Update: 12 Extinction Rebellion activists willingly arrested in semi-nude protest to highlight climate emergency during Brexit debate in House of Commons

Email: press@risingup.org.uk
Phone: +44 (0)7760280443 / +44(0)7479234522 / +44(0)7986671716
Website: www.rebellion.earth
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ExtinctionRebellion/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ExtinctionR; #ExtinctionRebellion #NoBrexitOnADeadPlanet
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/extinctionrebellion/
Photos/videos: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1m1v7Cs8JFkDM1gHp45OF-NwwhLzPZJO8
Livestreams of today’s action:
https://www.facebook.com/XRBristol/videos/405979703531310/UzpfSTQwOTg3MTc1MjY5MDYzNjo4NzUzNDUxOTk0NzY2MjA/
https://www.facebook.com/ExtinctionRebellion/videos/1314543425353076/

Arrestees and activists who took part in today’s action are and will be available interview, including the two elephants in the room.

naked protest
naked protest

Update: 12 Extinction Rebellion activists willingly arrested in semi-nude protest to highlight climate emergency during Brexit debate in House of Commons

  • 12 activists have been arrested. Six has been taken to a police station while the other six are being held inside Parliament
  • The activists from Extinction Rebellion had stripped off and glued their hands to surfaces in the public gallery at the House of Commons today in a bid to draw politicians’ attention to the Climate and Ecological Crisis
  • Two of the activists wore full grey body paint and elephant masks while the others pointed to ‘the elephant in the room’
  • They say: ‘There is an emergency. It isn’t Brexit – it is the climate.’
  • The action takes place just two weeks before the International Rebellion beginning on Monday 15 April which is set to shut down central London for days on end
  • Extinction Rebellion invites people to ‘Come to stay, take 2 weeks off work, bring a tent and your family.’

Today during yet another Brexit debate, Extinction Rebellion activists interrupted the House of Commons with an audacious and humourous semi-naked protest during which 12 people stripped semi-nude – to highlight the emergency that we all face. They say ‘It isn’t Brexit – it is the Climate and Ecological Emergency.’  

Beginning Monday 15 April, Extinction Rebellion in the UK and around the world are calling for a full-scale International Rebellion: to demand decisive action on the climate and ecological collapse from governments around the world. They say ‘Come to stay, book two weeks, bring your tents and family. Let’s rebel for all life on earth’. More information at https://rebellion.earth/.

12 activists have been arrested. Six has been taken to a police station while the other six are being held inside Parliament.

MPs in the House had attempted to continue the debate while the activists stripped off and glued their hands to surfaces in the public gallery in a bid to draw politicians’ attention to the Climate and Ecological Crisis. We’ve been told that more than one Conservative MP shielded their eyes. Two of the group wore full grey body paint and elephant masks to bring the message that politicians neglect of the climate crisis has become an ‘elephant in the room’.

Evelina Utterdahl of Extinction Rebellion said: “The reaction from people in the public was amazing. They were laughing and cheering it on. I heard people say ‘Good for them’ and ‘This is incredible’. Most people didn’t want to leave the gallery and only left when forced to by guards. I talked to some of them outside afterwards and they were impressed with the whole action, especially the glue part. I saw both guards and people on the other side of the glass smile and laugh. The atmosphere was cheerful and happy.

“The politicians kept going as if nothing was happening. Ignoring the elephant in the room (climate change) as usual.”

“As long as we fail to face up to this crisis we are collaborating in the disasters already unfolding in the Global South- participating in rebellion invites us into the most meaningful lives possible.” Bell Selkie, 48, counsellor.

“Our politicians are bickering amongst themselves like spoilt children,” said William Cooke, 36, former teacher and member of Extinction Rebellion. “They are refusing to compromise because they are more interested in their own needs than ours. They are wasting time that we do not have. The elephant in the room is climate change and is being ignored.”

“We’re protesting the Government’s inaction on climate change. It is the biggest crisis that faces us all. From Monday April 15th, we are going to blockade the streets of London until the Government come and negotiate. We will block the streets of London until they start talking about climate change.” Savanna May

“Radical action is needed to shake the foundations of the structures and belief systems that have led us to think we are separate from nature. We are not. Until we remember this fundamental truth we are perpetuating our own destruction. I will not stand for this. I am standing with the earth.” Isla Macleod, 34, Celebrant.

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.

“None of us are going into this lightly. Taking your clothes off in parliament isn’t a fun thing to do on a Monday afternoon. We’re afraid. It’s scary as hell.

“Yet something infinitely more frightening is impelling us to do this. In plain sight, before the eyes of the world, environmental breakdown is already causing untold devastation and suffering and its effects are snowballing. The world’s leading climate scientists tell us we’re heading fast towards irreversible tipping points, whilst distinguished thinkers and journalists speak of the very real threat of imminent societal breakdown as a result.

