UPDATE: Extinction Rebellion – First time in living memory central London’s bridges blocked by protest group
November 17, 2018 by Extinction Rebellion
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NEW – The Extinction Rebellion Climate Factsheet for Rebels https://rebellion.earth/the-climate-factsheet-for-rebels/
This is what rebellion looks like.
More than 6,000 people have occupied five bridges in central London to raise the alarm on the climate and ecological crisis – and to put pressure on the Government to come clean on the fact that there is a climate emergency.
This is the first time in living memory that a protest group has intentionally and deliberately blocked the five iconic bridges of central London – Southwark, Blackfriars, Waterloo, Westminster and Lambeth bridges. 
Police have put signal blockers in place to prevent live streaming. There have been 22 confirmed arrests of protestors, people who willingly put themselves at risk of arrest and imprisonment to ensure that this cause is brought to the public’s attention.
Cecelia B of Extinction Rebellion said: “We are peacefully standing up for the Earth and for humanity. People are dancing and singing and making new friends. This is a joyful rebellion and this is what the future looks like.”
George Monbiot of the Guardian commented: “Something I have been waiting for, for a very long time, is happening. People are risking their liberty in defence of the living world in very large numbers. It is only when we are prepared to take such action that people begin to recognise the seriousness of our existential crisis.”
Waterloo Bridge was blocked at approximately (10.31am) with roughly 250 people. At approximately (11:55am) protectors were told to move to Westminster Bridge, or risk arrest.
The atmosphere has been very Zen so far, lots of chanting and singalongs. Numbers have increased to roughly 600 at (12:25pm). No arrests.
(12:45pm) sound system arrives, people now dancing on Waterloo Bridge. Tina Louise Rothery due to speak in due course.
Westminster Bridge has been an extremely lively bridge with several thousand people and numbers still growing – with music, bagpipes, drumming, with lots of people, celebs including Finn and Jack Harries and media. The bridge was blocked at 10.52am. No arrests.
Alice, 19, on Westminster Bridge said: “The sunshine is smiling down on us. The support and solidarity of the crowd is beautiful.
“I’ve come from Bristol today. I took the coach at 3am to make sure I didn’t miss it and i’m so glad that I did. It’s a tiny personal inconvenience and, having made it, I get to be part of a rebellion. This moment will be remembered in the history books, when we finally stopped allowing our leaders to take us over the cliff.
“I’ve just started university but I know that my future will be spent in crowds like this fighting for each other and for our future. There are flags that look so beautiful in the sunshine. Banners, placards, so many different kinds of people, different ages and ethnicities, all brought together because we care about climate change. I never imagined it would be so big!”
Blackfriars Bridge has been the family-friendly bridge with peaceful demonstrations of over a 1,000 people.
Father Martin Newell CP, Blackfriars Bridge said: “What brought me here is the climate emergency, the extinction emergency, and my faith in God who created all this and whose creation we’re destroying and crucifying … I’m called as a Christian to protect our neighbour who’s being abused.”
Over 500 protestors shut down Southwark Bridge at 11:15am. As of 12:15pm, 12 protesters have been willingly arrested (for public nuisance).
Stephen, a protestor on Southwark Bridge, said: “Extinction Rebellion is in the process of making history. It has been a coordinated attempt to lock down London in a non-violent, peaceful protest for the Earth. Five bridges have been blocked.
“The police were informed and they went in quite strongly at the beginning and arrested ten people but now they’ve stopped and calmed down and the vibe here is joyous and the sun is shining. And it feels really good to stand up for everyone, for the police officers here, for everyone in London and every being world-wide.
“We encourage everyone, especially the government and the people in charge, to wake up and make choices that will lead to creating conditions that can transform society into one that is with life rather than against life. We’re getting the message across.”
At 11:01am the bridge was blocked. About 500 protestors are currently on the bridge, there is a lively atmosphere with music playing. People are happy to be here showing their solidarity with climate change warriors all over the world.
Twelve arrests have been made as of 1pm, charges unknown.
Jack Gouldbourn of Extinction Rebellion: “Today is the day we show how many people have had enough and need a change. The democratic power we have when thousands of us come together to share our voice is powerful, and needs to be used more often!”
