Newsletter 26: Global actions
July 25, 2019 by Extinction Rebellion
XR Munich town hall lock-on
15 JUL | Munich, Germany
XR Munich collaborated with Fossil Free Munich to protest the local government’s delay in closing a nearby coal-fired power station, as they had promised. Rebels and activists chained themselves to the town hall and distributed the keys among local politicians. They were urged to come and unlock the activists and then shut down the plant.
For context, in November 2017, a referendum took place in Munich to decide the future of the local coal-fired plant. Munich’s citizens voted to shut down the power plant by 2022. However, so far, the city’s politicians have failed to act. The city council has even suggested to keep the plant running until 2026!
Unfortunately, one day after this action, Munich’s council repealed the referendum and now plans to keep the power plant running until 2028. We suspect this won’t be the last we hear about coal plants from XR Munich!
XR Chile: ‘Funeral for our future’
13 JUL | Santiago de Chile
Chilean rebels staged a funeral ceremony in the capital city to grieve for our future and draw attention to the climate and ecological breakdown we face. Mourners wore black and carried a coffin bearing the words ‘Nuestro Futuro’ (our future).
XR Spain – ‘Stay Grounded’ Red Line in Airport
14 JUL | El Prat airport, Barcelona.
Dozens of Catalan and Spanish activists from various environmental groups formed a red line inside Barcelona’s El Prat airport last week to protest against its planned expansion.
The action came on the last day of the Stay Grounded conference in Barcelona, a three day event focused on strategies to reduce global air traffic in a socially just way. The Stay Grounded network of environmental organisations, which includes Extinction Rebellion, was founded in Vienna in 2016, and Barcelona was chosen as a host because it has the busiest airport in the Mediterranean, with over 80% of its tourists arriving by plane, and air passenger numbers increasing significantly year on year.
More information on Barcelona’s mass tourism problem and the initiatives discussed at the conference can be found here and here.
Batalla Naval Vallekas – Water fight festival
14 JUL | Madrid, Spain
In Madrid, XR were invited to open the city’s annual 4-hour water fight festival! The epic ‘naval battle’ was led by a pink boat, inspired by the London vessel. In the pulsing Spanish heat, rebels and citizens rejoiced at the cool break from the sun, mixing civil disobedience with the popular cultural ritual. Rations of vegan paella fuelled hungry rebels – all were fighting both to win the water fight, and for a message of hope and change!
This event was testament to XR Madrid’s ability to engage neighbourhoods in a friendly and regenerative environment. Their open invite was: ‘Mojate contra la crisis climatica!’, which loosely translates to ‘Get drenched in the climate rebellion!’
XR Madrid give their city an overnight makeover
9 JUL | Streets of Madrid, Spain
A team of Madrid rebels got together to paper the streets and squares of greater Madrid. The 20 determined rebels printed posters and made homemade glue, then divided into barrios (neighbourhoods) and got to work.
They began in the middle of the night and worked hard to paint the town in colourful XR imagery. Madrileños awoke to find their city totally transformed and dressed in XR’s unmistakable aesthetic.
Amazingly, lots of posters remain in place weeks later, even in some of Madrid’s most iconic squares.
XR Argentina at Rural Expo 2019
24 JUL | Palermo, Argentina
XR Argentina donned boiler suits and masks to protest at the annual rural agribusiness exposition in Palermo (#ExpoRural19). Rebels are spreading the word in Argentina about the climate and ecological emergency and calling for more citizens to demand their government ACT NOW.
XR Belgium – ‘Shell Kills’
10 JUL | Brussels
Rebels interrupt Shell CEO, Ben van Beurden, at POLITICO #EnergyVisions event about climate change! Shell itself is a big oil company responsible for climate breakdown! ⏳ #ShellKills See the full video here!
XR Mexico: ‘The Planet is NOT for sale’
19 JUL | Mexico City, Mexico
XR Mexico rebels publicly opposed the mining company Grupo México who have been contaminating the natural environment for decades and in recent weeks have leaked 3,000 litres of sulphuric acid into the sea. About 25 rebels chanted and demanded the corporation be held to account for the damage it is causing ecosystems. One sign reads: ‘Down with white-collar ecocide’.