Rainbow Rebellion takes to the streets of
Soho, London, to demand action on
climate change 🌈 🌏
June 18, 2022 by Extinction Rebellion
Starting at 2.00pm, Saturday 18th June, Rainbow Rebellion took to the streets of Soho to demand action on climate change. The group occupied Old Compton Street with a giant rainbow dildo, followed by an afternoon of speeches, music, art, games, and cake, which is ongoing with plans into the evening. Steps had been taken to make the weekend as accessible and inclusive as possible, with an emphasis on BIPOC representation and steps to increase access for Disabled and Neurodivergent People.
Rainbow Rebellion said that they had come to Soho because climate change “is an LGBTQIA+ issue”. They explained: “If we reach a point of climate breakdown and social collapse, marginalised groups – like the LGBTQIA+ community – will experience increased discrimination and violence. Members of our community are already disproportionately negatively affected by violence, lack of access to healthcare, homelessness, and displacement, especially those with multiple marginalised identities. The fight for LGBTQIA+ rights will be so much harder if climate change leads to social collapse. Our siblings in the Global South have been living with this reality for years. The queer community has stood and continues to stand up to demand social justice; we now need to demand climate justice as well. That’s why we decided to come to Soho, the historic heart of the queer community in London, to ask the queer community to join us.”
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Notes to editors
ABOUT RAINBOW REBELLION
Rainbow = diverse, inclusive, queer, LGBTQIA+
Rebellion = the status quo is causing a Climate Emergency, let’s change that
Rainbow Rebellion is a group of LGBTQIA+ people who believe that the LGBTQIA+ community must stand up for action on the climate crisis. The climate crisis will have a disproportionate impact on our community, but as a strong community with a heritage of activism and resistance, we can and should demand action.
If global temperatures continue to rise and go over 1.5* or 2* we will experience frequent environmental disasters, global food shortages, war, a spiralling cost of living, and mass displacement of communities across the world. In times of social collapse, marginalised groups – like the LGBTQIA+ community – experience increased discrimination and violence. This will be worse for people with intersectional identities – our Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour; our Disabled communities; elders; female-presenting; families; our people in economic instability. Our siblings in the Global South have been living with this reality for years.
We are still fighting for LGBTQIA+ rights, both here and for our siblings across the world. This fight will become even harder if we are struggling to deal with environmental and biodiversity crises at the same time.
The LGBTQIA+ community has developed out of the continual need to resist discrimination and injustice. Previous generations have fought for legal recognition of our identities and relationships, medical provision, and protections against discrimination. We are still fighting prejudice and hate crimes, and for trans rights and the rights of our siblings in other countries. This culture of resistance and resilience is part of our community’s DNA. We rebelled in order to survive and thrive in the past; now we can and must stand up against inaction on climate change to survive in the future.
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ABOUT EXTINCTION REBELLION
Time has almost entirely run out to address the ecological crisis which is upon us, including the 6th mass species extinction, global pollution, and increasingly rapid climate change. If urgent and radical action isn’t taken, we’re heading towards 4˚C warming, and the societal collapse and mass loss of life that that implies. The younger generation, racially marginalised communities and the Global South are on the front-line. No-one will escape the devastating impacts.
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:
- Government must tell the truth by declaring a climate and ecological emergency, working with other institutions to communicate the urgency for change.
- Government must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.
- Government must create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice.
- 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: in the UK or around the world
- Find your local group
- Check out the International XR website, with links to the French, German, Italian and UK websites.
- While you’re at it, support the XR fundraiser!