The International Rebellion Continues: From 7 October Extinction Rebellion UK to shutdown Westminster for at least two weeks

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“We stand now where two roads diverge. But unlike the roads in Robert Frost’s familiar poem, they are not equally fair. The road we have long been travelling is deceptively easy, a smooth superhighway on which we progress with great speed, but at the end lies disaster.” 
Rachel Carson, Silent Spring, 1962

“All political movements in their present form have failed. But homo sapiens have not yet failed … unless we recognise the overall failures of our current systems, we most probably don’t stand a chance.” 
Greta Thunberg and The 1975

“All together now. All together now. All together now, in no man’s land”
The Farm

  • As the UN’s Climate Emergency conference in New York begins today, Extinction Rebellion announces next phase of International Rebellion starting 7 October
  • Tens of thousands of people in more than 60 countries across every continent to join and demand Governments take immediate and decisive action on the Climate and Ecological Emergency
  • In the UK, Extinction Rebellion will converge on Westminster blockading every single road in the area for at least two weeks calling on departments to Tell the Truth about what they are doing to tackle the Emergency – The Brexit saga is not only a distraction in light of Emergency, but an example of the need for a new democratic system
  • Thousands of ordinary citizens – parents, youths, builders, footballers, doctors, teachers, musicians, scientists, CEOs, animal activists, farmers, and other movements, aligned to the cause – who are willing to be arrested will join Extinction Rebellion UK as part of a growing movement of movements
  • A series of mass participation direct actions will take place focusing on specific themes – including the need for the Government, the media, and other key institutions, to Tell the Truth and Act Now
  • Emergency Peoples’ Assemblies will be convened to write and approve an Emergency Queen’s Speech, which will direct Government Departments to answer the question: “Where are your emergency plans?”
  • Extinction Rebellion calls on #EverybodyNow to join them. Governments around the world are driving us towards extinction. We have to stop it, the time to act is now.

As world leaders gather in New York for the UN’s Climate Action Summit, Extinction Rebellion today announced plans for the next phase of its International Rebellion. 

Starting 7 October, many thousands of people and allied movements will return once again to shut down capital cities around the world – blocking roads, bridges, transport links and more – to demand immediate action in the face of the Climate and Ecological Emergency, caused by the state of the current dominant systems – political, social and economic – under which we live

Action is expected in more than 60 cities from Paris to Berlin, and all the way round the world including Los Angeles, Santiago, Washington DC, New York, Montreal, Buenos Aires, Dublin, Madrid, London, Amsterdam, Prague, Vienna, Cape Town, New Delhi, Mumbai, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Wellington. [1] Extinction Rebellion currently has a presence in more than 72 countries with a total of 485 groups across a total of 473 cities and towns.

“Today marks the turning of summer to autumn – a time of letting go in nature, of making space for the new,” said Sarah Lunnon of Extinction Rebellion UK. “We hope that world leaders understand that the Climate and Ecological Emergency means that “the rules must change” and it is time to let go of that which is killing us. Business as Usual is destroying our planet’s capacity to sustain life; humanity faces a growing risk of societal collapse in 10-20 years due to mass starvation, migration and war. 

“More rhetoric at this stage will not help, that is why we have been left with no other choice but to shut down capital cities to raise the alarm. The collapse of our climate and ecosystems has already begun, and is in fact accelerating beyond predictions. We are vulnerable, all of us. 

“Our food supply is in peril as extreme weather spreads out across the globe and devastates lives and livelihoods. It is no secret – scientists express their panic daily. Wildfires are ripping across the Arctic. Ice is melting at speeds never thought possible. Deadly heatwaves are crippling countries around the world. We have to tell the truth: we’re out of time. It is time for everybody now to rebel.”

