environmental Crisis
This isn’t just any reading list, rebel. This is the most comprehensive and considered reading list you could even hope to imagine, split into categories like science, emotional support, spiritual, fiction, and children’s books.
Counterpunch: Whales Could Save the Climate, Unless the Military Destroys Them
Hawaii-based journalist Koohan Paik-Mander uncovers the miraculous role that whales have played in delaying climate catastrophe, but how military exercises by the US Army are decimating them, and hurtling us ever faster towards climate meltdown.
Truthout: Cryptocurrency’s Carbon Footprint Can’t Be Ignored
South African writer Robin Scher explores how digital ‘mining’ for cryptocurrency uses a staggering amount of energy, and as various crypto-coins and NFTs become more mainstream, their carbon footprints are likely to get exponentially worse.
Book of the Month
The Nature of Oaks: The Rich Ecology of Our Most Essential Native Trees by Douglas W. Tallamy
Plants are the crucial first link in the food chain. But in many ecosystems, the next link in the chain is mostly insects—and most insects can’t eat plants they didn’t evolve with. Replace native plants with exotics, and the ecosystem crashes.
Dr. Douglas Tallamy, an American entomologist, and his students, discovered the critical importance of native plants. He has since dedicated himself to convincing homeowners to plant natives to support urban and suburban biodiversity. He is a clear, accessible writer and a kind and friendly man.
Being an American, most of Dr. Tallamy’s books offer advice tailor-made to Americans. The Nature of Oaks is no exception. However, over half the planet has its native oak species, so his argument, that oaks are especially important to plant and to protect, is relevant to folks of many countries.
The details of the rich ecology of oaks vary from place to place, but not the richness, nor the principle that some simple things we can do actually make a difference.
Humans of XR:
Photo: Sky News
Friends of mine invited me to go with them to join the April 2019 rebellion, but I couldn’t make it. When I watched it unfold on TV, I was amazed. It was such a wonderful example of people-power. I started reading articles about climate change and was shocked by how serious it all was. We’re just not told how serious it is.
I made it to the October rebellion and met some amazing people. I remember meeting this man in Victoria Coach Station who was heading back to Wales after spending the day locked to a lorry outside the Home Office. He just said to me “you do what you can.”
The first time I was arrested was at an HS2 compound in March or April of 2020. The police were not nice. This woman was grabbing at me so tightly, even when I said I wasn’t going to run away. In the van I was stuck in this cage, and at the station it took a lot of requests to get a cup of tea.
I wasn’t planning on getting arrested and accepted a caution. My son is studying film production, and I was worried that if he made it to Hollywood my criminal record would mean I couldn’t visit him. He wasn’t impressed by my arrest - he was anti-XR back then and said I was irresponsible going to a protest because of Covid. But he was upset because I’d stopped him going to a party for the same reason.
As time went on, I felt my excuse for not getting arrested - visiting my son in Hollywood - just wasn’t good enough. I decided to take part in a Rebellion of One and was arrested a second time. Then I went to a talk by Roger Hallam and got involved in Insulate Britain during its third week. We went out onto the motorways again and again and again. We were in the news all the time. I was arrested another seven times.
These days the police are more reasonable, supportive even. We’re not violent and we don’t scream abuse, so in a way we make their job easy. But a lot of people couldn’t see the connection between insulation and the climate crisis. And rather than explain it, the media just egged them on to hate us.
Now I’m involved in a new campaign where the connection to the climate crisis is immediate. It’s called Just Stop Oil. The main demand is to stop all new oil exploration, but we also want oil workers to be retrained for jobs in renewable energy. There are Zoom welcome meetings every Sunday, and actions will be starting in March. I’m sure I’ll be involved.
My son has helped me with leafleting for Just Stop Oil. He even brought a friend to a public meeting where I did a talk about the experience of civil resistance. Afterwards he said “I’m so proud of you”. It really meant a lot.
If you know (or are) a rebel somewhere in the world with a story to tell, get in touch at email@example.com
South African rebels give the pro-democracy salute during the Global Coastline Rebellion.
Thank you for reading, rebel. If you have any questions or feedback, we want to hear from you. Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are in a crucial phase of human history, and our movement needs money to make our message heard. Anything you can give is appreciated.