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Rebels are rising! November’s End of Month Action Day is bigger than ever

Tue, 12/05/2023 - 09:15

Thousands of rebels and their national and local allies hit the streets across the UK on the last Saturday of November in more than 36 separate actions and events for a show of growing excitement, creativity and solidarity in the face of an accelerating climate crisis and criminal government inaction. 

“Our End of Month Action Day was the biggest, boldest and most varied yet, and it came on top of another 159 XR actions in cities, towns and villages all over the country during November,” said Woody, of XR’s Action Circle. 

“Rebels joined up with activists from scores of other local and national campaigns to send a clear message to those in power: we are getting bigger and more united by the week – you can’t ignore our demands to let the people decide their future together for much longer.”

There are already 105 actions planned across the country for December. “We’ve got an easy, DIY plan that will help every local XR group, big or small, to Rebel For Truth,” said Woody. “The government will hear us loud and clear this Christmas.”

For November’s Action Day, XR Brighton teamed up with allies from movements including Greenpeace UK and Parents For Future UK to spread the word about the urgency of the climate and ecological emergency to people in the city.

In London, XR groups returned to the iconic bridges across the Thames, that were the scenes for the movement’s emergence into the public consciousness. XR Hammersmith & Fulham took to Hammersmith Bridge, XR Wandsworth to Chelsea Bridge, and XR Lambeth & XR Lewisham gathered on Waterloo Bridge to raise the alarm about the capital’s illegal levels of air and river pollution. 

In Hertfordshire, rebels from XR East Herts and XR North Herts informed crowds at Baldock EcoFest about the movement’s plans to use Citizens Assemblies to drive a transition to a better future.

In the Midlands, XR Midlands focused on the tragedy of biodiversity loss through climate change and ecosystem collapse by illuminating the streets with a Narnia-themed procession that showcased beavers as flood-prevention engineers.

Rebels in the area also staged protests outside local branches of Barclays and HSBC to spotlight the billions that banks continue to funnel into fossil fuel projects that threaten to spark runaway climate change and destroy our entire civilisation. 

In the North-West, XR Didsbury staged a poignant die-in at Manchester Museum to mourn the climate-driven loss of UK animals, birds, and plants.

“You can feel the growing excitement and determination out there,” said Woody, of XR. “We’re expecting December to be even bigger and we’d encourage every rebel to get involved.”

Inspired and want to take action in your community next month? Check out the end of month actions checklist.

Be Loud. Be Creative. Be Visible.

The post Rebels are rising! November’s End of Month Action Day is bigger than ever appeared first on Extinction Rebellion UK.

Categories: B4. Radical Ecology

Extinction Rebellion UK position on COP 28

Wed, 11/29/2023 - 09:45

2023 is set to be the hottest year on record [1], with November likely to be 1.7 to 1.8°C above pre-industrial times. We are not yet exceeding 2 °C as written in the Paris Agreement, but a grim warning came on November 17th as the global temperature temporarily tipped over 2 °C for the very first time on record [2].

Five years ago, XR was told that our warnings about the escalation of the climate and ecological emergency were hysterical, exaggerated and scientifically unfounded. It’s now clear that we were right to sound the alarm. There will be groups from all sides telling us that we cannot talk about 2°C yet, that there’s no scientific evidence and that we haven’t seen the global trends — but we must continue to do so. Under the precautionary principle, which makes us put our seatbelts on in case of an accident, it’s vital we up the pressure because the truth is, that even if it was only for one day, even if temperatures will dip again, 2 °C has been breached and the trend is relentlessly upwards.

In this context — in a world that is as bad, if not worse than we predicted five years ago — we are once again seeing world leaders fly, on their private jets [3], to the next Conference of the Parties (COP) on Climate, COP 28. The conference will take place in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates [4], a nation built almost entirely on fossil fuel wealth. COP28 is led by Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber [5], founder and Chair of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) [6]. which has the largest net-zero busting plans in the world [7]. 

At the same time, indigenous people who work tirelessly to defend their lands —  which contain 80% of the world’s remaining biodiversity —  and whose traditional knowledge is key to designing a sustainable future, are excluded from the negotiations [8].

Before it has even begun, it is clear the COP process has been captured by the fossil fuel economy. We are unlikely to see the rapid, just and equitable phaseout of all fossil fuels coming out of this process.

The following are XRUK’s key focus points for COP 28: 

1. Rebel for truth

We will call out our leaders’ climate hypocrisy. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak says Britain is a ‘world leader’ on climate, but has vowed to “max out” the UK’s oil and gas reserves, and has approved development of the Rosebank oil field [10], whose output will generate emissions equal to the annual emissions of the 28 poorest countries combined. UN climate negotiations at COP 28 will be presided over by an oil executive in the United Arab Emirates. We won’t let a tiny club of leaders and industrialists in wealthy countries ramp up fossil fuel production, while lecturing the rest of the world on climate action. 

King Charles is set to give the opening address at COP 28 on 1st December. As of today, the British Crown owns 10,762,730 km2 of land globally — this accounts for 7.23% of the land area of the planet. British colonialism was fundamentally rooted in land grabbing, and the consequences persist today. In Canada, 89% of the land is still considered Crown land. The legal frameworks that govern these lands disregard indigenous land rights and legitimise resource extraction. This needs to change [11].

2. We stand with those most affected and with those the least responsible, and demand reparations.

Communities in the Global South are already suffering from the climate and ecological crisis— a crisis which they did not create,  a crisis created by colonialism, exploitation, centuries of injustice and unjust debt. With all these constraints, there can be no climate and ecological justice. It is clear that those responsible, be they nations, companies or financial institutions need to uphold their financial responsibility and pay the costs of what they have caused.

  • Climate finance grants must be honoured
    The rich world agreed to provide climate finance of $100bn per year as payment towards the adaptation and mitigation costs of climate change imposed on countries of the Global South. This sum has never been reached [12].
  • A fairly run Loss and Damage fund must be set up urgently
    ‘Loss and Damage’ refers to the destruction being caused by climate change. The Loss and Damage fund must be independent, democratically-governed, and non-debt-creating [13].
  • Debt cancellation
    In view of the immense climate debt owed to the Global South, the way in which debt has been used as a tool of oppression and the current debt crisis, Global South debt should be cancelled [14].
  • A fair process: fast, fair, forever.
    Those affected by the climate and ecological emergency, and those who should be recipients of financial support, need to have a seat at the negotiating table to ensure that whatever measures are put in place are fair and truly just for the people they are meant to support. That means an end to greenwashing and false, harmful and unproven ‘solutions’ through which the fossil fuel industry gives itself licence to continue killing, polluting and profiting  — and instead, truly effective solutions. 

3. If COP 28 is so bad, why not ignore it? 

To ignore COP is to display our minority world arrogance and play into the hands of the system we are trying to fix.  Those in power have designed COP to their advantage — of course they want us to ignore it.  Many majority world countries have no choice but to work with the United Nations (UN) because it is the only space that comes close to global democracy in which their voices have a presence.
The G77 [20] will be there, and in Brazil, President Lula is calling for an Amazon COP in 2030; many movements come to COP trying to push for justice. 

So XRUK’s position is: Yes, COP 28 is not good enough, but it’s all we’ve got.

#RebelForTruth #FastFairForever #EndFossilFuels #NowWeRise #NoMoreFossilFuels #GetBigOilOutOfCOP

FURTHER INFORMATION WHAT IS COP 28?

COPs, or Conferences of the Parties, are climate change conferences run by the UN. At a COP, all parties who signed the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change come together [4]. The first COP was held in 1995. 

The reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which inform us all on the state of the climate, were initiated by and are organised through the UN [16]. Theoretically, COPs are independent and participants represent the 198 countries that ratified the Convention [9].

Unfortunately, at least 636 lobbyists from the oil and gas industries registered to attend COP 27 last year — an increase of 25% over the previous year and more delegates than from almost any country.  

And at COP 28 we have a president who is the CEO of a state-owned oil company. Fluent in greenwash, this does not deter him from pretending to be the saviour of the planet.

REPARATIONS AND JUSTICE IN MORE DETAIL
  1. CLIMATE FINANCE IN THE FORM OF GRANTS, NOT LOANS

As a result of action by the rich world, the poor world now needs to adapt to a climate it didn’t change, by transitioning to a new energy source.

Oxfam calculated that the poorest 50% of the planet emits just 7% of the carbon in the sky, whilst the richest 1% are responsible for 15%, more than double.   The richest 10% of the planet, (which most of us are by dint of living in the UK) account for 52% of global emissions.

In Jason Hickel’s analysis the 39 countries from the Global North had used up their collective fair share of the 350 p.p.m. carbon budget by 1969, overshot their 1.5 °C fair share by 1986 and surpassed their 2 °C fair share by 1995 [17].

Meanwhile, the 129 countries from the Global South in the analysis, which are home to more than 80% of the total global population, will remain within the 1.5 °C carbon budget until at least 2048. 

And yet, those who have done the least to cause this crisis are suffering the most. As Jason Hickel comments on the results, “It would be difficult to overstate the scale of this injustice”.

In recognition of the immense costs of adapting to new conditions and transitioning to green energy because of what others have caused, climate finance has actually been agreed and is supposed to have been paid since 2020. It was set at $100bn per year (far too low) but that amount has never been reached, and more importantly, 71% of what is paid is paid as loans — with interest, which all need to be paid back. The banks are profiting and the poor are becoming ever more heavily indebted [12].

  1. AN EFFECTIVE LOSS AND DAMAGE FUND

Many of the catastrophes hitting countries of the Global South are not situations to which they can adapt: this is termed Loss and Damage. Take the displacement of 33 million people in Pakistan in 2022; or the fact that drought in East Africa is now 100 times more likely due to climate change; or the loss of whole islands in the Pacific, along with the culture and traditions they sustained. The list would now, sadly, take many hours to enumerate.

To begin to recognise the immense costs of what is being lost or damaged, has taken 28+ years of campaigning — just to get COP 27 to agree to look into a Loss and Damage Fund. The obstructions put in the way of this agreement should alert us all to the fear in the eyes of the perpetrators. This is about climate reparations and people are beginning to calculate it.

Of course the fossil fuel industry is at fault, of course the governments of the Global North are at fault. We need to assume that and call for Loss and Damage to be paid. 

BEWARE!  The powers of the Global North are up to their usual tricks, calling for the World Bank to run the Loss and Damage Fund.  But the World Bank is about loans, imposing austerity and opening markets to the fossil fuel industry. The Loss and Damage Fund is currently under discussion and the US has a proposal that is unsurprisingly staggeringly unfair. 


The Loss and Damage Fund must be independent, democratically-governed, and non-debt-creating [13].

  1. CANCELLATION OF ALL GLOBAL SOUTH DEBT

Debt for Climate has calculated the difference between the climate debt of the Global North, estimated to be $7.9 trillion per year, and the financial debt repayments of the Global South, estimated at $211 bn per year.   The climate debt is at least 65 times greater [21], making mass debt default, or repudiation, or cancellation, an obvious and fair way forward — especially given the immense pain and cost of climate change (adaptation, transition, loss, damage) imposed on the Global South by the overconsumption of the Global North. Debt cancellation would also make it harder for fossil fuel companies to march into the Global South waving foreign currency contracts demanding payment of unfair, absurd debt, putting another obstacle in the road of the murderous fossil fuel perpetrators [14].

 WE NEED A FAIR PROCESS
  1. We need a trusted leader representing the most affected people and areas (MAPA) — the president of COP 28 should be dismissed

Sultan Al Jaber’s ascent to the highest levels of climate diplomacy began 16 years ago. From 2007 to 2009, Edelman, the largest public relations firm in the world, carried out a $6.4 million campaign to boost the green reputation of the United Arab Emirates (UEA). According to new data, the state oil company of the UEA, ADNOC, whose CEO will preside over UN climate negotiations, has the largest net-zero-busting expansion plans [7] of any company in the world. In 2030 — the year by which the United Nations says planet-heating carbon emissions must be slashed by 45%[19], ADNOC is forecast to spend $13.2 billion on oil and gas alone — a 43% increase compared with current levels.  Global Witness has found that Al Jaber’s company is planning to spend more than $100 billion between now and 2030 on oil and gas production alone — that’s an average of $1.14 billion every month, and nearly seven times more than its planned ‘low-carbon solutions’ spend over the same period.  

More than 130 lawmakers from the European Union and the US wrote a strongly-worded letter to the UN in May 2023 calling for the removal of Al Jaber as president of COP 28. He is still centre stage [5].

We are at the stage where, despite IPCC data [16] and annual COP climate meetings, not one of 39 major global oil and gas companies, with a collective market capitalization of $3.7 trillion, has adopted a business strategy that would limit warming to safe levels. Meanwhile, the global oil and gas industry is expanding amid blockbuster profits to the tune of $4 trillion last year.  The sector has poured $160 billion into exploration for new fossil reserves since 2020, even as the International Energy Agency has stated that no new fossil fuel projects are compatible with limiting warming to 1.5 °C.

  • $170bn has been spent by the industry on exploration for new oil and gas reserves since 2021.
  • 96% of the 700 companies that explore or develop new oil and gas fields are continuing to do so.
  • More than 1,000 companies are planning new gas pipelines, gas-fired power plants or liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminals.
  1. Fair representation so the decisions made by the majority world are “locked in” and can not be ignored by the Global North.
  2. Effective measures to lock out fossil fuel lobbyists/associates must be put in place

This would mean that countries of the Global North that are also oil states have observer, not voting, rights and that countries of the Global South with known oil reserves have limited voting rights [8].

COP has, of course, been rigged for a long time: IPIECA (International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association) was set up in 1974 by request of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to provide a combined fossil fuel industry response to environmental issues — but is being used by Big Oil to increasingly exert its malign influence over the COP climate talks. 


IPIECA   (International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association International)
COP has, of course, been rigged for a long time: IPIECA, based in London, was set up in 1974 by request of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to provide a combined fossil fuel industry response to environmental issues but is being used by Big Oil to increasingly exert its malign influence over the COP climate talks. IPIECA members include Eni, Repsol, BP, SLB, Total, Shell and the infamous climate denier ExxonMobil [15].

