Mothers from Australia to Zimbabwe sit down peacefully in public spaces demanding urgent action to protect the world's children - Extinction Rebellion UK
Mothers' Rebellion at Tate Modern. Photo by Kirk Pritchard.

Mothers from Australia to Zimbabwe sit down peacefully in public spaces demanding urgent action to protect the world’s children

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Mothers from Australia to Zimbabwe sit down peacefully in public spaces demanding urgent action to protect the world’s children

“With our circles we convey that we refuse to look away, that we refuse to give up and that we will do everything we can.” Mothers’ Rebellion

Mothers are today creating circles all over the world in a mass global demonstration, demanding urgent action to protect the world’s children. Along with grandmothers, aunties, sisters, daughters and allies, they sitting down peacefully together in public spaces, facing passersby, and connecting with them through their shared emotions regarding the climate emergency. Holding signs displaying the names of their children along with other messages, they are sparking public engagement through challenging conversations that are inspire insight from a mother’s perspective.

The protests span six continents with actions in Australia, Costa Rica, Finland, Germany, India, Nigeria, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, Uganda, USA, Zambia and Zimbabwe. These events are taking place on the day before many countries celebrate Mother’s Day, a day when we honour motherhood and maternal bonds.

In the UK, circles are taking place in London (Tate Modern, 2-4pm), Liverpool (Museum of Liverpool, 2-4pm), Brighton (Black Rock Broadwalk, 11am), Barnstaple (Barnstaple Library, 3pm), Whitley Bay (Spanish City, 2:30pm), and The Lake District(Barbon, 10am). They have been organised by Mothers’ Rebellion – a growing, worldwide offshoot of Extinction Rebellion – in collaboration with Health For XR and Extinction Rebellion Families.

Mothers’ Rebellion want a liveable, socially just, inclusive world for all children. Almost all children on Earth are already exposed to at least one form of climate and environment danger or stress. Mothers’ Rebellion demand immediate action to reduce emissions to net zero by 2025, starting with the phase out of fossil fuels, and to protect and repair ecosystems whilst also addressing social inequality. 

Approximately one billion children – nearly half the world’s 2.2 billion children – live in one of the 33 countries classified as “extremely high-risk” to the effects of climate change. These figures are likely to get worse as the impacts of climate change accelerate. [1]  The climate crisis is also affecting children’s mental health. A global survey illustrates the depth of anxiety many young people are feeling about climate change. Nearly 60% of young people approached said they felt very worried or extremely worried. 83% think adults have failed to take care of the planet. [2]

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health is calling for child health to be a central theme in all climate change policy decisions [3]. All children should have the right to clean air, safe water, sanitation, affordable and nutritious food, and shelter. The climate crisis is a child rights crisis, and governments should mobilise and allocate resources to protect those rights and include a child rights risk assessment as part of all climate policy decisions. 

Meaningful climate action has many co-benefits for our physical and mental health, from improved air quality, more active and sustainable lifestyles, healthier food and increased access to nature – making us healthier and happier. It’s a win-win.

Mothers explain why they are taking action:

Marion, mother and doctor, of Health for XR: “Children are feeling betrayed because they see that governments are not doing enough, or are actively delaying meaningful climate action. Those that are meant to protect and safeguard them, are ignoring and turning their backs on the children in this country, and on the children in the global south who are already facing the impacts of a heating climate, as well as the fallout from environmental destruction and exploitation of resources. I will be at the Mother’s Rebellion because if we don’t act now, it will be too late. I could not live with myself, as a mother, as a doctor and as a human being, if we didn’t do all we can to try and bring about the much needed systemic change.”

Feng, mother of two, of XR Families:“My heart aches when I think about the extreme heat waves and devastating floods that my relatives in Malaysia have endured over the past few months. [4] It’s not just about my family, but the countless others who are facing the brunt of climate change. That’s why I will be at the Mothers Rebellion, fighting for a livable planet for today’s children and all future generations. We owe it to them to take action now, before it’s too late.”

Valerie, grandmother, retired GP, of Health For XR: “I consider the crowning glory of my life to be in the presence of my 4 grandchildren. How, in my late autumn years, can I justify my existence on this beautiful planet if it is not dedicated to whatever action I trust may play a part in preserving it and its glorious biodiversity – for them and all the world’s children, born and yet to be? Nothing else in my life can take precedence over this. Science does not lie. I call upon all grandparents, parents, uncles, aunts and friends, older siblings and those who work with young people in this ultimate expression of love for them – and for their children. Without a habitable planet what value has everything else we may wish to bequeath to them?”

Kristine, mother and doctor, of Health for XR: “As healthcare professionals it is our duty to identify and act on risks to children. The impact of the climate and ecological crisis is a safeguarding issue for an entire generation. Currently 85% of the burden of climate health impacts is falling on those under 5 years of age. [5] These health impacts include malnutrition, heat exposure, water scarcity, infectious diseases such as malaria and Lyme disease and high levels of air pollution causing worsening asthma and childhood cancers. I am seeing these devastating impacts on children in my daily work, even in the UK. As a mother and doctor I cannot sit silently and watch this injustice to children across the world and that’s why I will be at the Mothers’ Rebellion and demand urgent climate action from world leaders.”  

Notes for Editors

Global Media drive (Please credit as named)

UK media drive (Free to use with credit: Extinction Rebellion)

Mothers’ Rebellion is a growing global community of women who want to be able to look our children in the eyes and say that we truly do all that we can. Since 2022 we have been bearing witness in public spaces. We turn our grief and frustration over the lack of a powerful, transformative response from our politicians and leaders into action. 

Mothers’ Rebellion demands action for a sustainable and equitable global community and a healthy planet. Key to Mothers’ Rebellion for Climate Justice is the recognition that all of us are connected to Mother Earth and it is up to us to create the necessary changes to keep our planet healthy so that all its inhabitants can thrive.

We welcome all who can to join us as we refuse to look away from the climate crisis. Becoming part of Mothers’ Rebellion is easy, come to our website at to find support and solidarity.

Extinction Rebellion Families is a creative and supportive space for families involved in community building, raising awareness of the climate crisis and peaceful non-violent action.

Health for XR is an activist group which welcomes members from all healthcare backgrounds to join us in demanding urgent action on the causes of the ecological and climate emergency.


[1] One billion children at ‘extremely high risk’ of the impacts of the climate crisis – UNICEF

[2] Climate change: Young people very worried – survey – BBC News

[3] The impact of climate change on global child health – position statement

[4] Malaysia’s heatwave expected to last until June, with haze likely to follow | The Straits Times

[5] FAQ 3: How will climate change affect the lives of today’s children tomorrow, if no immediate action is taken?

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.

Donate to XR | Support our work
What Emergency? | Read about the true scale of the climate crisis
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Time has almost entirely run out to address the climate and ecological crisis which is upon us, including the sixth 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.

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