Theatrical bank action
October 2021 – by Extinction Rebellion
Ahead of COP 26 UN climate talks in Glasgow, we joined with youth strikers and other groups around the world to demand that governments and corporations #DefundClimateChaos.
Focusing on two of the worst banks in Europe for fossil fuel investments, Barclays and HSBC, we held a theatrical bank action on the Cornhill in Ipswich town centre.
A rebel representing Mother Earth held and hugged a globe, while bankers from Barclays and HSBC circled. The bankers took measurements, shone spotlights, and divvied up the planet between them, haggling over prices, before reaching an agreement.
The bankers then proceeded to pour ‘oil’ over our Earth Protector, until eventually she fell to her knees and perished. Shortly after, the bankers also died, unable to live on a dead planet.
Other rebels read out messages about the environmental impact of banks investments in fossil fuels and encouraged the public to consider whether they could switch to a more environmentally friendly (and more ethical) option.
Barclays has financed $5.6bn in new fossil fuel projects January-October 20211, and a staggering $145bn since 2016 when the Paris Agreement was created. It was rated the worst bank in Europe, and the 7th worst globally by ethical consumer.2
HSBC came second in Europe, and 13th globally, having invested close to $111bn in fossil fuels since 2016.2
“The biggest banks are using your money to fund the climate crisis. We have seen this story before. In 2008, the recklessness of megabanks sank the global economic system. Now, in 2021, the youth climate movement is saying that we’ve had enough. we’re not going to let the banks bring down the entire planet too. On October 29th, young people are occupying and shutting down banks across the globe to demand an end to fossil fuel financing and the beginning of a Fossil-Free Future, and we need you to join us”3
If you’d like to see how ethical your bank is, and see if there’s a better option for you – visit https://switchit.money/
2 Banks, climate change and the environmental crisis | Ethical Consumer
3 Youth Striker Movement, In Teen Vogue op-ed
October 2021 – by Extinction Rebellion
COP26 is the United Nations conference on climate change. It brings together world leaders and other interested parties to discuss ways forward, and set legally binding targets to help combat climate change. COP21 took place in Paris in 2015, and lead to the Paris agreement – every country taking part committed to working together to limit global warming to below 2 degrees, and to aim for 1.5 degrees. However, since then emissions (and warming) have continued to rise.
Ipswich XR, alongside Suffolk Sunrise have been holding banner drops, to help keep COP26 on the mind, and in the conversations of the general public of Suffolk. We cannot afford for politicians to ‘cop out’ at COP26. we don’t need more empty promises, we need real commitment to real action by all governments; not only to quickly reduce net emissions, but also to ensure than this is done fairly, providing funding to poorer countries to allow them to continue developing, using green and environmentally friendly technologies.
Not The Sun, Ipswich
Friday, 23rd July 2021 – by Extinction Rebellion
Today rebels took to the streets, in Ipswich and around the country, to distribute copies of “Not The Sun” – a bold new national tabloid newspaper that major printers were too scared of Rupert Murdoch to print! https://issuu.com/mediattt/docs/not_the_sun_final
“Our tabloid is an honest attempt to show what our most popular newspapers could be doing every day: telling the scary truth and how to deal with it – but still entertaining us and making us smile.”
This country’s tabloid and mainstream newspapers could be a true voice of the people – inspiring us to face up to the accelerating climate crisis with Brit grit, and encouraging us to build a safe, optimistic future together. Instead, papers like The Sun, Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph and their talented journalists are muzzled and held hostage by three billionaire owners who use them to sell us a deadly daily illusion that Business As Usual is still possible – because that’s what keeps their profits flowing. So, we dared to imagine a world in which ultra-rich media barons Rupert Murdoch, Viscount Rothermere and Frederick Barclay* weren’t calling the shots on our most popular papers.