SOURCES

[1] 2023 is set to be the hottest year on record

[2] A grim warning as the global temperature temporarily tipped over 2°C
“ERA5 data from @CopernicusECMWF indicates that 17 November was the first day that the global temperature exceeded 2°C above pre-industrial levels, reaching 2.07°C above the 1850-1900 average and the provisional ERA5 value for 18 November is 2.06°C.”

“This month the global average temperature exceeded 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels for the first time. @ourANU ICEDS Director @ProfMarkHowden explains what this means and what we need to be focussing on.”

IMPORTANT NOTE: Aaron Thierry, XR Scientists.
“Really important to note this is not the same as exceeding 2C as written in the Paris Agreement”

[3] Flight Operations to COP28 Dubai COP28 UAE will take place at Dubai’s Expo City from November 30 – December 12, 2023, with government leaders and dignitaries from all over the globe descending on Dubai for the historic event.
Operations to COP 28 in Dubai
Jetluxe – Your gateway to COP 28

[4] COP 28 UAE:
A visual guide: COP 28 explainer infographic

[5] About Sultan Al Jaber:
i. The Guardian: Meet the oil man tasked with saving the planet
ii. The Guardian: COP 28 host UAE planned promote oil deals climate talks
iii. Letter calling for the dismissal of Al Jaber, from US Congress and EU Parliament Members

[6] Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC)

[7] COP 28 host UAE has world’s biggest climate-busting oil plans.

[8] Lands inhabited by Indigenous Peoples contain 80% of the world’s remaining biodiversity. Indigenous Peoples’ traditional knowledge and knowledge systems are key to designing a sustainable future for all.
i. IISD: Indigenous peoples defending environment
ii. AXIOS: Indigenous activists “seen, not heard” at COP 27
iii. The Independent: Fossil fuel delegates attended Cops at least 7,200 times over 20 years – study


[9] About the UNFCC

[10] Calling out our leaders’ climate hypocrisy
i. Now We Rise – Climate Justice Coalition
ii. Rishi Sunak vows to max out UK reserves and approves Rosebank
iii. The Climate Change Committee (CCC) has announced UK is no longer a world leader on climate issues
iv. CCC Progress Report

[11] The biggest landowners of today are yesterday’s colonisers

[12] Climate Finance Grants must be honoured – $100Bn pledge not met.
i. BBC Climate finance: How to spend 100bn to save the climate
ii. Oxfam: Rich countries’ failure to honour their climate finance promise threatens negotiations and undermines climate action

[13] Loss and Damage Fund

[14] About Debt Cancellation:
i. Global Action for Debt Cancellation
ii. Debt for Climate

[17] Jason Hickel “Quantifying national responsibility for climate breakdown: an equality-based attribution approach for carbon dioxide emissions in excess of the planetary boundary”

[18] About Edelman

[19] Emissions Gap Report

[15] About IPIECA

i. Climate activists target Big Oil lobby group to highlight its stranglehold on COP28.
ii. Cancel global south debt and deliver £7.9 trillion in climate reparations now
iii. Video: Reject Sultan Al-Jaber as President of COP28 because he is CEO of ADNOC (Abu Dhabi National Oil Company) and reject IPIECA, the fossil fuel industry’s ‘channel of engagement’ with COP, and epicentre of fossil fuel greenwash.
iv. IPIECA (International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association International)
IPIECA Funding: “Ipieca is funded by corporate and associate member companies via an annual contribution according to a formula based on relative production and geographic spread of operations.”
v. Relationship with UN
vi. Resources from recent XR actions https://linktr.ee/cop28greenwash

[16] IPCC Reports

[20] G77 The Group of 77 (G77) at the United Nations (UN) is a coalition of 135 countries, designed to promote its members’ collective economic interests and create an enhanced joint negotiating capacity in the United Nations.

[21] Climate justice activists gathered outside the Bank of England on 12 October 2023 to demonstrate how the Global South’s crippling debt repayments are 65 times smaller than the staggering $7.9 trillion in climate reparations owed to them by the countries of the Global North.

The post Extinction Rebellion UK position on COP 28 appeared first on Extinction Rebellion UK.

Categories: B4. Radical Ecology

Barclays banks superglued shut in nationwide action against climate criminals

Sun, 11/26/2023 - 23:40

Email: press@extinctionrebellion.uk

Phone: +44(0)7756136396
Photos: Further images available on request

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Activists urge customers to switch their accounts to pressure Barclays to stop mega-funding fossil fuels projects

Staff at Barclays branches across the UK are set to encounter a sticky situation this morning (27th November) after climate activists from Extinction Rebellion, sister organisation Money Rebellion and allied groups glued the doors shut at almost 50 branches.

At dead of night and armed only with tubes of superglue, activists held the number one funder of fossil fuels in Europe1 to account for its continued climate-wrecking criminal damage which endangers the future of all life on the planet.

Since the Paris Agreement Barclays has supported fossil fuels with $190.58 billion of investments.2 New fossil fuels are incompatible with the Paris Agreement goal of keeping temperatures below 1.5C.3

Around fifty Barclays branches in city centres across the UK, including Kilmarnock Road in Glasgow, Albion Street in Leeds, the High Street in Lincoln and London’s Tottenham Court Road, were super glued shut overnight to protest Barclays’ continuing investment in oil and gas projects and to alert customers to the banks appalling impact on the climate and to urge them to switch to ethical banks using websites such as Switchit.green.6

Extinction Rebellion has consistently held Barclays to account,4 as has Greenpeace which took similar action in 2020.5 Barclays has not taken heed so we demand that when Barclays updates its annual climate strategy for 2024 it commits to end the funding of fossil fuel projects and companies expanding fossil fuel extraction.

This is part of a significant new wave of property-focused climate action. Superglued locks shutting down a branch may impact its business in the short term, but the longer term damage is to Barclays’ reputation as customers discover how its outdated business model destroys the environment, and take their money elsewhere.

A Money Rebellion activist who took part in the action said: “Barclays are pumping billions into the fossil fuel industry, completely at odds with advice from the International Energy Agency, United Nations and IPCC. Barclays are choosing short term profits over a liveable future and a lot of us are sick of the measly progress they’re making, as they hide behind their lies and greenwash.”

An XR activist added: “We’re responding to public attitudes and targeting the perpetrators of climate breakdown, not ordinary people and we apologise for any inconvenience caused to staff and customers. The inconvenience we’ve caused this morning is small in comparison to the catastrophic events already happening due to Barclays’ financing of fossil fuels.”

Climate change is real and happening now. We urge Barclays customers to use their power by moving their account to a bank more aligned with a liveable future for the planet. Websites like Switchit.green make it easy and explain clearly the huge impact an individual can make.


Notes to Editors

Two minute explainer video about Barclays’ fossil fuel investments: https://youtu.be/5TTSDQOhmEg

1. https://bankonourfuture.org/news/barclays-fossil-fuels-2023/

https://www.bankingonclimatechaos.org/

3. https://www.carbonbrief.org/new-fossil-fuels-incompatible-with-1-5c-goal-comprehensive-analysis-finds/

4. 2. https://extinctionrebellion.uk/2022/11/14/this-is-an-intervention-barclays-faces-biggest-ever-day-of-climate-protests/

5. https://www.bbc.com/news/business-51702865

6. Switch to a green bank and withdraw £1.5m from fossil fuel support today, even if you have £0 in your account: https://www.switchit.green/

Jury acquits HSBC window-smashing women: “We smashed the windows of a major bank. A jury acquitted us. This is why.” https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2023/nov/20/windows-major-bank-jury-climate-crisis

https://www.ipcc.ch/


The post Barclays banks superglued shut in nationwide action against climate criminals appeared first on Extinction Rebellion UK.

Categories: B4. Radical Ecology

Rowan Williams, Emma Thompson, Ben Okri, Brian Eno, Es Devlin, Sir David King, Prof. James Hansen sign open letter in support of HSBC 9

Fri, 11/24/2023 - 01:06

Email: press@extinctionrebellion.uk | Phone:   +44(0)7756136396

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Public figures from across the arts, climate science, the economy, faith and more have signed an open letter in support of 9 women who were acquitted last week for breaking windows at HSBC’s HQ in Canary Wharf in 2021. The signatories are calling for the bank to be held accountable for their enormous fossil fuel investments: over £80 billion pounds in the 5 years after the Paris Climate Agreement was signed. 

The signatories include actors Emma Thompson, Stephen Fry, Juliet Stevenson, Steven McBurney and Sir Mark Rylance; former Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams; granddaughter of Suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst, Helen Pankhurst; former Chief Scientific Advisor to the UK Government, Sir David King; Academy award winning film directors, Adam MaKay and Andrea Arnold; comedians, Nish Kumar, Stewart Lee, Frankie Boyle and Rosie Holt; climate scientists, Professor James Hansen and Wolfgang Knorr; artist Jeremy Deller; authors Ben Okri, Kim Stanley Robinson and Monique Roffey; musicians and artists Thom Yorke, Es Devlin, Peter Gabriel, Brian Eno and Love Ssega; Fashion designer Bella Freud; co-founder of Kickstarter Yancey Strickler; economists Yanis Varoufakis, Kate Raworth and Ann Pettifor; and former CEO of Greenpeace International and Secretary General of Amnesty International, Kumi Naidoo.

The letter reads: “While we applaud the jury for recognising these women’s solid defence for taking such action and following their conscience, a collective act of madness is going unchecked both in the UK and across the globe. Those standing up in defence of life on Earth are being criminalised by the UK legal system, while our own government willingly continues to facilitate the destruction of our only home. 

“The world stands ablaze in front of us and still global powers choose to risk the death and displacement of billions in pursuit of uncurbed fossil fuel expansion. Yet, the world is in the ultimate crisis of accountability. As the case of these women shows, it is not illegal for banks such as HSBC to profit from destroying life on Earth. With billions invested in fossil fuels in the five years since the Paris Climate Agreement, we can’t help but wonder how many deaths these billions will have caused already? Why do such heinous crimes continue to go unpunished?”

The three week trial concluded last Thursday when a jury of twelve concluded that the nine defendants were found unanimously not guilty after only two hours of deliberation. The legal defences of ‘necessity’, ‘protection of property’ and ‘belief in consent’ were all initially allowed by Judge Bartle, remaining in play until after the defence case had concluded and the women had given their evidence. The judge later ruled out all but ‘belief in consent’.

During the course of the trial, the women wore clothes given to them by celebrated British fashion designer Stella McCartney CBE, who designed the clothing for Team GB in the London 2012 Olympics, lending them shirts, blazers and suits to wear during the trial.

The letter references climate protestors, Morgan Trowland and Marcus Dekker, currently serving the highest sentences seen in this country for nonviolent protest in modern times. On Tuesday this week, a letter was made public from the United Nations to the UK Government criticising the ‘severe’ sentences and warned that the new Public Order Act which came into force in July was inconsistent with international human rights law and is therefore undermining the civil society response to the climate crisis we desperately need, calling it a “direct attack on the right to the freedom of peaceful assembly”.

In a tweet responding to the UN letter, the Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, undermined the intervention letter by claiming that the government is on the side of working people: “It’s entirely right that selfish protestors intent on causing misery to the hard-working majority face tough sentences. It’s what the public expects and it’s what we’ve delivered.” However, evidence shows that these extreme policy shifts are not being driven by ordinary people, but by shadowy lobbying groups such as Policy Exchange, and that when climate protestors are faced with the general public at jury trials such as the HSBC 9 trial, they are frequently being found not guilty. 

One of the defendants, Eleanor (Gully) Bujak, 30, said in her closing arguments: “HSBC makes choices every day and they have the power to change those at any time, but first they need to know what’s happening. And so do we. Only then can we find the courage to do something about it. 

“You have heard that governments are doing nothing about this crisis and nothing to hold the banks accountable, and I told you in my evidence that we as ordinary citizens cannot afford to simply leave these businesses and institutions to their own devices – we must intervene, urgently, however we feel we can.

“Because the truth is, it is not just this tiny handful of people who have any power to change things! They are not the only ones who can shape this world, or determine our future. There are moments in all our lives, when we find ourselves somewhere unexpected, when we have the opportunity to choose to do something extraordinary. And extraordinary things happen in court rooms.”

The letter concludes: “Women throughout history have always gathered to resist in the name of life and love. Now, as money and power steer us on a path towards total climate and ecological collapse, protests like this are a rational response to the greatest crime humanity has ever faced. These women believed, as we do, that they are duty bound to resist a violent system that is risking the survival of everything we know and love.

“It is now incumbent upon all good people of conscience to rise up as these women have, to pull together and find our collective power. We must all take the most effective action we can, find our courage and work in firm opposition to the dereliction of our only home. 

“We support all courageous and loving people who stand and fight for justice and the continuation of life on Earth. We will do everything we can to support them, and to play our part in building a new world where life is sacred.”

Please donate to the HSBC 9 legal fund: https://chuffed.org/project/104692-hsbc-9-fund-for-justice

Read the full letter at: https://hardart.metalabel.com

Full letter and list of signatories:

Open letter to all people of conscience in response to acquittal of HSBC 9

On Thursday 16th November, 9 women, from graduates to grandmothers, were found not guilty at London’s Southwark Crown Court. Their charge? Taking nonviolent direct action with Extinction Rebellion at the headquarters of one of the worlds’ biggest investors in fossil fuels, HSBC. These women cracked windows at the global bank’s London headquarters in Canary Wharf, a protest inspired by the courage of those now national heroes, the Suffragettes. They risked their freedom to try and prevent the bank’s own crimes against humanity, £80 billion in fossil fuel investments in the 5 years since the Paris Climate Agreement. 

While we applaud the jury for recognising these women’s solid defence for taking such action and following their conscience, a collective act of madness is going unchecked both in the UK and across the globe. Those standing up in defence of life on Earth are being criminalised by the UK legal system, while our own government willingly continues to facilitate the destruction of our only home.

The world stands ablaze in front of us and still global powers choose to risk the death and displacement of billions in pursuit of uncurbed fossil fuel expansion. Global temperatures this September have left scientists the world over shocked to the core. The extraordinary summer heat will make 2023 the hottest year on record, not by a fraction, but by an ‘unprecedented’ margin, with the month of September 1.8C warmer than pre-industrial levels. This huge jump in global temperature shows that the climate crisis will not be steady nor granular, but increasingly erratic and unpredictable year on year. 

