Tomorrow – Extinction Rebellion to meet BBC management; Friday – ‘Requiem for a Dead Planet’ protest to call on UK newspapers to Tell the Truth

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What emergency? | Extinction Rebellion in Numbers

  • Tonight at 10.35pm BBC One to screen ‘Extinction Rebellion – Last Chance to Save the World?’ documentary
  • Thursday 18 July, Extinction Rebellion to meet BBC Senior Management to discuss the Climate and Ecological Emergency 
  • At 12.30pm on Friday 19 July, as part of this week’s Summer Uprising, Extinction Rebellion will stage ‘Requiem for a Dead Planet’ protest at the offices of the Daily Mail, Evening Standard, Independent, Metro and other newspapers at Northcliffe House in London

In a speech last week, Director General Lord Hall said: “We’re now in the midst of the biggest assault on truth – and therefore democracy – since the 1930s… All those who believe in integrity in news must work together to turn the tide.” [1]

After the BBC screens its documentary Extinction Rebellion: Last Chance to Save the World?, representatives of Extinction Rebellion will be preparing to meet with senior BBC executives on Thursday, to discuss how the network can address the Climate and Ecological Emergency. [2] 

Following this, at 12.30pm on Friday, Extinction Rebellion will stage the protest Requiem for a Dead Planet at Northcliffe House in London, headquarters of some of the UK’s largest newspapers, including the Daily Mail, Independent, and Evening Standard.

BBC meeting

The meeting, organised by Director General Sir Tony Hall, will examine the BBC’s approach to reporting on the crisis and how it can lead the way with a suitably urgent response. The BBC will be represented by Controller of Factual Commissioning Alison Kirkham; Head of Specialist Factual and Natural History Commissioning Tom McDonald; News & Current Affairs Editor James Stephenson; and Director of Editorial Policy and Standards David Jordan.

Representing Extinction Rebellion UK will be: Cofounder Dr Gail Bradbrook; Extinction Rebellion Youth Outreach and Logistics Coordinator Daze Aghaji; Media Tell The Truth Campaign Coordinators Jon Fuller and Donnachadh McCarthy; plus Media and Messaging Coordinator Ronan McNern.

Extinction Rebellion representative Daze Aghaji said: “The BBC has started making an attempt but we’re still nowhere near where we need to be in terms of reporting in the midst of this crisis. I urge the BBC to keep young people and our future in their minds as they think about programming. We must show integrity in the face of the climate crisis, together we must tell the truth about this emergency now.”

Requiem for a Dead Planet

At 12.30pm on Friday, Extinction Rebellion will gather outside Northcliffe House in London,  headquarters of some of the UK’s largest newspapers – Daily Mail, Independent, Mail on Sunday and Evening Standard – calling on the papers to tell the truth about the Climate and Ecological Emergency. During Friday’s peaceful protest, dubbed ‘Requiem for a Dead Planet’, activists will give speeches, perform Baroque Requiem music, stage a die-in and hold a eulogy for the 400,000+ people who are dying from climate-related causes each year and mourn the loss of 60% of nature since 1970. [3]

Activists will also be handing out ‘letters of condolence’ to newspaper employees and asking editors to declare a Climate and Ecological Emergency. 

Demands from the Extinction Rebellion Media Tell the Truth group include that:

– Editors and senior deputies to meet with local/national Extinction Rebellion groups to discuss reporting. 

– Immediately drop adverts from fossil fuel companies. 

– Agree to achieve net carbon neutrality by 2025.

– Agree to use only 100% post-consumer waste recycled paper within 3 years. [4]

Extinction Rebellion spokesperson Donnachadh McCarthy said: “Our newspapers are crucial to providing the public’s social and political permissions for the government to take the urgent, radical, society transforming actions necessary. We are therefore urging the Daily Mail and the rest of our national & regional papers to declare a Climate and Ecological Emergency and to make it their top organisational priority.”

The meeting with the BBC and the action on Friday are the latest steps in Extinction Rebellion’s ongoing campaign calling upon the media to tell the truth about the Climate and Ecological Emergency. This saw simultaneous actions at a dozen BBC sites, including Broadcasting House in London, in December. [5]

Ronan McNern of Extinction Rebellion, said “As Director General Lord Hall says, it is clear that we live in times when it is essential for those who believe in integrity in news to work together. For Extinction Rebellion, we feel deeply that the BBC and media have a transformative role to play in what is to come. 

“They are crucial to empowering the public to help save Britain’s shores from being invaded by rising sea-levels and helping protect what is left of nature. We look forward to meeting the BBC and working with other media to ensure we face the reality of the Climate and Ecological Emergency, and what it demands of us.”

Summer Uprising

This week has also seen major disruption across the country as part of the Extinction Rebellion Summer Uprising, where five cities – Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Leeds and London – are calling upon the Government to act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gases to net zero by 2025. [6] 

The Summer Uprising marks the build up towards International Rebellion starting Monday 7 October, when Extinction Rebellion will return to capital cities en masse to demand governments act in the face of the climate and ecological emergency.

Notes to editors:

[1] https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-48948591

[2] https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p07fvjfs

[3] https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/mar/03/more-than-half-a-million-could-die-as-climate-change-impacts-diet-report

[4] Here is the full list of actions Newspapers should take in light of the Climate and Ecological Emergency:

1. Editor and senior deputies to meet deputation from local/national XR group.

2. Newspaper to declare a climate/ecological emergency in papers.

3. Prioritise editorial resources to enabling increased reporting on the crisis.

4. Immediately drop adverts from fossil fuel companies. 

5. Agree to become flight advert free within one year and cease all high-carbon advertising (meat /cars) within two years. 

6. Agree to achieve  neutrality greenhouse gas neutral by 2025. 

7. Agree use only 100% post-consumer waste recycled paper within 3 years. 

8. Train editors, sub-editors and journalists in all departments on how to cover the climate/ecological emergency with depth, accuracy and urgency.

9. To support call for government tax on social media corporations that can help fund newspapers dropping adverts from fossil fuel companies. 

[5]  https://rebellion.earth/2018/12/21/extinction-rebellion-actions-at-elevent-bbc-sites/

[6] Find out more about the Summer Uprisings here:

More about Extinction Rebellion:

Time has almost entirely run out to address the ecological crisis which is upon us, including the 6th mass species extinction, global pollution, 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 their Government.

Extinction Rebellion’s key demands are:

  1. Government must tell the truth by declaring a climate and ecological emergency, working with other institutions to communicate the urgency for change.
  2. Government must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.
  3. Government must create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice.

What emergency? | Extinction Rebellion in Numbers

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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 while the tools of civil disobedience and direct action are used to express our collective power.

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