Rebel Daily 4: Don’t read the news, be the news - Extinction Rebellion UK

Rebel Daily 4: Don’t read the news, be the news

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Dear rebels,

Welcome to Rebel Daily #4 – some of the only news available today!

A team of over 100 rebels blockaded newspaper printers overnight, successfully preventing The Sun, Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail and Times from reaching newsstands all over the country.

In one of our most coordinated and disruptive actions to date, rebels simultaneously took sites in Broxbourne, Liverpool and Glasgow with fantastically effective roadblock structures.

Bamboozled. Credit: Gareth Morris

In a truly international rebellious effort, rebels in Sydney, Australia dumped a pile of manure outside Newscorp offices yesterday, calling for Murdoch to ‘Quit the Bullshit’.

At Broxbourne, two huge bamboo structures surrounded by two vans and several ‘lock-topusses’ proved too much for the police to handle. While they eventually untangled the 46 rebels locked onto concrete lock-ons and vans, the climbers atop the bamboo ‘Beacons’ remained very much out of the officers’ reach.

The blockade held strong from 10pm to 11am, at which time the climbers made their willing descent and were arrested.

A ‘lock-topus’ in action, partway through arrests. It’s almost too good.

Meanwhile, 200 miles to the north-east, a yellow boat dropped anchor at Knowsley in Liverpool, and police arrested 21 courageous rebels over several hours. As one rebel in Liverpool put it: “The entire institution of the media follows the same toxic rulebook, dehumanising marginalised groups and perpetuating inequality. It has become necessary to block lies in order to free the truth.”

Banners reading ‘Free the Truth’ and ‘5 Crooks Control our News’ drew attention to the disgraceful true colours of our ‘free’ press: what we read in the papers is controlled by a handful of powerful billionaires who feed us stories that suit their interests.

The Truth about the terrifying emergency we face has been locked up for too long by corrupt media moguls and dodgy politicians, who jostle for power and undermine our democracy.

Glasgow rebels made their own newspaper: The Sin.

Today, we threw a spanner in Rupert Murdoch’s business as usual. He, along with his billionaire buddies, have failed to tell the truth about the climate crisis (see graph here). To be fair, Murdoch has a lot on his plate: manipulating the ‘free’ press, meeting up with politicians, influencing elections in the UK, US and Australia, and sitting on the board of an oil & gas company. Give the guy a break.

At the time of writing, this story is trending at #1 and #3 on Twitter in the UK. And it’s not too late to join in and prolong the buzz. Print this flyer and put it on the empty shelves at your local newsagent’s!

The news industry has a key role to play in the transformation we need to face up to the intersecting crises. We desperately need them to stop spreading hatred and lies, and instead take a real lead to help us hold our government to account.

Media, your country needs you. Free the truth.

This team is as impressed as ever by rebel ingenuity and determination, and we are honoured to celebrate a fourth day of Rebellion alongside so many incredible rebels who give so much.

This roadblock showcased only the most glorious rebel engineering.

In other news, Lightship Greta has reached London! Having made it to Kennington in South London, the crew was met by the disproportionate police response we’ve now come to expect, including a line of 14 police vans. See the crew’s recent SOS message here.

if you like pina coladas…

If you’d like to help, please check out our guide and learn more about XR. To connect to rebels in your local area, get in touch with your nearest XR group. If there’s no active group near you, you can start your own!

If you’d like to see previous newsletter issues, you can find them here.

As we enter this crucial phase in human history, our Rebellion will need money to make sure our message is heard. Anything you can give is appreciated.


Action Highlights Back to top

Fuzz Fusses While Rebels Revel

4 SEP | London

After 3 days of irrepressible rebellion, the atmosphere in the capital was edgy, with police extra keen on making their presence felt.

In the morning, around 200 people gathered at Parliament Square and headed for the Home Office, buoyed by fierce drumming and flanked by columns of police. The march was organised by Global Justice Rebellion to highlight the appalling treatment of migrants in the UK, and show how climate justice and migrant justice are one and the same.

Police requests to keep to the pavement were ignored and 9 rebels brandishing ‘Hostile Environment‘ signs managed to chain themselves to a Home Office fence before the colonnade settled in for some speeches.

Chameleon-like anti-HS2 campaigners chain themselves to the Home Office. Photo: Gareth Morris

An hour later, anti-HS2 campaigners marked the first day of the railway’s destructive construction by dropping in on the Department of Transport. Some walls were spray painted, others splattered in fake blood, and 6 protestors glued themselves onto and around its glass entrance.

The mood was further lifted by the arrival of Boris the Bank Engine, the much-loved human anti-HS2 protest train. Police had confiscated Boris’ sound system earlier on in Parliament Square, but the newly-installed tree dwellers used megaphones to keep the comms lines clear, and the anti-HS2 facts a-flowing.

People Power on a Walk of Shame. Photo: John Owens

The day was capped off with a ‘Walk of Shame’ through the City of London. At least 200 rebels, including doctors, nurses and scientists, took the tour of six financial powerhouses, including the insurer Lloyd’s of London, hedge fund Blackrock and the good old Bank of England. Each institution was built on the blood of slaves; each was awarded a blue plaque for its rancid criminality.

A glut of police tried to intimidate the rebel tourists at every stop, threatening them with Covid fines and attempting to confiscate one rebel’s bicycle. But epic speeches were made, the Samba band played on, and the tour was completed as the rebels intended.

