The Impossible Rebellion has been happening in London since August 23rd and so far at least 12 local rebels have taken part.
Throughout the week rebels took on various roles of arrestee support and outreach and of course tried to swell the numbers on various occupations and marches such as to the city financial district, Smithfield Market and the Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy. The main thrust of the protest is to get the government to stop investing in fossil fuels and start investing in alternative energy sources. There were great road blocks at strategic points to maximise interruption of business as usual. Coverage in the media was evident with some sympathetic articles written in the Guardian and elsewhere.
The whole rebellion kicked off with a mass gathering in Trafalgar Square.
Below are our rebels on the first day. From left to right Ben, Chris, Rob Felicity, Ali.
Then everyone marched to a 6-way junction in Covent Garden where some clever rebels had erected a giant pink table while the police were distracted by the march.
Blocking roads at strategic points to cause maximum economic disruption of ‘business as usual’ was a successful feature of the rebellion.
Here blocking Oxford Circus
And at Mansion House
Even Tower Bridge
There have also been some creative and effective actions highlighting the harmful nature of our economic system.
Fake Blood Sprayed over a financial institution investing in fossil fuels
Fake blood and coins painted red stuck on the square near Guildhall, the centre of the city built on “Blood Money” derived from colonial exploitation.
In China Town highlighting recent deaths in China from flooding
Fossil Fuel Protest near Parliament
Meanwhile some of our rebels set up “Crisis Talks” pink tables on the periphery of every occupation or action to engage the public about the Climate Emergency. This has been a new and highly successful aspect of the 2021 Rebellion and some of our our fellow rebels have been involved in this outreach work. The result is the swelling of numbers of rebels signing up to XR; it was reported that 1000 new rebels joined the movement in one day!
Mini pink table with Ali, who was found and joined by former XRWD rebel Elis
Want to see more?
Here are a few videos offering a flavour of this Rebellion:
Tales of the Impossible Rebellion by local XRWD Rebels
New rebel Rob:
“It was my first experience of an Extinction Rebellion action in London on Monday 23rd - both exhilarating and novel. It was exhilarating to see thousands of people out on the streets to demand real action on the climate emergency, and in a way that was new to me as a firsthand experience. No other protest I have joined has featured musical chairs, frisbee or a giant pink table! And none has felt so globally important, with UNICEF recently stating that around one billion children are at an "extremely high risk" of the impacts of the climate crisis, in particular.”
“THE IMPOSSIBLE TEA PARTY!!
We started at UK News, near London Bridge where we heard lots of rousing speeches including a really interesting speech from a campaign highlighting the problem of air pollution, in particular the problem with idling vehicles!! Did you know an idling vehicle produces enough toxic exhaust emission to power 150 balloons every minute! Please sign the petition! Here I was also able to grab a free delicious hot vegan curry from a XR mobile food trolley. Yes, you even get fed!
The amazing Samba band then arrived, ready to rally us to hit the streets and start marching! The Samba band is without a doubt in my opinion, one of the most inspired ideas from XR! This very talented group of people play drums and percussion instruments inspired by Brazilian Carnival music, all designed to keep us united, motivated and uplifted, help bring calm when needed and it’s certainly very unique & special to experience!
We then arrived at Tower Bridge where we saw a caravan blocking Tower Bridge – I’m sure you’ve seen the photos, need I say more! We then sat in the road nearby having a ‘tea party’ and heard more inspiring speeches including one from Etienne Stott an Olympic gold medallist who actually had his medal with him – stating we had equal power to face the climate crisis! The police then asked us to move from the highway and here in true XR style we ‘moved like water’ and started a new procession, but not before I witnessed the arrest of many brave rebels who chose to ‘lock on’ and continue blocking the highway!! Thank you, thank you! Here I was also blessed with a beautiful chance meeting with 93 year old, John Lynes who made headlines at the last rebellion! Yes this amazing man is still going!
The processions then continued through the city on a now very unplanned route along main roads waving the public, through tunnels which reverberated the sound of the samba, we did a very moving silence under Cannon Bridge before finishing outside JP Morgan Chase offices – the investment bank responsible for a whopping £317 billion of fossil fuel financing since the Paris Agreement!! Where in the middle of the road we sang and danced to ‘One love – Bob Marley’ before finally peacefully calling it a day……….
It’s difficult to put into words the experience of the rebellion but I hope this gives you some kind of appreciation of the amazing people involved in the movement simply trying to fight for the most important issue of our time but in the most beautiful way! And perhaps encourages you to consider coming along sometime! There is a group of us going on Saturday, please do
“In this Rebellion, for the first time, I offered arrestee support at police stations where rebels were taken into custody for blocking roads and other such actions to draw attention to the climate emergency. The strong ethos of care for each other within XR means that once a station is ‘live’ the aim is to ensure there is support there until all rebels at that station are released from custody. It was truly humbling to be part of this support for the brave rebels putting their liberty on the line in the name of calling attention to the urgency with which we need to act in response to the climate and ecological emergency. Knowing they could see us as they entered custody at any, already ‘live’ station, I hoped that this would bolster them during their time in custody. And I was glad to be there for them when they were released, whatever state they were in: bewildered, unruffled, emotional, subdued, distraught, buoyant - I saw all these in just a handful of hours and felt I could offer something to all of them, whether it was emotional or practical support, or snacks and drinks.”
“This was my 6th rebellion and this time I joined the Pink Tables team without fellow XRWD rebels to work with. It did not matter as I found I was part of a big family!! Despite mobility problems my pink table was always collected and delivered back again by more able rebels. An amazing team assembled in Oxford Street and was really successful in engaging young people to talk about the Climate Crisis and sign up. I signed up 64 new rebels over 3 days. At the end of the march of “Stop the Harm” I felt incredibly privileged to hear rousing speeches from George Monbiot, Rupert Read and Kate Raworth.”