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Last month a village in Canada became one of the hottest places on the Earth.
For three days temperatures in Lytton, British Columbia broke all national records, peaking at a staggering 49.62°C (121°F). On the fourth day it was consumed by wildfires accelerated by high winds. Lytton was burnt to the ground.
The unprecedented heat wave that hit the Pacific north-west, a region usually known for its mild climate, is thought to have killed hundreds of people and over a billion aquatic animals.
The devastation is changing the conversation about the climate crisis. Global Heating is bringing extreme weather not just to warmer parts of the world like Pakistan and Madagascar, but the most temperate parts of the Global North.
Unless we change how we treat our planet, these heat waves will keep getting deadlier and more common. Those hoping this stark reality would spark our politicians into action will be disappointed.
A few days ago the financial controllers of the world’s largest economies met in Venice for G20 talks. There was progress made on corporation tax, and silence on the climate crisis.
But for each day of the summit, Italian rebels stood brave and defiant. They organised disruptive protests across the ancient city, and you can read all about them in Action Highlights.
You can also read about ‘Free the Press’ actions in both the UK and US that targeted billionaire media barons for minimising the climate crisis, XR Indonesia’s ambitious month of protest, which was sadly curtailed by their government’s mismanagement of the pandemic, and XR Finland’s successful summer rebellion in Helsinki, where temperatures have also been soaring.
Over the last two decades 475,000 people have died from extreme weather events. The tragedy of Lytton shows that the next victims could live anywhere.
Nowhere on this planet is safe from the Climate and Ecological Crisis.
A Rebellion of One in Venice during the G20 summit. The sign hits the nail on the head. Each sitter had copies of a personal letter to hand out to confused passers-by.
The Global Newsletter is brought to you by XR Global Support, a worldwide network of rebels that help new XR chapters grow. Read previous issues here.
We are in a crucial phase of human history, and we need money to make our message heard. Anything you can give is appreciated.
- Action Highlights: Italy’s G20 Rebellion, Finland’s Summer Rebellion, Free The Press UK & US, Indonesia’s June Rebellion.
- Action Roundup: Sweden, Poland, South Africa, Ecuador, Sri Lanka, France…
- Upcoming Actions: Berlin RiseUp, Nordic Rebellion, UK Impossible Rebellion…
- Announcements: Milan Climate Art Gallery.
- Must Reads: David Wallace-Wells, Oil Lobbyist comes clean, Greta Thunberg.
- Book of the Month: Activism For Life by Angie Zelter.
G20: Your Money, Our Extinction.
8 – 11 JULY | Venice, Italy
Rebels glue themselves around the perimeter of the G20 Summit.
Finance ministers and bankers from the world’s largest economies flew into Venice for a series of meetings about money, and Italian rebels were waiting for them.
Around 150 rebels from all over Italy took part in actions throughout the G20 summit, gaining an unprecedented level of media coverage and turning heads across the ancient city.
The disruption was designed to deliver two key messages to the delegates. One; that meetings which define the future for so many should never be held behind closed doors. Two; that their collective inaction on the climate crisis has already killed too many, and threatens too many more.
The blood of the victims of climate change pours down the iconic Calatrava bridge.
20 rebels delivered the first message by approaching the ‘red zone’ – the no-go security perimeter around the summit – and gluing themselves to security barriers and paving stones. For 3 hours the site became a place of song and dance, though police remained calm. If previous rebellions are anything to go by, steep fines and trial dates could still be incoming.
The second message was delivered using a range of spectacular and theatrical actions. Fake blood was poured down a bridge stairway in solidarity with the 475,000 people who have died from extreme weather events over the last two decades. Children’s shoes lined another bridge to represent the thousands more who will perish in the future.
A group of mermaids lay lifeless along a canal to highlight the death of our children’s dreams, our ocean life, and Venice itself. The city is destined to be underwater before the end of the century, and could be classified as an Unesco endangered site within weeks.
Poisoned mermaids lie dead along a Venetian canal.
While the media and locals paid attention, the politicians did not. They made progress on reforming global corporate tax, but none on funding the global transition to clean energy.
The G20 nations are responsible for 75% of global carbon emissions, yet since the Paris Agreement in 2015 they have largely ignored their emission pledges and invested on average $600bn per year into fossil fuels and related industries.