Today – Extinction Rebellion London Calling
- Thousands of concerned citizens will today block Southwark, Blackfriars, Waterloo, Westminster and Lambeth bridges to raise the alarm on the climate and ecological crisis
- An Extinction Assembly will feature six voices from six nations affected by climate breakdown including Raki Ap of Free West Papua Campaign, Rumana Hashem of Phulbari Solidarity Group (Bangladesh) as well as representatives from Ecuador, Kenya, Ghana and Mongolia
- Speakers and musicians include the representative for Island States in the UN Farhana Yamin, Green Party politician Jenny Jones, academic and politician Rupert Read, Molly Scott Cato MEP, the One World Choir, female-fronted funk band Psychedelephant, Georgina Duncan, Greg Sanders Ensemble jazz band, reggae music from Pedro and the Simple Revolution, poet and singer Pete the Temp and musician Katherine Abbott, Hapi and the Lost Species, plus Tina Louise Rothery from the anti-fracking Lancashire Nanas
- Protests planned around UK include from Cambridge and Glasgow to Sheffield and Totnes, plus large and small symbolic actions around the world in Washington DC and New York (US), Vancouver and Toronto (Canada), Cork, Galway and Dublin in Ireland, Stockholm and Gothenburg in Sweden plus Melbourne, Australia.
Rebellion Day is here. We will take the London bridges, before we all fall down.
Rebellion Day is the climax of Extinction Rebellion’s first week of civil disobedience against the British Government for its criminal inaction in the face of the climate and ecological emergency which we all face.   This week, over 50 people have been willingly arrested. Today, thousands of people descend upon the capital.
“Rebellion Day will disrupt London. It is not a step we take lightly. If things continue as is, we face an extinction greater than the one that killed the dinosaurs. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather be a worthy ancestor,” said Tiana Jacout of Extinction Rebellion.
“We represent a huge number of concerned citizens. Scientists, academics, politicians, teachers, lawyers, students, children, parents, and grandparents. But we have no choice. We have tried marching, and lobbying, and signing petitions. Nothing has brought about the change that is needed. And no damage that we incur can compare to the criminal inaction of the UK government in the face of climate and ecological breakdown.”
Extinction Rebellion demands that the UK government immediately tells the truth and declares a climate and ecological emergency, that it reverses inconsistent policies and reduces to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2025, and creates a citizen’s assembly to oversee these changes.
Extinction Rebellion has informed the police and emergency services that Southwark, Blackfriars, Waterloo, Westminster and Lambeth bridges will be blocked.
Gathering at 10am
At 10am, protestors will occupy five bridges in central London: Southwark, Blackfriars, Waterloo, Westminster and Lambeth. They will come together, share food, and bear witness to the real effects of climate breakdown.
There will be guest speakers, live music, and communal points of reflection and pause. Throughout the day, members of the crowd will be invited to share their own thoughts and feelings about the climate crisis and how to deal with it.
Across the UK, there will be solidarity actions in Cambridge, Glasgow, Manchester, Sheffield, Totnes and more. The London protest will also be marked by a range of small and large symbolic and civil disobedience actions in a number of cities around the world including Washington DC and New York in the US, Vancouver and Toronto in Canada, Cork, Galway and Dublin in Ireland, Stockholm and Gothenburg in Sweden plus Melbourne, Australia. 
Music, performers and Speakers on the bridges
There will be many speakers that move across all five bridges, including activists from the global South who will bear witness to the effects of climate breakdown in their home countries.
Raki Ap, spokesperson of Free West Papua Campaign, who will be there said:
“Because of the greedy interests of multinationals and governments, the papuans live without freedom, in oppression and face a destroyed environment. And now they also threaten to destroy our planet, which is why we stand in solidarity with the activists against climate change.” 
