This Sunday: Extinction Rebellion protests to disrupt London Fashion Week with ‘swarming’ roadblocks

London Fashion Week protest roadblock swarming

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Photos/videos: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1m1v7Cs8JFkDM1gHp45OF-NwwhLzPZJO8
Climate Factsheet for Rebels https://rebellion.earth/the-climate-factsheet-for-rebels/

UPDATE : FRIDAY 15 February: Extinction Rebellion meets with British Fashion Councils, Swarming roadblocks will happen

Yesterday (Thursday)  Extinction Rebellion met with the #BritishFashionCouncil to talk about our swarming and how they might use their platform to transform the fashion industry into a force of cultural change – declaring climate emergency and acting truthfully to that declaration. It’s the beginning of a conversation and we’re grateful that they’ve opened that door to us (and to the future).

However, right now people are flying in from across the world to celebrate an industry that has fuelled and applauded our high consumption lifestyles. We will swarm, using the platform of Fashion Week to raise the question (a question we need to be a asking ourselves and all who our lives touch all the time): what more can we do to tell the truth about the climate and ecological collapse and act on that truth?

We can’t wait to see you at Temple tube at 12 noon this Sunday. And for today – love and solidarity to all the children who are answering that question through their rebellion in #schoolstrike.

 

This Sunday: Extinction Rebellion protests to disrupt London Fashion Week with ‘swarming’ roadblocks

  • Rebels will ‘swarm’ London Fashion Week on Sunday 17 February. Major disruption expected
  • Extinction Rebellion letter to British Fashion Council calls on it to “use its influential position to tell the truth about climate change … [The fashion industry] is a powerful engine of culture and could be a revolutionary force for change”
  • Protest is part of the build up towards International Rebellion which begins Monday 15 April.

This Sunday 17 February Extinction Rebellion will disrupt the fashion world. Rebels will ‘swarm’ London Fashion Week, stopping traffic, creating gridlock and preventing vital personnel from moving between London Fashion Week venues. Facebook event is here.

This news comes as the British Fashion Council fails to respond to Extinction Rebellion’s letter asking that it to tell the truth about the climate and ecological emergency we are in and to end ‘business as usual’. With daily news worsening about the climate breakdown that is happening across the world, this protest is part of a wave of civil disobedience building momentum towards Extinction Rebellion’s International Rebellion which begins Monday 15 April. [1]

We need to hold thought leaders and creators of culture to account. The fashion industry’s influence permeates deep within culture and radiates globally”, said Clare Farrell, fashion designer and one of the co-founders of Extinction Rebellion.

While the fashion industry is not responsible for the unsustainable system it exists within, it is a key driver of global trends and a significant source of ecological devastation. [2] In the context of ecological catastrophe and mass extinction, influence like this can and must be used responsibly. Over 15 years, global clothing consumption has doubled while utilisation has decreased by 36%. [3] There are no signs that this is slowing and events such as London Fashion Week contribute to and encourage this continued unsustainable growth.”

Letter to British Fashion Council

Last week, Extinction Rebellion sent a letter to the British Fashion Council, calling on it to “use its influential position to tell the truth about climate change” stating the passionate belief that “The industry has the potential to transform itself to be a cultural and creative force that stops the trend of excessive consumption.” [Text of the letter below.]

Regrettably, they have failed to respond and so on Sunday 17 February, we will disrupt London Fashion Week and business as usual to wake people up to the very real catastrophe we are in,” said Sara Arnold of Extinction Rebellion.

In our letter to the British Fashion Council we recognise the progress made by the fashion industry, and the willingness of many within it to push for improvement, but call for far greater urgency. Fashion can and must play a leading role in changing our course.

“We recognise that this will cause distress among many connected with the event, but we are driven to act by the urgent and existential threat of climate change, and the hope that there may still be a future for all of us.”

Apologies for the disruption

Extinction Rebellion would like to extend our sincere apologies to members of the public who are affected, and remind them that this relatively minor inconvenience could save us all from catastrophic consequences in years to come. We will inform the police, and will of course allow emergency vehicles to pass.

There are no better words than those of Greta Thunberg – the 16 year old Swedish climate activist who created the School Strike for Climate movement that’s rapidly expanding around the world – to tell the story of this moment: “I don’t want your hope. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear that I feel every day, and then I want you to act. I want you to act as if the house is on fire. Because it is.” [4]

Last November when Extinction Rebellion swarmed central London, the Metropolitan Police advised: “there will be protests across London that may result in delays to your journey. We advise not to travel by car or motorbike.” [5]

Abridged text of Extinction Rebellion’s letter to the British Fashion Council:

“Dear Caroline Rush and the British Fashion Council,

“We are writing to you from Extinction Rebellion. We are a non-violent civil disobedience movement that launched in October last year, now with over 200 chapters in 42 countries and over 100,000 online supporters just months. In November we brought 6,000 people to occupy five bridges in London and we are now organising an International Rebellion (beginning 15th April) to pressure governments to take emergency action on the climate and ecological crisis.