The UK Extinction Rebellion: 7 October, Westminster, London

It has become clear that in the UK we are in a Democractic Emergency. The Brexit saga is not only a distraction in light of the climate and ecological emergency, but an example of the need for a new democratic system. There are also a multitude of crises converging, from housing to homelessness, suicides and declining mental health, and none of them are being adequately faced. [2][3] The biodiversity, climate and ecological emergencies are not separate from these crises, but are intimately interconnected. Those that supposedly uphold democracy in the UK have failed; the social contract is broken.

In April in London, more than 1,000 people were arrested as Extinction Rebellion UK nonviolently disrupted Business as Usual with blockades at four sites across London. This time, as the emergency escalates, Extinction Rebellion UK plans to head straight to UK Government ministries and departments – around Westminster – to demand each shares their plans for the Climate and Ecological Emergency.  It is expected that thousands more ordinary citizens – with parents, builders, footballers, doctors, teachers, musicians, scientists, CEOs, farmers, with other movements aligned to the cause – will join and peacefully block more than eleven key areas until Extinction Rebellion’s demands – for truth, action and a democracy fit for purpose – are met. 

Members of the public, parliament and the government, are invited to join in Telling The Truth and taking action. Everybody is welcome – join the Rebellion in London here

“We are in a moment – the most important moment that humanity has ever seen – where what we choose to do next will be remembered, or it will mean the certain death of even more species and the deaths of billions of people,” said Zion Lights of Extinction Rebellion UK. 

“The society in which we have grown up forgot who we were, but we are now remembering, that we are and were always part of nature. We are out of time, Business as Usual is over, the space of truth telling and acting has begun. A new season of Rebellion is about to begin, it is our moral duty to find the courage to act and to come together to create a new vision for the world where care for our collective wellbeing is once again in line with caring for the Earth.”

THE TIME IS NOW

This October, Extinction Rebellion regional and national groups, alongside allied movements will have at least eleven sites outside Government departments, blocking all of the routes into Westminster. They will be demanding that the departments Tell The Truth about their plans in the face of the Climate and Ecological Emergency, and shine a light on the nominal and ultimately empty gestures made by Parliament and Government. The sites and their themes include:

