Don’t fear the messengers! There’s much worse coming down the road than our Bank Holiday protests if we don’t sort this mess out… - Extinction Rebellion UK

Don’t fear the messengers! There’s much worse coming down the road than our Bank Holiday protests if we don’t sort this mess out…

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  • Shock horror! Extinction Rebellion local and regional groups will be holding nonviolent direct action across the nation this weekend, because we’re all a bit concerned about the lack of concern our Gov’ has for the climate emergency
  • Banner drops, sit ins, marches, picnics, roadblocks and more, these menaces to society are here to say, “What else is there to do but rebel for all we hold dear? I mean, look outside…it’s a mess out there!” 
  • Highlights include XR Bristol’s ‘Elephant in the room’ roadblock, Brighton’s Lightship Greta, a Mad Hatters’ Tea Party at Gatwick Airport and an Ocean March in Cambridge
  • The ‘Countdown to Rebellion’ comes on the weekend before Extinction Rebellion begin larger scale plans in London, Manchester and Cardiff on 1st September
  • When possible please contact the regional email addresses provided if you have enquiries in your area.

This weekend the Mail on Sunday excelled at what can only be described as a flagrant version of ‘the truth.’ 

We thought about it, and reached the conclusion that someone somewhere might have been watching too many back to back ‘Die Hard’ movies in lockdown! Why else would they use a picture of a police officer in front of a burning car that could only be confused with a CGI scene from a Bond film?

Not sure if you got the memo – WE DO NONVIOLENT DIRECT ACTION. No flames, no violence, no injuries to officers, but rather a sense of urgency felt as we watch the world on a one way mission to self destruction.

So in the interest of the truth we thought we’d navigate you through what’s actually happening this Bank Holiday weekend – seat belts on, folks!


The reality of this coming weekend looks a bit more like breastfeeding mums singing hymns, people talking about tree felling in parks, and a little boat called Lightship Greta winding her way from Brighton to London. 

Beginning Friday August 28, Extinction Rebellion’s ‘Countdown to Rebellion’ will kick off in towns and cities across the UK. The weekend will be filled with creative, nonviolent direct action to draw attention to the greatest existential threat we face – the climate and ecological emergency. People up and down the country will come together in their communities to tell the government that, frankly, we’ve had enough of them putting us all at risk.

Why are we taking to the streets again? Do we even need to explain this part anymore? Look around you, it’s not pretty out there. Climate catastrophe, Covid-19, failing businesses, mental health rates soaring, young people out of education and thousands experiencing redundancy with uncertain futures. We can no longer look away or deny that there is something fundamentally wrong with our world. We need serious action now, not tomorrow, nor next year because “normal” no longer exists. We need to imagine the new now. We need to consider what the solutions of now could be.

Because the climate crisis is not a part of some far off, distant future. It’s here, right at our front door. I know it, you know, even the government knows it. Just check out the Committee on Climate Change report back in June where they said the government is failing on almost all fronts, at the targets they set themselves!


Across four days regional and local groups will act autonomously to create powerful, impactful actions in their communities to bring people together around the following themes:

Fri 28th Aug: Incitement to Rebel & Fossil Fuel Friday – Mass banner drops! Regional Fossil Fuel-focused actions
Sat 29th Aug: Airports and Aviation – A day to focus on regional airport and aviation actions
Sun 30th Aug: Trust the People: Gather Your Community – Community building, outreach, talks and trainings: connect, listen, learn
Mon 31st Aug: Permanent Bank Holiday – Actions focused around banks and finance

Poppy Silk, 19, a Bristol University student and member of Extinction Rebellion Youth, said: “During the pandemic, the government has proved that they are unable to keep us safe in the face of emergency. Now is the time for adults to listen to young people and join the youth in demanding the government address the climate and ecological crisis in a way that addresses the deepening inequality in our society. We have signed petitions, striked from school for two years and still they refuse to care about our futures. As Greta Thunburg says, when it comes to action the world’s leaders are still in a state of denial. 

“Extinction Rebellion Youth will be out in force, taking bold, non-violent action this weekend to say: ‘Will you listen to us now?’.”

Who are these scary people doing this? They’re nurses, bus drivers, office workers, ex-police officers, cleaners, journalists, Christians, Jews, Catholics, Muslims, atheists, mums, dads, grandparents, ex-bankers, gardeners among many others. They’re your neighbour, your priest, your local shop owner, the bloke you spoke to at the pub last week. They’re your kids’ school teacher or your pissed off teenager, sick and tired of being told their futures don’t matter. 

