XR Unchained #16

XR Unchained #16

Rebels with their heads in the sand

XR Ibiza

South America

28 JUNE | Quito, Ecuador

Rebels shaking hands

Extinction Rebellion Ecuador carried out a symbolic, peaceful action in front of the headquarters of the state oil company, Petroecuador.

They were drawing attention to the lack of response by government and oil companies to the desperate situation of communities affected by the April 7 oil spill in the northern Amazon. Some 15,000 barrels of crude oil poured into two of the country’s most important rivers, affecting over 2,000 indigenous families and leaving 120,000 people without access to the rivers’ fresh water.

XR Ecuador stands in solidarity with the indigenous peoples, who filed a lawsuit against the Ecuadorian government and private and state oil companies on April 29, 2020. Photo: Ivan Castaneira.

7 JULY | Paris, France

Rebels holding signs

Colombian activists and members of the Colombian diaspora of Paris, supported by Extinction Rebellion Paris, demonstrated in front of the Colombian consulate to denounce the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and intimidation against indigenous peoples by the Colombian armed forces.

On June 21, 2020, a 13-year-old child, a member of the Embera Katio ancestral people, was raped by seven members of the Colombian army. A few days later, newspapers reported that last September a young Kille of the Nukak ethnic group, then aged 12, was kidnapped and raped for six days by the same army.

At present, 118 members of the military are being investigated for acts of sexual violence.

The indigenous peoples Embera Katio and Nukak Maku are among 38 indigenous peoples declared by the Colombian Constitutional Court to be in imminent risk of extinction as a result of colonisation, which has changed in form but not in substance.

The militarisation of indigenous territories by armed groups that covet natural resources and control of territories not only endangers the existence of these peoples, but also the havens of biodiversity that they protect by their presence.

Africa

30 JUNE | Khartoum, Sudan

Rebels demonstrating in Khartoum

Rebels from Extinction Rebellion Sudan demonstrate in Khartoum.

New Zealand

9 JULY | Canterbury, New Zealand

Rebels dressed as cows

The giant global dairy corporation Fonterra was greeted with drums, cow costumes, placards and a pile of coal, as Extinction Rebellion Ōtautahi (Christchurch) asked the question, Why are Fonterra still using coal in a climate emergency?

Fonterra is responsible for approximately 30% of the world’s dairy exports. A cooperative owned by 10,500 New Zealand farmers, it is New Zealand’s largest company.

The demonstration follows Bathurst Resources’ application to expand the Canterbury coal mine, with most of its coal going to Fonterra’s nearby factory to dehydrate milk.

An XR Ōtautahi spokesperson said: “The proposed expansion of the Canterbury coal mine has everything to do with Fonterra’s addiction to coal. They are burning coal to dry out milk. Why are we seeing these irresponsible decisions in the middle of a climate crisis?”

Europe 1

Groups of rebels from all over Europe mobilised from June 29 to July 3 to denounce the aberrations of a system which destroys the conditions of our lives a little more every day. This first Europe-wide campaign enabled many countries to unite their voices to express the same message: instead of industries, it’s the planet that needs a recovery plan.

"Bail Out The Planet" XR Poster

4 JULY | Tours, France

French rebels demonstrating

Rebels protested against the millions of euros in bailouts granted by the French government to low-cost airlines. The woman’s placard compared the 30-euro price of a 1015-kilometre flight from Tours airport to Porto in Portugal with the same price for a train ticket from Tours to Paris (240km).

30 JUNE | Paris, France

French rebels, almost nude, wtih a large puddle of fake blood in front

French rebels stripped to their underwear and poured ‘blood’ outside the French Ministry of Economy and Finance. Their goal: to ‘point the finger’ at political leaders injecting billions into a deadly ‘revival’ of the old normality instead of investing in the climate, biodiversity and other vital needs such as health, food security and employment. Seven rebels were arrested.

2 JULY | Helsinki, Finland

Finnish rebels laying down in the street

Finnish rebels lay down in the street to block the cars of government ministers from entering the Senate building. They were demanding that politicians recognise that the economy can no longer be run as it was before the Covid-19 crisis.

2 JUL | Berlin, Germany

Berlin rebels entered Germany’s parliament to protest a disastrous new law that would allow coal to be burned until 2039 – far too long if the country is to meet its Paris Agreement commitments.

