More than 3,000 people are expected to take part in a national Rebellion Day this Saturday 17 November in an act of rebellion against the British Government for their “failure in protecting the public from climate change”.
People will gather on Southwark, Blackfriars, Waterloo, Westminster and Lambeth bridges from 10 am and wait for a signal to take to the roads and sit down, effectively blocking traffic. A line-up of performers, speakers and artists is to be released later today.
Originally organised to be an act of civil disobedience in Parliament Square, it was changed to a demonstration over bridges that will possibly come together later in the day in Parliament Square for the Extinction Assembly. This is not intended to include civil disobedience according to organising group, RisingUp.
They also organised coaches to facilitate travel for people in other parts of the UK. Coaches will transport people to the bridges from Birmingham, Oxford, Swansea, Cardiff, Bristol, Swindon, Shrewsbury, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Leeds, Sheffield, York, Nottingham, Leicester, Norwich, Cambridge, Brighton, Falmouth, Plymouth, Totnes, Exeter, Glastonbury, Bodmin and Frome.
Where is it happening?
RisingUp said in the event page: “In accordance with our conscience and as a clear duty to our children; our communities; this nation; and the planet; we are going to rebel against this criminally negligent government.”
This is why I'm joining #ExtinctionRebellion in London on 17 November in Parliament Sq (there's one bit of good news in these headlines, if you can spot it: things can change if humans decide to do something about it). https://t.co/Usnp4Tc0Ep pic.twitter.com/dKDx0zCW8U
— Kate Raworth (@KateRaworth) November 13, 2018
Are you ready to rebel for life on earth? #ExtinctionRebellion @ExtinctionR Come tomorrow. Some brave humans will be doing non violent direct actions. Other brave humans will be there in support. pic.twitter.com/7Il45Gk07B
— Fiona MacDonald : Feral Practice (@FeralPractice) November 16, 2018
Saturday marks the end of escalating non-violent direct actions across the capital that started on 31 October. With 15 environmental protesters arrested, they mean to draw attention to the “Ecological crisis caused by climate change, pollution and habitat destruction”.
On Thursday 8 November, activists delivered a Declaration of Rebellion to Downing Street, warning the British government of upcoming acts of civil disobedience that started on Monday 12 November.
Other actions that happened this week included blockage to the government’s energy department headquarters, the unveiling of a banner saying “Climate change – we are fucked” in Westminster bridge and a Queer Party to save the Amazon that shut down the Brazilian Embassy last night.
Westminster Bridge today. Highest UK mid November temp forecast tomorrow. Scientists say 20 years till planetary crisis. No more lgbt rights, civilisation about to face unprecedented strain. The time to act is now. Saturday 17th, London @ExtinctionR #ExtinctionRebellion pic.twitter.com/duMsJErCCz
— Matthew Todd (@MrMatthewTodd) November 14, 2018
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Our grief is not to be borne in silence. Brazilian queer activist Sabrina in a roadblock outside the Brazilian Embassy last night, after speaking to the crowd about the violence unleashed on Brazil's LGBTQIA+ community during Bolsonaro's election. We will not give in. #EleNao #HumansofXR
Roger Hallam, Extinction Rebellion founder, is facing prison for climate change action he took two years ago at King’s College. Supporters are in Southwark Crown Court supporting him today in his appearance.
FRIDAY, LONDON: Extinction Rebellion founder Roger Hallam in Crown Court and facing prison for climate change action – spray chalk and hunger strike..
Support Roger and co-defendant David Durant: come to Southwark Crown Court (English Grounds London SE1 2HU) from 10am Friday. pic.twitter.com/RnqKCnpEdn
— Extinction Rebellion (@ExtinctionR) November 16, 2018
All the demonstrations are part of the Extinction Rebellion campaign by the RisingUp network. It calls for the UK government to change the political and economic systems to maximise well-being and minimise harm for British people. They have done over 20 road-blocks for over a year as part of the Stop Killing Londoners – Cut Air Pollution campaign.
Words by Maria Campuzano | Subbing by Megan Naylor
Photo credit: Thomas Katan