It is heartbreaking to see the impact of inaction as the crisis unravels everywhere. Record floods have left the Greek breadbasket wrecked for years to come; Winters in South America are disappearing as heat waves cook the oceans and the monsoon season reaches a critical tipping point, which could result in up to 30% less rainfall and have a frightening impact on food production; Canadian wildfires which ravaged the Northern Territories this summer, are calming only now; New York City experienced a state of emergency from flooding during the same week that floods in Libya left an estimated 20,000 dead, parents tragically searching the beaches there for the bodies of their children. People the world over are sharing in a collective grief as nowhere is left untouched. 

Yet, the world is in the ultimate crisis of accountability. As the case of these women shows, it is not illegal for banks such as HSBC to profit from destroying life on Earth. With billions invested in fossil fuels in the five years since the Paris Climate Agreement, we can’t help but wonder how many deaths these billions will have caused already? Why do such heinous crimes continue to go unpunished? 

Meanwhile, rather than listening to reason or scientific fact, the UK government continues to hand out contracts for oil exploration in the name of false ‘energy security’ while steering the UK towards authoritarianism. In Britain today, it is verging on illegal to urgently and effectively protest for the right of life to survive. Citizens are now regularly arrested for walking down the road holding a sign. Last year nearly 200 climate activists, who are committed to nonviolence, were remanded with custodial time in UK prisons. As you read this, Morgan Trowland and Marcus Dekker are serving the highest sentences seen in this country for nonviolent protest in modern times, despite a letter sent by the United Nations to the UK Government earlier this year, which criticised the ‘severe’ sentences and warned that the new Public Order Act which came into force in July was inconsistent with international human rights law. 

Rounding up people of conscience instead of charging the real criminals is the response of a political and legal system in steep decline, unable to cope or envision a way out of this urgent crisis. Juries, appointed to protect us from tyranny, sit trapped between the philosophical and moral implications of the climate crisis, preventable mass death, and the restrictions of the legal system. Defendants are being refused the opportunity to use necessity to act as a legal defence, with judges ruling out mention of climate change at all in recent trials, holding people in contempt when they do. This is a frightening precedent that all who believe in freedom and human rights should condemn. Thankfully, juror after juror is seeing through this madness and finding protestors not guilty after they have waited years for their cases to go to trial. 

Women throughout history have always gathered to resist in the name of life and love. Now, as money and power steer us on a path towards total climate and ecological collapse, protests like this are a rational response to the greatest crime humanity has ever faced. These women believed, as we do, that they are duty bound to resist a violent system that is risking the survival of everything we know and love.

The Pope only a few weeks ago, defended protestors portrayed as ‘radicalised’ by saying, “in reality, they are filling a space left empty by society as a whole, which ought to exercise a healthy ‘pressure’, since every family ought to realise that the future of their children is at stake.” Until we, the people of Britain, recognise these women and their counterparts as acting in service to life itself, not as villains in a culture war created by the corrupt political class, any hope of tackling the existential climate and ecological crisis in a way that is fair and just will be fraught. Until we hold to account the real criminals, those political and business leaders who continue to turn the cogs of the fossil fuel economy and divide people for their own ends, humanity will not advance towards a future of genuine hope, prosperity and justice.

It is now incumbent upon all good people of conscience to rise up as these women have, to pull together and find our collective power. We must all take the most effective action we can, find our courage and work in firm opposition to the dereliction of our only home. 

We support all courageous and loving people who stand and fight for justice and the continuation of life on Earth. We will do everything we can to support them, and to play our part in building a new world where life is sacred. 

Signed:

Dr. Rowan Williams (Former Archbishop of Canterbury)

Emma Thompson (Actor and screenwriter)

Es Devlin (Artist/stage designer)

Ben Okri (Author)

Juliet Stevenson (Actor)

Helen Pankhurst (Women’s rights activist and great-granddaughter of Suffragette, Emmeline Pankhurst)

Sir David King (Former Chief Scientific Advisor to the UK Government from 2000-2007 and head of the Climate Crisis Advisory Group)

Professor James Hansen (Directing Professor of the Program on Climate Science, Awareness and Solutions of the Earth Institute at Columbia University)

Andrea Arnold (Academy award-winning Filmmaker) 

Brian Eno (Musician/composer/producer)

Stephen Fry (Actor/Author)

Adam McKay (Academy award-winning Film Director)

Thom Yorke (Musician, Radiohead)

Ed O’Brien (Musician, Radiohead)

Bella Freud (Fashion designer)

Jeremy Deller (Artist)

Alan Moore (Author)

Mira Awad (Musician/actor)

Kumi Naidoo (Payne distinguished lecturer at Stanford University / Former CEO of Greenpeace International and Secretary General of Amnesty International)

Ash Sarkar (Journalist)

Kate Raworth (Economist)

Chris Packham (Wildlife TV Presenter and Conservationist)

Peter Gabriel (Musician)

Farhana Yamin (Director, Climate Reframe & Honorary Fellow, Somerville College, Oxford)

Caroline Lucas (MP)

Baroness Rosie Boycott

Clare Patey (Artist/curator)

Julie Hesmondhalgh (Actor)

Frankie Boyle (Comedian)

Rosie Holt (Comedian)

Sir Mark Rylance (Actor)

Ann Pettifor (Economist)

Simon McBurney (Actor and Playwright)

Love Ssega (Musician)

Ian Rickson (Theatre director)

Nish Kumar (Comedian)

Gavin Turk (Artist)

Jay Griffiths (Author)

Monique Roffey (Author)

Yanis Varoufakis (Economist and politician)

Yancey Strickler (Entrepreneur/Former CEO of Kickstarter)

Melinda Janki (International lawyer/winner of Commonwealth Lawyers Association Rule of Law Award 2023)

Jeremy Till (Architect)

Robert Del Naja (Musician, Massive Attack)

Kim Stanley Robinson (Author)

Stewart Lee (Writer/clown)

Frank Cottrell-Boyce (Screenwriter/Author)

Wolfgang Knorr (climate scientist/author)

Weyman Bennett (Joint Secretary, Stand Up to Racism)

Paul Epworth (Music producer)

Rabbi Jeffrey Newman

Nika Dubrovsky (Artist)

Marcus Lyon (Artist/photographer)

Dr. John Fass (Designer)

Paul Ewen (Author)

Martin Wroe (Writer)

Olafur Eliasson (Artist)

Josh Appignanesi (Film Director)

Matt Black (DJ/Founder of Ninja Tunes Records)

John Higgs (Author)

Jamie Kelsey Fry (New Internationalist/Global Assembly)

Michael Pawlyn (Architect and systems thinker)

Robert Fripp (Musician/producer)

Deborah Curtis (Writer and educator)

Aaron Bastani (Journalist)

Anthony Barnett (Writer/Co-founder openDemocracy)

Bart Cammaerts (Professor of Politics and Communication at the London School of Economics and Political Science)

Yanai Postelnik (Senior Buddhist Teacher and Lay Minister)

Raoul Martinez (Author)

Jason Hickel (Anthropologist)

Professor Steve Keen (Economist/author)

Ed Gillespie (Writer)

Rachel Donald (Corruption journalist, Planet Critical)

Ian Bruce (Artist/Musician)

Mark Borkowsi (Author/PR agent)

April de Angelis (Author)

Toby Litt (Writer)

Sean Burk (Comedian)

Darius Caplinskas (Architect)

Cathy Runciman (Co-founder, Atlas of the Future/curator)

Ben Graham (Writer) 

Jonathan Harris (High Priest of the Church of Burn) 

Joanne Mallon (Author/podcaster/coach) 

Moksha Poetess (Artist/Producer) 

Nick Hollins (Podcaster)

David Lan (Writer/Producer)

Tracey Seaward (Producer)

HAM (Artist/illustrator)

Melinda Gebbie (Artist)

Anwen Fryer Burrows (Festival 23 co-founder and Sheffield Community business owner)

Richard Norris (Journey to Nutopia)

Michelle Olley (Journey to Nutopia)

Cori Crider (Journalist)

Clara Maguire (Exec Director of The Citizens)

Tim Jackson (Economist)

Dr. Leon Sealey-Huggins (Academic)

Marc Silver (Filmmaker) 

Professor Graham Smith (Academic on democratic design)

Natasha Walter (Author)

James Schneider (Writer)

David Spratt (Research Director of Breakthrough National Centre for Climate Restoration)

Graham Smith (Professor of Politics at the Centre for the Study of Democracy (CSD) in the School of Social Sciences)

Professor Atul K. Shah (Economist/Lecturer)

Dr. James Dyke (Associate Professor in Earth System Science at University of Essex)

Claire Mellier (Global Assembly)

Liz Jensen (Author)

Jon Alexander (Author)

Inga Hamilton (Sculptor)

Jen Brister (Comedian)

Liz Slade (Chief Officer, UK Unitarians)

Francesca Martinez (Comedian)

Nick Anim (Transition Town)

Matthew Jones (Designer)

Paul Northup (Creative Director of the Greenbelt Arts Festival)

Sharon Eckman (Author)

Charlie Waterhouse (The Brixton Project)

Jessica Townsend (Writer)

James Miller (Writer)

Lloyd Davis (Social Artist)

Roc Sandford (Ocean Rebellion)

Phoebe Tickell (Moral Imaginations)

Morgan Trowland (Architect/Climate activist currently in prison for peaceful protest)

Marcus Dekker (Musician/Climate activist currently in prison for peaceful protest)

James Brown (GB Paralympic Gold Medalist)

Jo Rendle (Artist/organiser)

Tamsen Kidd (Regenerative Farmer)

Immo Klink (Artist & Filmmaker)

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 | Support our work
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 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.

The post Rowan Williams, Emma Thompson, Ben Okri, Brian Eno, Es Devlin, Sir David King, Prof. James Hansen sign open letter in support of HSBC 9 appeared first on Extinction Rebellion UK.

Categories: B4. Radical Ecology

Mothers Rebellion Circles highlight World Children’s Day across UK

Tue, 11/21/2023 - 07:56

In response to the current and growing threat that climate breakdown presents to children around the globe, Mothers Rebellion gathered across the UK and in over 30 countries on six continents last Saturday to highlight World Children’s Day which commemorates the adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

In the UK, 15 peaceful circles of mothers and their allies sat down in public spaces in Aberystwyth, Altrincham, Barnstaple, Bristol, Cambridge, Cheltenham, Chippenham, Consett, Falmouth, Frome, Lichfield, London, Woking and York.

Nina, mother of two from York who took part in the protest said: “I joined Mothers Rebellion because they centre women and children in the climate movement. Because the emphasis is on peaceful, inclusive protest it enables many to take that first important step into action. Climate action is joyful and gives us hope”.

Catastrophes such as flooding, heat, drought and conflict are a reality to many young children growing up today, posing grave threats to their rights. Children growing up in the Global South experience the hardest consequences which are caused by the Global North’s excessive use of the planet’s resources.

Poverty, economic and social inequalities, food insecurity and forced displacement aggravate the risk that children will experience violence, abuse and exploitation. A recent Unicef analysis found that at least 43 million children were displaced over the past six years due to extreme weather events.

In a statement in October Dr Camilla Kingdon, president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and Britain’s most senior paediatrician said: “Climate change poses an existential threat to the health and wellbeing of all children. Healthcare professionals are already seeing its impacts first-hand. Air pollution, extreme weather and unprecedented energy costs are having a real and detrimental effect on millions of children. We cannot continue with our heads in the sand. We must act now and with our children in mind.” 

Mothers Rebellion groups demand that countries incorporate children’s right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment into their national legislation and take adequate and just measures to implement it. 

Historically, mothers and caregivers have protected and nurtured the young and the most vulnerable in society. Our role continues today as we speak out to protect and preserve the lives of our children and of all children across our planet, our only home.

Elizabeth Cripps, Senior Lecturer in Political Theory, author of Parenting on Earth: A philosopher’s guide to doing right by your kids – and everyone else, and mother of two from Edinburgh said:  “If our children’s overall future is threatened and we are just focusing on what we can do as individuals, we are effectively reading bedtime stories in a house that’s burning down. We need collective change.”

Mothers Rebellion is an international grassroots organisation made up of mothers, daughters, sisters, nieces, aunties, grandmothers, and their allies. 

Be a part of their next action

The post Mothers Rebellion Circles highlight World Children’s Day across UK appeared first on Extinction Rebellion UK.

Categories: B4. Radical Ecology

Jury finds women who broke HSBC windows ‘not guilty’

Thu, 11/16/2023 - 04:50

Email: press@extinctionrebellion.uk | Phone:   +44(0)7756136396

Media assets: Trial prepping photos | Action photos

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In a decision which vindicates the actions of nine women who broke the windows of Europe’s second largest investor in fossil fuels, HSBC, a jury at Southwark Crown Court today returned a verdict of ‘not guilty’ after just two hours deliberating.

Celebrated British fashion designer Stella McCartney CBE, who designed the clothing for Team GB in the London 2012 Olympics, dressed the HSBC 9 women for court, lending them shirts, blazers and suits to wear during the trial. 

The nine defendants included, 23 year-old recent graduate Jessica Agar, 32 year-old journalist Holly (Blyth) Brentnall, 71 year-old grandmother and former candidate for London Mayor Valerie Brown, 30 year-old community organiser Eleanor (Gully) Bujak, 40 year-old Extinction Rebellion co-founder and associate lecturer in sustainable fashion at Central Saint Martins, Clare Farrell, 25 year-old musician and nanny Miriam Instone, 47 year-old mother and retired school nurse Tracey Mallaghan, 65 year-old grandmother and retired community care worker Susan Reid and 41 year-old former fashion designer Samantha Smithson. 

The verdict came after a three week trial, where just over half a million pounds worth of damage by the nine women was set against the £80 billion of fossil fuels investments by HSBC in the five years following the Paris Climate Agreement, when over 195 nations pledged to keep global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees. [1]

The jury made several requests for further information during the course of the trial, including for an explanation of the Paris Climate Agreement, information on what the British Government has done to address the climate crisis and an explanation of how HSBC was able to come up with the estimated cost of the damage to the windows, just over half a million pounds, within hours of the action. 

