Extinction Rebellion five years on – The birthday we never wanted
October 31, 2023 by Extinction Rebellion
Five years ago a group of rebels came together in open rebellion against the UK Government for its inaction on the Climate and Ecological Emergency. They read out a Declaration of Rebellion. They listened to speeches and blocked their first road.
We have been in Rebellion ever since.
For many around the world, the Rebellion had been going on for generations, and Extinction Rebellion really just joined their fight. We brought more colour, creativity, and above all: fierce love and rage. Extinction Rebellion grabbed the imagination of many and soon grew into an international movement.
Usually when an organisation or a company makes it to five years it is cause for celebration. But in our case, it’s different. The fact that we are still here means we haven’t succeeded. It means we are still facing climate and ecological breakdown, that our government is still not willing to do what it takes to prevent endless suffering, millions of deaths and the destruction of our planet.
It is unacceptable that we are still having to be here, fighting this fight day in day out. It is unacceptable that our friends are in prison because they are standing up for what is right. It is unacceptable that we are still seeing more carbon pumped into the air, more trees destroyed, more rivers and seas polluted, more species going extinct, more violent conflict erupting, while our world burns and drowns.
Extinction Rebellion UK is now building its community beyond our movement. We are reaching out to friends in other spaces, organising actions, events and community assemblies to learn from each other and build the world we want to see on a local level. Then, we will once more turn our gaze to Westminster, where we will demand the government looks at what we have achieved on the ground and will finally give us our Third Demand: the Citizens’ Assembly on Climate and Ecological Justice. If they cannot see that this is the only way we will get the fair, long-term solutions to ensure no one is left behind, we will take to the streets once more and this time we won’t leave until our demands are met.
People ask us if Extinction Rebellion is still relevant after five years. We think now more than ever we must unite to survive.
Join us. Unite to survive.
Read the Extinction Rebellion Story – a live document written by rebels for rebels, narrating the story of XR so far. We will continue to add to this document as we continue our struggle.
01 September 2020 – March To Parliament. Photo: Marina Iliara