To kick off International Rebellion, Greenhouse joined thousands of people to stand in the streets of London and demand urgent climate action. The fortnight of non-violent movement,
Extinction Rebellion has three key demands:
- Governments must tell the truth about the climate and wider ecological emergency, reverse inconsistent policies and work alongside the media to communicate with citizens.
- Governments must enact legally-binding policy measures to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2025 and to reduce consumption levels.
- A national Citizen’s Assembly must be formed to oversee the changes, as part of creating a democracy fit for purpose.
XRebels take over central London
Actions are taking place in five locations – each focused on a key message.
Hundreds of people have put up tents by Marble Arch on Hyde Park to declare a climate emergency. Around the XR boat moored on Oxford Circus, a few steps away from the BBC headquarters, strikers are asking Government and the media to ‘tell the truth’. As a symbol of the need for tangible action, Waterloo Bridge has been turned into a giant garden, with plants all along the way, a solar-powered stage and nature-focused art performances. On Parliament Square, XRebels are sounding the twelve years bell, urging Government to take action and maintain global warming under 1.5 degrees. Last but not least, XR Youth brings together young protesters on Piccadilly Circus, located at the heart of the movement.
Accusing Shell of ‘ecocide’, Extinction Rebellion also ran an action at the company’s headquarters, with XRebels gluing themselves to the building windows and daubing ‘Shell kills’ on its walls.
The different locations make International Rebellion a powerful movement – anyone who was in central London on Monday would have come across protesters. As we were handing flyers on Oxford Circus, we were encouraged by the genuine interest and positive response from shoppers and bystanders. While those of us who work in the environmental sector can sometimes feel frustrated to be ‘preaching to the converted’, the International Rebellion is not only reaching but also engaging a wider audience.
A movement by the people, for the people
Initiated by campaign group RisingUp, Extinction Rebellion is built by its people, and the International Rebellion reflects this inclusive and collaborative approach. Whether it is a music instrument, a cake or a strong drive to change the world, XRebels bring something to make this strike a social event where people talk, share ideas and increase their impact.
With briefing sessions on key messages, workshops on how to be a non-violent, civil disobedient protester, and materials to hand to bystanders, people are empowered to become non-violent, civil disobedient activists.
International Rebellion is taking place from 15thto 28thApril in London and many cities worldwide, including Auckland, Mexico and Vancouver. Look it up hereand join the movement.
In his last Guardian column, George Monbiot said:
“The success of this mobilisation depends on us. It will reach the critical threshold only if enough of us cast aside denial and despair, and join this exuberant, proliferating movement. The time for excuses is over. The struggle to overthrow our life-denying system has begun.”
If you can’t join International Rebellion, there are many other ways to support the XR movement:
- Attend one of the local events – find one near you here.
- Donate money through their fundraiser.
- Spread the word on social media using #ExtinctionRebellion.
- Get involved by joining a local group – find one near you on the map below or start one yourself.
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