During the course of the trial the jury heard from several character witnesses for the nine women, including Andrew Medhurst who worked for the HSBC Group for over 17 years, including as the bank’s Head of Global Markets from 2003-2005. Andrew concluded his character reference for Samantha Smithson by telling the jury: “If my daughter grows up to be like Samantha I will be very proud.”

Following the verdict Extinction Rebellion co-founder and associate lecturer in sustainable fashion at Central Saint Martins, Clare Farrell, said: “This was a trial of unusual agreement, the facts of the day were not in any dispute, and the fact that we’re on course for civilisational breakdown and climate collapse seemed strangely not to be in dispute either. It’s tragically surreal to live in times when the justice system agrees we’re totally fucked but has nothing to say about the cause, the remedy, the victims or the perpetrators. We must continue, we will.”

Following the verdict Grandmother and retired community care worker from Preston, Susan Reid, said: “I have said from the beginning that I did this to stop HSBC from killing children. Unicef estimated that over twenty thousand children are displaced each day, and that climate change is the key driver. That means that every day of our three week trial over twenty thousand children have had to pick up the things around them and leave, none of those children will be able to go home at the end of the day.”

“I have spent my life caring for the people around me and I refused to stand by while HSBC poured money into the very thing we know is causing unimaginable harm – the jury’s verdict today shows that ordinary people will not give their consent to the destructive violence of investing in fossil fuels in 2023.” [2]

The legal defences of ‘necessity, ‘protection of property’ and ‘belief in consent’ were all initially allowed by Judge Bartle, remaining in play until after the defence case had concluded and the women had given their evidence. The judge later ruled out all but ‘belief in consent’.

In her closing speech to the jury, Clare Farrell, said: The prosecutor explained yesterday how important it is that you bring your wisdom and experience into the courtroom. And then she told you to put aside your personal thoughts. She told you to disengage emotionally. 

“Maybe that’s what the Board of HSBC tell their staff to do too?

“There are many people I have known over the years who work somewhere that is not living up to the ethics they would like to see in the world but they stay, to keep their salary and pay the rent or mortgage and continue to wish that the organisation will change.

“We are trying to live honestly in a corrupted world. This is a trial of women who are not perfect, but we are all here because we are dedicated to peace and non violence, willing to make great sacrifices on behalf of others. So when you heard our character references, from mayors, bankers, teachers and the former executive director of Greenpeace and Amnesty, you can see that we have loving goals, not selfish goals.

“I believe that the staff, shareholders and customers of this corporation want the economy to continue, they’re not in business to intentionally destroy capitalism. And I have to believe that they can’t know the extent to the deadliness of the projects they fund. As one of my co defendants said, to believe that all the people in that building support killing and displacing people, would mean an awful lot of people are sociopaths and that can’t be true. 

“Ultimately my guess is that the people who work for HSBC aren’t so different from me and from you. And I don’t think any of us would do something if we knew it would cause so much death and human suffering.”

Eleanor Bujak, a 30 year-old community organiser based in Hull, said in her closing arguments: “There is evidence, plenty of evidence, that ‘consent’ exists within the very systems and structures we are trying to change. Of course it does. Because everyone, including the shareholders of banks, need a liveable planet. When these are the stakes, of course I believed they would consent to a sum of damage that, when put into context, equates to less than a penny of an average person’s salary.

“I believe in people doing the right thing. In a world in which buildings and corporations can’t feel pain, they can’t bleed or mourn. But people can. A world where it shouldn’t just be up to a handful of rich and powerful people to decide the future, it should be up to all of us.”

Notes to editors

Women in image: From back left to front right:

Susan Reid, Clare Farrell, Valerie Brown, Tracey Mallaghan, Samantha Smithson, Holly Blyth-Brentnall, Jessica Agar, Miriam Instone, Eleanor (Gully) Bujak.

More details in start-of-trial press release: https://extinctionrebellion.uk/2023/10/27/extinction-rebellion-women-vs-hsbc-crown-court-trial-begins-monday/

[1] Banking on Climate Chaos: Fossil Fuel Finance Report, 2021: https://www.ran.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/Banking-on-Climate-Chaos-2021.pdf
[2] Weather-related disasters led to 43.1 million displacements of children over six years: https://www.unicef.org/press-releases/weather-related-disasters-led-431-million-displacements-children-over-six-years-0#:~:text=%E2%80%9CThe%20report%20finds%20that%20on,for%20the%20past%20six%20years

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 | Support our work
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 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.

The post Jury finds women who broke HSBC windows ‘not guilty’ appeared first on Extinction Rebellion UK.

Categories: B4. Radical Ecology

‘Ceasefire now!’ Extinction Rebellion protest inside Parliament to demand peace in Gaza

Wed, 11/15/2023 - 05:32

Email:    press@extinctionrebellion.uk
Phone:   +44(0)7756136396

Please contact the press team for pictures.

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Extinction Rebellion (XR) activists staged a protest in the House of Commons today to demand that our political leaders call for an immediate ceasefire.

At 14:15 today XR activists stood up in the gallery above the chamber and unfurled banners emblazoned with the message: ‘CEASEFIRE NOW’.

The action was timed to coincide with a Parliamentary debate on the King’s Speech, where amendments from SNP and Labour back-benchers were expected to be debated calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and an end to the Israel Defence Forces bombardment of 2.2m Palestinians trapped in the area. [1]

One of the protestors, Miranda, a mother of two young children, said: 

Every day that goes by without a ceasefire more innocent people die, many of them children with their whole lives ahead of them. It breaks my heart. Our government is complicit in these atrocities, through the provision of arms and diplomatic cover. It must stop. We must do what we can to demand a ceasefire and facilitate a just peace.

The action’s aim was to highlight the urgent need for views of the public to be represented in the debate, which are currently being ignored. Polling shows 76% of the public want to see an immediate ceasefire [2], yet the government and the opposition continue to reject these calls and enable the Israeli government to inflict the war crime of collective punishment on the people of Gaza. This is not democracy in action. 

One of the XR protesters, Yaz Ashmawi, explained why they felt they had to take this action: 

“The UK has historically been instrumental in the suppression of Palestinian human rights and continues to offer unwavering support for the military onslaught we are seeing now – both diplomatically and through arms sales. It is part of the same system that is at the root of the accelerating climate and nature emergency: a system of inequality, violence and exploitation. We cannot begin to secure a just and liveable future without an end to systems of violence and oppression all around the world, and the liberation of all indigenous people.”

Over the weekend, XR Families gathered in Trafalgar Square to demand a ceasefire and read out the names of all the children killed in Gaza and Israel. Parents and children laid out hundreds of baby shoes in Trafalgar Square to represent all the young lives tragically lost. [3]

Today, XR spokesperson Rosie Merrifield said:

Parliament must today demand that the government calls for an immediate ceasefire and commits to back an internationally-arbitrated resolution which ensures the absolute protection of human rights for all, and lasting safety and peace for the Palestinian and Israeli people.”

Notes to editors:

Full statement from Extinction Rebellion UK on Palestine:
https://extinctionrebellion.uk/2023/11/03/extinction-rebellion-uk-statement-on-palestine-israel-conflict 

  1. Ceasefire amendment debate:  https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-67421556
  2. YouGov polling: https://yougov.co.uk/topics/travel/survey-results/daily/2023/10/19/e363e/1 
  3. XR Families empty shoes  action: https://extinctionrebellion.uk/2023/11/11/empty-shoes-for-lost-lives-extinction-rebellions-heartbreak-plea-for-a-ceasefire-in-gaza/

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 | Support our work
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 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.

The post ‘Ceasefire now!’ Extinction Rebellion protest inside Parliament to demand peace in Gaza appeared first on Extinction Rebellion UK.

Categories: B4. Radical Ecology

Don’t Pay for Dirty Water campaign vows to get ten thousand to boycott water bills

Tue, 11/14/2023 - 23:11

Email: press@extinctionrebellion.uk

Phone: +447791737093

Don’t Pay for Dirty Water Campaign contacts:
Caz: 07540 997717
Rob: 07717 474456

Images and videos: https://tinyurl.com/3p25k79s

Bill payers’ boycott targets all major water companies and demands they fast-track infrastructure upgrade and stop dumping raw sewage in seas and rivers

A new campaign calling for ten thousand people to stop paying their wastewater bills, to force companies to end the practice of pouring 11 billion litres of raw sewage every year into UK rivers and seas, is being launched today (15 November) by Extinction Rebellion and local water action groups.

The Don’t Pay for Dirty Water campaign, which targets all of the major water companies, kicked off with a splash, with campaigners swimming beneath the sewage outflow into the River Roding in East London.

The organisers vow to sign up at least ten thousand people to withhold the wastewater or sewerage part of their water bill. By collectively withholding millions of pounds, the boycotters hope to pressure water companies and the government to fast-track infrastructure upgrades and stop diverting ordinary billpayers’ money into massive profits for shareholders while billpayers’ local waterways are poisoned.

Seventeen water companies in England & Wales paid out more than £1.4bn to shareholders in 2022/23. Meanwhile, just one company, Thames Water, dumps nearly 10,000 Olympic swimming pools of untreated sewage into waterways every year and recently announced plans to lay off 300 workers.

Caz Dennett, 52, a research director from Weymouth, who is one of the boycotters, said: “It is a total rip-off to keep paying for a service you aren’t getting. Raw sewage was pumped into seas and rivers in England and Wales 825 times every day in 2022. Meanwhile in the same year water company shareholders made £965m. Enough is enough. The sewage isn’t being dealt with properly so I’ve stopped paying for that part of my bill.”

“More than 200 people that I know of are already boycotting their sewerage bills. This campaign connects boycotters, makes it safer for individuals and more impactful overall.

“If 10,000 people boycott their bills, it will cost the companies millions in just a few months and they will start listening because money is the only language they understand. Together we have power and remember, legally they can’t cut off your water. If you are sick of sewage destroying ecosystems, join thousands taking a stand around the country.”

A step-by-step process to make the boycott process as safe as possible is laid out on the Don’t Pay For Dirty Water page of the Extinction Rebellion UK website, which includes template letters addressed to regulators and advice as well as a counter that goes up as new people sign on.

Matt Hempstock, 49, a watersports enthusiast and public servant from Bristol, is suffering long-term health problems caused by the level of pollution in the River Avon.

He said: “I was kayaking on the River Avon in Bristol when a scratch on my leg became infected by the river’s polluted water, causing severe cellulitis. I ended up in hospital where I was at risk of amputation and could have died, as the cellulitis was progressing into sepsis.”

“I now suffer from recurring bouts of cellulitis and have to carry antibiotics and wear a compression sock to protect against cuts to my left leg – which is now much bigger than my right leg.”

He added: “How can water companies be allowed to continue to pump raw sewage into our rivers and seas when they are clearly endangering human lives, destroying ecosystems and wrecking the tourism economy? This has to stop.

“Beaches have closed across the UK, and people have become sick from rivers. This country needs to start putting people and nature before profits. Don’t pay for dirty water.”

A UK Environmental Audit Committee report states that “a ‘chemical cocktail’ of sewage, agricultural waste, plastic and persistent chemicals is polluting rivers.” It goes on to say that “The prevalence of plastic pollution, the presence of persistent chemicals and spread of antimicrobial resistant pathogens in rivers in England are all issues of grave concern. Not a single river in England has received a clean bill of health for chemical contamination.”

According to an Oxford University study, the targets of the 2022 report are unlikely to be met by current company policies and the regulator, Ofwat.

Katy Colley & Julie Wassmer, spokespersons for boycottwaterbills.com said: ‘We’re thrilled that XR is following in the footsteps of Boycott Water Bills, a website launched in June this year with information and advice gained from those of us who have been withholding payment for up to two years or more.

“The response has been astonishing with dissatisfied customers contacting us from all over the UK and we can report that 10 out of the 11 water companies in England and Wales are being boycotted for their inadequate wastewater treatment services. With a regulatory system not fit for purpose we see no other way to hold water companies to account.”

Don’t Pay for Dirty Water Campaign contacts:
Caz: 07540 997717
Rob: 07717 474456

Notes to Editors:

Don’t Pay for Dirty Water

Boycott Water Bills

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Categories: B4. Radical Ecology

Empty shoes for lost lives: Extinction Rebellion’s heartbreak plea for a ceasefire in Gaza

Sat, 11/11/2023 - 03:14

Media Contact: XR Press Team; 07791 737093
XR Families Media Team: Julie and Alexia: extinctionrebellionfamilies@gmail.com

UK Photos/Videos (Credit: Extinction Rebellion Families)

Images: https://tinyurl.com/t4ad3nhy

XR parents place hundreds of childrens’ shoes in Trafalgar Square and call for immediate ceasefire

In a moving ceremony in London’s Trafalgar Square today (Saturday), parents from Extinction Rebellion placed hundreds of empty childrens’ shoes at the world-famous landmark to represent all the young Israeli and Palestinian lives lost in the ongoing fighting.

At 10am, a series of activists from XR Families solemnly read out the names of all 4100 Palestinian children killed by Israeli attacks on Gaza and of the 26 Israeli children killed by Hamas attacks on Israel. Other parents placed sheets of paper listing the names of the dead next to the rows of empty shoes.

A moment of silence was held at 11am in their memory, and to mourn all innocent children killed in armed conflicts.

Julie, a mother from XR Families said: “We are calling for an immediate ceasefire. As UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said: ‘Gaza is becoming a graveyard for children.’ As parents with children of our own, we say that the violence must stop now.”

“The empty shoes are a symbol of the absence of the thousands of children who have been the innocent victims of this war, representing all the young lives that have been cut short, unfulfilled.”

Jilly, a grandmother who took part in the action, said: “I look at my healthy, happy children and grandchildren and feel such anguish for the families whose children have been killed in Gaza and Israel.”

Alexia, mother of two added: “Looking at those empty shoes and reading the names of the thousands of children that have been killed in Gaza, makes my heart bleed – it could be my children. Our politicians are once again showing their lack of humanity.

“It is unbelievable that neither Conservative nor Labour leaders have asked for a ceasefire when the level of killing has been so indiscriminate – It is deeply hypocritical to commemorate Remembrance Day whilst we are allowing a genocide to happen In Gaza.”