The trend is expected to worsen as governments jettison other concerns in the quest for economic growth after the pandemic.
State leaders of the G20 nations will meet in Rome in October to continue talks. Italian rebels will be waiting for them there as well. Join them by going to XR Italy’s Facebook page.
Cut the Crap: Free The Press Across The West
24 & 27 JUNE | London, UK & New York, USA
Rebels on both sides of the Atlantic have called out the corrupt billionaire media-owners who have minimised the Climate Crisis.
In the UK, rebels targeted four press barons who dominate the nation’s newspapers. 7 tonnes of horse crap was dumped outside the joint offices of the Daily Mail Group and The Independent. A 2nd dung delivery was intercepted before it reached The Telegraph.
Later more than 2,000 rebels and other activists met at Parliament Square and marched across London to the News UK headquarters, owned by the infamous Rupert Murdoch.
Rebels were arrested once police got a ‘whiff’ of plans to dump a 3rd load of manure at the site, as well as for chalk-spraying the forecourt and chucking paint at the entrance.
Days before the action, 40 police officers raided an XR warehouse and an art studio, arresting 12 people ‘caught in the act’ of creating artwork for the march.
The draconian move came as no surprise. When rebels blockaded Murdoch’s printworks during the September rebellion last year, the government illegally pressured the police to react with more force. It is now introducing legislation that threatens to outlaw even mildly disruptive protests.
Over in New York, rebels staged a satirical circus outside the headquarters of Fox News (also owned by Murdoch). They were joined by BLM activists who’d protested at the same site earlier in the day.
The action was hosted by clown versions of the TV channel’s most popular presenters, and passersby were invited to play games that parodied the network’s dishonest programming. A punk rock band provided a suitably profane soundtrack to the evening.
As one rebel present explained, ‘Fox News tells the biggest lies and they have the biggest audience… they reach people who could influence the course of events… and the world needs help right now.’
Far-right Fails to Stop Rebels Reaching Prime Minister.
16 – 24 JUNE | Helsinki, Finland
Around 140 rebels set up a road blockade outside the Finnish Parliament in Helsinki. The police reacted with surprising leniency, and the protest continued into the night.
Many rebels brought tents and sleeping bags, and by morning the blockade had turned into a beautiful campsite.
This was one of a string of blockades held in the capital. Another major gathering was in Senate Square, the heart of the older part of the city, where rebels could take part in training or relax by listening to music and dancing.
After four days the police moved in to dissolve the camps, and 120 rebels were arrested. Some of those detained were people who had joined the protest spontaneously during previous days.
For the 2nd week of rebellion, Finnish rebels gatecrashed a government event on climate issues and demanded to speak to the politicians in attendance.
While some chose to flee the building via a backdoor, the Finnish Prime Minister and three ministers from left-leaning parties chose to face the rebels and discuss climate policy.
The politicians refused to make any concrete promises about declaring a climate emergency, but all except the Prime Minister accepted that Finland must do more to solve the crisis.
Overall XR Finland see their summer rebellion as a huge success. Their movement had grown online over lockdown, but these newly recruited rebels actually trekked down to the capital from all over the country to join the offline protests.
The media attention was also unprecedented, with the rebellion covered on regional and national news.
On the flipside, there was also attention from far-right groups, including outright neo-nazis, who spent hours shouting at the rebels, drowning out their chants with racist music, and threatening them with violence.
Police did nothing, claiming the nazi goons had registered their demonstrations. XR Finland will file a complaint about the police’s disregard for their safety.
While such harassment is new to Finnish rebels, it has in no way deterred them. Plans are underway to join the Nordic Rebellion in Oslo that begins in late August.
A Month of Rebellion Cut Short by Covid
JUNE | Indonesia
Rebels in Jogja, a city in Java, sound the alarm for June Rebellion.
June marked the launch of a nationwide month-long rebellion by XR Indonesia. The ambition of the protestors matched the ecocidal decision-making of their government.
Extractive industries have a huge hold over Indonesia’s political elite. It can be seen in the Omnibus bill that passed into law last month and that slashes environmental protections in the name of job creation. It can be seen in the effective dismantling of the country’s main anti corruption body.
