XR Burning Earth: Trafalgar Square at The Rebellion – Extinction Rebellion UK

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XR Burning Earth: Trafalgar Square at The Rebellion


07 October 2019

19 October 2019

09:00 – 09:00


Trafalgar Square, London, United Kingdom



hosted by

Extinction Rebellion UK


George Monbiot | Juliet Stevenson | Jack & Finn Harries | Jarvis Cocker | More

Greta Thunberg is right. Our house is on fire. Amazonia has been ablaze for weeks – and so have forests around the world. People all around the world are seeking refuge as a result of climate breakdown. Billions are expected to do the same if we don’t take action today. The loss of life, ecosystems and biodiversity we are inflicting are truly horrendous. And still, Governments are failing to act fast enough. Nothing new there. In fact, they’re a joke. Let’s remind them that the people have the power.

Join Extinction Rebellion for two straight weeks of non-violent protest in central London, as we peacefully block and occupy the streets around Westminster, to demand government action on the climate and ecological crisis.

“Burning Earth” is a wake-up call: artistic representations of waters running red, burning Amazon forests, and extinct animals tell an emotional story of loss. We will turn the tourist and cultural attraction of Trafalgar Square into a place of truth, and a place to mourn the loss of life. Bring offerings to the dead in the form of ‘letters to the earth’ to put on display flower wreaths and candles.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. Although we’ll be holding space for grief and loss together, we’ll also be building a beautiful community, forming an oasis amidst the struggle. As well as protest, expect live music, food, performances, talks, panel discussions, trainings, sacrificial art installations, wellbeing workshops, XR Art blockers for printing designs on your clothes, XR Fashion Boycott, creative actions, family-friendly workshops, games, information on all the sites and about XR, Documentary pop-up cinema, and so, so much more!
You are welcome to give money (donation link below), stuff, food and your time to the cause if you want, but everything will be completely free, and the thing we really want is for YOU to be there.

Come to Trafalgar Square around Nelson’s Column and the fountains on the 7th of October to help us set up the site. Wait for the moment we block the area to spread out from the square, and then when the time is right, take that bold step off the pavement to occupy the roads with us. We will be staying and camping on Trafalgar Square every day and night 24/7, for as long as we can manage and the police allow, or until the Government accepts our demands.

Come for an hour in your lunch break if that’s all you can, or after work and stay the night. Better yet, take two weeks off work or go on strike, bring your camping gear and warm clothes, and settle down for the duration. If you can’t make it on the 7th, come on other days – but expect an unmissable co-created opening ceremony on the 7th. Tell your mates and start a livestream when the action starts in the morning!

Please note: there’s a possibility after a few days, we’ll make a decision to shift camp. If we’ve moved on from Trafalgar, come and find us at the other sites around Westminster – or if you’ve got a crowd, take Trafalgar back and bring Rebels in!

Bring everything you want and need to make London your home for the next two weeks, and let’s get artsy. Bring your placards and banners, bring artwork and sculptures, bring your bike, bring pot plants, bring pop-up tents, bring camping gear and warm clothes, bring tables and chairs to share meals, bring your dog, bring your mum.

We also recommend you use labels/duct tape and write onto your stuff a way to contact you in case it gets lost (ok, maybe you don’t need to write it on your mum). Write your phone number, name or pseudonym, affinity group name, your local group – whatever is needed to make sure it gets back to you. Consider first what you don’t want police to know!

But most of all, bring YOURSELF and tell everyone you know, as we need mass participation to get the government to act now before it’s too late!

The police will be there, but you don’t have to be arrested to take part – we need everyone! The majority of people at the rebellion are new to activism, so don’t be worried about coming down, as you won’t be alone. We have a right to peaceful non-violent protest, and the police must facilitate that. They have to give you a warning if you’re in the wrong place, so you’ll have a chance to leave if you want to avoid being arrested. However, be aware police have been using stop and search powers more often.

Legal observers in orange bibs will be there to record what the police are doing, and stewards and de-escalators will help make sure nothing gets out of hand. XR is a non-violent movement, and this will be a strictly non-violent protest. Please also remember it’s part of the agreement in XR we don’t take drugs or alcohol on our actions.

Police officers, particularly Police Liaison Officers in blue bibs, may talk to you. They are usually trying to gather information even in ‘friendly chats’, so please be careful what you say if you say anything at all. XR police liaisons will we present to negotiate with police where needed, so don’t pass on messages or speak on behalf of others.

