BREAKING: Extinction Rebellion activists create sea of ‘blood’ at Downing St to call alarm on climate and ecological emergency
March 09, 2019 by Extinction Rebellion
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Climate Factsheet for Rebels https://rebellion.earth/the-climate-factsheet-for-rebels/https://rebellion.earth/the-climate-factsheet-for-rebels/
BREAKING: Extinction Rebellion activists create sea of ‘blood’ at Downing St to sound the alarm on climate and ecological emergency
- The blood is spilled across Downing Street. Young people say: Listen to your children
- Adults and children gather in a symbolic act throwing ‘blood’ on the ground outside Downing Street, to symbolise the death of our children – the young people of the world face a hellish future if governments don’t take emergency action now.
- Part of Extinction Rebellion’s build up toward International Rebellion beginning 15 April. Come to stay and take 2 weeks off work.
Today at Downing Street, young and old engaged in a dramatic act of peaceful nonviolent civil disobedience in order to make ‘viscerally clear’ the seriousness of the ecological collapse we face and the criminal inaction of the British Government. Livestream is available here.
Meeting at Parliament Square and Trafalgar Square, around 400 people with buckets of ‘blood’ proceeded in procession toward Downing Street, where 50 of them – willing to be arrested – spilled their buckets across Downing Street.
Young people are currently speaking in front of the sea of ‘blood’, no arrests have been made so far.
Paolo, 61, translator, said while sitting down awaiting arrest: “We are here to mourn the loss of life, and for the life that has not yet been born; and to protest the injustice of this for future generations. I have no children of my own but I haven’t stopped loving the world.”
Hector a 10 year old said: “My name is Hector and I am ten years old. Many animals will go extinct if we do not act now. We have invested all our support in the government. But in our time of need, they have deserted us. We need the press and the government to tell the truth.”
Felix, 10, said: “I am here today because it is my duty and I will be here again and again and again. Until the government can explain to me why I will have to focus on the death of this planet, and not my own dreams and aspirations. I hope one day that my future children will be able to live a decent life. If the government listen, maybe I will have a future. And that is why I am here today.”
Hattie, 16: “The government is ignoring climate change while they profit from fossil fuels. They’re acting like children, so we’re going to act like adults and act.”
Another child said: “All the young people today have been brought up with the promise of a future. And it’s beginning to feel like a bit of a lie. Nobody seems to be doing anything. This will affect me in my lifetime. Why doesn’t anybody care?”
A 16 year-old said: “People tell me that I should become a climate scientist. But we have climate scientists. And nobody is listening to them. So I have to be here. We have to be out on the streets”.
Lorna, a mum expecting her second child in three months said: “I am here today because I am a mum. And I am terrified for my son. I am terrified about what is happening. I don’t want to be here. I don’t want to spend my weekend in a police cell. I don’t want to put any more pressure on our overstretched police force. But I don’t know what else to do.”
What is this going to achieve? What is the logic behind this action?
We are in an existential crisis. The scientists are telling the truth and we can now see it happening – the weather is going mad, farmers will not be able to grow food, our children will die if we do not act – it is real and it is happening now. Our actions today show that the government is sending our children to their deaths through their inaction. This is not going away. In order to deal with this crisis we have to act now. The governments have had 30 years to sort this out and they have absolutely failed – that is why we are here today to break to law.
The activists today say: “We are saying you can arrest us, you can put us in prison, but the truth is out – you are killing our children and we will not allow this to happen. We have had enough. There will be a rebellion against the British Government from 15th April. We will blockade the streets of central London everyday until the Government takes emergency action to save our world from destruction.”
This is the blood of our children – we are saying our children will die if we don’t force the government to act on climate change. We want to make viscerally clear to our political leaders the risks of their continued inaction. We are using ‘blood’ to symbolise the loss of life that will be inflicted on the next generation and those lives which have already been lost around the world as a result of the climate and ecological crises.
What is the paint made from?
The ‘blood’ is non-toxic and biodegradable. It is made from a mixture of syrup, food colouring, water and cornflour.
What about people in the global south now?
We stand in solidarity with those who are already being affected by climate and ecosystem collapse across the world. By acting to tell the truth we aim to hold our government to account on its contribution to climate and ecosystem collapse the world over.
Today we are saying it’s not just about people far away – we are letting this happen to our kids. Our first duty to protect and provide for our children. This is an appeal to the British people. The Government are standing by watching our children die by not acting on the climate and ecological ,crises. We are leaving a legacy of hell – there is no greater crime. That is why we are pouring blood on the ground outside downing street. This is real. The science is done. We are going to experience hell if this is not sorted. We are going to rebel on the 15th April.