We’ve created a national tabloid called Not The Sun to prove that you can be funny and punny, bold and punchy, while telling the truth bout the worst crisis that humanity has ever faced, and, as importantly, offering hope for a better tomorrow for everyone. Not The Sun punches up at the politicians and powerbrokers of every party who are doing too little, too late to tackle the climate emergency, rather than punching down at immigrants, the poor, marginalised and powerless as scapegoats for our mounting environmental, social and
“Not The Sun is our love letter to a form of brilliant popular journalism that could help save us all if only it wasn’t held hostage by three billionaires who want to keep lining their pockets while the planet burns,” says Steve Tooze, an ex-journalist who spent 20 years working for the UK’s national tabloids and helped create the Extinction Rebellion tabloid.
“Our tabloid is an honest attempt to show what our most popular newspapers could be doing every day: telling the scary truth and how to deal with – but still entertaining us and making us smile.”
A tiny team of unpaid volunteers created the 24-page Not The Sun between their day jobs and childcare commitments. It was distributed for free nationwide in 23 towns and cities including London, Manchester, Leeds and Leicester, by teams of unpaid Extinction Rebellion volunteers during the morning rush hour on Friday July 23.
Creating Not The Sun offered an unsettling glimpse into the iron grip of fear that Murdoch exerts over an entire industry. “Two major printers and their lawyers refused to print our tabloid after seeing our hard-hitting front-page expose of Murdoch’s environmental crimes,” says Tooze. “They were clearly terrified of the media baron, and worried that he would seek to damage their business in revenge for printing stories critical of him and his global empire.” Not The Sun and Extinction Rebellion says their tabloid is a clarion call to UK journalists to rise up and refuse to write any more climate lies. “If a little group of volunteers and activists can create and distribute a high-quality, hard-hitting national tabloid that tells the truth, imagine what the power, resource and talents of the big newspapers could do,” says Tooze.
“To the journalists on these newspapers we say – we need you desperately. Free yourself from your crooked owners and start telling us the truth about the climate crisis.”
“To the public, we say – tell the editors of your daily newspaper that you are sick of their climate lies and that you want to start hearing the truth, every day, about the crisis. How can we act like this is an emergency until the papers we read talk about it like it one?
“To Murdoch, Rothermere and Barclay, we say – this is just the beginning. We need you to tell the truth because our survival and the survival of our children depends upon it.”
*CORRECTION: Due to an unfortunate editing error in the issue of Not the Sun, an incorrect name and picture were used on page 4 on the story headlined Lord of the Lies. We mistakenly stated that the owner of the Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph was Patrick Barclay and used a photograph of the sports journalist of the same name. We would like to make it clear that Frederick Barclay is in fact the owner of the Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph. We have corrected the error in our public print distribution and online editions and apologised to Patrick Barclay for this mistake. We’d like to apologise to those who received the embargoed copy of the paper for any distress before the editing error was corrected. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank Patrick for his good-humoured acceptance of our apology
Weekend Uprising, London
Saturday 26th & Sunday 27th June 2021 – by Extinction Rebellion Ipswich
People’s Assembly National Demonstration
On Saturday 26th June, members of Extinction Rebellion Ipswich travelled to London to take part in a cross movement national demonstration hosted by People’s Assembly Against Austerity. It was attended by NGOs, unions, grass roots movements and more – groups stood and marched together to demand a new normal, without a return to ‘business as usual’ after Covid-19. The march was an opportunity for social movements to move beyond divisions based on a focus on different symptoms, to unite around those symptoms’ shared cause – an unjust and broken system.
Jennifer McCarthy from Ipswich said: “It was fantastic to see so many people from so many causes coming together to support one another, and lend strength to each other’s causes. My protest focus is usually the climate and ecological emergency – but of course I oppose the PCSC bill; I believe that not enough is being done to support the NHS and the wonderful people who work for it; I truly hope that there’s a peaceful resolution to the conflict between Israel and Palestine; I fully support the rights of trans people; and there are so many other issues, either arising from, or not improving because of, the broken system we live in. Covid has shown that we can make drastic changes quickly, so why should we return to the same broken way of living that we had before covid? why not demand a better, fairer way of life?”
