Multiple demonstrations are getting underway across the country this weekend as environmental campaign group Extinction Rebellion gears up for a new ‘uprising’.
Various stunts including a ‘funeral march’ in Lewes, East Sussex, and a fancy dress tea party at Gatwick Airport are scheduled.
Three women have also been arrested in Brighton following the protests after they scaled the West Beach cafe on the seafront.
Extinction Rebellion says the activities over the August bank holiday weekend are a precursor to larger protests taking place from Tuesday.
The group is targeting other UK airports in an attempt to avoid the aviation industry’s return to ‘business as usual’ which it says is one of the biggest contributors to the climate crisis.
Groups are already gathering near Stansted, Luton and Leeds Bradford airports in protest against planned expansions.
A march named ‘Procession for the Planet’ is underway in Lewes, featuring black-clad mourners and a jazz band ‘to mark the death and destruction wrought by humans on our natural world’.
Activists in Brighton are planning an ‘epic voyage of rebellion’ in which they will march from the seafront to London with a ‘Lightship’ named after climate activist Greta Thunberg.
Three women were arrested in Brighton following a day of environmental protests organised by Extinction Rebellion
The protesters scaled the West Beach cafe on the seafront and were escorted down by specialist officers
Extinction Rebellion protesters on Lewes High Street in East Sussex, carry out a ‘funeral march’ as part of UK-wide protests
Activists from Extinction Rebellion take part in a Procession for the Planet in Lewes, East Sussex, to mark the death and destruction wrought by humans on our natural world, they say, as protests take place across the country this weekend
A march named ‘Procession for the Planet’ is underway in Lewes, featuring black-clad mourners and a jazz band ‘to mark the death and destruction wrought by humans on our natural world’ as Extinction Rebellion activists warn of Bank Holiday bedlam
Protesters from Extinction Rebellion take part in a ‘Procession for the Planet’ through the streets of Lewes this afternoon
The weather wasn’t enough to deter the demonstration in Lewes as activists carried out a funeral march through the town
Protesters from Extinction Rebellion take part in a ‘Procession for the Planet’ through the streets of Lewes, East Sussex today
Extinction Rebellion has urged demonstration participants to try and adhere to social distancing measures while protesting
Extinction Rebellion activists ‘mourn’ the impending death of the world due to global warming in Lewes, East Sussex
Meanwhile in Leeds, a group of XR activists gathered in the city centre to demonstrate against the expansion of Leeds Bradford airport in a protest dubbed ‘Ride the Noise’.
Pictures show a handful of cyclists donning masks with the XR branding on as well as other demonstrators holding banners and signs.
In London parents have been invited to take their children for a ‘Feed and Play-in’ outside the Bank of England to protest against fossil fuel bailouts, and similar demonstrations are due to take place in Oxford, Cardiff, Leicester and York.
Extinction Rebellion was responsible for two weeks of protests last summer, which saw a shutdown of much of central London.
Protests this weekend are due to include roadblocks, marches, sit-ins, bike rides and picnics, with organisers emphasising their ethos of ‘non-violent direct action’.
Extinction Rebellion protesters in Leeds city centre, ahead of their ‘Ride the Noise’ protest against the expansion of Leeds Bradford Airport, as a weekend of Extinction Rebellion action begins across the country
Cyclists gathered in Leeds City Centre and road to Leeds Bradford Airport to protest against its expansion in move dubbed ‘Ride the Noise’ as one of the first Extinction Rebellion protests to get underway on Bank Holiday Saturday
As part of nationwide demonstrations this weekend, protesters gathered in Leeds to campaign against airport expansion
Red Brigade of Extinction Rebellion hold vigil for environment at Wells Cathedral, Somerset, as part of nationwide protests
The vigil took place this afternoon from 11am as ten demonstrators dressed in red put on a theatrical performance in Wells
A large ‘We All Want to Live’ march took place today in central Brighton, with protesters meeting at the Pavilion Gardens at midday.
The group also hung a large banner which reads ‘Our House is on Fire’ from the town’s pier – a popular spot for photographers.
In Brighton, specialist officers were called to escort down three protesters that had scaled the West Beach cafe on the seafront.
The women have been arrested after the incident which was part of a wider demonstration, described by the group as an ‘epic voyage of rebellion’.
Brighton and Hove police tweeted about it, saying the women had been arrested ‘on suspicion of aggravated trespassing’.
Tomorrow, Extinction Rebellion activists from Brighton will begin a six-day effort to push a 20ft model lightship to London to join a ‘national rebellion’ in the capital.
The lightship, named Greta after teenage activist Greta Thunberg, is used by the campaigners to symbolise ‘sounding the alarm about the climate crisis’.
Meanwhile in Bristol, campaigners gathered to protest the expansion of the city’s international airport.