Each bridge has its own programme of performers and speakers including:
- Southwark Bridge: the female-fronted funk band Psychedelephant, the One World Choir, musician Georgina Duncan, the Greg Sanders Ensemble jazz band
- Blackfriars Bridge: poet and singer Pete the Temp, musician Katherine Abbott, reggae music from Pedro and the Simple Revolution
- Waterloo Bridge: Tina Louise Rothery of the Nanas from Lancashire, Bangladesh Solidarity plus performance poet Danny Chivers
- Westminster Bridge: Green Party politician Jenny Jones, representative for Island States in the UN Farhana Yamin, folk group Bob Hillary and the Massive Mellow
- Lambeth Bridge: Molly Scott Cato MEP, academic and politician Rupert Read, Hapi and the Lost Species and their songs about extinction
2pm Extinction Assembly in Parliament Square
Having done a tour of all five bridges, from around 2pm in Parliament Square, an Extinction Assembly will feature six important voices from six nations affected by climate breakdown: West Papua, Bangladesh, Ecuador, Kenya, Ghana and Mongolia.
The invited global South guests will bear witness to what is happening in their countries and then there will be any opportunity for members of the public to speak about why they themselves are there. The third part of the assembly will ask attendees ‘How do you think societies should be organised to create a world for our children?’
Rumana Hashem, co-ordinator of Phulbari Solidarity Group, a transnational activist group that represents communities within the Phulbari region of Bangladesh in opposing the plans for a large-scale open-cast mine in the region, said:
“The ongoing civil disobedience to decarbonise our lifestyle and to our planet from criminal extractive companies and governments was long- overdue. I am bearing witness to the killings of people and destruction of green land, rivers and homes of peaceful people in Bangladesh, perpetrated by a British mining company since 2006.
“This Rebellion Day is, to me, a beginning of a much needed social movement that not only challenges the criminal inaction of the ecocidal governments but also a way to connect with each other over struggles in the global South and the global North to make our planet habitable for all.” 
4pm Parliament Square – Extinction Magic: A Grief Ritual for Rebellion
At sunset on Rebellion Day witches and magicians responding to the cry of the Earth will lead a ritual for healing in Parliament Square. They say: “It is in times of apparent powerlessness that peoples throughout history have rediscovered ancient techniques of infinite potential.”
- The Extinction Rebellion Climate Factsheet for Rebels https://rebellion.earth/the-climate-factsheet-for-rebels/
- About Extinction Rebellion
Time has almost entirely run out to address the ecological crisis which is upon us, including the 6th mass species extinction 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 its Government.
Extinction Rebellion’s topline demands:
- The Government must admit the truth about the ecological emergency, reverse all policies inconsistent with addressing climate change, and work alongside the media to communicate with citizens
- The Government must enact legally binding policy measures to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2025 and to reduce consumption levels
- A national Citizen’s Assembly must be created, to oversee the changes, as part of creating a democracy fit for purpose.
Declaration of Rebellion: https://rebellion.earth/declaration/
- Free West Papua campaign https://www.freewestpapua.org
- Phulbari Solidarity Group https://phulbarisolidaritygroup.wordpress.com
- About RisingUp
The RisingUp network 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; whilst the tools of civil disobedience and direct action are used to express our collective power.
Website http://www.risingup.org.uk/; facebook https://www.facebook.com/RisingUpUK/; twitter https://twitter.com/RisingUpUK
- Extinction Rebellion marker events around the world
Place: Trump Hotel
Event: Solidarity Banner blocking traffic in front of Trump Hotel
Event:March to the Capitol building to bring our demands to Congress
Link: FB: Facebook
New York, NY
Date: 11/17, 12 noon
Place: Times Square
Date: 17/11, 12 noon
Place: Robson Square
Event: Solidarity Rally
Place: 563 Spadina Crescent & University of Toronto
Event: Solidarity rally 1:30 – 2:00 followed by People’s Climate Assembly taking place all day at the University of Toronto
Place: Salthill Promenade
Event: Human chain backs to the sea protecting the oceans.:
Link: Facebook Event
Place: Dead Zoo
Event: Solidarity Rally
Place: Meet at 1.30 pm City Hall, then to GPO (Oliver Plunkett St) for 2 pm
Event: A meeting/ceremony to remember and mourn the species that have become extinct
Event: Small soli-action: Picture involving two people a sign and the landscape
Event: Small soli-action: 1-2 people leaving flyers and stickers all over the city
Stockholm and Gothenburg
Date: 11/17, 1 pm
Event:Smaller solidarity action
Place: Undisclosed location
Event: Inspiring and visually compelling marker event