XR Families has previously highlighted the link between climate breakdown and wars, in a vicious circle of destruction that harms people and the planet.

Countries at war are less able to cope with the effects of climate change because their ability to adapt is undermined by internal divisions or ongoing violence. Climate change can also inflame existing tensions over access to diminishing necessities.[1]

According to the INFORM Risk index published by the European Commission, the Palestinian Territories are among the 25 regions most vulnerable to climate change. In January 2022, intense floods in Gaza damaged hundreds of buildings and put entire drainage systems out of commission, forcing people out of their homes.

If an extreme weather event hit the area now, when access to basic needs is impossibly restricted, its local population would not have the means to cope.

The long-lasting occupation and blockade mean people in Gaza have more limited means than in other environments, and are being denied the right to manage their land and resources, making them more vulnerable to climate-related events.[2]

In a statement on the Palestine/ Israel war released on 3rd November, Extinction Rebellion UK said:

“The future we are fighting for is one free from violent systems of oppression that deem certain lives as expendable or less worthy of protection.

“If we believe in climate and ecological justice, we must seek justice in all forms. The climate and ecological emergency has roots in centuries of colonial violence, exploitation and oppression – for which the UK bears a disproportionate share of responsibility.

“Britain has historically been instrumental in the ruthless suppression of Palestinian human rights and continues to offer unwavering support for the military onslaught we’re seeing now.”

Note to editors:

Full statement from Extinction Rebellion UK
https://extinctionrebellion.uk/2023/11/03/extinction-rebellion-uk-statement-on-palestine-israel-conflict/

[1] When conflict meets climate change, in Gaza and beyond, France 24
https://www.france24.com/en/middle-east/20231024-when-conflict-meets-climate-change-in-gaza-and-beyond

[2] Interwoven struggles: The green paradox meets the Palestine paradox
https://www.aljazeera.com/opinions/2023/10/5/interwoven-struggles-the-green-paradox-meets-the-palestine-paradox

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Categories: B4. Radical Ecology

Climate activists demand insurers Chubb and AIG rule out underwriting fossil fuel projects in Africa

Fri, 11/10/2023 - 08:58

Underwriting fossil fuel projects in Africa is a risky business that threatens the rainforest, human rights and insurers’ reputations, climate activists warn AIG and Chubb

A coalition of activists took a “RISKOMETER” to the doors of Chubb and AIG Insurers today (10th November) to demonstrate the hazards of insuring oil and gas projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) jeopardising company reputations, people and the planet.

Announcing their arrival with drums and smoke flares, protesters came from Extinction Rebellion, Money Rebellion, Stop Eacop UK and Tipping Point UK to demand insurers take their hands off Africa.

The sale of 30 oil and gas blocks in the Democratic Republic of Congo is a threat to human rights, biodiversity and is a “climate bomb” being set to explode in the heart of the world’s most important carbon sink. Insurers underwriting fossil fuel projects in these blocks, and the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline through which oil would flow from DRC, would be knowingly complicit in the destruction of life on Earth.

As the recent Greenpeace Africa Report, entitled “Blood Oil”, warns: “All insurance and reinsurance companies should consider the risks that this auction poses to human rights, nature and biodiversity, and climate, as well as the political and security concerns … The sector must fully align with the Paris Agreement and basic human rights standards and make its policies public and explicit about this.”

Pascal Mirindi, Extinction Rebellion Goma University, DRC, said: “Financing the exploitation of Congolese oil and gas resources is like financing an armed rebellion, because gas exploitation not only endangers the ecosystem but also mortgages the future of generations to come. The oil blocks are located in protected areas such as the Virunga and Upemba National Parks, two jewels of ecological stability.”

Virunga is a globally important biodiversity hotspot, the first national park in Africa, created in 1925. It is the only protected area in the world that is home to three species of great ape, our closest human relatives: Endangered Mountain Gorillas; the critically endangered Grauer’s Gorillas and Chimpanzees. 

She added: “If you really want to help the Congo and the Congolese people, please help us by calling on the international community to remember the millions of children who live in camps for the displaced with no certainty that tomorrow they will be able to go to school and not come to finance mafia projects such as the exploitation of protected areas.”

A recent investigation by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and Reuters revealed that DRC’s oil and gas block auction “has been plagued with apparent preferential treatment and backroom deals.” Allegations of rigging have been made about a company run from a residential address in Calgary, Canada which has won the rights to extract gas from Lake Kivu; a lake known as a “killer lake” as it contains vast amounts of gases that threaten to explode into the air if improperly managed. These are murky waters for the conduct of any reputable corporation to navigate.

A long history of colonialism with the exploitation of natural resources has left the DRC as one of the financially poorest nations with continued conflict and human rights abuses. The misappropriation of wealth has created $11 billion of official Congolese debt which is matched by a ‘Dark Debt’; loans raised against future resource production, or oil backed loans. Cancelling this debt burden could enable the DRC to move towards a meaningful and just transition from fossil fuel use and millions could be lifted out of poverty. 

Vanessa Nakate, Ugandan Activist said: “When African people get to choose, we choose renewables.”

Fossil fuels are uninsurable when the rights of people and nature are taken into account and a letter outlining the risks was delivered to the CEO’s of Chubb and AIG for their information. Climate change is real, the continued burning of oil, gas and coal is causing Earth’s systems to breakdown. This is creating a growing chaos with those who are the least responsible the hardest hit. Chubb and AIG must RULE OUT DR Congo oil and gas blocks.

This protest takes place on the 28th anniversary of the unjust execution of Ken Saro-wiwa and the Ogoni 9. We remember them.

“I’ll tell you this, I may be dead but my ideas will not die.”
Ken Saro-Wiwa.  Writing from prison, Nigeria 1995

For further information contact press@extinctionrebellion.uk

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Categories: B4. Radical Ecology

XR occupies Daily Telegraph offices

Fri, 11/10/2023 - 08:14

Press Release

For immediate release

Contact: XR UK Press Team +44 (0)7756 136396

press@extinctionrebellion.uk

Extinction Rebellion ‘Stop Selling Lies’ campaigners occupy Daily Telegraph newspaper office

Extinction Rebellion today (10 November) peacefully occupied the offices of the Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph newspapers to protest about their campaign of lies and disinformation aimed at stopping urgent action to tackle the accelerating climate crisis.

Eight XR activists with a giant banner saying ‘Stop Selling Lies’ entered the lobby of Telegraph newspapers HQ in Victoria, London, at 8am, defying security guards ordering them to leave. 

For 40 minutes, they occupied the lobby, handing out 400 leaflets to arriving staff and members of the public that called out a relentless daily campaign by the billionaire-owned Telegraph to the UK’s commitment to reach Net Zero by 2050.

Ed Allnutt, 32, a gardener and one of the XR team, says: ‘‘The Telegraph pretends to be a newspaper. It’s really a propaganda unit for the very rich that promotes a deadly form of Business As Usual that will kill billions of us by making the worst case climate crisis scenarios into a reality.

“Every day it spouts disinformation to convince its influential readers –  including many of our political, financial and business leaders – that the climate and ecological emergency is either not real or not serious and easily solved by fantasy technologies.

“The disinformation spread by these newspapers – alongside other billionaire-owned titles such as The Sun and The Daily Mail – are one of the main reasons why millions aren’t on the streets of the UK demanding government action.

“We’re here to say to the Telegraph’s editors and journalists that their words are literally helping to kill people all over the world right now and will help kill millions more in the near future. We want to ask them: are you ok with this?’

In recent weeks, Telegraph newspapers have campaigned daily to water down the UK’s Net Zero commitments, to drill for more oil and gas, and in opposition to renewable energy, such as domestic heat pumps and wind and solar, and alternative transport such as cycling and electric vehicles.

Today’s Extinction Rebellion leaflet pointed out that 80% of the articles published in the Telegraph’s new Net Zero section negatively portray new green technologies aimed at cutting the carbon emission heating up the planet – and none are positive about them. 

‘Could it be because the Telegraph’s new energy editor previously worked for an oil and gas trade association?’ the leaflet asked.

Calling out distorted or untrue recent Telegraph climate coverage, it revealed:

  • A news story about a noisy net zero power SUB station failed to say the noise levels WERE largely caused by construction work and traffic building it.
  • A news story claiming that heat pumps won’t work in British homes failed to say that 75% of people who own them are satisfied or very satisfied. (1)
  • A news story claiming electric car tyres produce carcinogenic particles failed to say that SUV petrol or diesel cars produce even more, and that EVs produce far fewer particulates from brake linings than petrol or diesel cars.(2)

The Telegraph occupation was the latest action in a weekly campaign by XR to draw public attention to the climate denialism and delayism that dominates the national newspapers read by millions and owned by billionaires Rupert Murdoch (The Sun, The Times), Viscount Rothermere (Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday) and Frederick Barclay (Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph).

Every Friday for the past four weeks, XR activists have leafleted the Daily Mail’s offices in Kensington, London, to point out to the untruths, distortions and inaccuracies in their newspaper’s recent climate coverage.

For more information, to arrange interviews, or for photographs of the action, please email press@extinctionrebellion.uk or call the XR UK Press Team on +44 (0)7756 136396.

Note to editors:

Telegraph stories referenced in leaflet and data sources: 

(1) Nesta heat pump survey
https://media.nesta.org.uk/documents/Heat_pump_user_survey_report_May_2023.docx.pdf

(2) Braking systems on EVs
https://www.rac.co.uk/drive/electric-cars/running/do-electric-vehicles-produce-more-tyre-and-brake-pollution-than-petrol-and/

Telegraph stories opposing Net Zero:
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/net-zero/

Why heat pumps will never work in Britain
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/net-zero/why-heat-pumps-will-never-work-britain-gas-boiler-net-zero/

‘Highly carcinogenic’ tyre toxins give electric car drivers a nasty surprise
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/consumer-affairs/heavy-electric-cars-toxic-tyre-particles-petrol-vehicles/

 

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Categories: B4. Radical Ecology

Stop the hate action – Home Office, Marsham Street, London12 noon, Saturday 4 November 2023

Sun, 11/05/2023 - 05:52

Suella Braverman’s talk of a ‘hurricane’ of refugees coming into Britain has crossed a line. Through divisive language and actions, Braverman, the Home Secretary and Conservative MP for Fareham, has united communities to take to the streets and demand she steps down immediately #BravermanOut. 

A collective of movements and organisations is united in their demands to stop the promotion of hate on Britain’s streets and in our political offices including: the Peace and Justice Project, Drive 2 Survive, ASLEF, Care 4 Calais, Jewish Socialists’ Group, DPAC, Stand Up To Racism, Love Music Hate Racism, Homes For All UK, Queer Night Pride, Fossil Free Pride, Extinction Rebellion London, Citizenship is a Right Coalition, National Education Union, Black Lives Matter Croydon, PCS Union, GR8 Power, MENA Solidarity, and the Campaign Against Climate Change.

Social media: #refugeeswelcome

Website link: https://linktr.ee/stopbraverman 

Press and image assets: Photos here (credits: Andrea Domenicone)

dropbox.com  

STOP THE HATE ACTION – Home Office, Marsham Street, London
12 noon, Saturday 4 November 2023

Suella Braverman’s talk of a ‘hurricane’ of refugees coming into Britain has crossed a line. Through divisive language and actions, Braverman, the Home Secretary and Conservative MP for Fareham, has united communities to take to the streets and demand she steps down immediately #BravermanOut. 

A collective of movements and organisations is united in their demands to stop the promotion of hate on Britain’s streets and in our political offices including: the Peace and Justice Project, Drive 2 Survive, ASLEF, Care 4 Calais, Jewish Socialists’ Group, DPAC, Stand Up To Racism, Love Music Hate Racism, Homes For All UK, Queer Night Pride, Fossil Free Pride, Extinction Rebellion London, Citizenship is a Right Coalition, National Education Union, Black Lives Matter Croydon, PCS Union, GR8 Power, MENA Solidarity, and the Campaign Against Climate Change. 

The demands of the protest include: 

  • Braverman steps down immediately from her position as Home Secretary #BravermanOut 
  • Incoming Home Secretary challenges injustice in the immigration and asylum system #RefugeesWelcome 

The objective of the protest is to demonstrate unity and solidarity for refugees, and a collective demand to get #BravermanOut. It’s important to note individual groups will continue to have their own demands in addition to those highlighted above. 

We have the Home Secretary using the language of the far right to attack the human rights of people fleeing the horrors of war, torture and modern slavery. 

This hateful language is not based in reality. Last year, only 7% of Europe’s asylum seekers came to the UK. This idea that the UK has an asylum problem is pure fantasy. We have a proud history of offering people sanctuary, we have done so for Ukrainians so why do we have this hateful approach towards refugees from all other countries?

The Home Secretary says opponents of her policies are weaponising the label ‘racist’. Well as the saying goes – if it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it’s probably a duck.

— Steve Smith, CEO at Care4Calais 

The organisations, movements, charities and grassroots organisations committed to attending include: 

Peace and Justice ProjectDrive 2 SurviveASLEFCare 4 CalaisJewish Socialists’ GroupDPACStand Up To RacismLove Music Hate RacismHomes For All UKQueer Night PrideFossil Free PrideExtinction Rebellion LondonCitizenship is a Right CoalitionNational Education UnionBlack Lives Matter CroydonPCS UnionGR8 PowerMENA SolidarityCampaign Against Climate Change

Why now? The government is facing legal action over a failure to provide free legal advice and representation through Legal Aid to people seeking asylum in the UK, there’s a significant increase in the number of evictions from Home Office asylum accommodation for those with refugee status and its expected to get much worse.

The government introduction of the Police, Crime, Sentencing & Courts (“Policing”) Act (April 2022) actively aims to restrict the ability to protest and lowers the bar as to what’s classed as an offence.

Braverman’s voting record has the power to unify as she:  

  • Almost always voted for a stricter asylum system
  • Generally voted against measures to prevent climate change
  • Consistently voted for mass surveillance of people’s communications and activities
  • Generally voted for stronger enforcement of immigration rules
  • Consistently voted against laws to promote equality and human rights
  • Almost always voted against a right to remain for EU nationals already in living in the UK
  • Generally voted for a reduction in spending on welfare benefits
  • Consistently voted against equal gay rights
  • Voted against same sex marriage between two people

The protest assembled at The Home Office, Marsham Street, London, 12 noon, Saturday 4 November.