And why are these selfish lunatics doing this now? When we’re in the midst of a pandemic, when our economy is just kicking back into gear? I mean, how dare they!? We can’t carry on like this, can we? We are facing unimaginable horror in the not so distant future if we don’t all do something now. That means ALL of us (yes, you journalists too). The coronavirus recovery might be the last, best chance we have to make the radical change needed, and the government is refusing to kick it’s addiction to the fossil fuel economy. We are here because we have to be, because we see no other way than using nonviolent civil disobedience to push our government to act. We all have a duty now to stand up and be counted. 

Macey Gray, Coordinator at XR Cymru: “We have to send a clear message to the government that the inaction we’ve seen on the climate, ecological and humanitarian crisis so far is not good enough. They’re supposed to serve the people but none of their decisions post covid so far reflect that. They have a huge opportunity here to turn things around.”

The Bank Holiday actions are a precursor to Extinction Rebellion’s UK Rebellion beginning in London, Manchester and Cardiff on 1st September. When MPs begin to sit again we will take to the streets and make sure they begin with the climate and ecological emergency at the forefront of everything they do. This is an emergency: it’s time they acted like it.  

What we know…

Across the UK we will begin this Rebellion with a visual show of our strength and solidarity as local groups, affinity groups and communities hang ALL their banners to Tell The Truth about the climate and ecological emergency. Our slogans may vary but our message is unified: we are Extinction Rebellion and we want the government to ACT NOW.

8.30AM – For the Prince St Bridge – Prince Street Bridge, Bristol: We will be blocking a Bristol landmark on Friday to address the elephant in the room – the climate and ecological emergency!

9.30AM – Tour de Norwich! – Whitlingham Country Park, Norwich: XR Norwich is ready to hit the streets again. We want to highlight what we have on our home turf that’s contributing to the climate and ecological emergency. 

12PM – Northern HS2 Rebellion – Manchester: Paint the streets to stop HS2!

2.30PM – Oily Handed March – Senate House, Cambridge: We will be marching through Cambridge to demand the University and colleges divest from fossil fuel and other environmentally destructive companies. 

2.30PM – Shell: Lies, Lobbying and Greenwash – Jubilee Gardens, London: Join XR Lambeth, XR Southwark and XR Wandsworth on 28th August as we call time on Shell. Their days pretending to be a respectable and legitimate company are over.

6PM – Swarm to the Rebellion – Brighton to London: Mass bike ride from Brighton to the London rebellion!

11AM – Midlands HS2 Rebellion – Eastside Park, Birmingham: This will be a mass participatory and family-friendly event where rebels are invited to dress either as an animal/tree/flower threatened by HS2 destruction or in funeral attire. We’ll form a slow funeral march to the HS2 headquarters where we’ll hold a die-in and a eulogy for the lost ecology. 

As the world returns to ‘business as usual’ we see governments, airlines, airports and the media increasing efforts to fill the skies with planes again. There should be No Going Back to the industries that are causing the most damage in this climate and ecological crisis.

10AM – STOP Beddington Incinerator – Opposite Pavillion Cafe, Beddington Park: South London groups Sutton, Merton, Croydon and Kingston are joining forces to stage actions highlighting the issues around the Beddington Incinerator.

11AM – STOP Edmonton Incinerator – Edmonton Green Station, London: Join rebels from North London’s 7 boroughs at Edmonton Green in Enfield for a day of family-friendly activities opposing the oversized, overpriced Edmonton incinerator.

11AM – Stop Stansted Airport Expansion! – Bishop Stortford Station: This is a mass action calling upon MAG to withdraw its appeal. We are also calling upon the Government to stop airport expansion in line with the Paris Agreement and to build Back Better with green jobs. 

11AM – A Procession for the Planet – Westgate Street, Lewes: A funeral march that transforms. A Jazz band. Black-clad mourners, marching in sombre mood, to mark the death and destruction wrought by humans on our natural world. And then it changes (you’ll have to wait and see….) to celebrate joyously the beauty and power of nature.

11.30AM – Common Ground against Bristol Airport – St Katherine’s Church, Somerset: We will protest against Bristol airport’s appeal for expansion: a single file, socially distanced march on the theme of death.

12PM – We want to live March! – Brighton Pavillion: XR Lewes, Shoreham, Worthing and Brighton invite you and friends to join us as we march along Brighton seafront to call for change.

12PM – London, Oxford, Cardiff, Leicester, York – WE WANT TO PLAY! (This one sounds really terrifying): What? National Feed in and Play in. Come with your babies and/or older children to peacefully feed and play in protest at fossil fuel bailouts and the failure to transition to a green economy. Where?? London action is happening at The Bank of England at 12.00. Regional actions are taking place in Oxford, Cardiff, Leicester, York or you can organise your own.

