PICTURE STORY: XR experiments with new tactics during its Spring 2022 Rebellion – highlights with multimedia links
April 16, 2022 by Zoe Blackler
During its Spring Rebellion, XR has experimented with a decisive shift in tactics, with a move away from the use of large infrastructure and a renewed focus on people power and nonviolent civil resistance.
There were innovative targeted actions including the shut-down of Lloyd’s of London, abseilers on Tower Bridge, the infiltration of Shell’s HQ and personal invitations to staff to mutiny or whistleblow. There was a novel tactic for strategic road occupations involving marches and mass sit-downs; and the rollout of Project 3.5, XR’s new public outreach programme focused on door-knocking.
On the ground, mobilisation has resulted in around 3000 people taking part in non-violent civil disobedience training. “Look Up, Step Up” recruitment talks were held on all 10 days of the Rebellion, with audiences ranging from 50-100 new people in attendance at each.
Elsewhere around the country this week, the Just Stop Oil coalition has continued to disrupt fossil fuel infrastructure. Blockades at oil depots and the disruption of tankers has caused a fuel shortage at petrol pumps across the UK.
See below for more details and links to the week’s best images and video.
Friday 8th April – Tower Bridge banner drop
On the eve of Rebellion a group including two abseilers hung a huge 22mx3m banner from London’s Tower Bridge that read “END FOSSIL FUELS NOW”. The bridge was closed to traffic for four hours.
Press release: https://extinctionrebellion.uk/2022/04/08/breaking-extinction-rebellion-drop-huge-banner-off-tower-bridge-on-eve-of-rebellion-in-london/
Saturday – Just Sit Down
Thousands marched through the West End, bringing traffic to a halt with mass sit-downs at key junctions Oxford Circus and Trafalgar Square.
Sunday 10th April – Vauxhall and Lambeth Bridge blockades
We blockaded both Vauxhall and Lambeth bridges, where health workers held the line before being arrested and removed by police.
Earlier in the day, as the march passed by the London office of oilfield services company Schlumberger, people spray-chalked red hands onto the outside of the building.
Monday 11th April – Public outreach
Throughout the Rebellion, we’ve been growing the movement with days dedicated to public outreach.
Rebellion outreach is part of our ongoing Project 3.5, inspired by the Bernie Sanders campaign. Project 3.5 involves people from local groups knocking on doors, and talking to their neighbours about the climate emergency, and inviting them to a “Look Up, Step Up” talk to find out how collectively we can all do something about it.
Since we launched in January, over 70 local groups have taken part, we have had nearly 4,000 conversations on the doorstep and more than 80% of those who have seen the talk have signed up to join XR.
If you’d like to know more about 3.5 watch our video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/sRTxqxEx2HI?feature=oembed
Every day we’ve also been training new members in non-violent direct action techniques. Our training sessions have been extremely well attended. Around 80 per cent of those taking part in this rebellion are new to XR.
Images of outreach: https://show.pics.io/xr-global-media-breaking-news-content-600ed2733c68d80019a19bc7/search?tagId=6253fc574dae4f0012c63557
Video of training sessions: https://show.pics.io/xr-video-press-clips/search?tagId=6259456acc7100001238ab10
Tuesday 12th April – Lloyds of London shut down
On Tuesday, we shut down Lloyds of London to demand that the insurance giant stop underwriting new fossil fuel projects, including the Trans Mountain Pipeline extension in Canada. At 7am, more than 60 activists used superglue, chains and bike locks, to block over twenty-five entrances to Lloyd’s building on Lyme Street, preventing staff from entering. Climbers also scaled the outside of the iconic building and dropped two banners that read: ‘End Fossil Fuels Now’ and ‘Insure Climate Justice’.
It was the first time XR has closed down a major financial institution.
Outside, employees were greeted by members of XR’s TruthTeller project who invited them to blow the whistle via secure platform www.TruthTeller.Life, or to stage corporate mutiny from within.
On Tuesday, we also put up our own guerrilla adverts throughout the tube.
Press release: https://extinctionrebellion.uk/2022/04/12/insure-climate-justice-extinction-rebellion-blockade-iconic-lloyds-of-london-hq/
Tuesday 12th April – continued disruption of oil facilities with the Just Stop Oil coalition
The action at Lloyd’s came after several days of continuous disruption at oil facilities by Extinction Rebellion and the Just Stop Oil coalition, where oil depots have been blocked across Birmingham, London and the South West, resulting in fuel shortages in parts of the UK.
Press release: https://extinctionrebellion.uk/2022/04/12/extinction-rebellion-statement-on-the-uk-fuel-shortage/
Wednesday 13th April – Shell HQ infiltration
On Wednesday, we infiltrated oil giant Shell’s HQ in Waterloo. Nine people, having gained access to the building, glued on inside the two main reception areas, while others glued onto the ground outside. One got as far as the offices on the eighth floor where he attempted to engage with staff.