Free The Press
Sunday 27th saw people returning to the streets once more for Extinction Rebellion’s Free The Press March.
Make The Wave, Felixstowe
Wednesday, 9th June 2021 – by Extinction Rebellion Ipswich
In the lead up to the G7 summit, groups from around the country held a wave of actions, demanding more action to tackle the climate emergency and sea level rise, from Boris Johnson and the other G7 delegates.
Members of Extinction Rebellion Ipswich held an action on the Felixstowe sea front, highlighting the areas of the town that will be underwater, if no action is taken. They handed out leaflets, displayed a climate science poster, talked to members of the public, and kept an eye on Ernest (our quietest member, who likes encouraging people not to bury their heads in the sand.)
The UN estimates that there could be anywhere between 25 million and 1 billion environmental migrants by 2050, many of those on the move because of the effects of sea level rise.
We will soon be experiencing flooding around our own coasts, as other island nations around the world are already suffering.
Further information is available at: https://www.makethewave.eco/
Rebellion of one, Ipswich
Saturday, 1st of May 2021– by Extinction Rebellion Ipswich
Press coverage: ‘Extinction Rebellion blocks roads across UK in May Day climate protests‘, 01 May 2021
Two years on from Parliament’s declaration of climate emergency local rebels took action in Ipswich along with 100s of others around the UK.
As they sat in the way of oncoming traffic, Andrea and Joe risked their lives in order to speak out about Government inaction on climate two years on from Parliament’s declaration of an environment and climate emergency.
Andrea Muntiu, 36, a nurse living in Ipswich, said: “What is a nurse doing sitting in the middle of the road with a placard? Doesn’t she have a career to worry about? She can’t get in trouble with the police!I am aware of the risks but I feel I have a moral duty to warn people about the catastrophic consequences of the climate crisis. We all witnessed how poorly this government managed the Covid 19 crisis. There isn’t a plan in place to tackle the climate crisis, even though the scientists have been warning us for years. Floods. Hunger. Drought. Pandemics. Species extinction. Society collapsing. These will be a reality and the children of the country, of this world will be the first and most affected. We cannot let this happen. We can still change things. Demand the government to act now and safeguard what we have. What will our legacy be for the future generations? Will it be apathy while witnessing how political greed destroys this planet? Or will it be action, actively fighting to build a safe world children can live in? I choose to act.”
Around the country, over 200 people just like them, terrified about the trajectory we are on in this climate and ecological emergency, also took action in their home towns in the same way. As lockdown rules began to lift in the UK, people blocked roads from Aberdeen to Birmingham to Yarmouth and beyond, to say they will not stand by while the UK Government lies to the public about its commitment to tackling the climate crisis.
Joe Peall, a 24 year old musician from Bedford, said: “Blocking the road is scary, and none of us should be led to act in this way. The truth is, my fear of blocking the road is overwhelmed by my fear of the climate crisis. We in the UK will be among the last to see the devastating effects of the ecosystem breakdown, but the global south is already suffering greatly with wars, famine, mass migration etc.. As my sign says, I am planning a future and a family with my fiancée. But my children will grow up in a world of terrible pain and injustice that could have been prevented. The climate crisis will impact you and your children, and when our government fails to act for our future, ordinary people like you and me must take action to bring about the change we need.”
Tom Hunt, Dan Poulter and Therese Coffey MPs asked to back the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill
Friday, 26th March 2021– by Extinction Rebellion Ipswich
As part of a nationwide action by the CEE Bill Alliance members of Extinction Rebellion Ipswich group hosted covid-compliant banner drops today calling on MPs Tom Hunt, Dan Poulter and Thérèse Coffey to back the CEE Bill. The banner was suspended on trees outside Crown Pools on Crown street, one of the five air quality management areas within Ipswich (AQMAs are areas where the concentrations of specified air pollutants exceed legal limits).