For every arrestable in the Rebellion, we need at least 10 non-arrestable people behind them, organizing stuff and supporting. There are plenty of volunteer roles (more info below) and ways you can help out without being arrested. The XR community is built on love and trust in each other. We are all crew, and we need every pair of hands we can get to help. You will be welcomed as part of the family.

If you are willing to risk arrest, we salute you! There is no greater cause to make a sacrifice for on this green Earth than this green Earth itself. Make sure you’re mentally, physically and logistically prepared. If you want to take part as an arrestable on the 7th or another day, please make sure you’ve done an XR Non-Violent Direct Action training, and joined an Affinity Group of XR activists to take part in actions (affinity group signup link below).

If you’re new to this and are considering taking part in actions later in the Rebellion, come to Trafalgar Square to learn more, get an induction to XR, or take part in a training. There are lots of workshops and many ways to get involved!

If you see a need, get in there and help out!

The government’s being useless, rearranging the deckchairs as the Brexitanic sinks. Nature’s angry warnings are all around us – from heatwaves to hurricanes and forest fires. 200 species a day are going extinct, and four environmental defenders are murdered every week. Scientists around the world are issuing stark warnings we’re headed for climate, ecological, and social collapse, with food shortages and droughts on the horizon even for us in the UK. We’re already seeing deadly heatwaves and increasing numbers of floods, and it’s set to get worse. In many other countries, this has been a day-to-day reality for decades, with millions suffering and dying every year from air pollution, floods, fires and more.

Yet our Government are ignoring the science, Greta, the UN, the School Strikers AND the Rebels literally telling them we’re on fire right now. To make them listen, we’re gonna shut down the city – and we need your help! Last April we held the biggest ever act of mass civil disobedience in the UK to demand the Government Act Now, and they declared a Climate and Environment Emergency. But they’ve still not met our Three Demands, so we’re coming back, and this is going to be even bigger. We won’t get off the streets until our demands are met. So we need #EverybodyNow to stand up for our future and make some noise. Come join us!

1. Tell the truth
Government must tell the truth by declaring a climate and ecological emergency, working with other institutions to communicate the urgency for change.

2. Act Now
Government must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.

3. Beyond Politics
Government must create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice.

More info here: https://rebellion.earth/the-truth/demands/

ANNOYED WITH US for blocking London?
We’re sorry if this is of any inconvenience to you. We’re here because we have to be – there will be far more inconvenience when supermarket shelves are empty because of crop failure, or when London’s underwater because of rising sea levels.

The transport system has been informed in order to make route changes, as have hospitals and emergency services. We suggest you travel around by bicycle – we’ll let you through our blocks! If you can’t, check what bus routes will still be working and where they’ll be rerouted to.

Here’s 10 things you can do to help us make Trafalgar Square amazing, and create a historic moment together:

1. Spread the word! INVITE EVERYONE YOU KNOW to this protest, share this event on social media, and message or e-mail your friends personally to let them know.

2. Join this broadcast-only Telegram chat to get updates on cool stuff happening on the site, answer callouts for volunteer help, and take part in votes to decide what we do next:
You can also add all your friends who are coming down, so they’re in the loop too!

3. Volunteer – Sign up here:

4. Bring your Affinity Group if you have one. Let us know you are coming – register your AG for Trafalgar here:

5. Gift stuff or special skills – Help by giving to the Trafalgar Rebellion here:

6. Donate money – Help us by contributing to the crowdfunder here:

7. Host a Rebel – Offer an XRebel travelling to London a bed for the night using this link:

8. Perform or speak – If you’d like to perform/speak, then contact the programming team by emailing xrprogrammingts@gmail.com.

9. Bring cool stuff – this is a co-created community space! Bring whatever you feel is right to make Trafalgar Square as beautiful, comfortable, fun or efficient as we can. This could be artwork and sculptures, potted plants and trees to form an Oasis, food and drink, tables and chairs – whatever you’re dreaming of (or having nightmares about).

10. Self-organise workshops – come and offer Rebels and passers-by a chance to do something different, interesting, relaxing, or fun: start a music jam, lead a yoga session, run a dance class, bring together singers, or teach circus skills.

This Rebellion will go down in the history books as one of the most critical moments in this country, and indeed on Earth. Don’t be one of those that live in regret, remembering that when the time was right, you didn’t stand up for life on Earth and what you believe in your heart. Be at Trafalgar Square on October 7th, and let’s change the world.
We’ll see you on the streets!

With Love and Rage,

XR London

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