Speeches took place throughout the day. The event included live music, DJ sets, workshops and speakers. 

Mark Serwotka, general secretary at PCS union says: 

‘Suella Braverman and the Tories’ rhetoric on refugees and asylum seekers only serves to stir up hatred and division. We must unite to ensure people escaping oppression and torture in other countries are offered safe and legal access to claim asylum in the UK without resort to the dangerous Channel crossing and exploitation by people smuggling gangs.’

David Rosenberg from Jewish Socialists’ Group says:

‘As a grandchild of Jewish migrants and refugees from Eastern Europe fortunate to get into this country in the early 1900s, when Britain’s first Hostile Environment was being built, I stand in unity and total solidarity with all who face today’s even more draconian Hostile Environment towards refugees, and face the same barrage of hate from the media.

Politicians who promote these laws, and the newspaper publishers who spread hostility, have blood on their hands. No human being is illegal!

Our organisation fights for a world where everyone has the right to cross borders when they need to and when they wish to, and a world where no one feels they have to flee for their safety, freedom and human rights!

We are proud to be part of the protest actions at the Home Office on 4 November.’

Louise Regan, National Education Union Executive Member and chair of International Committee says: 

‘The NEU has a long and proud history of standing in solidarity with refugees. We are completely opposed to the government’s current rhetoric. When Suella Braverman talked about a ‘hurricane’ of refugees coming into Britain she crossed a line. 

This is the kind of language which stirs up hatred, fear and division. This language gives a green light to the racists and far right within our communities to attack those people who are entitled under international law to seek asylum in our country.

We have no trust in a government which seeks to divide us and which seeks to blame those seeking sanctuary here for the failings of this government.

The NEU urges all members to attend the protest in London and where they are not able to get to London to hold local events standing in solidarity with refugees.

The NEU is committed to supporting all those seeking sanctuary here and for the government to ensure there is safe passage for all refugees.’

Samuel Sweek from Peace & Justice Project says:

‘For over 13 years, the government has pushed through some of the most hateful, divisive and racist policies with the aim of dividing our communities and whip up fear to peddle their agenda.

But we are coming together, united against the murderous anti-refugee policies, racism, homophobia, transphobia and hate that Suella Braverman sows.

Our communities will not be divided — and we will never give up in our fight for a world of peace, social justice and sanctuary for all.’

Steff from Fossil Free Pride says: 

‘The government are limiting our freedoms and purposely sowing division and hate. As queer people, we’re used to this and will stand united with migrants, Palestinians, protesters and all who face growing attacks from this government. We need a strong, dynamic movement that’s capable of fighting back and cutting through this mass conservative psychology. This means queer liberation goes hand-in-hand with the abolition of borders. Queer refugees and asylum seekers, like all refugees and asylum seekers, like all people, have a right to be here. They have a right to claim asylum. They have a right to freedom of movement.’

Alex Considine from Extinction Rebellion London says: 

‘Climate breakdown will lead to hunger, water shortages, conflict and displacement of millions. Instead of waging culture wars on refugees and closing borders, the UK should take responsibility for the damage caused by its historical and ongoing contributions to climate change. New fossil fuel projects like the Rosebank oilfield in the North Sea will have catastrophic impacts on those who have done least to cause climate change and and are least protected from its effects. We need to stop the hateful rhetoric coming from Suella Braverman and take radical action on the climate and ecological crises.’

Samira Ali from Stand Up to Racism says: 

‘As the Tories lurch ever to the right, Suella Bravermans two speeches in Washington and at Tory Party conference, have crossed a line. They saw her echoing the far right Great Replacement Theory and calling to rip up human rights conventions – rhetoric that gives confidence to the far right and fascists across Britain. It is time to unite anti-racists and all those who oppose the hateful rhetoric to say Braverman has to go. We will not sit back and watch Braverman’s speeches become the new normal. We will not give in to Tory lies, scapegoating and division. Refugees are welcome here.’

Alex Losardo from Love Music Hate Racism says: 

‘Love Music Hate Racism brings communities together through the power of music. Our message is simple, there is more that unites us than divides us; and nothing demonstrates this more than music.’

Claire James, campaigns coordinator at Campaign Against Climate Change says: 

‘Suella Braverman may consider meeting our international obligations to refugees as a ‘luxury belief’ or a sign of being ‘far too squeamish about being smeared as racist’. But this is one of the most basic requirements for a civilised country. In this age of climate breakdown, our only hope of averting catastrophe is through internationalism, compassion, and for rich nations to face up to their responsibilities, not shamefully evade them. A government that fails on every one of these is not fit for purpose.’

NOTES TO EDITORS

Social media: #refugeeswelcome

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Categories: B4. Radical Ecology

Activists block Farnborough Airport to protest plans to double private jet flights

Sat, 11/04/2023 - 05:03

Climate activists and local residents joined forces to block access to Farnborough Airport this morning (4 November) to protest against the proposed expansion of the airport which will almost double the number of private jet flights to 70,000 a year, in a move which blatantly ignores the climate crisis.

Activists are blockading the main entrance to the airport with banners proclaiming “FLYING TO EXTINCTION” “PRIVATE FLIGHTS = PUBLIC DEATHS” “STOP PRIVATE FLIGHTS” “PRIVATE FLIGHTS COST THE EARTH” “QUAKERS FOR CLIMATE JUSTICE” and “CLIMATE EMERGENCY”.

Protestors are releasing smoke flares, chanting slogans and engaging with members of the public, whilst accompanied by the XR Rebel Rhythms band of drummers.

The demonstration includes campaigners from Extinction Rebellion (XR) Waverley and Borders, who have joined forces with Farnborough Noise campaign group, Blackwater Valley Friends of the Earth, Alton Climate Action Network, a representative of Surrey and Hampshire Borders Quakers and local residents, to voice their opposition to the plans.

The protest follows a consultation period on Farnborough Airport’s expansion plans which ended on 18 October and which has drawn fierce opposition from local residents and environmental campaigners.

The proposals include doubling the airport’s annual weekend flight limit from 8,900 to 18,900 flights and upping its annual flight limit by 71% from 50,000 to 70,000 flights.

The 33,120 private flights to and from Farnborough Airport last year carried an average of just 2.5 passengers per flight, with each passenger responsible for the emission of nine times as much carbon as an economy flight to the US and 20 times that to Spain. Currently 40% of flights to and from the airport are empty.

Private aviation significantly contributes to climate change due to its high carbon emissions. Flying in a private jet is the most inefficient and most carbon-intensive mode of transport.

Private jets are 10 times more carbon intensive than a normal airliner and 50 times worse than trains, with a four-hour private flight emitting as much as the average person does in a year, according to research by environmental campaign group Transport & Environment.

At a time when we must drastically reduce our carbon emissions and dependence on fossil fuels, Farnborough Airport owner Macquarie is blatantly ignoring the science and is complicit in the unfolding climate crisis.

Rieks Drijver, aged 61, Milford, Surrey says: “I am protesting at Farnborough Airport because flying in private jets is probably the most wasteful form of transport. Most people are unaware that only around 10% of the global population flies. It’s a privilege of wealthy people and yet the worst climate impacts are felt by people who never fly. Flying in private jets is worse.”

He adds: “It’s unbelievably selfish and arrogant for anyone to think that they can squander so much of our global carbon budget on flights.  At the consultations held on plans to increase the number of flights at Farnborough, it was clear that many people are angry about the use of private jets. We should all be outraged that anyone can think flying in a private jet is justifiable. Because I am outraged, I’m taking a stand with those who feel the same. I am also hopeful, precisely because so many people feel the same.”

Nancy Clarke, aged 60, a gardener from Medstead, Hampshire, says: “I’m here at Farnborough airport to protest against private jets. Shall I state the obvious? The planet cannot take any more CO2 emissions and private jets, used by the very wealthy, celebrities and royals, emit grotesque amounts of climate wrecking carbon dioxide and other pollutants. Aviation fuel is not even taxed. Many of these planes fly empty. It must stop.”

Jules Crossley, aged 58, from Aldershot, says: “The airport exclusively serves ultra-wealthy people who are private jet users; the most carbon-intensive method of travelling. There is no business justification for expanding the number of yearly flights, which will have a direct impact on local residents in terms of air and noise pollution; especially at weekends when the airport want to more than double the number of flights. We hope that local people will come and join us between 10am and 12, to show the airport operators how much opposition there is to their plans and how reckless it is when we are in the middle to a climate crisis.”

Julia Longrigg, aged 55, a Quaker from Farnborough adds: “I’m here because as a Quaker, I feel the spiritual crisis is folding into the ecological crisis and the ecological crisis is folding into the economic crisis. I believe challenging market economics (such as the Farnborough Airports proposals) with a sense of the goodness of God in creation is to join a spiritual struggle.”

Farnborough Airport is owned by Macquarie Group Limited, an Australian financial services group headquartered and listed in Australia. It is the world’s largest infrastructure asset manager – owning UK assets including Thames Water and now Southern Water.

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Categories: B4. Radical Ecology

Extinction Rebellion UK Statement on Palestine

Fri, 11/03/2023 - 08:39

In Extinction Rebellion we believe in nonviolence: standing against violence in the name of justice. We are horrified by the atrocities committed on October 7th, and the rapidly escalating violence and humanitarian crisis inflicted on the people of Gaza. We are not willing to remain silent in the face of the total failure of the UK political establishment to show humanity in the face of unimaginable destruction and killing. 

The future we are fighting for is one free from violent systems of oppression that deem certain lives as expendable or less worthy of protection.

If we believe in climate and ecological justice, we must seek justice in all forms. The climate and ecological emergency has roots in centuries of colonial violence, exploitation and oppression – for which the UK bears a disproportionate share of responsibility. Britain has historically been instrumental in the ruthless suppression of Palestinian human rights and continues to offer unwavering support for the military onslaught we’re seeing now.

The collective punishment being imposed on innocent civilians in Gaza is a war crime that the UK Government and official opposition continue to enable in their refusal to call for a ceasefire — the only pathway to safety and peace for both Palestinians and Israelis. 

Our political leaders continue to show a total disregard for the preservation of human life, and are all too ready to accept enormous destruction and loss as an inevitable side-effect of the policies they endorse in the name of power and profit. 

We stand in rebellion against the UK government for their failure to protect life. 

We join the urgent calls on the UK government and opposition leaders to demand an immediate ceasefire and to facilitate a peaceful resolution that preserves civilian life and ensures the safe return of hostages.

Polling shows that 76% of Britons say there should be an immediate ceasefire in the Holy Land. Our government continues to ignore the will of the overwhelming majority of the public. In light of this, continued mass mobilisation is our only recourse. 

As we resist, we call for nonviolence and unity in our communities, and support for our Jewish and Muslim brothers, sisters, and siblings in the UK who face the increasing threat of anti-Semitic and Islamophobic attacks.   

We condemn the continued crackdown on peaceful protest and the dangerous smearing of people mobilising to demand peace. The dangerous rhetoric driven by those exploiting the crisis to further extremist ideologies – including our political leaders – serves to stoke more division and persecution in our communities.

We cannot begin to secure a just future without an end to systems of violence and oppression all around the world, and the liberation of all indigenous people. We must extend our compassion and humanity to all life suffering under conditions of war, occupation or forced displacement: in Sudan, DR Congo, Yemen, Myanmar, Ukraine, Palestine and many more places across the world. 

Only a just peace can secure a liveable future. 

CEASE FIRE NOW

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Categories: B4. Radical Ecology

Health professionals occupy road with ‘die-in’ and issue demands to Oil & Money summit delegates

Thu, 10/19/2023 - 01:19

Over 60 health professionals joined hundreds of protesters this morning outside the Energy Intelligence forum – the recently rebranded ‘Oil and Money’ conference – which is the largest annual gathering of oil companies and their backers.

Health for Extinction Rebellion members risked arrest by holding a ‘die-in’ and ‘climate inquest’ in the middle of the road outside the conference centre. They also delivered an open letter to the conference organisers and delegates, calling them out for their central role in the climate crisis, and demanding immediate mitigating actions. “We wish to make it clear that we understand and condemn the continuing deliberate complicity of the energy sector in this humanitarian disaster,” they wrote.

The physicians, surgeons, GPs, nurses, physiotherapists and psychologists traveled from across the UK for today’s action. 14 of them lay themselves, shrouded, in military hospital style. Other health professionals circled amongst them, tending their ‘fallen’ colleagues, and laying headstones indicating the climate health impact each represented. A mock inquest was then held, in which health-workers gave testimony on the deaths already caused by the planetary emergency. These included among others, the 6 million deaths every year resulting from air pollution (Fuller, 2020), the 5 million deaths globally each year from extreme temperatures (Zhoa. 2021),  and the 43,000 who died from the climate-change associated drought and famine in Somalia last year (WHO/Unicef, 2021).

At the conference, leaders from companies such as Equinor (the company responsible for developing the proposed UK Rosebank oil-field), Shell and Total will be schmoozing together and planning yet more fossil fuel extraction, while telling the world they are committed to a green energy transition.  

New extraction goes against the explicit warning of the International Energy Agency (IEA, 2021) and the United Nations (UN news, 2022), yet politicians, lawyers and financiers continue to support a fossil fuel industry that has known for decades that fossil fuels cause deadly global warming (Scientific American, 2015). To emphasize this complicity, health workers today also held ‘Cigarette-style’ Health warnings, and a Banner reading ‘Fossil Fuels Kill’. The action sought to draw a direct parallel with the Tobacco industry which was complicit in 100,000’s if not millions of deaths, by knowingly misleading the public around the health impacts of smoking. 

Despite the bleak reality of the climate crisis, the action also emphasized the numerous potential benefits for human health of climate action (The Health Foundation, 2023), and the need to galvanize mass support for the appropriate action needed to safeguard a healthy future.

This is the latest in a series of actions by Health for Extinction Rebellion highlighting the health impacts of the financial and political decisions that are driving the climate and ecological emergency.