Sue Hagley said, ’Displaying this banner in such a prominent Ipswich location is to tell Tom Hunt MP that we need stronger environmental action. We’re seeing endless reports coming out, many from the Government’s own committees, highlighting that Boris Johnson isn’t going far enough to tackle the climate and ecological emergency. Our local Extinction Rebellion group contacted Tom Hunt last year and asked him to support the bill, but he showed little interest and seems to think that planting trees and electric scooters are an adequate response to a climate emergency.’
Tina Smith from Woodbridge continued, ‘Our Government claims to be a world leader in the climate crisis but they are failing to back this up in their actions. They have plans for a new coal mine in Cumbria, a £27.5 billion road-building plan, drilling for new oil and gas in the North Sea, Europe’s biggest gas -fired power station, the massively destructive and unnecessary new trainline HS2 – the list goes on. Where I live there is the threat of Sizewell C that will cause huge amounts of destruction and carbon emissions and is threatened by sea level rise. It is clear that they are unable or unwilling to make the decisions needed to avert the climate and ecological crisis. We need citizen’s assemblies to make the hard choices that they cannot. I have emailed Therese Coffey but have not received any reply.’
Jennifer McCarthy from North Ipswich added, ‘I initially wrote to Dan Poulter regarding the CEE Bill last summer, but received no reply. I then emailed him in December, and received a response stating: “I note that the Bill is set to have its Second Reading on 12th March 2021, at which point I will consider the contents of the Bill further”. While this is at least an acknowledgement of my communication, it falls far short of what I had hoped for. With the second reading being delayed and now indefinitely postponed, I can only assume that he hasn’t thought any further on the bill, or the climate and ecological emergency that it aims to address. I don’t understand why our government isn’t reacting to the emergency that they declared – the emergency that threatens everyone’s future.’
Today marks the date the CEE Bill  was due its second reading in the House of Commons. Caroline Lucas MP presented the Bill in Parliament on 2 September 2020. The CEE Bill was scheduled for debate in the House of Commons on Friday 26 March, but the pandemic impacted parliamentary process postponing the second reading. The Bill is currently waiting for a new date to be set, but whatever happens, the CEE Bill will have a very low chance of progressing in this Parliament due to the sheer volume of private members’ bills lined up, further delaying the urgent action that’s required to tackle the climate and nature emergencies.
The CEE Bill is supported by over 100 MPs from eight political parties – including Labour, SNP, Plaid Cymru, Liberal Democrats and Greens. The Bill calls on the Government to take account of the UK’s entire carbon footprint, to protect nature in the UK and to prevent ecological damage along supply chains. It also establishes a citizens’ assembly to ensure that these changes are achieved in a fair and just way.
In 2019, the Government committed to a legally binding target of net zero emissions by 2050 . However, earlier this month, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) reported  that Ministers still don’t have a coordinated strategy to achieve its aim.
The CEE Bill is the only legislative plan before MPs that aims to tackle the climate-nature crisis at the speed and scale that science demands. The Bill sets out a viable roadmap for the UK to play its full and fair role in restoring nature and limiting its emissions. With eight months to go before the UK hosts the vital UN climate conference, COP26, in Glasgow, the CEE Bill represents Boris Johnson’s last best opportunity of having a serious and comprehensive plan to tackle the greatest challenge humanity faces.
Jo Stokes from Ipswich concluded, ‘At our current rate of emissions, we have only 7 years left before we have used all the carbon budget still available, if we are to limit the future temperature rise to the all critical 1.1/2 degrees. Efforts in recent years may have succeeded in lowering the ceiling of likely warming this century, but the long delays in implementation are raising the floor. We are inviting Tom Hunt MP to have a discussion with his constituents about the CEE Bill – we all feel incredibly passionate about this issue and welcome a forum to discuss our concerns.”
