International Rebellion: Week 1

This rebellion has caused disruption globally, bringing the attention of the world to the climate crisis like never before. Here are some of the inspiring actions that have been carried out by our friends across the world.

For a rundown of XR Scotland’s actions in London read Power in Truth: Week 1

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Canada 🇨🇦

Three Quebecois rebels closed all five lanes of traffic on the busiest bridge in Montreal for over an hour, during rush hour.

Two women and a man scaled the huge metal structure in the middle of the night, forcing police to close the bridge to traffic. Sadly, the brave rebels were stopped before they could drop their 20m wide banner and were arrested once back on the ground.

3 people abseiling down the side of a bridge at nighttime.

A video of one rebel explaining the action went viral – one rebel said: “We are not the farfelus (crazy ones). Those who believe we can keep growing forever in a finite world are the ones who live in a fantasy land.”

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Belgium 🇧🇪

Scenes of violence shook the European capital of Brussels as over 400 peaceful protesters were arrested with force.

Using water cannons, pepper-spray, batons and shields, police tore through a crowd of approximately 1000 people. This was a shocking and upsetting response from the police. This is without doubt the most striking display of aggression that we’ve seen thus far, as well as being the biggest mass arrest in XR’s short history.

A rebel being held by the neck by a police officer. In his other hand, the police officer has a bottle of pepper spray which he is pointing at the activist.

The protest, part of Belgium’s Royal Rebellion, took place on Koningsplein near the royal palace. One of the family, at least, is already convinced: Princess Esmeralda was arrested with us in London earlier this week. At around 2pm, rebels occupied the square in true XR style. They brought flags, musical instruments and good intentions. They even brought a boat.

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Netherlands 🇳🇱

Rebels in Amsterdam were active across three different sites over the weekend, with at least 160 rebels arrested.

Police were unable to prevent 300 rebels from dragging a yellow boat to the centre of Blauwbrug bridge, which was blocked for several hours, disrupting tram, road and water traffic.

Around 20 rebels marching along a bridge, surrounding a yellow boat which they are pushing along with them.

Rebels stood side by side, holding their ground to remind us of our collective power in the face of an existential threat. When rebels were finally dispersed, after several hours, many were taken away by bus to the outskirts of the city.

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Argentina 🇦🇷

XR Buenos Aires joined a native Argentinian event in solidarity. The two groups had met at a protest outside the Brazilian embassy, over the Amazonian fires.

For centuries, the 11th October has been celebrated as the Last Day of Free Peoples, even before the Spanish invasion begun on the 12th October 1492. We cannot preserve the beauty of the planet without listening to the voices of the native people, and gaining a fuller understanding of their history of resistance and relationship to the land.

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United States 🇺🇸

XR NYC shut down Times Square last week with the help of a large lime-green sailboat that cruised in especially for the occasion.

New Yorker rebels swarmed the boat as soon as it moored, attaching themselves to the bow like barnacles using chains and super glue. Atop the vessel, super-glued by the feet and locked onto to the mast, was 16-year-old Nathaniel Walcott.

A bright, lime green boat in the middle of Times Square in New York, a very busy intersection of roads. The boat has the words 'ACT NOW' written in black on the side, with lots of police officers surrounding it. A young male activist is stood on top of the boat, which is adorned in the flags of nations which are at immediate risk from sea-level rise.

The NYPD were forced to close off the entire square for over two hours and 62 fearless rebels were arrested. To pull off the audacious blockade, a decoy protest was launched at the nearby Fox ‘News’ headquarters. 100 rebels, buoyed by the freshly-formed XR NYC band, arrived at the news tower just as the boat dropped anchor over in Times Square.

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Ireland 🇮🇪

The last few days have been a difficult time for XR Ireland. In response to the Irish government pushing ahead with plans to build a U.S. fracked gas terminal in Shannon, rebels decided to add a demand for Rebellion Week: Stop the Shannon LNG Terminal plus any new fossil fuel infrastructure!

There was a spontaneous sit-in at the gates of the Dail (Ireland’s Parliament) that meant some politicians were locked in. XR Ireland decided to deliver their message to their political representatives: “We have had enough”. The rebels refused to move.

Hundreds of rebels outside the gates of the Irish parliament at night.
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Spain 🇪🇸

Madrid rebels had a dramatic first day of Rebellion! 300 rebels peacefully surrounded a pink boat to block a bridge and were greeted by an alarming police response that included twisting arms, pressing thumbs into rebels’ eyes and putting pressure under their jaws.

10 rebels were hospitalised and many others suffered minor injuries. There were 43 arrests that day in Madrid. But their spirits were not broken. The rebels went onto cause further disruption and set up camp in front of Spain’s Ministry of Ecological Transition:

Rebels dressed in red, blue and brown – representing forest fires, rising sea levels and desertification – stalked others dressed in animal costumes in a striking performance about mass extinction.

Rebels sat on the floor, linking their arms and bodies as police officers dressed in riot gear attempt to pull them away from the ground.