And it can be seen in the long history of farmland confiscations using unjust contracts and armed guards. One land grab in particular helped to spark rebels into action. This is not only a human rights issue. Half of Indonesia’s carbon emissions are tied to land use.
On the first day of rebellion, rebels gathered in cities across the country wielding various forms of sound making equipment to ‘sound the alarm’ on the Climate Crisis.
When the rebels in Jakarta reached the city centre, they held the government on trial for endangering the lives of their own people. They also projected messages onto the Corruption Eradication Commission building.
Rebels in Jakarta hold their government on trial for negligence over the Climate Crisis.
Successful marches also took place in the city of Makassar, and a campaign to amplify the stories of climate refugees and the victims of farmland theft was launched on Instagram.
But this is where the actions started to falter. The pandemic has been poorly contained across Indonesia, and another devastating wave of infections, along with more aggressive policing, kept rebels away from the streets for the rest of June.
Despite the rebellion being cut short, rebel coordinators believe public frustration with the status quo is reaching a tipping point, and the group is making links with other resistance movements like Clean Up Indonesia.
For the time being XR Indonesia is continuing to interview victims of the Climate Crisis and extractive exploitation. View them on their Instagram page.
Indonesian rebels help villagers grow food organically during the June Rebellion, breaking the cycle of fertilizers and debt that the government encourages local farmers to get into.
3 JUL | Gothenburg, Sweden: Rebels launched a campaign to highlight species extinction during their own heatwave, and called on their government to criminalise ecocide.
“The fight against extinction feels extra relevant today when we have gathered despite the heat, which is nothing compared to the heat of death that is going on right now in western Canada. Such waves of death will become much more common in the future and large areas of the Earth will be uninhabitable before today’s children even turn 30,” they said.
24 JUN | Wroclaw, Poland: Temperatures have also been soaring in Poland. Blood and heat death were the themes of this rebel action in Wroclaw against coal-fired power company Kogeneracja SA, part of the Polish energy conglomerate PGE.
25 JUNE | UK: XR Buddhists meditate outside the London HQ of ecocidal bank Barclays. Days later Money Rebellion launched it’s Earth Tax Strike. At least 3% of the UK’s tax revenue is spent subsidising fossil fuels and ecocide, so rebels are pledging to withhold that amount to fund ecological repair instead. More info here. Photo: FULouGraphy
22 JUNE: Legal experts have drawn up a historic definition of ecocide intended for use by the International Criminal Court to prosecute the planet’s most egregious polluters.
16 JUNE | Sebokeng, South Africa: A ‘Youth Day’ protest by young people living beside quarries abandoned by mining corporations. At least 4 children have died falling into them.
12 JUNE | Germany: Over 100 sitters across 30 cities took part in XR Germany’s 3rd Rebellion of One (Ro1) event. The sitters wore sandwich boards with comments from people in the Global South. In Hamburg, 2 glue-ons stuck to streets for over 4 hours and 20 rebels were arrested. Another Ro1 is planned in Berlin as part of the RiseUp action in August. For more on the synchronised Ro1 actions across Europe go to Newsletter XTRA.
5 JUNE | Ecuador: As part of their G7 protest, rebels in Ecuador wrote the song ‘Look To The Sea’ and produced a music video for it.
7 JUNE | France: While 2 activists were on trial at the Paris Criminal Court for an action against financial giant Black Rock, rebels & other activists organised their own trial outside.
29 JUNE | Sri Lanka: Evidence is mounting of the appalling environmental impact of the X-PRESS PEARL disaster. A vessel loaded with toxic chemicals caught fire on Sri Lanka’s coast and animal carcasses have been washing ashore ever since. Local rebels helped launch this petition calling for the ship’s corporate owners to pay for the clean up. Photo: Ceylon Today
So many rebel actions happened this month we can’t fit them all into one newsletter. Head on over to Newsletter XTRA to find out about actions in Australia, Ireland, Czech Republic & more. Newsletter XTRA: A feast for the eyes and extra fuel for the soul!
August RiseUp: Berlin
16 AUGUST | Berlin, Germany
Several climate justice movements will come together on the streets of Berlin this summer!
Similar to a rebellion wave, it will be big, colorful and Corona-compliant with tried and tested concepts!
Nordic Rebellion: Ban Oil – Don’t Ban People!