  • XR London – Burning Earth – Trafalgar Square – Our house is on fire – and still governments haven’t acted. The loss of life, ecosystems and biodiversity they’re inflicting are truly horrendous – and we will not shy away from showing these horrors. Burning Earth is a wake-up call: Artistic representations of waters running red, burning forests, and extinct animals tell an emotional story of the end of time. We will convert a tourist attraction to a place of truth, provide spaces for listening and grieving, and tell the story of the Rebellion over our own Rebel Radio from there.
  • XR Peace – Peace Rebellion – Horse Guards Parade – Join XR Peace – a coalition of organisations for peace and justice – as they hold the site at Horse Guards Parade in the October Rebellion. While blocking the road they will have workshops, teach-ins and exhibitions. Choirs, musicians, comedians, academics, storytellers and speakers will make the links between militarism and the climate emergency. Rebel for Peace and the Planet.
  • XR SE England – Beyond PoliticsWhitehall – This site will be in front of Downing Street and we’re focusing on how our democracy is failing to address the climate and ecological catastrophes. We want to propose the positive democratic alternative of a Citizens’ Assembly. Citizens’ will have the courage to propose the solutions where politicians have failed.
  • XR London – The Beacon – Westminster Bridge – The Beacon will highlight the government’s failure to act on the immediate danger of the climate and ecological crisis. Our purpose will be to provide a light to warn of the dangers of humanity’s current destructive path, and to illuminate the struggles of the Global South – where the climate crisis is already being keenly felt. The site will bring together speakers and voices from those at risk or who are already victims of rising sea waters and extreme weather effects, as well as talks, actions and art installations focused on the threat of rising seas, extreme weather and mass extinctions.
  • XR Youth / XR International Solidarity Network / Environmental Justice Block / XR Doctors – Global Justice – Millbank – The Global Justice Rebellion is about linking with resisting groups on the frontline of the environmental crisis. These struggles – which are mostly in the global south – and the demands and people involved will be at the very front and centre of the fortnight of activism and events.
  • XR North West England – Rewilding North – Victoria Tower Gardens – We want to pay tribute to all the animals and woodland that’s been lost and to create our own conservation area along Millbank in the shadows of Westminster. We plan to create an area that reintroduces the rewilding of nature to our urban spaces. 
  • XR SW England / XR Faith – Bridging Communities – Lambeth Bridge – XR Multi-faith groups, and allied organisations are coming together, creating the faith bridge to support the peaceful shut down of Westminster, London.
  • Animal Rebellion – The Garden City – Department of Environment, Food & Rural Affairs – Animal Rebellion will begin at Smithfield Market, London’s largest and most historic meat market. They will be demanding the government transform Smithfield to a fruit & veg market that can serve as a hub for a thriving plant-based food system. Their second site will be located outside DEFRA where they will build their very own garden city. 
  • XR Bristol / XR Wales / XR Rainbow Rebellion / XR Farmers – We Are All Crew – Home Office – We have a theme of storytelling coming together; of rebel voices, sharing and constructing space, constructing narrative and of building architecture for the future.
  • XR Scotland / XR NE England / XR Cumbria – Power in Truth – Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy – This site location, actions and messaging will focus on the fossil fuel industry, highlighting the links between government, corruption and the crimes of fossil fuel corporations.
  • XR East England & Midlands – Love RebellionThe Treasury – The area will be decorated accordingly and will model the ‘Regenerative Culture’ of Extinction Rebellion; a way of living that is more connected with other human beings and the environment, less psychologically intense than the norm of long hours, high stress, and emotional and physical isolation from others. We will honour Extinction Rebellion’s radically inclusive ethos to create an inspirational and empowering space.
  • XR Families & London – The Future is Here – The Mall – As the world continues to burn, we unite with the knowledge and hope there is an alternative choice to be made, a better future that we must build together. How we adapt is up to our collective power. The Future is Here will envision this future through people’s assemblies and community development, with space for creative play, imagination and education.

The blockades around Westminster will act as accommodation, providing a fun and creative atmosphere with performances, art installations, family zones, free meals and more. 

Actions

There will be a series of both mass participation and decentralised, direct actions focusing on specific themes, including the need for the Government, the media and other key institutions to Tell the Truth, and highlighting the urgent need to Act Now on greenhouse gas emissions, biodiversity loss and ecological and climate justice, envisioning the future democracy we need.

Reflection & Regeneration

During the rebellion, there will be time to explore and understand why we have to act now; to reflect on life lost as a result of climate and ecological breakdown, with a focus on the need for reflection, resilience, adaptation and grief work as we begin building toward regenerative ways of being in our changing world.

But? Haven’t the Government met your demands?

No. Our demands are that the:

  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.

The truth is that:

  • Despite paying lip service to the emergency, the Government has ploughed on with business as usual.  It’s continued to pump billions into fossil fuel subsidies whilst ignoring young people’s cries. 
  • Parliament’s declaration of climate and environment emergency was a symbolic and non-binding gesture. 
  • The Citizens’ Assembly announced by the Select Committees is bounded by a preset agenda, limited scope, and inadequate timeline. It’s tried to silence the nation’s fears with a toothless Citizens Assembly condemned to make ‘recommendations only’.
  • The current net-zero climate legislation is set a generation too late in 2050. It’s sought to shirk responsibility onto young people and future generations by offering a target so distant it’s a death sentence.
  • And, moreover, none of these act to halt biodiversity loss around the world.
  • Nor do they act to ensure justice for those most affected planetwide.

Notes

  1. https://rebellion.global/
  2. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/homeless-deaths-homelessness-housing-rough-sleeping-a9055671.html
  3. https://inews.co.uk/news/uk/homeless-households-england-rise-homelessness-statistics-uk-latest-565636

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 |This Is Not A Drill: An Extinction Rebellion Handbook.

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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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