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Beyond Extinction Rebellion: protest groups fight on the front line for the climate | Environmental activism

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Ocean Rebellion: “Looks like David and Goliath”

Ocean Rebellion, a group fighting to protect the high seas, emerged from the larger Extinction Rebellion movement in 2020, when it became clear that ocean degradation required special attention. Co-founders Rob Higgs and his partner, Sophie Miller, are both artists who create theatrical stunts to convey his message.

Higgs has a background in mechanical sculpture, so he builds the props, while Miller, who has worked in film, takes care of the coordination of the performance element. Last summer, she found herself dressed as a polar bear, dancing on the bow of the world’s largest private residential cruise ship as activists projected slogans such as: “SORT YOUR SHIP OUT!” on the vast hull. It can be fun, but mind-blowing. “It looks like David and Goliath,” she said, “when you’re at night on a much smaller ship with those huge boats. “

Ocean Rebellion works closely with NGOs to figure out how to solve each problem with laser focus. “We work on campaigns ranging from cruise ships and marine pollution to deep-sea fishing and mining,” says Miller. “So we rely on scientists and NGOs to find the information from the people who have spent decades studying it – not only to understand what the problem is, but also where the pinch point is.” bathroom

Choked Up: “We want clean air to be a children’s right”

Beyond Extinction Rebellion: protest groups fight on the front line for the climate |  Environmental activism

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Strangled, from left to right: Nyeleti Brauer-Maxaeia, Anjali Raman-Middleton and Destiny Boka Batesa

Trained by sixth alumni Nyeleti Brauer-Maxaeia, Anjali Raman-Middleton, Destiny Boka Batesa and Kaydine Rogers of Advocacy Academy in Brixton, south London, which teaches young people how to create transformational campaigns, Choked Up aims to explain how air pollution and social justice are inextricably linked – and how people of color are likely to be most affected by toxic air.

“We are pushing for the environmental bill, which is currently in parliament, to include more comprehensive goals and strategies to reduce air pollution,” Brauer-Maxaeia said. Their reach is not only local – the founders pressured London mayoral candidates to become Clean Air Mayors – but also global. Choked Up is working with the environmental charity Global Action Plan to ensure that clean air is “registered as a children’s right on a global scale”.

“Cabinet members understand the issues in a hypothetical way,” says Raman-Middleton. “They can say, ‘This is how I imagine it is to live on one of these roads, this is how I imagine pollution will affect my daily life.’ But it’s very different to experience that. KC

BP or not BP: ‘Out, damn logo!’

Beyond Extinction Rebellion: protest groups fight on the front line for the climate |  Environmental activism

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BP or not BP, with Jess Worth, in the center

It takes some talent – and commitment – to bring a 40-foot (12-meter) sea monster into the British Museum, but for a “merry troop” of guerrilla artists engaged in protesting the sponsorship of cultural institutions. by the oil companies, it’s all in a day’s work. The group also brought a Trojan horse into the museum’s courtyard, invaded it with a Viking longship, and organized living works of art with up to 350 people at the museum. “We are very proud of our smuggling game,” says Jess Worth, one of the founders. “I don’t want to reveal too many of our secrets.”

The story of BP or not BP began in 2012, when Worth found herself among a group of people involved in activism against the oil industry. “This group were artists too,” she says, “so when we saw BP was sponsoring the Royal Shakespeare Company… it got us where it really hurts.” They were inspired by another protest group, Liberate Tate, who used the art to challenge BP’s sponsorship of the gallery. “We thought, what does this approach look like for BP sponsoring the RSC? Said Worth. “It probably looks like Shakespearean stage invasions! “

And so, in April 2012, as spectators at the Royal Shakespeare Theater in Stratford-upon-Avon awaited a performance of The Tempest, the group leapt onto the stage. The main actor, who had hidden his Shakespearean habit under a long Gothic coat, launched into a sincere two-minute soliloquy. There were heckles, but as he concluded with these words: “Let’s break their stick which would bewitch us!” Our damn logo! And snatched the BP badge from the program, cheers and applause rang out. After a long campaign, supported by artists and the public, the RSC ended its sponsorship agreement with BP in 2019. bathroom

Pass the Mic: “It’s difficult for people on the front lines to get to Cop26”

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Pass the microphone, from left to right: Tori Tsui, Dominique Palmer, Frances Fox and Elijah Mckenzie-Jackson

Founded in fall 2020 by Tori Tsui, Dominique Palmer, Frances Fox, George Steedman Jones and Elijah Mckenzie-Jackson after waves of climate strikes, Pass the Mic came together in response to the deletion of its Instagram account by David Attenborough , although it still has 6 million subscribers. The campaign acts as a call to arms to bring influential figures, brands and organizations to #PassTheMic and shine the spotlight on frontline climate activists and those most affected by the crisis. “It doesn’t stop with David Attenborough,” said Tsui, 27. “The one-person-centered climate movement is not just a huge responsibility, it’s a distraction from everyone coming together to create movement and change. “

“People facing the effects of the climate crisis are being left out of the conversations,” says Fox. “Conferences like Cop26 are inaccessible – it is difficult for people from the frontline countries to get there because of visas and expense. They are not speechless – they are simply not heard ”. KC

HS2 rebellion: “Direct action has not been seen on this scale since the 1990s”

Beyond Extinction Rebellion: protest groups fight on the front line for the climate |  Environmental activism

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Members of the HS2 rebellion

HS2 Rebellion is a large church. It encompasses groups such as Stop HS2, members of Extinction Rebellion, eco-activists and local residents along the route. He united everyone from die-hard environmentalists to Ukip. This alone is remarkable testimony to the impact of one of Europe’s largest infrastructure projects.

It has drawn protests since it was raised, but there has been an intensity in the level of activism that has boiled since construction began: Protesters scaled buildings and started hunger strikes. Images of activists tied up in trees, putting their bodies between bulldozers and woods, have become a symbol of resistance to the railroad. Many people have faced criminal convictions for the cause.

Construction is progressing, but campaigners hope their disruption will at least have an impact on how infrastructure decisions are made in the future. This style of direct action has not been seen in the UK on this scale since the 1990s, when eco-activists pitched camps and dug tunnels to impede the expansion of the road network. bathroom

Planet Patrol: “People want to actively participate in solving this problem”

Beyond Extinction Rebellion: protest groups fight on the front line for the climate |  Environmental activism

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Planet Patrol’s Lizzie Carr, foreground, with a group of volunteers

In 2016, Lizzie Carr embarked on a journey. She paddleboarded the length of the country along England’s waterways: 400 miles over 22 days. She cataloged every piece of waste she saw and plotted it on an interactive map. As she shared her findings on social media, people reached out to ask how they could help. All of this led to the launch of Planet Patrol (originally Plastic Patrol), a global campaign to clean up the planet.

Carr turned her interactive map into an app, so others can register waste as well. Then she started to organize events to get more people on the water.

The project snowballed: 350,000 wastes were collected in 83 countries. Planet Patrol uses wellness to engage people in the environment and has expanded beyond paddleboarding to facilitate cleanses combined with yoga, parkour, and other health and fitness activities: approx. 35,000 people participated. “People feel helpless and overwhelmed by what they can do to actively participate in solving this problem,” says Carr. “It’s important for me to find a way to get people to come out and be part of the solution. bathroom


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