 Climate & Ecological Emergency Bill https://bills.parliament.uk/bills/2772
 UK becomes first major economy to pass net zero emissions law
 Government has “no plan” for achieving Net Zero, two years after setting target in law
Rebels Expose the High Street Climate Killers
Local rebels continue to try and highlight the damaging effects that both HSBC and Barclays have on the environment, through their continued investment in the fossil fuel industry. While many high street banks do this, HSBC and Barclays are two of the worst, and so these are where our efforts are focused. If you’d like to see how ethical (or otherwise) your bank is, and to find a more sustainable alternative, please check www.switchit.money
Banner and Bank Actions, September-October 2020
Though many Ipswich XR rebels attended the September 2020 Rebellion in London, local actions also continued apace! At the end of August, massive banners were held over the A12 motorway declaring “No Future in Fossil Fuels” and “Climate Emergency”.
Then, in September and October, protests were held outside some of Ipswich’s major bank branches, such as HSBC, Barclays and Natwest. Despite the Paris Climate agreement of 2016, between 2016 and 2019, just 35 global private sector banks funnelled a staggering US$2.7 TRILLION into fossil fuel projects and companies. UK banks Barclays and HSBC ranked 7th and 12th respectively.
Barclays is linked to fossil fuel companies around the world, and has financed or expressed interests in projects including:
– Coal mines and power plants in Columbia, Indonesia and South Africa
– Mountain top removal coal mining in the US
– Great Barrier Reef coal and gas exports
– Gas and oil projects in Russia, Myanmar and the US.
HSBC is also linked to fossil fuel companies around the world, and has financed or expressed interest in projects including:
– Coal mines and power plants in Columbia, Vietnam, South Africa and Turkey
– Mountain top removal coal mining in the US
– Great Barrier Reef coal and gas exports
– Gas and oil projects in Mozambique, the US, Canada, Myanmar and Yasuni National Park in Ecuador.
Instead of these banks, XR Ipswich directed consumers to more ethical banks like Triodos and the Co-Operative Bank (which has a highstreet location in Ipswich).
Shoe Protest outside Suffolk County Council offices, July 17th 2020
XR Ipswich symbolically laid out shoes to represent those killed by the climate and ecological crisis, both past and future. The shoes were mainly children’s shoes to highlight the fact that the climate crisis will have an even greater impact on future generations and are intended to serve as a reminder of the need to protect people from both coronavirus and climate change.
“We are calling on our local authorities to respond to the climate crisis with the same urgency as […] the coronavirus. If we don’t seize this opportunity to reduce our emissions and protect our biodiversity, the cost to human life will be many times greater.”
At the recent cabinet meeting of Suffolk County Council, members approved all recommendations of the Climate Emergency Policy Development Panel. We applaud this outcome and are incredibly pleased that SCC is finally going to take action on the climate emergency which it declared in March 2019.
However we do not think a 2030 target is really treating it as an emergency. We simply do not have ten years in which to act. That is why we are calling for a target date of 2025 for reaching net zero. We are also demanding the councils take immediate action on the illegal levels of air pollution in the town which is so damaging to public health as well as the environment, especially on children, and that the councils prioritise halting the loss of biodiversity and protecting what is left of our beautiful countryside.
“Inaction = Death’’ Letter delivered to the Office of Tom Hunt MP, June 25th 2020
A group of rebels delivered a letter to the office of Ipswich MP Tom Hunt calling for action on the escalating ecological and environmental emergencies.
Ipswich Star conducted an interview with one of the rebels and elicited a response from Tom Hunt in their coverage.
I welcome the input from those who visited my office yesterday and I will be sure to provide them with a full response to their letter asap”
— Tom Hunt MP
“Decide Together’’ Protest outside Endeavour House, May 30th 2020
Having declared a ‘Climate Emergency’ almost a year previous (July 2019) Suffolk County Council had enacted no policies or concrete changes whatsoever commensurate with this declaration. As such, Ipswich XR staged a socially-distanced silent protest outside Endeavour House, holding placards calling for a ‘Green Recovery’ to the Coronavirus pandemic. The purpose for our protest was to also bring attention to the need for a Citizen’s Assembly on climate change (both at a local and a national level).
Turn out was strong and you can read the sympathetic media coverage from the Ipswich Star here.