Rebels let it rain with leaflets and told the startled MPs that a citizens’ assembly was needed to take the necessary steps to tackle the climate crisis. The politicians ratified the new law anyway. As well as setting a phase-out deadline a decade too late, the law pledges €4.35 billion in compensation for the coal industry. Germany holds the EU presidency and is the 4th largest CO2 emitter in the world – its cosy attitude to coal sets a terrible example.

Rebels dressed as spacemen demonstrating

Space age rebels protest the coal law after it was passed by parliament.

3 JULY | Munich, Germany

German rebels winding green thread around an entrance

Rebels wound 4 km of green thread between two columns at the entrance to the Munich offices of the European Commission to draw attention to the fact that the supposed European Green Deal is not very green at all and current EU climate policy is leading to disaster.

4 JULY | Budapest, Hungary

Hungarian rebels demonstrating.

‘A Lifebelt for the Planet.’ Photo: Czele Annamária.

As part of the Europe-wide actions, Hungarian rebels demonstrated in front of the Ministry of Finance. “Our governments provide unconditional support to save polluting industries such as the automotive industry or aviation. We demand that the Hungarian government focus on providing human needs such as health, food supply and the environment,” they said.

29 JUNE | Turin, Italy

Semi-nude rebels protesting outside a bank

’Intesa is naked’ read the signs, referring to the Italian bank Intesa SanPaolo. Turin rebels expressed their opposition outside its offices to the restart of the economy at the expense of planetary ecosystems and human lives.

5 JULY | Palermo, Sicily

Rebels holding up a big rainbow banner

‘No Rainbow on a Planet With No Rain’.

Europe 2

More actions took place around Europe before and after the week-long Bail Out The Planet mobilisation.

7 JULY | Baltic pipeline, Denmark

Rebels blocking a construction site

Fifteen rebels were arrested when they blocked a construction site for the new Baltic Pipe.

Due for completion in October 2022, the pipeline will carry natural gas from the Norwegian sector of the North Sea to Poland via Denmark. The project is being developed by Danish operator Energinet and Poland’s Gaz-System. It received 215m euros of EU funding in 2019.

18 JUNE | State Forestry Management Centre, Estonia

Estonian rebels demonstrating

About 100 rebels and environmental activists marched around the headquarters of Estonia’s State Forestry Management Centre (RMK). They were protesting against the mass clear-cutting of Estonian forests, in spite of warnings from prominent scientists and environmental organisations.

The rebels disobediently planted an oak tree to symbolise the need to care for our forests instead of turning them into quick profits for corrupt institutions. Established in 1999, RMK made a profit of 43.2m euros in 2019 and was one of the top 10 companies in Estonia.

24 JUNE | Gdansk, Poland

Rebels demonstrating in Poland

Rebels outside the Board of Education in Gdańsk. Together with the Polish Youth Climate Strike, they were protesting education material prepared by the Ministry of National Education in which global warming is described as bringing benefits to the planet! Photo: Pamela Gasiorowski.

27 JUN | Place de l’Europe, Lausanne, Switzerland

Rebels lying "dead" in the shape of the XR logo

Doctors for XR Switzerland held a powerful symbolic performance in Lausanne to highlight links between ecological catastrophe and human health problems, including the spread of infectious diseases like Covid-19.

More than 80 medical rebels in white coats and doctors’ paraphernalia gathered at the Place de l’Europe to lead a funeral procession with coffin, skull and stained-glass sand timer before lying down dead in the shape of the XR logo to represent the dangers of global heating.

12-21 JUNE | Germany

Rebels dancing on a bridge amongst bubbles

Discobedience on the Oberbaum Bridge, Berlin

Last month saw XR Germany launch its Rebellion Wave, a 9-day action extravaganza organised by groups across the country. The decentralised wave encompassed both digital and physical disruption. Highlights included blocking access to coal-fired power plants and mass ‘discobedience’ in central Berlin.

Rebels blocking access to a power plant

50 rebels block access to the Lippendorf coal-fired power plant near Leipzig.

27 JUNE | Prague, Czech Republic

Rebels lying down in a square in Prague

‘Let’s have a picnic in Prague Castle’. Concluding a series of socially-distanced actions since early May, Czech Republic rebels keep demanding that President Zeman meets with them to discuss the climate crisis.




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