Llyod’s of London? Shamed! Photo: John Owens

Railroad to Destruction

SEP 4 | Piccadilly Station, Manchester

We prefer rebellion to extinction. Do you?

In support of the anti-HS2 campaign, 50 rebels marched to Manchester’s Piccadilly Station, Manchester’s soon-to-be home for the tree-munching high-speed line.

Preparations for HS2 are scarring our countryside, destroying precious habitats and irreplaceable 300-year old trees in its path. The construction works are threatening local wildlife: HS2 workers fill in badger and rodent burrows with concrete and cut limbs from trees containing bat roosts, as reported by anti-HS2 campaigners on site. These are the very woods that inspired Roald Dahl to write Fantastic Mr Fox.

In tune to the samba band, the march carried on to Mayor Andy Burnham’s office. Rebels gave the Mayor the gift of a tree: a token from a fairytale forest in a land not so far far away that’s imperilled by monsters and villains.

Serving Up Hot Garbage

SEP 4 | Viridor Incinerator, Cardiff

Don’t burn these wooden babies, they can be reused, reduced and recycled.

A group of local residents and XR members blockaded the entrance to a Viridor incinerator in the Splott area of Cardiff. With the strength of arm locks and the power of samba music they repelled lorry-loads of rubbish, drawing attention to socially and environmentally criminal plans for a new £150m incinerator in the east of the city.

The plant would produce around 2 tonnes of CO2 for every tonne of plastic burned and bring more heavy vehicles to swell the city’s packed roads. Cardiff residents already endure the fourth-worst air quality in the UK, relative to the city’s size. These incinerators are often built in low-income areas; local residents will pay for the toxic fumes from both the plant and the ensuing heavy traffic with their health.

‘We’ve got the whole world in our hands’

The proposals fall well out of line with the Welsh Government’s 2019 plan to improve air quality and shouldn’t even be considered. So far 3 Cardiff MPs have spoken out against these crazy plans.

When police arrived late-morning, no arrests were made. This is the latest action in a campaign organised by hundreds of affected and outraged residents.

One of those residents, Catherine McArther, shared her frustration: “This incinerator will be situated just 700 metres from Eastern High School where my children go to school and we are outraged. The World Health Organisation advises that incinerators should not be built in residential areas, let alone next to a school …

What future is there if your postcode automatically puts you at risk by the air you breathe?”

Digital Rebellion Rolls On

4 Sep | Everywhere with Wifi!

Over 900 rebels are now tapping, zapping, ringing and bringing bedlam to Number 10 and the Bank of England in particular! They now have a Twitter boosting team, a Live stream support team and they’re bulging the inboxes of the BBC and Sadiq Kahn with complaints.

As of early this morning, digital rebels have also been energetically supporting the brilliant printing press actions – see here for the details! Join us here.

XR Unchained Back to top

More photos from a beautiful and rebellious day!

“Climate Justice is Migrant Justice”. Photo: Talia Woodin

“Only in police states is peaceful activism a crime.” Photo: Jamie Lowe

More than justice hangs in the balance. Photo: Vincenzo Lullo

The ticket we’re all being sold. Photo: Gareth Morris

Upcoming Actions Back to top

Free the Truth – Fill the Void

Now | Online and offline

Today’s copy of The Sin filled with truths for a change.

Support rebels who blocked newspaper printers overnight and help fill the void from the mainstream press with truth! Here are 2 easy actions you can take from home now:

  1. Print off this flyer, visit your local newsagent and place them on empty shelves where The Sun, Telegraph and The Times would normally be. Share a picture on social with #FreeTheTruth #StandTogether

  2. Write to the editors of The Times, Sunday Times, The Sun and The Telegraph (email address all here) and message them on their Twitter channels, flooding them with news about the climate emergency and tell them to start reporting on the truth.

Find everything you need to know here and join the open digital rebellion chat to join a community of 900 fellow cyber rebels.

London. Cardiff. Manchester. Digital. Join the Broadcast for another day of Action

London: For more London Actions check out the schedule and the Telegram.

Cardiff: For a live and nearly-comprehensive list of what’s upcoming, see the schedule and Telegram.

Manchester: For the latest on the Northern Rebellion, see the schedule and Telegram.

Join the Digital Rebellion here. Please note, the page will be updated with new themes, so it’s always worth checking! Digital rebels are welcome to join a daily Zoom call, along with an open Telegram group.

Humans of XR Back to top

Debra, 57, Psychotherapist

“It is the business of a psychotherapist to face the uncomfortable truth. We deal with feelings, knowledge, facts, experiences and emotions that are difficult and disturbing, things that a lot of people are scared to talk about. A lot of people are becoming more aware and more scared of what’s going on, and more angry, but I also think there’s still a lot of denial.

“I’ve been involved with environmental movements for years and nothing seemed to make an impact. XR is the best way I can think of to puncture that denial and it has really opened up people’s awareness.

“People might look at me and think I’m just a quiet middle-aged woman and they’ve got no idea what’s going on under the surface. I’m actually very quietly determined and it’s good being incognito sometimes, breaking that stereotype of what an activist is. We’re not some weirdo group, we’re a huge broad spectrum of people.

We are receiving amazing human stories and we want to know yours. To read more – or to write your own – join our Facebook group.

Thank you

Thank you so much for reading! There’s so much going on that we barely have time to write this sign-off. Keep up the amazing work!

If you have any questions or queries, please get in touch at

As we enter this crucial phase in human history, our Rebellion needs money to make sure our message is heard. Anything you can give is appreciated.

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