Day 3: Running out of time: The Big One continues as over 200 organisations share the streets with London Marathon   - Extinction Rebellion UK
Biodiversity Die In

Day 3: Running out of time: The Big One continues as over 200 organisations share the streets with London Marathon  

April 23, 2023 by Extinction Rebellion

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Day 3: Running out of time: The Big One continues as over 200 organisations share the streets with London Marathon  

London’s biggest sporting event and The Big One share the backdrop of the country’s capital as protesters, runners and spectators peacefully work together towards a better future. Many of the charities the runners in the London Marathon are fundraising for are for disaster response and development charities such as Oxfam who are already on the frontline of the impacts of climate change. 

Olly Baines, Extinction Rebellion member said: “We have worked closely with the London Marathon over six months to make sure that we can safely coexist during this weekend. Yesterday, with the biggest march for nature ever to take place in the UK at the same time as the Mini Marathon, the two events passed peacefully and without incident. We look forward to repeating the same arrangement today. We all want clean air, pure waters and a healthy green planet. We wish the Marathon every success.”

After yesterday’s 60,000-strong peaceful and emotional biodiversity march and die-in which encircled government departments, The Big One continues with a diverse and high-profile line up. The day will start with The Running Out of Time rally, with speakers including Will McCallum and Areeba Hamid (co-executive directors of Greenpeace), Asad Rehman (director of War on Want), fair fashion designer Venetia La Manna, author Indra Adnan, activist Patsy Stevenson, comedian and activist Kate Smurthwaite, and plenty of music including She Drew The Gun. [1]

The diversity of guests and speakers once again shows a united desire for action. In a time when politicians bully their staff, climate activists get put in prison for years, and extreme heat is killing people in India, it is clear the many crises we are facing are uniting the people on the streets into a single voice: we need action. Action to hold politicians accountable. Action to protect the people and stop criminalising those who are sounding the alarm. Action to stop contributing further to climate and ecological breakdown. 


At 4:30pm we deliver thousands of small, paper pink boats to the Home Office. Pink boats are a part of Extinction Rebellion’s identity, but today the pink boat has a deeper meaning: climate and ecological collapse means that millions of people are going to have to leave their homes to find land where they can still grow food and find water. The number of refugees expected to move in order to survive will be unprecedented. At a time where our government is cracking down on people risking their lives at sea (the Illegal Migration Bill has its next hearing on 25 April) Extinction Rebellion is standing in solidarity and compassion with refugees and climate migrants. 


At 3pm today the government will test its emergency alarm which they say will be activated in times of severe flooding, fires and extreme weather. [2] Yet it has failed us by wasting a decade on properly preparing for climate impacts [3] and by failing to properly respond to the alarm raised by the world’s climate scientists.

Time’s running out to reduce greenhouse gases fast enough to keep the world within the globally agreed target of 1.5C. [4] But as the recent IPCC report made clear – every increment of warming brings extra risks and impacts so it’s critical we move fast and show an example to the rest of the world. That’s why we’ve set the government an ultimatum of Monday at 5pm to engage with our demands. If the government fails to engage with our demands, XR and its allies are ready to step up our tactics.

Our first collective demand is a no-brainer. Scientists agree that we already have more fossil fuels in production than can be safely burned to keep within 1.5C [5] and that any new fossil fuel licences would completely trash our inadequate net zero targets, so we need to end all new fossil fuel licences, approvals and funding for fossil fuel project and it’s time we transition to a fair society centred on reparatory justice for all life on earth.

Reparatory justice is key because industrialised global North countries have contributed an estimated 92% of historical carbon emissions despite being home to just 15% of the global population. The government continues to fail to do its fair share to meaningfully support the countries at the forefront of climate disasters, [6] while we continue an exploitative relationship with them, and the UK’s climate debt is estimated to be in excess of £1 trillion. [7]

And to break the stranglehold of private interests over our political system we are demanding that ordinary citizens are involved in deliberation through citizens’ assemblies, so the government can be guided on fair, long-term solutions to the most urgent issues of our time. [8]

Notes for editors

[1] The Big One programme

[2] Government emergency alarm

[3] Lost decade in fight to prepare for climate impacts

[4] Time running out for 1.5C

[5] New fossil fuels incompatible with 1.5C

[6] UK’s climate financing rated “highly insufficient”

[7] The call for climate reparations

[8] Our collective demands

About Extinction Rebellion

Extinction Rebellion (XR) is a decentralised, international and politically non-partisan movement using non-violent direct action and civil disobedience to persuade governments to act justly on the Climate and Ecological Emergency.

The Big One: Unite To Survive, April 21-24 2023 | Find out about our biggest protest yet and to take part!

Donate to The Big One | Support the Rebellion

What Emergency? | Read about the true scale of the climate crisis

XR UK Local Groups | View a map of all local groups

XR UK website | Find out more about XRUK

XR Global website | Discover what’s going on in XR around the globe!

Time has almost entirely run out to address the climate and 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, leading to societal collapse and mass loss of life. The younger generation, racially marginalised communities and the Global South are on the front-line. No-one will escape the devastating impacts.