Monday 18 November: Extinction Rebellion to begin Global Climate Hunger Strikes in 22 countries

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  • Yesterday Extinction Rebellion activists around the world – from France, India, New Zealand, Nigeria, Spain, Poland, Turkey, Sweden, UK, USA and more – announced their intention to go on hunger strike to demand action on the Climate and Ecological Emergency 
  • Today Extinction Rebellion UK begin delivering letters of intent to strike to party leaders, if their demand for meeting on the Three Demands Bill is not met
  • Extinction Rebellion UK calls on all political parties’ duty of care for the current and future wellbeing of everyone in the United Kingdom and globally.
  • Global Climate Hunger Strike initiated by Giovanni Tamacas of Extinction Rebellion US.

Starting Monday 18 November, Extinction Rebellion activists from 22 countries – Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Democratic Republic of Congo, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, United Kingdom and United States – will be participating in a Global Climate Hunger Strike if demands for meetings with their governments on the climate and ecological emergency are not met.

More than 230 people have committed to take part for at least one week, with more signing up daily [1]. The strike aims to highlight the vulnerability of our food supplies and force governments to enact Extinction Rebellion’s three demands.

Today, Extinction Rebellion UK will hand deliver letters to each political party, requesting a filmed meeting with party leaders to ask for their support for the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill (the ‘Three Demands Bill’) [2][3]. If they refuse the meeting, Extinction Rebellion UK activists promise to join hunger strikers around the world this coming Monday.

The first letter of intent was delivered at 9:20 am this morning at the Conservative Campaign Headquarters, 4 Matthew Parker Street, London SW1H 9HQ. 

Hunger strikers range from 83-year-old La Pethick from the UK to 16-year-old Christina Dithmar in Germany [4]. Christina, Extinction Rebellion Germany, said: “I don’t want to hunger strike. I’m fully aware of all risks this brings with it as well as the fact that I’m actually too young to do a full hunger strike. Yet, I don’t see any other option given where we are headed. I don’t want to lie in my bed crying, feeling helpless, not taken seriously.”

The UK Hunger Strike will also mark the launch of the ‘Election Rebellion’, which will involve a series of disruptive actions in the run up to the General Election on the 12th December. 

Election Rebellion will focus on our vulnerability to the Climate and Ecological Emergency. Along with water shortages, floods, wildfires, threats to security and strain on our emergency services, the climate crisis threatens the planet’s food supply with extreme weather from drought to ever more dangerous and destructive storms. No one is safe from this crisis. It is time to act.  

Extinction Rebellion UK hunger strikers demand that all UK political parties and Parliamentary Candidates support Extinction Rebellion’s Bill and do all in their power to ensure it becomes law. The Bill calls for the following:

  • Tell the truth: Tell the truth by declaring a Climate and Ecological Emergency and do all in their power to communicate the urgency for change, including working with government and other institutions.
  • Act Now: Promote policies to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.
  • Beyond Party Politics: Help the government create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice.

The Global Climate Hunger Strike was initiated by Giovanni Tamacas of Extinction Rebellion US. Giovanni’s mother is from Vietnam and father from El Salvador. Like millions globally, his family are already feeling the devastation of the Emergency. 

Giovanni, 20, said: “We are hunger striking because we have no choice. We are being taken to our deaths. Greedy governments and corporations have criminally and catastrophically failed to tackle the climate and ecological emergency. Our shortsighted governments are too systemically corrupt to stop mass starvation, societal collapse, and the death of billions of humans. We are therefore demanding that governments commission and be led by the decisions of an independent Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice.”

The hunger strikers are employing this last resort tactic after more than three decades of petitions, protests and campaigns have failed to secure the urgently needed responses to mitigate ecological and climate breakdown. By denying themselves their basic needs, the hunger strikers hope that their bodies will sound the alarm.

Notes for Editors –

[1] Sign up for Global Hunger Strike here: https://rebellion.earth/event/global-hunger-strike/

[2] A copy of the letter delivered to all UK party leaders can be found here

[3] Draft of the Climate and Ecological Emergency (‘Three Demands’) Bill – https://drive.google.com/file/d/1dXZif0DtyUkwUwQvj6XRQbFY_QwwoIUK/view

[4] Everyone who will participate as a hunger striker will need to fill in a form. The form is mandatory and if a striker is not registered, they will not be considered as part of the Extinction Rebellion Global Hunger Strike. This is for safety reasons.

Furthermore, we are imposing a strict 24 hours limit for participants under 18 to hunger strike for health and safety reasons. For an under 18 to participate they MUST have both medical and parental consent and complete this form.

Further information:

  • The UK XR’s action is inspired by the iconic DREAM walkers’ hunger strike of 2012, an occupation by two young ‘undocumented’ immigrant students of President Barack Obama‘s Denver campaign office. Their hunger strike led to Obama passing the DREAM Act after an 11 year hiatus the Act grants legal status to certain undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children and went to school there. Massive displacement of populations and communities is accelerating in the wake of our global CEE.
  • Protesters vow hunger strike to push U.S. on climate change – https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-climate-protests-trfn-idUSKBN1XM2KU

Photo & Film opportunity: For footage of Election Rebels handing the letter to Party Leaders, or to be present for this, please contact: 
Email: press@risingup.org.uk Phone: +44 (0)7726 195412 | +44 (0)79 7997 1209

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 

About XR’s Election Rebellion

Our objective is to put the Climate and Ecological Emergency at the top of the agenda for this election.

General Election 2019:

  • Get the Climate and Ecological Emergency top of the election Agenda.
    • Show the distance between our vulnerability and the actions taken by Politicians and Parties.
    • Tell our story and build Rebellion beyond the election.

Our purpose is to connect people with the emergency

  • Sound the alarm #ThisIsNotaDrill
  • Do all you can to change the paradigm #ActNow
  • We are #BeyondPolitics
  • Get your candidate to sign #ThreeDemandsBill
  • Hold a Citizens’ Assembly #WeCanWorkItOut & #ComeTogether 

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About Rising Up!

Extinction Rebellion emerged from 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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