Quotes from participating Health workers:

“During the August heatwave of 2022 my father suffered a heart attack and died the following week. He had chronic physical health problems and like many of the most vulnerable in our society could not manage the extreme heat that climate change is bringing to us. This is not a problem of the future. It is a health catastrophe that we are living through right now”. Dr Jethro Purkis Specialty Doctor Bristol 

“Governments and companies that continue to finance and license new coal, oil and gas are doing so at the expense of their citizens. Fossil fuels are the drivers of deadly climate change and air pollution in our communities. This is an industry that has delayed and denied climate change for decades in the name of greed, putting profit above all else, and from a health and a moral perspective it’s beyond time to shut it down” Dr Juliette Brown, Consultant Psychiatrist

“I am here demonstrating for my pregnant patients, for the new mums and for their babies that I see on a daily basis, I am also here for my own children to say that the fossil fuel companies are destroying any chance of our children being able to live any sort of “normal” future.  That the burning of fossil fuels have caused irreversible damage to our planet and that we need companies to stop all new fossil fuel exploration and to start being world leaders in green energy.  It is possible, we just need them to start putting the planet and people before profit”. Charlotte Francis. Perinatal Pelvic Health Specialist Physiotherapist

“I am a retired GP and  to my last breath I will endeavour to spread the scientific truths which the powers-that-be try so desperately to conceal from the public. I will always denounce the greed and self-interest borne of their grotesque worship of money which has clearly eaten away at their consciences, even their very humanity, to the extent that they are apparently unable to relate to the  enormous suffering already in the southern hemisphere, let alone envisage the horrors ahead if they continue their love-affair with Fossil Fuels”. Dr Valerie Davies,  Retired General Practitioner

Spokesperson Contacts:

Ali Rowe – 07901 916489

Dr Hilary Neve – 07970 558096

Dr Juliette Brown – 07535 530546

Links to action media:

https://show.pics.io/xr-global-media-breaking-news/search?collectionIds=652bbfb43b1984640d6c23de

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1ADhYYcvdchZtS096GbLX7KPNDPcMRWHV?usp=sharing 

Previous protests by HXR: https://healthforxr.com/news/ 

References:

Fuller R, Landrigan J et al, 2022. Pollution and health: A progress update. In: The Lancet 6/6, pp 535-547. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S2542-5196(22)00090-0 

Hall, S, 2015. Exxon Knew about Climate Change almost 40 years ago. In: Scientific American 26(10)

IEA, 2021. Net zero by 2050: A  roadmap for the international energy sector. Paris https://www.iea.org/reports/net-zero-by-2050, License: CC BY 4.0

The Health Foundation, 2023. Health and climate change: complex problems with co-benefits.Published online 10 (01). Available at: https://www.health.org.uk/publications/long-reads/health-and-climate-change-complex-problems-with-co-benefits [Accessed 11-10-2023]

UN News, 2022. Climate change: More fossil fuel investment, just ‘delusional’, warns Guterres. Published June, 2022. Available online: https://news.un.org/en/story/2022/06/1120372, [Accessed 11-10-2023]

WHO/UNICEF, 2022. From insight to action: examining mortality in Somalia. Joint report published 2022 by WHO and Unicef. Available Online: https://reliefweb.int/report/somalia/insight-action-examining-mortality-somalia [Accessed 11-10-23]

Zhao Q, Guo Y et al, 2021. Global, regional, and national burden of mortality associated with non-optimal ambient temperatures from 2000 to 2019: a three-stage modelling study. In: The Lancet Planetary Health 5/7 pp 415-425. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S2542-5196(21)00081-4 

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Categories: B4. Radical Ecology

Extinction Rebellion spoofs greenwashing PR Week Awards ceremony

Thu, 10/19/2023 - 01:00

Hypocritical public relations firms, nominated for awards at PR Week ceremony, exposed for their work with the fossil fuel industry

Extinction Rebellion disrupted the prestigious 2023 PR Week Awards, last night (18 October), holding its colourful, alternative ‘Charred Earth’ awards, to shine a light on the hypocrisy and ghastly greenwashing activities of the public relations companies that hide their work with some of the world’s worst polluters and their funders.

As those attending the PR Week Awards ceremony arrived, the activists, many in black tie, hosted a competing Charred Earth Communication Awards outside the entrance to the prestigious Park Lane’s Marriot Grosvenor House hotel, complete with their own trophies and bottles of crude oil ‘champagne’. 

They handed awards to the worst offending agencies and holding companies and distributed hundreds of copies of Clean Creative’s devastating F-List 2023 report – which lists the agencies involved.

They also appealed to those attending to ‘work their conscience’, either by whistleblowing through XR’s TruthTeller.Life site, only working for agencies that have signed Clean Creatives’ Pledge, or by working to improve their agency internally.

The protest highlighted how global communicators such as Havas, Edelmann, IPG and WPP are doing vast quantities of work defending the reputations of the most dangerous companies in the world, including Shell and Saudi Aramco, and are hugely complicit in enabling climate breakdown. None of thislucrative work for fossil fuel companies, which garners them millions of pounds in fees, has been submitted for prizes at the PR Week Awards.

The campaigners also highlighted the ridiculous, disingenuous claims of PR giants to be aiming for carbon neutrality in their own offices, while ignoring the enormous emissions of their clients, whose catastrophic products they are trying to push.

The high-profile PR Week Awards highlighted the best work of the industry, but made no mention of massive contracts with oil majors, refiners and their trade associations. 

After previous criticism, agencies now try to hide this work, deleting fossil fuel clients from their websites and even keeping details from many of their own staff.  This is after an Edelmann PR report found that up to 60% of staff would leave an ‘unethical’ firm. 

According to Ian McDermott, a former PR and now science teacher, who attended the protest: “On the one hand agencies celebrate how they’ve changed public opinion at the PR Week Awards, while simultaneously claiming that the greenwashing they do for fossil fuel companies doesn’t really make any difference, even though fossil fuel companies pay a fortune for the service.

“It’s this cognitive dissonance that is killing us.  PR contracts with fossil fuel companies and climate-destroying banks are morally indefensible and utterly destructive, and until holding companies openly refuse this work, putting their creative genius to work on the right side of history, rapid change will be delayed and the goal of preserving a habitable climate will stay out of reach.”

Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the UN, said: “The massive public relations machine [is] raking in billions to shield the fossil fuel industry from scrutiny. Just as they did for the tobacco industry decades before, lobbyists and spin doctors have spewed harmful misinformation.  Fossil fuel interests need to spend less time averting a PR disaster – and more time averting a planetary one.”

Last year, more than 450 climate scientists wrote an open letter to Edelman and fellow advertising companies WPP and IPG, urging them to cut off their work with fossil fuel clients. They wrote that these image-burnishing campaigns “represent one of the biggest barriers to the government action science shows is necessary to mitigate the ongoing climate emergency”.

The winners of this year’s Charred Earth Communication Awards are:

Maximum Filth Holding Company of the Year: WPP, for work with just about every mass-polluter on the planet, including: Saudi Aramco, Shell, ExxonMobil, BP, Chevron, Oil and Gas Climate Initiative, Equinor, Peabody Energy, Total, British Gas, Petrobras, PetroChina, Indian Oil.

Climate Gigolo Agency of the Year: Hill and Knowlton, for managing to find time to work with Saudi Aramco, Shell, ExxonMobil, Imperial Oil, Chevron and the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative, all within a single agency

Don’t Look Here Award: Havas, for nominating parts of their business for B-Corp status and an award for their work with autism, while conveniently neglecting to mention their vast new global marketing contract with Shell

Let’s Double Down on Disaster Award: IPG, for making so much money greenwashing Saudi Aramco through at least five existing agencies that they needed to start another ‘secret’ agency – Well7 – to handle all the work

Lifetime Achievement Gaslighting Award: Ogilvy, for their Personal Carbon Footprint calculator, deflecting blame for the climate crisis from their client BP

Lifetime Achievement in Shortening Lifetimes: Edelman, for decades of work for Shell, Exxon, Chevron, American Fuel & Petrochemicals Manufacturers, National Mining Association, TransCanada and Task Force on Shale Gas amongst others.

For further information contact: press@extinctionrebellion.uk

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Categories: B4. Radical Ecology

OCCUPIED! Protesters occupy City Of London insurers’ offices demanding they reject climate-wrecking projects in UK and Africa

Wed, 10/18/2023 - 05:18

Email: press@extinctionrebellion.uk   

Phone: +44(0)7756 136396

Early photo and video drop: 

https://tinyurl.com/44w54d5j

High Resolution Press Assets:

https://tinyurl.com/ymtf5fxp

Livestream available and available afterwards
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1ExhXVlz-o

Ten City of London insurance companies are targeted by activists calling on them to stop insuring West Cumbia coalmine and East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline NOW!

Hundreds of protesters are today (18th October) occupying the plush City of London offices of ten Lloyd’s of London insurers demanding they rule out insuring the proposed West Cumbria coal mine and the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP).

The occupations started as a huge crowd gathered outside Standard Bank. The protests are in collaboration with Fossil Free London’s “Oily Money Out” mass action – at which Greta Thunberg was arrested yesterday – and in solidarity with Extinction Rebellion Gauteng in South Africa.  In Johannesburg activists were recently met with brutality by security personnel hired by Standard Bank as they peacefully called for dialogue to end the financing of new coal projects [1].

The protesters marched waving banners saying “Don’t Insure EACOP” and “Don’t Insure West Cumbria Mine” to three high profile buildings including the “Walkie Talkie”(pictured) where in a coordinated swoop, activists are causing disruption in the office foyers of Ascot, Talbot, Chaucer, Markel, Allied World, CNA Hardy, Tokio Marine Kiln, Sirius International and Lancashire Syndicates. The activists are staging a sit-in and refusing to leave.

Insurers from Lloyd’s of London have come under increasing pressure to rule out offering insurance to both the West Cumbria coal mine and EACOP [2], including protests at offices across the UK with hundreds of students entering the job market refusing to work for them.

Claude Fourcroy, a spokesperson for Money Rebellion said: “We are calling on all the banks and insurers behind the West Cumbria mine and East Africa Crude Oil Pipelines to cut their ties now. Both of these projects will fuel climate breakdown. Lloyd’s of London and the insurers in its market sit at the centre of a web of climate wreckers in the City of London, alongside Barclays and HSBC.”

Joining the protests are community members from Cumbria and Uganda, sharing the united call to insurers and banks to stop underwriting deadly fossil fuel projects.  The UK Climate Change Committee warned that the West Cumbria Mine would increase UK’s domestic emissions and make the government’s legally-binding domestic emissions budgets difficult to meet. [3]

The massive 1443 km East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline will wreak havoc on communities, jeopardise ecosystems and water supplies. and eliminate the possibility of Earth remaining habitable. There can be no new fossil fuels anywhere if global heating is to remain under 1.5C. [4]

Scientists say we are dangerously close to crossing the globally agreed threshold of 1.5C this year. [5] Neither project will be able to go ahead without financial and insurance backing.

Andrew Taylor, Coal Action Network commented: “West Cumbria Mining Ltd wants to dig coal here right up until 2049 – when we’re supposed to have reached net zero by 2050! They’re not looking at the impact of how burning it would damage the climate and nature.  The UK government talks about us having energy security but the truth is, if the mine goes ahead, 85% of the coal would be exported.” [3]

Patience, a youth activist from Fridays for Future Uganda said: “We have gathered here today to demand that insurers cut ties with EACOP. By supporting this deadly fossil fuel project they undermine any climate commitments they have made. People in Uganda are facing human rights violations in the name of this project. This has to end.” [6]

In a further surprise move, Fossil Free London is simultaneously disrupting the Canary Wharf offices of Total Energies, a majority shareholder in EACOP.

The protests come on the second day of the Fossil Free London “Oily Money Out” protests targeting the Energy Intelligence Forum at the InterContinental Park Lane Hotel in London, where fossil fuel corporations, including Shell, Total and Equinor, are talking to government ministers. The Forum is taking place in the run up to the COP28 Climate Conference, which has already been captured by the fossil fuel industry, with the appointment of Al Jaber, chief executive of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) as the COP28 President.


Joanna Warrington, campaigner with Fossil Free London said: “We can’t allow London to welcome the climate-wrecking elite when droughts, floods, and wildfires rage across the world. London’s banks and finance sector have been ignoring all the warning signs while pouring billions into fossil fuel expansion. Their profit is our loss. Financing new fossil fuel developments is incompatible with a safe future.”

Notes to Editors

[1] Standard Bank brutalises climate activists: a call to boycott Standard Bank for the sake of our planet https://extinctionrebellion.org.za/25060/standard-bank-brutalises-climate-activists-a-call-to-boycott-standard-bank-for-the-sake-of-our-planet/

[2] Insure our future, Not the EACOP: Who’s backing the pipeline and who’s ruled it out? https://www.stopeacop.net/insurers-checklist

[3] Climate Change Committee letter: Deep Coal Mining in the UK https://www.theccc.org.uk/publication/letter-deep-coal-mining-in-the-uk/

[4] New fossil fuels ‘incompatible’ with 1.5C goal, comprehensive analysis finds https://www.carbonbrief.org/new-fossil-fuels-incompatible-with-1-5c-goal-comprehensive-analysis-finds

[5] Berkeley Earth: September 2023 Temperature Update

https://berkeleyearth.org/september-2023-temperature-update/

[6] Human rights violations from EACOP https://www.stopeacop.net/for-people

Oily Money Out
Fossil Free London supported by Extinction Rebellion and Greenpeace have mobilised hundreds of activists to shut down this year’s Oil & Money conference. Greta Thunberg was amongst the activists arrested yesterday. Taking place at London’s InterContinental Hotel, the Oil & Money summit brings together the CEOs of the world’s largest fossil fuel companies with politicians such as UK Minister for Energy Security and & Net Zero, Graham Stuart. Nicknamed ‘The Oscars of Oil, the summit rebranded itself last year, in a purely cosmetic move, as the ‘Energy Intelligence Forum’.  

Oil companies are pushing us to societal collapse. They have corrupted our politics to protect themselves and their profits. We need them and their oily money out. Out of our politics. Out of COP28. Out of power. Oily Money Out


East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP)
EACOP would carry 216,000 barrels of crude oil per day, or 10.9 million metric tons per year, at ‘plateau production’. The European Parliament has adopted a groundbreaking resolution that officially recognises the disastrous consequences for both human rights and the climate due to the construction of the EACOP.