10am Saturday, London: Extinction Rebellion activists to pour ‘blood’ at gates of Downing Street
- Rebels – who are willing to be arrested – will pour 200+ litres of ‘blood’ on the ground outside Downing Street to “make viscerally clear” the reality of our children’s futures
- Protest is part of the build up to International Rebellion beginning Monday 15 April – come to stay and get time of work
- Other upcoming events include International Women’s Day (Friday 8 March), Extinction Rebellion’s first festival over the weekend of 16/17 March in Bristol where music meets activism with up to 1000 people being trained in civil disobedience at a time; plus Paint the Streets which will see mass flyposting begin around the world from 1 April.
This Saturday 9 March in London, young and old will process to Downing Street to engage in a dramatic act of peaceful nonviolent civil disobedience in order to make it ‘viscerally clear’ the seriousness of the ecological collapse we face and the criminal inaction of the British Government. Facebook event is here.
“There is no point in my education if my future cannot be upheld to support it,” said Ella Eastburn, 15, student.
Carrying buckets of ‘blood’ to Downing Street, Extinction Rebellion activists will simultaneously empty more than 200 litres of ‘blood’ onto the road to create a sea of red outside. They will then sit down on the pavement and await arrest.
This ‘blood’ represents the violent fate which faces today’s children unless radical action is taken on the environment. Many parents will be bringing their children, to bear witness to this symbolic recognition of the future.
“I have children and I want them to have a future. My daughter is 29 and getting married this year. I choked up when she asked whether I thought she should have children. Her choice, of course, but a bleak one. I have been trying the polite approach for a couple of decades to no avail,” said Eleanor Hill, 64, Bookkeeper.
With daily news about climate breakdown across the world, this protest is one of a number of protests in the run up to International Rebellion which begins Monday 15 April.
“The science is done. We are in a climate and ecological emergency. We’re on course to send our children to an early death likely to involve mental breakdown, starvation and war,” said parent Jayne Forbes. “There are no words to describe the horrors we risk if we do not make governments act immediately. Every parent, every adult, everyone has a responsibility and duty to take action. That now means breaking of the law.”
Lesley Rowan, who is 52 and a voice coach, commented: “It seems that only drastic action from the highest number of people will force the governments of the world to take climate change and environmental ruin seriously. I can’t, in good conscience, sit by any longer as the clock runs down and just grumble. It’s time to stand up and be counted.”
Also coming up!
- Friday 9 March – International Women’s Day: Extinction Rebellion activists will be on the streets and send their support to the women of the world as they celebrate and strike on International Women’s Day. In London, we will be supporting strike events including Global Women’s Strike who will be doing a ‘walking/rolling picket, speak-out, breastfeeding sit-in’ from 12 noon at the Royal Courts of Justice and Women’s Strike (London) are planning a strike protest which will see hundreds gathering at 5pm at the Bank of England
- Weekend 16 to 17 March, Bristol – Extinction’s Rebellion’s first festival, Spring Uprising –. Extinction Rebellion is throwing a large indoor festival at Motion Bristol with live music, non violent direct action training for up 1000 people at a time, art exhibitions, workshops and a solution zone showcasing local and national solutions to the crisis. Let’s get together, get trained, get organised and have a damn good time doing it!
- 1 April – Paint the Streets Worldwide: Disobey to Tell the Truth – Global. Calling rebels willing to join a week of mass flyposting, using non-violent civil disobedience to tell the truth on climate breakdown and ecological collapse. We will use stickers, posters, banners and more, covering the streets with our messages, to shake awake our fellow human beings who are sleepwalking into disaster.
- 15 April – International Rebellion – Extinction Rebellion activists in the UK and around the world are calling for a full-scale international rebellion: to demand decisive action on the climate and ecological collapse from governments around the world. Come to stay and book time off work. Facebook event here.
- Lots more protests and events! There are many other actions and events happening now in London and around the UK due to Extinction Rebellion’s decentralised structure (too many to list here). For the latest news, see the website https://rebellion.earth/events/ plus also check out the facebook https://www.facebook.com/ExtinctionRebellion/events/.
Notes to editors
- International Rebellion begins 15 April – https://www.facebook.com/events/126622414898833/
- 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 key demands are:
- The Government must tell the truth about the ecological emergency, reverse inconsistent policies 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 Citizens’ Assembly to oversee the changes, as part of creating a democracy fit for purpose.
Get involved in Extinction Rebellion’s other events
- In the UK, come to one of our events, join the Rebellion Network and let us know how you can help out
- Start a group where you are – locally in the UK or in your country around the world
- Find your local group: https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=11jUqqjTHMThksd4KbvGGzb3I3Cr3PkBl&usp=sharing
- Check out the International XR website, with links to the French, German, Italian and UK websites
- We are holding Collaborative Leadership Calls to help coach people to improve their leadership skills and capacities
- And while your time and energy are the most important things, if you are financially able to donate money, see our Fundrazr crowdfunder.
UK website: https://rebellion.earth/
International website: https://xrebellion.org/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ExtinctionR hashtag #ExtinctionRebellion
Declaration of Rebellion: https://rebellion.earth/declaration/
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; whilst the tools of civil disobedience and direct action are used to express our collective power.