No Going Back Sundays – ‘‘Another World is Possible’’
With Covid-19 lockdown restrictions easing, rebels engaged in socially-distanced silent protests against going back to the old system of banks propping up the fossil fuel industry, airlines and oil companies being bailed out, and the kind of extractivist capitalism that has helped bring us to this tragic impasse. We reject the framing that this is the only way for our society to function and wish to remind the public that another way is possible.
Supporting Cambridge’s ‘Rebel for Justice’ week of action, February 16th-22nd 2020
Several rebels braved the bitter cold to camp out in the street as part of Cambridge’s ‘Rebel for Justice’ action week. We supported (and some of us took part in) direct actions, such as the controversial digging up of Trinity College Lawn and protesting outside and upon a Shell petrol station garage.
Trinity College, which has £9.1 million invested in fossil fuels, were selling Innocence Farm in Suffolk to Felixstowe Port to build a lorry park for 3,000 vehicles. The action highlighted the disparity between the outrage people feel over a privately partitioned lawn monoculture kept for a privileged elite being uprooted and the destruction of Suffolk countryside in the name of business.
XR Cambridge, Ipswich, Bury and others were protesting Shell’s actions and their greenwashing, hoping to bring some of the above to public attention and the news.
A graph from an declassified archival document which shows that Shell knew that continued fossil fuel emissions would increase global temperatures over three decades ago.
Air Pollution outreach, February 8th 2020
1 in 18 deaths in Ipswich are linked to air pollution. To highlight this shocking figure and put pressure on the local council(s) to implement policies, such as:
– Investing in public transport
– Community gardens
– Bans/ restrictions on cars in the town centre
XR marched through Ipswich with a samba band, handing out leaflets and chatting to other locals as we went!
A gig for Extinction Rebellion
Brewers Arms is a wonderful local pub owned by a member. After the Samba march had reached the pub, it played host to a range of music, comedy and prediction txt generated poetry(!) from a range of members and non-members, raising over £100 in total. There was a clothes swap and much fun was had at this fun regenerative action.
On all of the 12 days leading up to the December 2019 Election, XR staged some kind of action or meeting or event… we were busy! Our three most major actions were all documented in the local press in appreciably warm terms!
Banner Drop from Noah’s Ark
Sir Aad Peters was kind enough to allow Ipswich XR to display a banner from his travelling Biblical museum/ ark that read: WE NEED A BETTER PLAN THAN THIS →
Peters later said to the Ipswich Star that “the visit from the environmentalists was one of his favourite moments in Ipswich – praising the town’s open minds and attitude towards an ever-changing world.”
Booking out Ipswich Quakers Meeting House, we held a Climate Hustings debate with representatives from Labour (Sandy Martin), the Greens (Dan Pratt), and the Lib Dems (Adrian Hyyrylainen-Trett and James Sandbach)… and one notably empty chair (filled here by chairperson Jonathan Douse, who did a greatly appreciated job):
“Vote planet”banner drop
Our last action before the election was our most audacious… unfolding a giant “Vote Planet” banner from the top of a disused industrial building on Ipswich’s waterfront.
Joining XR’s International Rebellion fortnight in London (October 2019)
It is no secret that the October Rebellion was harder going than the April Rebellion. The weather was colder, the police were tougher, and an ill-advised action targeting the tube went ahead despite the majority voting against it. However, Ipswich XR buckled down and committed ourselves to the cause, with members staying for as many days as their jobs and/or small children allowed!
October also brought about the formation of a new group, Suffolk Sunrise, largely positioned in and about Rendlesham, consisting of some former and some current members of XR Ipswich (including the BP protest action group!) XR Sunrise and XR Ipswich came together for London as XR Eastlings. Many of us camped out, many of us were arrested (though all charges were dropped!) and lots of us has our signs and tents confiscated! Ah plus ça change! Here’s a photo of our merry XR Eastlings band…
BP Petrol Station Shut-Down, Martlesham, Kesgrave, August 30th 2019
Arriving in the early morning hours, two plucky rebels (dressed as polar bears) made their way onto the roof of the shop of a BP petrol station. BP closed down the pumps and shop, and business as usual (at that petrol station at least) was interrupted for a good nine hours. Meanwhile, staff were reassured (with offered cake!) and leaflets were given to the public, many of whom were really sympathetic to the protest. The location was also chosen for maximum disruption to BP at minimum disruption to the public – another non-BP station being just across the road. Press was generally sympathetic and one of the polar bears gave an interview with BBC Radio Suffolk while up on the roof!