21 – 29 AUGUST | Oslo, Norway
We have a duty to disobey this system which destroys life on earth and is deeply unjust.
This August we will enter the North’s oil capital in the largest Nordic Mass-Action ever!
Many of us will join open actions and face arrest and charges. Take the pledge to be arrested in Oslo this summer. Your courage is crucial to change this toxic system!
Schedule: 21st: ARRIVAL | 22nd: TRAINING | 23rd – 28th: REBELLION | 29th: DEBRIEF.
Rebel in unity across borders – sign up here!
The Impossible Rebellion!
23 AUGUST – ? | London, UK & Online
The Impossible Rebellion will have two key elements:
CRISIS TALKS: Everyone will be invited to the table for our very own Crisis Talks – and we mean that literally! To embody the power of Citizens’ Assemblies, tables will become a creative symbol of this Rebellion; to build things, to block roads, to paint, to share food, to talk to each other.
DISRUPT THE CITY OF LONDON: By focusing on the City, the Rebellion will target the root cause of the crisis, the political economy. We need to build pressure on the biggest financial institutions that are fuelling this emergency and start a ripple effect for other institutions to pressure the Government.
XR Earth Fast: It’s Now or Never!
28 AUGUST | Global
On 28th August 2021, XR Earth Fast will start in camps around the world.
Rebels will be fasting for different lengths of time – from a couple of days to indefinite fasts until our demands are met – inspired by the Tibetan Hunger Strike camps and the many brave activists through the ages who have used this form of protest for the greater good.
2021 is the most important year in human history. It’s now or never!
For more info and Global registration, visit the XR Earth Fast website.
Temple of the Lost Future Art Exhibition: Submit Your Art!
27 SEPT – 3 OCT | Milan, Italy
XR MILANO is organizing an international art exhibition during the PreCOP conference at the end of September.
We’re inviting all artists to participate by sending work that illustrates a new way to communicate the ecological and climatic crisis.
For more information write to: firstname.lastname@example.org
An Italian rebel protests alone on a square in Venice during the G20 summit.
Welcome to Must Reads, rebel. Are we entering a world where extreme weather is commonplace? How did we get here when we knew how to avert this future decades ago? What can we do now to get through it? It’s all down below rebel, in those 3 lovely links.
New York Magazine: How To Live in a Climate Permanent Emergency.
In the light of Lytton, journalist David Wallace-Wells argues that the future holds neither apocalypse nor victory in the climate crisis, but an anxious era of permanent emergency.
Current Affairs: Exxon Admits Capitalism Caused the Climate Crisis.
After Greenpeace tricked a former oil lobbyist into a full, stomach-churning confession, this critique expertly shows how the pursuit of shareholder profit is a cover for all of it.
Austrian World Summit: Greta Thunberg’s Speech (7 mins)
After those two brilliant but heavy-hitting reads, sit back and watch the young Swede call it like it is to another group of complacent elites who merely play the game of climate action.
Book of the Month
Activism For Life, by Angie Zelter
Angie Zelter has been an active campaigner since she finished university and, as she puts it, her real education began.
50 years later and she has been arrested over 200 times and spent over 2 years in prison awaiting trials, on remand, or serving sentences. She is currently active with XR Peace.
Inspired by the interest generated by the talks she gave about her campaigning, she decided to write it all down.
“This is the story of my personal journey to make sense of a world I knew was teetering on the edge of self-destruction.
Instead of despairing and becoming a part of the problem… I wanted to find ways to change the age-old patterns of exploitation, power abuse and fear that were fuelling the nuclear arms race, environmental destruction, and ecocide on our planet.”
With chapters on building networks of resistance both at home and abroad, preparing and following up actions, international solidarity and lessons learnt, this is an inspiring, engaging and informative book about the recent history of nonviolent protest, and the evolution of different tactics.
21 JUNE | UK: Fruity rebels from Plastic Rebellion are removed from the HQ of ‘Innocent’ and arrested. But it is the global drinks company that’s guilty of gratuitous greenwashing.
Thank you for reading, rebel. If you have any questions or feedback, we want to hear from you. Get in touch at email@example.com.
We are in a crucial phase of human history, and our movement needs money to make our message heard. Anything you can give is appreciated.