As part of XR’s TruthTeller project to proactively foster corporate mutiny, protesters outside the building held up placards bearing the first names of 100 individual employees working inside and the invitation “Join Us”. A role call of over 200 names was read over the loud speaker.
A fireman’s-style jumping sheet invited employees to “Jump Ship” before Shell turned toxic on their CVs, and a flyer handed out to staff as they left at the end of the day offered career coaching sessions for anyone ready to change industries.
Press release: https://extinctionrebellion.uk/2022/04/13/breaking-extinction-rebellion-infiltrates-london-hq-of-oil-giant-shell-glue-on-to-reception-desk/
Wednesday 13th April – Scientists glue onto BEIS
Also on Wednesday, Scientists for XR glued themselves to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to highlight the clear scientific evidence that the UK Government is ignoring. They also pasted scientific papers on the facade of the building and glued themselves across the entrance.
The scientists included experts in conservation science, air quality, political science, ecology, and psychology.
It was one of many acts of civil disobedience taken by scientists around the world in recent weeks.
Thursday 14th April – Outreach continues at Tate Modern
Comedians Simon Amstell and actor Toby Regbo joined us at Tate Modern during our afternoon of public outreach.
Friday 15th April – Mass swarming on four London bridges
4 of London’s busiest bridges were blocked on Friday on the 3 year anniversary of the April Rebellion in 2019 that catapulted XR into the mainstream – Waterloo, Blackfriars, Lambeth and Westminster were blocked for over 2 hours.
Friday 15th April – Solidarity action for scientist Emma Smart on hunger strike
Scientist Emma Smart, whose picture appeared on the front page of the Guardian after she was arrested on Wednesday, went on nil by mouth hungry strike, in protest at police refusal to grant her bail. Supporters staged a vigil outside Charing Cross police station where she was being held.
Press release: https://extinctionrebellion.uk/2022/04/15/scientist-emma-smart-on-hunger-strike-after-being-refused-bail/
Friday 15th April – Writers Rebel readings at Tate Modern
The official poet of the 2012 London Olympics Lemn Sissay and fifteen other award-winning writers, poets and performers led a live street literature event to call on major oil companies to end fossil fuel production worldwide as the only credible action in response to climate collapse.
Saturday 16th April – Olympian Etienne Stott occupies an oil tanker
On Saturday, as XR prepared for its most disruptive day of Rebellion yet, three people, including Olympian Etienne Stott climbed on top of an oil tanker in Porchester Gardens, near Bayswater Road in London. They held a banner that read “END FOSSIL FILTH”.
For more information, images, interviews, opinion pieces or any other questions about the Rebellion contact: Zoë on 07918165046 or Alanna on 07561098449
For all photos and videos from the rebellion visit our image library here: https://show.pics.io/xr-global-media-breaking-news-content-600ed2733c68d80019a19bc7/search?tagId=600ed6023c68d80019a19f6e
Additional video clips are here: https://show.pics.io/xr-video-press-clips
The daily livestream is here: http://xrlivestream.tv/live
Livestream clips here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ofbssbowq04bi36/AABunk_MR99VhrQeaj57BYYda?dl=0
More video’s on XR UK’s TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/discover/extinctionrebellion?lang=en
More images on XR UK’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/xrebellionuk/?hl=en
More images on XR UK’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/XRebellionUK?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor
More images on XR UK’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/XRebellionUK
For other groups to go to for comment on our demand for an immediate end to fossil fuels, we suggest: Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, Ende Gelande (DL), Just Stop Oil, Just Stop Oil (NO), Restore Wetlands (SE),Youth Climate Swarm, Last Generation, Letzte Generation (DL & AT), Ultima Generazione (IT), Derniere Renovation (FR), Renovate Switzerland (CH), Animal Rebellion, Insulate Britain, Green New Deal Rising, Affinity Youth Network, Youth Strikes for Climate, Stop Cambo, Culture Declares Emergency, Music Declares Emergency, Honour Our Firefighters (AUS), Fireproof Australia (AUS), Save Old Growth (CA), Stop Highway 413 (CA), Strike for Survival (CA), Declare Emergency (US), Climate X Housing (US), Fridays for Future, Culture Unstained, BP or not BP, Students for Survival, Frack Free United, Beyond Fossil Fuels Together, the Green Party, Shell must fall/Shell Lies, Shale Must Fall, Christian Climate Action, Fossil free London, Divest London, The Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty, the Climate Change Committee, The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (The IPCC), The International Energy Agency, UNEP, the UN.