Today. Extinction Rebellion targets 8 BBC sites across UK, plus Berlin!
December 20, 2018 by Ronan
Number of BBC locations to be targeted by Extinction Rebellion protest for ‘Reclaim The BBC’ tomorrow doubles
London, Manchester, Bristol and Sheffield to include Cambridge, Birmingham, Glasgow and Truro, Cornwall. Plus Berlin!
Hundreds also expected to mail Ofcom and BBC with letters and emails inspired by Extinction Rebellion’s open letter to BBC Director-General Tony Hall.
Today (Friday 21 December) Extinction Rebellion activists will peacefully protest outside BBC sites across the country, calling upon the corporation to declare a Climate and Ecological Emergency. Many more concerned citizens will send letters, emails and complaints to the BBC and its regulator, Ofcom, urging them to face the ecological and climate emergency, and to consider in earnest the 8-point plan for the BBC proposed by Extinction Rebellion and published earlier this week in the Guardian. 
Protesters will be marching, singing, and banging pots and pans in a bid to help the BBC “wake up to the danger of climate change”. Many protestors also plan to light candles – both serving as a vigil for the many lives already lost in the ecocide, and representing the need for the BBC to shine a light on the dire facts of the ecological crisis.  
Details for the day
In London, hundreds rebels will be meeting at 10:30 on the steps of All Souls Church before descending on the BBC London with pots, pans and songsheets to ‘beat the bounds’, making as much noise as possible before falling silent to listen to speeches, music and poetry. There is a possibility of some more disruptive civil disobedience. At 3:30 there will be a funeral procession and ritual to honour the 27 people found burnt alive in the Greek village of Mati after July’s wildfires, as well as all of the 315,000 people the UN estimates are already dying every year from the unfolding climate emergency. 
In Bristol, rebels will meet at Clifton Down Railway Station at 9:30 before moving in on the BBC office on Whiteladies Road for a Christmas party with the theme “all I want for Christmas is the truth”; as in London, protesters are aiming to make a lot of noise.
The event in Glasgow will have a family-friendly focus, with children’s activities and a mass-delivery of Christmas cards to the BBC branch on Pacific Quay alongside the usual noisemaking, singing and speeches.
In Cambridge, rebels have requested an interview at their local studio; members of XR will gather at 7am either to show gratitude or non-violent discontent, depending on the BBC’s response.
Rebels in Birmingham will gather at 12:00, with pots, pans and “XR-rated” carols.
Rebels from across Cornwall will be phoning Lawrence Reed’s radio show from 12:00 to 3:00 to discuss the climate crisis, while many will also appear outside the BBC radio office in Truro to make themselves heard by less conventional means.
In Sheffield, rebels will meet at 08:00 outside BBC Radio Sheffield with pots, pans and songs.
There will also be an event in Berlin, at the BBC’s branch on Schiffbauerdamm, starting at 10:00 UK time, where protesters will read out a list of some victims of the current mass-extinction, and hear the accounts of students who have taken part in the #FridaysForFuture School strikes.
“Now more than at any time in its history, we need the BBC to honour its founding value to be “independent, impartial and honest”; we’re facing a potentially existential threat to both our nation and our species, but the BBC’s coverage is nowhere close to reflecting this. We’re sure that many of those working within the BBC agree with us on this, and that many more are willing to listen – so we’re coming on Friday with music and noise not as antagonists, but as friends looking to implore this organisation to shift its policy and play a vital role in facing up to the ecological crisis,” said Serena Schellenberg of Extinction Rebellion.
The first two demands of Monday’s letter call for a Tony Hall to meet with a delegation from Extinction Rebellion to “discuss how the BBC can tell the full truth on the climate and ecological emergency”, and that the BBC follow councils across the UK and world in declaring a climate emergency.
Jonathan Fuller, due to be speaking at the event in London, said:
“In September the UN Secretary General appealed to news outlets to cover his upcoming speech on climate change and on 10 September he delivered it, warning that we now face “a direct existential threat” and warned of “runaway climate change”. The BBC refused to cover this on TV or radio news. Following a string of stinging complaints the BBC has given some ground and promised to improve its coverage of news but it still refuses to allow the public to hear the really frightening material in connection with the various climate feedbacks and tipping points”
The Road to International Rebellion – key dates
The BBC protests feature as a key part of the build up towards International Extinction Rebellion Week, which will take place globally beginning 15th April 2019. News has also just been released that Extinction Rebellion activists in the USA are preparing for a National Day of Action on 26th January 2019, for what they dub their ‘Rebellion Day 1’.
Notes to editors
1. Extinction Rebellion’s urgency eight-point plan for the BBC was first published as a letter in the Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/
The key points are:
1. The director general, Tony Hall, agree to a meeting with a delegation from Extinction Rebellion to discuss how the BBC can tell the full truth on the climate and ecological emergency.
2. The BBC declares a climate and ecological emergency.
3. The BBC places the climate emergency as its top editorial and corporate priority by adoption of a climate emergency strategic plan, at the level of urgency placed on informing the public about the second world war.
4. The BBC to divest all pension funds, investments and bank accounts from fossil fuel corporations and their bankers.
5. The BBC, its subsidiaries and its supply chain to agree to be zero-carbon by 2025.
6. The BBC to publish an annual eco-audit of all BBC operations, including summary of key ecological and carbon data.
7. The BBC to take a lead on encouraging other national and global media corporations to join the global efforts to save humanity/nature from existential crises.
8. The BBC to only allow thinktank spokespersons on air to discuss the climate emergency whose funding is fully transparent.
2. For more details on the BBC’s messaging around climate change, see here
3. Climate Factsheet for Rebels https://rebellion.earth/the-
4. Over 80 people were horrifically burnt to death in this year’s wildfires in Greece, including 27 people found together in the village of Mati, many of them relatives and children. https://www.standard.co.uk/
5. About Extinction Rebellion
Time has almost entirely run out to address the ecological crisis which is upon us, including the 6th mass species extinction and abrupt, runaway climate change. Societal collapse and mass death are seen as inevitable by scientists and other credible voices, with human extinction also a possibility, if rapid action is not taken.
Extinction Rebellion believes it is a citizen’s duty to rebel, using peaceful civil disobedience, when faced with criminal inactivity by its Government.
The group’s key demands are:
The Government must tell the truth about the ecological emergency, reverse inconsistent policies and work alongside the media to communicate with citizens
The Government 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 to oversee the changes, as part of creating a democracy fit for purpose.
Website: https://risingup.org.uk/XR/; facebook https://www.facebook.com/
Declaration of Rebellion: https://rebellion.earth/
6. About RisingUp
Extinction Rebellion is an initiative of the RisingUp network, which promotes a fundamental change of our political and economic system to one which maximises well-being and minimises harm. Change needs to be nurtured in a culture of reverence, gratitude and inclusion; whilst the tools of civil disobedience and direct action are used to express our collective power.