#StopEACOP is a global alliance campaigning for an end to the proposed pipeline and associated oil fields at Tilenga and Kingfisher. The project would transport oil along a 1,443-kilometre heated pipeline from Hoima, Uganda, to the port of Tanga in Tanzania. The campaign is gathering momentum, building pressure on the remaining supporters and financiers of the project. AEGIS London, Arch Capital Group Ltd and Britam Holdings recently announced they would not offer the project insurance coverage.
European Parliament passes emergency resolution against human rights violations & environmental threats linked to EACOP 

HOME — #StopEACOP

EACOP Project  


West Cumbria Coal Mine

West Cumbria Mining Ltd wants to extract 2.78 million tonnes of coking coal annually until 2049, in what would be the UK’s first new underground coal mine in 30 years. The coal mine faces two legal challenges, as well as fierce public opposition with 115,000 people joining the campaign. 

Key facts: Whitehaven coal mine 

Stop the Cumbria Coal Mine! | 38 Degrees 

Hearing delayed – challenges against Whitehaven coal mine approval 

Standard Bank
Today’s protest started at the South African owned Standard Bank, who have come under pressure to rule out investment in the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline. They are the last remaining bank of the five largest banks in Africa to rule out insuring the project

Standard Bank isolated as other South African banks steer clear of Total’s EACOP oil pipeline — #StopEACOP

Climate activists, journalist forcibly ejected from Standard Bank HQ anti-fossil fuel protest 


Pressure mounts on insurers

Insurers from Lloyd’s of London have come under increasing pressure to rule out insuring both the West Cumbria coal mine and EACOP, facing protests at offices across the UK, creative protest and hundreds of students refusing to work for insurers who continue to insure fossil fuels. 6 insurers have so far ruled out underwriting the West Cumbria mine (AEGIS Managing Agency, Argenta Syndicate Management, Hannover Re,Talanx and Atrium Underwriters Ltd) While 23 insurers and 27 banks have ruled out involvement with the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline.

Money Rebellion
Money Rebellion is a sister organisation of Extinction Rebellion comprised of activists, economists, bankers and others, who, through direct action, campaigning, and sharing expertise, seek to expose the root causes of our climate emergency: the financial systems dependent on endless growth, and the greedy and powerful who continue to profit from the status quo.


Coal Action Network
Coal Action Network works for an end to coal use in power generation and steel production; coal extraction and coal imports in the UK; and for justice for communities affected by the UK’s current and historical involvement with coal. They do so by working in solidarity with communities on the frontlines of coal extraction in the UK and in countries where coal is mined for consumption here, or where it is supported by the UK’s financial institutions. 

The post OCCUPIED! Protesters occupy City Of London insurers’ offices demanding they reject climate-wrecking projects in UK and Africa appeared first on Extinction Rebellion UK.

Categories: B4. Radical Ecology

Oily Money OUT! Greta Thunberg joins climate protestors in oil summit blockade

Tue, 10/17/2023 - 03:00

Thunberg: “We have no choice but to disrupt. This is only the beginning of the fight.”

Climate activist Greta Thunberg has joined protestors gathered in their hundreds this morning (17 October) to blockade the Energy Intelligence Forum, a three day gathering of the world’s major fossil fuel companies, bankers and politicians.

Speaking to the crowds gathered outside the Intercontinental Hotel, where the Forum is being held, Thunberg said: “Our world is being washed away by greenwashing and lies. The fossil fuel industry has actively distracted and delayed. They have created loopholes to allow their business to go on at the expense of the planet. We are choking from their fumes. The people in power are knowingly leading us to the edge of the precipice. We cannot let this continue.

“The elite of the oil and money conference have no intention of transition. Their plan is to continue this destructive surge of profits. That is why we have to take direct action. We have no choice but to disrupt. This is only the beginning of the fight.”

The protest, led by Fossil Free London and involving a host of campaign groups, including Extinction Rebellion and Money Rebellion, was also joined by environmental activist and TV presenter Chris Packham.

The action is part of a series of disruptions from the 17th-20th October aimed at the Energy Intelligence Forum to protest the climate records and political influence of the fossil fuel companies and banks attending, including Shell, Total, BP, Exxon, JP Morgan and The Bank of America.

Activists from the UK, France, Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Poland, and Norway have travelled to take part in the protest.

Marijn van de Geer, XRUK media coordinator, said: “It’s brilliant to see Greta joining the action outside the Energy Intelligence Forum today. She’s done so much to raise awareness of the climate and ecological crisis, of the lies and corruption that go on behind closed doors, and has expressed so clearly the anger so many of us feel at the insanity of conferences like these where they are literally making decisions on how many more people are going to die due to continued use of fossil fuels.

“It’s extra special for us in XR UK, because it is nearly five years ago when Greta joined us for our Declaration of Rebellion outside the Houses of Parliament. I remember she was so soft spoken that we had to repeat her sentences to make sure people in the back could hear her. It was an incredibly powerful moment, this young fiery girl saying it exactly how it is. We are all thrilled she’s back in London and standing with us all once more. Go Greta!!!!”

Nuri Syed Corser, an organiser with Fossil Free London, said: “We’ve all seen the floods and wildfires. We all know the climate crisis is a threat to our safety and our future. We know we must stop burning oil and gas. But the super-rich oil bosses in this hotel are hijacking our politics to keep us hooked on their dirty fuel.

“They are spending millions lobbying our politicians to water down climate policies. They have even installed an oil baron as president of the COP28 global climate talks. That’s why so many people are here: to call out this corruption and get oily money out of our politics.”

The world’s major fossil fuel companies have been registering record-breaking profits as the energy and cost of living crisis gripped countries across the globe. In the UK, households have struggled with dramatic rises in food and energy costs, leaving around one in five people in the UK living in poverty.

In 2022, the Conservative party received £3.5m from individuals and entities linked to climate denial, fossil fuels and high-pollution industries, while Shell and BP both signed major deals with Infosys, an IT firm founded by Sunak’s father in law.

The Government and the North Sea Transition Authority are in the process of giving out more than 100 production licences for new oil and gas in the North Sea. Rosebank, the UK’s biggest undeveloped oil and gas field, was given the green light by the UK government last month.

The Government has stated it does not expect greater UK production to impact energy prices. Approval comes as September 2023 was recorded as the hottest September since records began; and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres warns “the area of global boiling has arrived.”

For more information contact: press@extinctionrebellion.uk

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Categories: B4. Radical Ecology

Oily Money OUT! Campaigners join forces to blockade oil and gas summit in London

Tue, 10/17/2023 - 01:16

Climate protestors glue themselves to road outside summit and vow to ramp up actions as the oil industry’s Energy Intelligence Forum meets in London 

Hundreds of climate activists are blockading a major conference of oil and gas industry leaders taking place at the InterContinental Park Lane hotel in London today (17 October).

Protestors have glued themselves to the road outside the hotel and to its revolving door, sending a clear message to would-be attendees that London is not open to the fossil fuel industry and its enablers.

Under the banner “Oily Money Out”, Extinction Rebellion has joined forces with a host of other campaign groups to support Fossil Free London in closing down the Energy Intelligence Forum conference, known as the “Oscars of Oil”.

Scores of protestors are staging a major sit-down protest outside the hotel and blockading roads leading to the conference site with banners stating: “Cut the Ties to Fossil Fuels” and “Oily Money Out”. Many of the rebels are glued onto the road and to the revolving doors.

Meanwhile a giant, hideous figure of death stalks the street outside the conference site, looming over a sea of protestors’ pink umbrellas, which are painted with eyes and bearing the message: “We Are Watching You”.

Formerly known as the Oil and Money Conference, this major event in the fossil fuel industry’s calendar is attended by a rogues’ gallery of leaders from the world’s oil and gas giants – including Shell, Total and Equinor – as well as bankers, financiers and UK government ministers.

Speakers include Claudio Descalzi chief executive of Italian oil giant Eni, Amin Nasser, president and CEO of major polluter Saudi Aramco, and Anders Opedal, president and CEO of Equinor, the company behind the controversial Rosebank oil field development, as well as the UK government’s Minister of State for Energy Security and & Net Zero, and the UK Minister of Energy & Climate Change.

However, mounting opposition to this obscene gathering appears to have already deterred the attendance of Sultan Al Jaber, chief executive of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and  COP28 President, who is no longer featured on the speakers list.

After losing a major sponsor, this year’s forum is masquerading under a new title, claiming to have a new agenda addressing “climate change and the energy transition”, and promising “a frank conversation around the central question: “How does a divided world power the planet in a way that is reliable, affordable and clean?”

But campaigners are not fooled by this cynical attempt at greenwashing. 

Jonathan Kennedy, a design engineer and father of two from Brighton, said: “This is nothing but lip service to hide this industry’s real intentions. Our planet is burning. We are facing terrifying heat waves, rising sea levels, increasing water shortages, crop failures and unprecedented storms. Millions are facing extreme poverty and homelessness caused by this crisis.

“We will not allow these fossil fuel criminals to carry on behind the façade of its fancy new name like it’s business as usual. These people are schmoozing in their “Oily Money” summit while creating climate, environmental and societal breakdown. There is no place for these climate criminals in London or anywhere in the world. Let’s break their death grip on our planet, on COP28, and on our politics. We say Oily Money OUT!”

Nigel Harvey, 60, a recycling company CEO from St Albans, said: “I refuse to look the other way as oil and gas companies continue the reckless expansion of fossil fuels. They know this will cause untold human suffering, as large parts of our planet become uninhabitable.”

Imogen Stitch, a senior NHS psychological therapist, said: “The fossil fuel era is over and governments and corporations need to move to a rapid transition to clean energy and green jobs for future generations. But this is not happening.

“The current government has approved over 100 new licenses and the Labour Party is failing to make proper pledges, which shows that they are not in it for the people but for profit and big oil.

“We will not stay quiet as the catastrophe brought to us by climate criminals around the world unfolds before us and continues to take lives and devastate communities.

“We will not stop until necessary measures are taken immediately to halt new oil, gas and coal production. We will continue to ramp up direct disruptive action targeting climate criminals and anyone that enables them.”

For more information contact: press@extinctionrebellion.uk

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Categories: B4. Radical Ecology

Cancel Global South debt and deliver $7.9 trillion in climate reparations NOW

Thu, 10/12/2023 - 04:53

Climate justice campaigners demand cancellation of Global South’s crippling debt repayments which are a just a fraction of the $7.9 trillion in climate reparations owed to it by the Global North

Climate justice activists gathered outside the Bank of England today (12 October) to demonstrate how the Global South’s crippling debt repayments are 65 times smaller than the staggering $7.9 trillion in climate reparations owed to them by the countries of the Global North.

The campaigners, from groups including Extinction Rebellion, Debt for Climate, Money Rebellion and Debt Justice, unfurled a massive banner outside the bank, emblazoned with the words: “CANCEL GLOBAL SOUTH DEBT”.

Measuring 1.5 m x 5.4m, the banner is 65 times bigger than a single A3 sheet of paper, reflecting the fact that the bill for climate change is 65 times greater than the Global South debt. “Scales of Justice” were erected as 65 large sacks were piled high, in a further startling representation of the inequality.

The protest was timed to coincide with the ‘Reform Priorities for Tackling Debt’ event being held during the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. Black Rock, Standard Chartered Bank and the UK Government are expected to be present to discuss the current untenable debt situation.

Today’s protest outside the Bank of England is part of a wave of protests across the globe. Throughout Africa, Latin America, and Europe, from Colombia to Uganda, Mexico, Tanzania and South Africa, UK and Germany, Debt for Climate, Extinction Rebellion and many other activist groups, are mobilising over the next four days with nonviolent actions, marches, and protests, urging immediate debt cancellation of Global South debt to enable a self-determined and just energy transition.

Cathy Allen of Debt for Climate explained: “The Global North countries owe a climate debt of $7.9 trillion per year. That’s 65 times more than the annual debt repayments which burden the Global South. There shouldn’t be any discussion about debt reform in Marrakech. Poorer countries need the money to cope with climate breakdown.”

In order to pay back debt in ‘hard currency’ countries of the Global South have to sign contracts with foreign companies who want to exploit their resources. Instead of fossil fuels being left in the ground, they are extracted, often under lax environmental standards, enabling the burning of oil, gas and coal which drives climate breakdown.

All the while financial institutions like Standard Chartered and Black Rock are profiting by lending to these poorer countries at high interest rates. The UK government plays a significant role in terms of these private “cowboy” lenders because 90% of such lending is enforced through UK courts.

Heidi Chow, Executive Director of Debt Justice said: “Cancelling debt is the only sustainable, fair way of dealing with the debt crisis that is engulfing lower income countries.

“Debt repayments to external lenders should never be prioritised over meeting basic needs such as healthcare, education and fighting the climate crisis. The amounts owed in debt repayments are a drop in the ocean compared to the real debt owed by wealthy governments for centuries of extraction and pollution”

Tyrone Scott from War on Want added: “Many countries in the Global South remain locked into debt, servicing vast international loans, all while facing cost-of-living crises, rising inequality and climate breakdown which is ravaging lives and livelihoods of the world’s poorest and most marginalised.

“Today, there are 64 countries in the world which spend more on debt repayments than on their healthcare systems, let alone on adapting to the climate crisis. All while trillions continue to flow from the Global South to banks and corporations in the Global North.”

Tarun Gidwani of the South Asia Solidarity Group observed: “At a time when 54 low income countries and 93% of countries most vulnerable to climate change are in debt distress or risk thereof, it’s inexcusable that the World Bank and friends can have meetings to discuss more loans and conditions while an immense, unrecognised debt of climate justice is owed by the rich world who are not paying up.”

“There can be no further delay, debt cancellation must be at the top of the agenda. The day has come for the countries and corporations of the Global North to pay their climate bill.”

For further information email: press@extinctionrebellion.uk

The post Cancel Global South debt and deliver $7.9 trillion in climate reparations NOW appeared first on Extinction Rebellion UK.

Categories: B4. Radical Ecology

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