STAGE APPEARANCE AT SIREN FESTIVAL, ALDEBURGH JUBILEE HALL, August 7th 2019
We fulfilled a request to appear at the new Siren oceanic environmental festival, a yearly event which seeks to explore humanity’s relationship to the changing seas through art, music, scientific discussions and performance!
In the evening of the festival’s second day, our famous Red Rebel Brigade performed frozen tableaux and co-ordinated movements to live readings of climate change poetry.
We also paraded the terrifying Methane Dragon through the streets of Aldeburgh, prompting interested children to engage our black-clad puppeteers with all sorts of scientific questions about the potentially deadly greenhouse gas.
Die-in at Endeavour House, Suffolk County Council, July 18th 2019
As reported in the East Anglican Daily Times, we urged Suffolk Council Council to make good on their declaration of a climate emergency with real active policy commitments as recommended in our petition. The protest itself involved a die-in, accompanied by our silent band of Red People who stood and mourned before children urged us all to “WAKE UP”.
We supported XR Cambridge as they opened up the city centre, turning it over to arts, live music and samba. Some of us helped with blocking roads from cars (public transportation and ambulances excluded) while those of us with children dealt with welfare and take on other non-arrestable roles. There was a family area, sports, a street garden, yoga, poetry, singing and a Red Rebel Brigade!
Outreach, Art & Readings in Woodbridge
Woodbridge is an especially beautiful and historic part of East Suffolk, showing signs of habitation all the way back to the Neolithic Age some 12,000 years ago. The small town of some 11,000 residents is also closely associated with – and just along the river from – the Sutton Hoo burial grounds, arguably the most significant archaeological site for the Anglo-Saxon period. In more recent history, Woodbridge was the influence for local resident Brian Eno’s seminal On Land (1982) album, the last in his ambient series!
To try to bring these issues to the attention of the residents of Woodbridge, we have chalked colourful facts about the climate crisis in the streets, handed out information leaflets, talking to members of the public and respectfully pointing sceptics in the direction of climate science and, furthermore, stood reading passages from Greta Thunberg’s collected speeches…
Joining XR’s International Rebellion Week in London (April 2019)
In the week of April 15th 2019 some dozen or so of us travelled to London to join in with the peaceful protests that occupied Parliament Square, King’s Cross, Waterloo Bridge and other sites, bringing parts of the capitol to a standstill. While some of the impetus for the protest was undoubtedly to cause disruption to the “flow of business as usual”, gaining press, public and governmental attention, it also opened up a space for mutual grieving and reverence for the beauty of the natural world that is fast being diminished.
Parliament Square, London (April 2019)
A few of us were arrested for peaceably staying put when asked to leave a site; some of us just came for a day, some for the whole week; some came with children, friends or partners, others alone but with the group; some of us stood or sat in the road, leaving us open to arrest; others were strictly law-abiding, but there to support – All of us had a memorable and energising time, full of mutual love, co-operation and enthusiasm in spite of the weighty issues we are facing. We’re stronger together than alone.
Supporting the Nature Summit
protesting for greater action
On 7th June 2019, Suffolk Wildlife Trust hosted a “Nature Summit” at Dance East, Ipswich. This was a positive event focused upon conservation and sustainable development. XR were present to support these efforts, but also to remind people of Suffolk County Council’s declaration of a “climate emergency” and what that means in practice.
While individual actions like recycling, cycling rather than driving a car, or planting nature-friendly gardens are all highly positive, we need structural change to ensure that such actions aren’t just isolated drops in an ocean, but part of a deeper paradigm shift in how we relate to and treat the natural world of which we are an inextricable part.