2PM – Cancel Luton Airport Expansion! – Location TBC: A mass action demanding the cancellation of the Luton Airport Expansion project. The action will involve lots of banners and flags and should be fun and exciting to join in with. 

2.30PM – Mad Hatters’ Tea Party – Gatwick Airport South Terminal: Bring a picnic, dress up if you want, and protest with us about the government’s and the aviation industry’s lack of action to take radical steps towards zero carbon.

3PM – Ride the Noise – Millennium Square, Leeds: Stop Leeds Bradford Airport Expansion! Leeds XR, together with GALBA (Group for Action on Leeds Bradford Airport) are taking a bike ride across the region to show everyone in West Yorkshire how far the noise pollution will travel if the expansion is approved.

4PM – The Moving Rebellion with Lightship Greta – Brighton Seafront: Join us on our epic voyage of rebellion, as we march to London with our Lightship called Greta!

Today we open ourselves up as a movement. We will get together online, in parks, and maybe even in roads to talk, listen and connect beyond our bubbles. In all of these meet-ups, we’ll have a chance to really learn how all of our intersecting crises are connected, how we are connected, and how much we need each other.

11AM – Gloucestershire to Cheltenham Ride & Rebel: Mass Cycle Ride from Gloucester to Cheltenham then around Cheltenham itself culminating in some inspirational activities in Pittville Park with a beautiful and poignant “Shoes Art Installation” and shared discussions.

12PM – Manchester making history march – Manchester Cathedral: This socially distanced march will focus on Manchester’s relationship with slavery, colonialism and the financing of fossil fuels.

12PM – The Air We Grieve – Mile End Community Garden, London: Equipped with visually engaging props (featuring a giant turtle), musicians and a very loud speaker, we’ll be processing around key green spaces in Tower Hamlets to raise awareness to park-goers about this devastating reality of air pollution in East London.

The world of dirty finance should be taking a permanent ‘holiday’ from destructive dealings and propping-up polluters. We do not want our money to support ecocide at a time of climate and ecological emergency. Polluting businesses and industries need to be ‘Closed For Good’. 

11AM – HSBC: Divest Now! – 130 New Street, Birmingham: Join us on Bank Holiday Monday to demand that HSBC divest from these polluters! Our theatrical action, together with members from XR Youth, will shine a spotlight on the damage done by HSBC. 

11AM – Silvertown Tunnel / Banshee Performance – General Gordon Square: Find us in General Gordon Square at around 11AM, or in Stratford at around 12:30. Here, in this visually and audibly arresting spectacle, banshees will wail to mourn the victims of air pollution and global warming, worsened by this tunnel.

11AM – Drumming for Divestment – Chapelfield Gardens, Norwich: We’re asking banks and financial services companies to Act Now and divest from fossil fuel investments, whether they be pension funds or other investment vehicles. They need to take a permanent bank holiday from schemes that are linked to causing the Climate Crisis and Ecocide, or involved in exploiting the Global South. 

1PM – Ocean March / Protect what you love – Parker’s Piece, Cambridge: Extinction Rebellion Cambridge invites every citizen to FLOOD THE STREETS and join a colourful and dramatic oceanic themed march through Cambridge with music and drumming, where we will highlight the plight of the oceans and seas.

What we also know…

We will not be able to keep on top of everything. The beauty of a decentralised movement is that people will act autonomously in the best way that works for them. If an action happens in your region and you are looking for information, contact the following to find out more:

XR South East
XR North –
XR East of England
XR Southwest –
XR Midlands –
XR Wales –
XR Scotland –

We are sorry to report that no signs of melodrama were found during our investigation into this coming weekend. Only traces of good, hard working people acting out of a sense of duty to themselves, their families, and all of humanity (yup, that means you and your kids too!). Sure, some of you might cringe at this notion, but I think it’s clear most of us are on the same page about how bad this situation really is now….even the Mail on Sunday! It isn’t an action movie. It’s real life. 

We have a choice now to come together to make it better, or just let it slip away from us into the unimaginable. That is why we’re here. 


Time has almost entirely run out to address the ecological crisis which is upon us, including the 6th mass species extinction, global pollution, 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 their Government.

Extinction Rebellion’s key demands are:

  1. Government must tell the truth by declaring a climate and ecological emergency, working with other institutions to communicate the urgency for change.
  2. Government must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.
  3. Government must create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice.

What Emergency? | Extinction Rebellion in Numbers |This Is Not A Drill: An Extinction Rebellion Handbook 

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About Rising Up!

Extinction Rebellion emerged from 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 while the tools of civil disobedience and direct action are used to express our collective power.

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