“For governments and the public to treat this crisis as an emergency, we believe it necessary to disrupt business as usual and the structures that have created this emergency situation. The fashion industry’s influence permeates deep within culture and radiates globally. It is a powerful engine of culture and could be a revolutionary force for change.

“We are writing to you now because on Sunday 17th February, we plan to disrupt London Fashion Week. We recognise that progress has been made and willingness for change is almost ubiquitous in the industry. We understand the BFC has promoted sustainable practices, however we must not congratulate ourselves on progress if it does not meet the targets needed to avert a very real existential crisis.

“Interconnected crises, displacement and death is already a reality for the majority of those who live on the front lines of climate change. The melting of the arctic ice, the release of methane and the relentless burning of forests are creating self-reinforcing feedback processes which are locking in temperature increases far above the Paris target of 2C. This is an emergency.

“London Fashion Week is a key driver of global trends. If the BFC could use its influential position to tell the truth about climate change, there would be a surge in popular support for climate action. The industry has the potential to transform itself to be a cultural and creative force that stops the trend of excessive consumption.

“Therefore, as Extinction Rebellion, we call on you, the British Fashion Council, to follow in the footsteps of the Greater London Authority, Bristol City Council and many many others, to declare a Climate Emergency.  We believe that it is possible to face the future, stop business as usual and direct all resources, collective energy and privilege towards this end.

“We write to you in hope for all that can still be saved.

“Yours,

“EXTINCTION REBELLION”

Some key upcoming actions:

  • 11am Friday 15th February – 1st UK-wide Youth Strike 4 Climate – across UK. Extinction Rebellion is supporting Youth Strike 4 Climate who are preparing for the first UK-wide Youth Strike 4 Climate. They say: “The World’s Youth are waking up. Millions of young people are realising that it’s now or never and are now taking direct action on the climate crisis and ecological catastrophe. Whether you are at school, college or uni, go on strike on Friday the 15th of February.”
  • 11am Friday 22nd February – Climate Truth For Schools at the Department of Education. The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change just told the world what our future looks like, yet the science is being ignored by the UK curriculum. With teachers we will assemble at the Department of Education to demand those in the position of responsibility face the truth and allow educators to teach it.
  • Lots more protests and events! There are many other actions and events happening now in London and around the UK due to Extinction Rebellion’s decentralised structure (too many to list here). For the latest news, see the website https://rebellion.earth/events/ plus also check out the facebook https://www.facebook.com/ExtinctionRebellion/events/.

 

Notes to editors

  1. https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/fashion/environment-costs-fast-fashion-pollution-waste-sustainability-a8139386.html
  2. International Rebellion begins 15 April – https://www.facebook.com/events/126622414898833/
  3. Ellen MacArthur Foundation, A new textiles economy: Redesigning fashion’s future (2017) https://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/assets/downloads/publications/A-New-Textiles-Economy_Full-Report.pdf
  4. Greta Thunberg “Our House is on Fire” 2019 World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrF1THd4bUM. Video of Greta Thunberg at Extinction Rebellion’s Declaration of Rebellion launch on 31st October at Parliament Square in London –https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8prVarP-rQ. Text of speech – https://medium.com/wedonthavetime/the-rebellion-has-begun-d1bffe31d3b5
  5. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/nov/21/swarming-sit-down-protests-aim-to-disrupt-london-traffic
  6. Climate Factsheet for Rebels https://rebellion.earth/the-climate-factsheet-for-rebels/
  7. 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.

 

Extinction Rebellion’s key demands are:

  1. The Government must tell the truth about the ecological emergency, reverse inconsistent policies and work alongside the media to communicate with citizens
  2. The Government must enact legally binding policy measures to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2025 and to reduce consumption levels
  3. A national Citizens’ Assembly to oversee the changes, as part of creating a democracy fit for purpose.

Get involved in Extinction Rebellion’s other events

UK website: https://rebellion.earth/

International website: https://xrebellion.org/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ExtinctionRebellion/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ExtinctionR hashtag #ExtinctionRebellion

Declaration of Rebellion: https://rebellion.earth/declaration/

 

  1. About Rising Up!

Extinction Rebellion is an initiative of the Rising Up! 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.

Website http://www.risingup.org.uk/;

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/RisingUpUK/;

Twitter https://twitter.com/RisingUpUK

 

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