Disrupt the Circus of Excess! XR52: Despair Ends & Tactics Begin


01 June 2019
12:00 - 17:00 (UTC +01:00)


Cabot Circus

hosted by

Extinction Rebellion Bristol

#XR52 is a series of direct actions to withdraw our support from industries that exploit people and planet for profit.

On Saturday June 1st, in line with this national campaign, Bristol Rebels will descend on the consumer heart of #Bristol, Cabot Circus.

Sign up to come along for a briefing and receive details about this action HERE >> https://actionnetwork.org/forms/disrupt-the-circus-of-excess-bristol-sign-up/

With swarming and road blocks, we’ll dress and / or accesorize with our finest PINK or BLACK upcycled garments – no need to buy ANYTHING new (feel free to dress differently if you prefer).

We’ll #TellTheTruth to highlight the wasteful and unnecessary consumerism that permeates our everyday lives, forced upon us by corporations and our current economical system, creating social injustice, driving climate change, biodiversity loss, and polluting our environment along the way.

Please select “going” to this event and share it on your feed to spread the word amongst your Facebook friends.

Get ready to Tell The Truth by watching The True Cost (Netflix) and Invisible Hands.


1) Total greenhouse gas emissions from textiles production, at 1.2 billion tonnes annually, are more than those of all international flights and maritime shipping combined [3] #ClimateChange

2) Clothing production has more than doubled globally over the last 15 years, and in the UK we’re buying twice as much as we were buying 15 years ago [1] #FastFashion #Consumerism

3) Textiles are the largest source of both primary and secondary microplastics, accounting for 34.8% of global microplastic pollution [1] #Pollution


1) Every year, around half a million tonnes of microfibers released by washed garments contribute to ocean pollution – 16 times more than plastic microbeads from cosmetics [3] #OceanCollapse

2) Loss of biodiversity due to intensive cultivation of cotton crops (22% of the world’s insecticides and 10% of all pesticides are applied to cotton crops) [1] #BiodiversityLoss

3) 20% of freshwater pollution comes from textile treatment and dyeing [2] #WaterPolution

4) Textile production is also responsible for habitat loss (30% of rayon and Viscose come from pulp sourced from endangered forests) [1] #Deforestation


1) When people think of trafficking they often associate it with the sex trade but about 50% of trafficked victims, including children, are sold into forced labor. [6] #HumanTraficking #ModernDaySlavery

2) In LMICs (low and middle-income countries), reported health outcomes from garment assembly workers include debilitating and life-threatening conditions such as lung disease and cancer, damage to endocrine function, adverse reproductive and fetal outcomes, accidental injuries, overuse injuries and death. The health hazards that prompted the creation of textile labor unions in the United States and the United Kingdom in the early 1900’s have now shifted to work settings in LMICs. [7] #SocialInjustice #NeoColonialism #NeoLiberalism


The textiles system operates in an almost completely linear way:

1) It takes between 10,000 and 20,000 litres of water to grow and produce 1kg of cotton (1 shirt and 1 pair of jean) [2] #WaterCrisis

2) Worldwide, clothing utilisation – the average number of times a garment is worn before it ceases to be used – has decreased by 36% compared to 15 years ago [3] #ReUse

3) In the UK, 30% in average of each wardrobe has not been worn in a year [2] #Waste

4) Worldwide, fewer than one per cent of garments are recycled into new clothing each year, and only 20% of textiles are recycled at all [4] #Recycling

5) In the UK £140m worth of clothing goes to landfill each year [2] #Landfill


To get involved come to our weekly “Rebel Meetings” (details under events tab: https://www.facebook.com/XRBristol/events/) as we plan for the day, or email xr.bristolactions@protonmail.com if you’d like to showcase solutions or stage a special action 💚.

On the day we’ll also share solutions and alternatives to pointless consumerism (more info further below) and showcase how our cities require more pedestrian friendly spaces without cars, where our children can breath fresh air and our communities can gather to socialize and regenerate. #ReclaimOurStreets #CleanAir

Sign up for the local XR Bristol Newsletter to stay tuned: XRBristolNewsletter@protonmail.com.


1) As our government has now declared a Climate Emergency, we demand that they tell the truth about what is driving Climate Change and Biodiversity Loss, while working with other institutions to communicate the urgency for change.

2) We demand that our government must #ActNow to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.