Ben Moss, a co-organiser and Chew Valley XR spokesperson, told the Bristol Post: ‘Airport expansion brings about the death of democracy – 77 per cent of all comments on the proposed expansion were objections, with 84 per cent from North Somerset against.
‘This was higher still in some villages. Councillors’ decision followed a democratic process. Nothing has changed, except there is even less demand post-Covid-19 and worsening markets of the climate crisis.
‘If the Secretary of State overturns this decision it is overturning the will of local people and, more than that, threatening our whole ecosystem and delicately balanced climate.’
Specialist officers were called to escort down three protesters that had scaled the West Beach cafe on the seafront
Brighton and Hove police tweeted saying the women had been arrested ‘on suspicion of aggravated trespassing’
Activists from Brighton will begin a six-day effort to push a 20ft model lightship to London to join a ‘national rebellion’
The ship has been named Greta after activist Greta Thunberg and is symbolising ‘sounding the alarm about the climate crisis’
Protesters from Extinction Rebellion march along the seafront in Brighton during a weekend of direct action and protest
Extinction Rebellion demonstrators make a stand in Brighton as part of nationwide protests taking place this afternoon
Black Lives Matter activists teamed up with Extinction Rebellion on England’s south coast as they marched through Brighton
Protesters from Extinction Rebellion and Black Lives Matter hold up placards as they march along the seafront in Brighton
The protest in Bristol was one of several demonstrations against expanding the UK’s aviation capabilities taking place today
Similar to the protest in Wells, Somerset, more Red Rebels perform in Bristol against plans to expand the international airport
The Red Rebels march as they take part in a protest in Bristol, against the plan to expand Bristol International Airport
Activists from Extinction Rebellion take part in a protest in Bristol, against the plan to expand Bristol International Airport
In Somerset, demonstrators donned red outfits from head to toe and put on a theatrical performance outside Wells Cathedral as part of a ‘vigil for the Environment’ which everyone was invited to attend.
The demonstrations will risk breaching social-distancing guidelines, although XR said it will be ‘pushing very hard’ for all participants to obey Government rules.
Yesterday, campaigners unfurled banners against oil and gas company Shell on Westminster Bridge in London, while some targeted Trinity College in Cambridge and spray-painted hand silhouettes on the college’s walls.
Others staged a protest against fossil fuels outside the Shell building in London.
Meanwhile, parliament’s online security body has warned Extinction Rebellion could try to target officials working for parliamentary committees to access social media accounts.
In an email entitled Cyber Security Threat This Weekend, Parliamentary Digital Service’s cyber security team warned them to update and strengthen passwords and check official accounts over the bank holiday weekend for any ‘suspicious activity’, the Guido Fawkes blog reported.
Extinction Rebellion, whose protests brought parts of London and other cities to a halt last year, has said it is restarting mass demonstrations this week having paused them earlier in the year due to the coronavirus.
Campaigners from Extinction Rebellion unfurl banners against oil and gas company Shell on Westminster Bridge
Extinction Rebellion protesters outside the Shell building in London demonstrating against the oil and fossil fuels company
Several arrests were made in Cambridge yesterday after protesters spray painted hands on university buildings including Trinity College. One, left, wore a green ensemble as she campaigned for more environmental policies
Protester laying on the grass with the spray-painted hands seen on a university building as police stood and kneeled nearby
XR activists seen marching on the Southbank during a protest as they call on UK government to scrap high speed rail project
Due to the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on travel, protesters are encouraged to take action locally with the aviation sector, banks, the fossil fuel industry and petrol stations as targets.
The protests are being held ahead of larger-scale demonstrations planned for London, Manchester and Cardiff on September 1.
Protests this weekend are expected to include roadblocks, marches, sit-ins, bike rides and picnics, with campaigners emphasising their ethos of ‘non-violent direct action’.
Demonstrations planned include a march in solidarity for animal justice in Trafalgar Square and a silent visual protest staged by grandparents outside Buckingham Palace.
There is also a ‘civil disobedience’ disco planned taking place outside Buckingham Palace and an inter-faith protest near Parliament.
XR supporters will also be encouraged to protest digitally, and urged to phone their MPs and ‘institutions of power’.
Anneka Sutcliffe, from XR Actions Circle, said a ‘few thousand’ people had indicated on Facebook they would join the London events, but numbers were expected to be lower than at demonstrations held in October.
Converging marches will start from Tate Britain, Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Cathedral and Smithfield Market.
Other protests will include a roadblock on Prince Street Bridge in Bristol, a mass bike ride from Brighton to London, banner drops and rallies against the expansion of Luton Airport and the aviation industry at Gatwick Airport.
Avon and Somerset Police said the Clifton Suspension Bridge would close from midnight on Thursday because of the Bristol protest, and could be shut until 6am on Tuesday at the earliest.
