Red Rebel Relay arrive at Glasgow Central with grim warning for COP26 leaders

The iconic Red Rebel Brigade are arriving in Glasgow today (Monday 1 November) to join forces with Scotland’s Blue Rebels in holding world leaders to account during the COP26 Climate Summit.

Regional Red Rebel groups have travelled by train to Glasgow over a three-day relay, silently and solemnly performing in carriages and on station platforms up and down the country ahead of their arrival in Glasgow Central Station at 4pm today.

The scarlet activists are bringing the gift of a poem to COP26 world leaders which paints a terrifying vision of climate breakdown. They are also warning that COP26 is NOT A DRILL, the world is now on CODE RED alert and unless world leaders take radical and immediate action they will have blood on their hands and face the stench of decay from rising temperatures. 

On their arrival in Glasgow Central the Red Brigade will join with Scotland’s Blue Rebels to deliver a haunting performance in witness to climate decay and a reading of their poem[see below] to world leaders. This will be followed by a silent procession around the station and its concourse, ending in the unfurling of the main banner – known as the baton – signifying the end of their journey and the hope that COP26 will drive political climate action. 

Spokespersons Catherine Heinemeyer and Christina O’Neill said:“Red Rebels have travelled, silently and with purpose, along the veins of the country to the beating heart of COP26 in Glasgow.

“It is now CODE RED for humanity, for climate, and for nature. There is not a single moment more to waste, and policymakers who don’t come to the table ready to make sacrifices really will have blood on their hands.” 

“The Red Rebel Brigade symbolises the common blood we share with all species, that unifies us and makes us one,” says Red Rebel founder, Doug Francisco.As such we move as one, act as one and more importantly feel as one.”

The Red Rebel Brigade’s three-day train relay saw groups from Truro, Plymouth and Exeter converge at Bristol Temple Meads station on Saturday (30 October), where they performed a silent, visually haunting display. 

Today (31 October)  the Red Rebels from Bristol, Rugby, and Oxford met at Birmingham New Street and staged a silent vigil to mark the mid-point of the journey.

Rebels from Birmingham, Leeds, York, Wales and The Marches then joined together with Manchester Rebels at Manchester Piccadilly to perform a wordless but hopeful demonstration. 

Tommorow (1 November), the final day of the journey, Rebels from Manchester, Preston and Carlisle will join the group on route and will arrive in Glasgow Central at 4pm where they will begin their performance. 

The main banner- known as the baton – will be displayed at the event on the main concourse of Glasgow Station, signifying the end of the journey and the hope that COP26 will drive political climate action.

Notes for Editors:

The Red Rebel Brigade is a theatrical, political performance group that raises awareness of ecological and political crises through peaceful, silent processions. Across the country, hundreds of Red Rebels sound the warning through art and movement. Group members wear red, representing the danger of the climate crisis and its impact on humanity.

*A Poem for COP: to our leaders

By Lesne’s Earwig

What gifts shall I bring to Glasgow?

I will bring you the aroma

Of a million shellfish cooking where they lie

In boiling rockpools;

The last cry of a lonely bird;

The silent columns of an empty wood;

A meadow without bees;

An orchard with no crop of butterflies or fruit;

The stink of cattle caged in concrete;

An ocean of corrupted algae;

A whale rotting on an empty beach;

The fading rattle of a child’s last breath;

A mother’s drying breast.

I will bring you acres of blackened stumps

And dust;

The slosh of waves within an empty house;.

A field of withered crops;

A single feather drenched in oil;

A dead earthworm in its poisoned soil; and

The vomit of the cancered man who farmed it;

A skeleton entwined with plastic.

I will bring you a swollen bloated corpse

Floating on the ebbing tide;

Blackened bones and greasy ash

From flesh.

I’ll bring you the stench of frightened sweat;

The smell of fear

And shit

Flowing through our flooded streets.

I’ll bring you hate in too-young eyes;

Despair in old ones.

I will bring these gifts to Glasgow

And lay them at your feet.

And then you dare – YOU DARE-

Tell me you’ve got this!