Actions speak louder than words and so far no actions have been taken by our government to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse emissions to what is needed to avoid our own extinction and the collapse of our planet’s ecosystems. #ItIsTimeToRebel

3) We demand that government must create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice. #SystemChange


The truth is that the climate and ecological emergency poses an unprecedented existential threat to humanity and all life on Earth.

Rapid, unprecedented changes to many aspects of human life – energy use and supply, transport, farming and food supply, and so on – are now needed to avert global climate and ecological catastrophe.

Extinction Rebellion believes that part of the problem is the way that government operates.

This form of government has proved itself incapable of making the radical long-term policy decisions needed to deal effectively with the climate and ecological crisis:

– It is nervous of voter disapproval.
– The five-year election cycle encourages short-term goals that ensure re-election stifling long-term planning.
– Political parties are influenced by the interests of corporate lobbies, biased and commercially orientated media and wealthy financial backers.
– MPs infer what their constituents want through opinion polling, which captures unconsidered, offhand opinions, while citizens’ assemblies produce informed and deliberated public judgements.
– MPs are under pressure by their own party members and are often unable to make the decisions they feel are right.

To break this deadlock, Extinction Rebellion is urging the government to commission a Citizens’ Assembly on the Climate and Ecological Emergency to create a roadmap for the UK to navigate through this crisis.

Find more about #CitizensAssemblies here:


[1] https://www.fashionrevolution.org/resources/fanzine3/
[2] http://www.wrap.org.uk (report: valuing our clothes the cost of UK fashion)
[3] https://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/assets/downloads/publications/A-New-Textiles-Economy_Full-Report_Updated_1-12-17.pdf
[4] https://www.commonobjective.co/article/the-issues-waste
[6] https://www.forbes.com/sites/rebeccasuhrawardi/2019/01/16/the-big-issues-facing-fashion-in-2019/
[7] https://ehjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12940-018-0433-7


XR52’s (52 weeks) first call to direct action on April 30th, was a 1-YEAR #boycott of new clothing, to economically disrupt the fashion and textiles industry, specially #fastfashion (go here for details: https://www.facebook.com/XRBristol/posts/893353344342472).

But on June 1st, we will widen the scope of XR52 to include the systemic consumption driven by our current economical system that is exploiting People and Planet for profit and driving us all towards extinction.

Climate change and biodiversity loss present the largest global disaster in history. Our ecosystems are collapsing, not only leading to mass extinction of countless species, loss of soil fertility and more extreme weather, but also creating social crises of famine, war, and mass migration, firstly affecting those in the Global South, and those less privileged in our own unequal societies.

The small efforts we make make each and every day (e.g. using less packaging, buying organic food and clothes, not using plastic straws) are clearly not enough.

Continuing with business as usual is killing humans, creating 48 climate refugees per minute, and will be deadly for many generations to come.

Bristol Rebels will come together to cause mass disruption, disobeying the norms and refusing to cooperate with toxic industries that create huge social injustice and have us all headed for extinction.

Many industries will try to whitewash their actions under the guise of creating art and culture, but we will not be charmed – this is exploitation of people and planet at the expense of the natural world and future generations.

Such injustice has no place in our society. Where our governments have failed to regulate or sanction toxic industries, the Rebellion must do it in their place.

Here at XR we envision a new way of keeping fashion creativity without having to use these multinationals, damaging our ecosystems and exploiting other humans.

We encourage Rebels to “tear, repair, wear, share”, setting up or collaborating with communal re-makeries and workshops where possible, minimising waste and maximising durability of clothing and fabrics through repair, re-use, alteration, upcycling, recycling and more.

Dare to be individual, reuse, mend, create, upcycle, shine and stand out.

We applaud and salute those wishing to go even further in re-imagining a radical new relationship with clothing, how it is made, owned and used – creative new ideas are welcomed.

If you’re disrupting the fashion industry from within as a local business, upcycling vintage clothing, using ethical and ecologically-sound choices, such as sustainably-sourced local materials, and actually creating value for those most in need, we’d like you to showcase what you’re up to.

The same goes for anyone who is tackling unnecessary consumerism.

Contact XR.bristolactions@protonmail.com to collaborate.

So put up your best upcycled garments on (better if they’re pink or black!), and come join us on June 1st as we rise up, together, to stop extinction, take non-violent direct action, speak the truth, and demand change.

Video by Real Media.


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