Extinction Rebellion

Extinction Rebellion [1] is a civil disobedience organisation formed in the summer of 2018, with its first action in August 2018 [2].

It has since been involved in numerous acts of protest including civil disobedience, and has hundreds of local groups in dozens of countries.


It has three demands
1. Tell the truth
Government must tell the truth by declaring a climate and ecological emergency, working with other institutions to communicate the urgency for change.
2. Act Now
Government must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.
3. Beyond Politics
Government must create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly [3] on climate and ecological justice.

Major actions

Its major actions so far have been


Its successes have been
Publicity of the climate crisis
Engagement with politicians, e.g.
Possibly contributing to decisions made, e.g.

Reasons for success

Its success has been attributed to a number of factors

Countering of criticisms

Extinction Rebellion has generally reponded quickly to criticisms made of it, whether in interviews, at protests, or on social media. Here ae some typical criticisms and responses.
Campaigners should write emails or sign petitions rather than causing disruption.
Response: Campaigners have these methods for many years with little or no effect.
Campaigners should not break the law
Campaigners should not have to. Governments should be making competent decisions on climate change, and the concerns of poor decision-making sould be addressed - they should not simply be ignored.
Disruption has made people late for work, or miss job interviews, or miss hospital appointments, or miss seeing loved ones who are seriously ill.
Response: Campaigners do not want to cause these problems to people, but the consequences of 6° of global warming are far worse than these possibilities.
Protesters risk losing public support
Protesters are not primarily "looking for public support" - they are raising the alarm of an emergency. People setting off a fire alarm or banging on doors in response to an emergency are not "looking for support" - but causing enough annoyance to ensure an appropriate response.

Support for civil disobedience

Support for the tactics of civil disobedience of Extinction Rebellion has come from


[1]Extinction Rebellion https://rebellion.earth
[2]Extinction Rebellion roadblock, Trafalgar Square, 30 Aug 2018 https://video.buffer.com/v/5c4fcdd5a4b3ff15e72ddb22
[3]Citizens' assemblies https://rebellion.earth/the-truth/demands/

First published: Jul 2019
Last updated: 28 Jul 2019