“Because this isn’t ‘just’ about nature. In only a few decades vast swathes of our planet are predicted to become largely uninhabitable, due to flooding on the coasts and temperatures inland sky-rocketing. Hundreds of millions of climate refugees will have to find new homes in areas already overpopulated and short on resources.

“But equally terrifying, and the reason behind this protest, is the bewildering inaction of our government on the issue, and the silence of the mainstream media. If policies are not put in place immediately to radically de-carbonise our economy, and if the public aren’t told the truth about the emergency we are in, so that we can all face the problem squarely together and work on solutions, then our very futures, and the futures of our children and grandchildren, and of all the myriad and miraculous lifeforms we share our planet with, will be recklessly, immorally, and criminally endangered.

“By undressing in parliament, we are allowing ourselves to be exposed and vulnerable. We wanted to highlight the vulnerability that each one of us share, and the fragility of everything we know and love. It is terrifying just how bare humanity and all life stands in the face of this impending climate chaos. Whilst certain other issues presently suck all the available attention and airtime, by far the most important is being flagrantly ignored. There is an elephant in the room, and it is demanding attention.” Mark Øvland, 35.

Previous release

BREAKING: Extinction Rebellion activists strip off in House of Commons to highlight the Climate and Ecological Crisis

  • 11 activists from Extinction Rebellion stripped off and glued their hands to surfaces in the public gallery at the House of Commons today in a bid to draw politicians’ attention to the Climate and Ecological Crisis
  • Two of the activists wore full grey body paint and elephant masks while the others pointed to ‘the elephant in the room’
  • The action takes place just two weeks before the International Rebellion beginning on Monday 15 April which is set to shut down central London for days on end
  • Extinction Rebellion invites people to ‘Come to stay, take 2 weeks off work, bring a tent and your family

Today 11 activists from Extinction Rebellion stripped off in the House of Commons public gallery in an attempt to draw politicians’ attention to the Climate and Ecological Crisis.

Two of the group wore full grey body paint and elephant masks to bring the message that politicians neglect of the climate crisis has become an ‘elephant in the room’. Inspired by the suffragettes’ protest in the same building over 100 years ago, activists glued their hands to surfaces in the public gallery.

Mark Øvland, 35, said: “We are impelled to act in this way because the most important and pressing issue of our time is being flagrantly and recklessly ignored by our government and media. By undressing in parliament, we are putting ourselves in an incredibly vulnerable position, highlighting the vulnerability that all of us share in the face of environmental and societal breakdown. There is an elephant in the room and it is demanding attention.”  

Iggy Fox, 24, a wildlife biologist said: “I’m tired of the time and resources our government wastes rearranging the deckchairs on the Brexitanic. I want a future, and right now they are burning it like there’s no tomorrow. Wildlife populations are crashing, Manchester was on fire in February, and air pollution and heatwaves are killing thousands in this country every year. It’s high time politicians stop beating around the bush and tackle the environmental crisis head on, like they should have done years ago. I won’t stop causing disruption until the government does its duty to protect the people from disaster.”

Oliver Baines, 68, former charity chief executive said: “This is an emergency. We cannot wait. We have to have action from the government now, regardless of any other calls on their time. Our future is in peril.”

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.

We are in a climate breakdown

“If we do not change course by 2020, we risk missing the point where we can avoid runaway climate change, with disastrous consequences for people and all the natural systems that sustain us.”

General Antonio Guterres – UN Secretary – 11 Sept 2018

“If we don’t take action, the collapse of our civilisations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon.”

Sir David Attenborough – COP24 2018

Coming up

  • 1 April Paint the Streets Worldwide: Disobey to Tell the TruthGlobal. Calling rebels willing to join a week of mass flyposting, using non-violent civil disobedience to tell the truth on climate breakdown and ecological collapse. We will use stickers, posters, banners and more, covering the streets with our messages, to shake awake our fellow human beings who are sleepwalking into disaster.
  • 15 April – International Rebellion – Global. Extinction Rebellion activists in the UK and around the world are calling for a full-scale international rebellion: to demand decisive action on the climate and ecological collapse from governments around the world. Come to stay and book time off work.
  • 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

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:

  1. In the UK, come to one of our events, join the Rebellion Network and let us know how you can help out
  2. Start a group where you are – locally in the UK or in your country around the world
  3. Find your local group: https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=11jUqqjTHMThksd4KbvGGzb3I3Cr3PkBl&usp=sharing
  4. Check out the International XR website, with links to the French, German, Italian and UK websites
  5. We are holding Collaborative Leadership Calls to help coach people to improve their leadership skills and capacities
  6. And while your time and energy are the most important things, if you are financially able to donate money, see our Fundrazr crowdfunder.

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/

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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