International Rebellion – The Beginning

October 8, 2019

International Rebellion has commenced on 7th October in more than 60 cities worldwide to protest the world leaders’ inaction towards climate change. London started the rebellion with an opening ceremony in Marble Arch on Sunday evening, featuring meditation and singing.

A group of XRC members headed up to London on the train on Sunday to be at Marble Arch for the Opening Ceremony of the Rebellion. The youth brought the torch of truth to the main fire and we were invited to reflect on what had brought us here; the grief, the anger and the need for action.

Eight brave Chelmsford souls headed to Hyde Park with their tents in tow to set up camp for the night. After being told that the police were threatening to arrest anyone staying overnight, the news changed, and we were permitted to stay. We’re not gonna lie to you – it wasn’t the most comfortable night’s sleep. Some of us were camping for the very first time – and what a time and place to do it! It was a humbling experience; no-one got much sleep, worrying that each siren would mean we would have to hastily pack up.


Extinction Rebellion groups from across the East of England and Midlands joined forces to establish a site in the area around Horse Guards Parade in London, with the intention of remaining there for as long as it takes. Alongside a multitude of other sites, each coordinated by other regions and allied movements, we will join our fellow rebels and come together to peacefully shut down Westminster until the government acts on the climate and ecological crisis.

Each Rebellion site has a theme, and the theme for the East of England & Midlands site is ‘Love’. The area was decorated accordingly and will model the ‘Regenerative Culture’ of Extinction Rebellion; a way of living that is more connected with other human beings and the environment, and less psychologically intense than the norm of long hours, high stress and emotional and physical isolation from others.

This site is used as a zone for rebels to rest and recover during the Rebellion period as well as a site for outreach to grow the Rebellion. There is music, poetry, arts and talks.

The following comments are made by XR Chelmsford members when asked, “why had they made the trip to London for Day 1 of the Rebellion?

Simon, 52, father and entrepreneur
“I want people to wake up and realise we’re about to hit a brick wall. We’ve known about the climate disaster for 30 years. I have been struggling with this most of my adult life, I’d mostly given up until I found you guys [XR Chelmsford]”

Chris, 32, steward keeping people safe on site
“Nobody is listening. Action needs to happen now, so this is the only way to draw attention and get some movement.”

Stephanie, 49
“This is the last chance to act; we’re heading for a scary future. The more of us that come together to make a difference, the less scary the future becomes.”

Les, 62
“Going to London leaves me torn. My dad is 94 and very sick; I’ve been caring for him in the end of his life. Of course I should be there. But I also feel compelled to rebel in London to express my love for all life and my frustration at the lack of urgent action needed to protect the vulnerable on our now fragile planet.”

Sophia, 32, birth-striker
“I feel called to be here. When I finally allowed myself to feel the weight of the crisis, there was only one thing left to do – to get away from my computer screen and out onto the streets. Knowing so many people from Chelmsford are here too makes my heart swell. I never would have dreamt this. We have a real affinity, I am proud to be here.”

Indu, 26, birth-striker
“Business-as-usual is destroying our planet’s capacity to sustain life. The climate and ecological emergency means that the rules must change because the current system – politically, socially, economically – is killing us!”