What events are Extinction Rebellion planning over their four-day ‘regional rebellion’?
- BANNER DROP – UK-WIDE – Extinction Rebellion is asking local groups to ‘hang their banners to Tell The Truth about the climate and ecological emergency’.
- 8.30am – BRISTOL: Activists plan to block the Prince Street Bridge to address the ‘climate and ecological emergency’
- 9.30am – NORWICH: XR demonstrators will gather at Whitlingham Country Park for what is being dubbed the ‘Tour de Norwich’
- 11AM – BIRMINGHAM: THE ‘Midlands HS2 Rebellion’ at Eastside Park in Birmingham will see people invited to dress either as an animal, tree or flower ‘threatened by HS2 destruction’ or in funeral attire. They will form a slow funeral march to the HS2 headquarters where they will hold a ‘die-in’.
- 12pm – MANCHESTER: A protest against plans for the High Speed 2 rail network as part of the ‘Northern HS2 Rebellion’
- 2.30pm – CAMBRIDGE: Activists will gather for the ‘Oily Handed March’ at Senate House, which will see them march through Cambridge to demand the university and colleges divest from fossil fuel companies.
- 2.30pm – CENTRAL LONDON: Activists lobbying against Shell from XR Lambeth, XR Southwark and XR Wandsworth will gather at Jubilee Gardens
- 6pm – BRIGHTON TO LONDON: A mass bike ride entitled ‘Swarm to the Rebellion’
- AIRPORTS AND AVIATION – UK-WIDE: XR said there ‘should be No Going Back’ to the airline industries following the coronavirus pandemic.
- 10AM – SOUTH LONDON: The Sutton, Merton, Croydon and Kingston XR groups are joining forces opposite the Pavillion Cafeat Beddington Park to stage actions highlighting the issues around the Beddington Incinerator.
- 11AM – NORTH LONDON: Activists from seven North London groups will gather at Edmonton Green in Enfield for a day opposing the Edmonton incinerator.
- 11AM – BISHOP’S STORTFORD: A mass action at Bishop’s Stortford station protesting the expansion of airports including the nearby London Stansted
- 11AM – LEWES: A funeral march dubbed a ‘Procession for the Planet’ on Westgate Street, including a jazz band and black-clad mourners. The protest will later change to ‘celebrate joyously the beauty and power of nature’.
- 12PM – BRIGHTON: The ‘We want to live March’ will take place at Brighton Pavillion, involving XR groups from Lewes, Shoreham, Worthing and Brighton who will march along Brighton seafront to call for change.
- 12PM – LONDON, OXFORD, CARDIFF, LEICESTER, YORK – Parents are encouraged to come with their babies and/or older children to ‘peacefully feed and play in protest at fossil fuel bailouts and the failure to transition to a green economy’. The London action is happening at the Bank of England.
- 2PM – TBC: A protest planned to cancel the expansion of Luton Airport
- 2.30PM – GATWICK: A ‘Mad Hatters’ Tea Party’ at Gatwick Airport South Terminal, with activists encouraged to ‘bring a picnic, dress up if you want, and protest with us about the government’s and the aviation industry’s lack of action to take radical steps towards zero carbon’.
- 3PM – LEEDS: A protest starting at Millennium Square in Leeds is aimed at stopping the expansion of Leeds Bradford Airport. Activists are taking a bike ride across the region with the aim of showing people in West Yorkshire how far they believe the noise pollution will travel if the expansion is approved.
- 4PM – BRIGHTON: A march along Brighton seafront and then towards London will take place with a ‘Lightship called Greta’
- TRUST THE PEOPLE – UK-WIDE: XR said activists will ‘get together online, in parks, and maybe even in roads to talk, listen and connect beyond our bubbles’ and learn ‘how all of our intersecting crises are connected’.
- 12PM – MANCHESTER: A ‘Making History March’ from Manchester Cathedral will look at the city’s relationship with slavery and colonialism.
- BANKS AND FINANCE – UK-WIDE: Proters will be arguing that the ‘world of dirty finance should be taking a permanent ‘holiday’ from destructive dealings and propping-up polluters’.
- 11AM – BIRMINGHAM: A protest at 130 New Street will urge HSBC to ‘divest from these polluters’ and involve ‘theatrical action’ with members from XR Youth.
- 11AM – NORWICH: A ‘Drumming for Divestment’ march will ask banks and financial services companies to ‘Act Now and divest from fossil fuel investments, whether they be pension funds or other investment vehicles’/
- 1PM – CAMBRIDGE: Extinction Rebellion Cambridge invites every citizen to ‘flood the streets’ from Parker’s Piece and ‘join a colourful and dramatic oceanic themed march through Cambridge with music and drumming, where we will highlight the plight of the oceans and seas’.
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