Extinction Rebellion in pictures

| 15th April 2019
Woman flying a scarf from Westminster Bridge on XR day of action
'Folk of the Extinction Rebellion' shows a UK grassroots response to the existential threat posted by climate breakdown and ecological collapse.


A new global wave of non-violent, environmental activism has begun.

Greta Thunberg challenged the world to take notice of climate change with her solitary school strikes, joined by 1.5 million world wide; an IPCC report warned that humanity only has 12 years to change course to limit temperature rise to below 1.5°C – a figure beyond which some scientists say would lead to the collapse of civilization.

Add in soil degradation, pollinator die off, deforestation and a plethora of other convergent ecological problems, and humanity today has got a lot on it's plate.

This photo essay traces the grassroots response to existential threat. We look at their human journey so far, as they prepare for their next move. 

Reclaim the BBC

21 December 2018: Extinction Rebellion mounted a lock-on, blocking BBC offices in Central London.  

Their actions called on the BBC to ‘tell the truth’ about the accelerating breakdown of natural systems, it’s causes and consequences.

XR insisted the BBC must fulfill it's National duty by reporting at the scale needed to communicate the severity of current threat to the biodiversity that provides conditions for human life.

 Antonio Olmos - Reclaim the BBC
Antonio Olmos - Reclaim the BBC

Rebellion Day

17 November 2018: A rebel flies a scarf in the wind on occupied Westminster Bridge, as two police officers stand watch.

6000 people attended XR’s first Rebellion Day last November, double what was expected.

Five bridges were held in Central London, before protesters rallied on Parliament Square as a response to political and economic inaction on the climate and ecological emergency.

Rebellion Day 1 - @is.a.rose
@is.a.rose - Rebellion Day 1


Blocking roads

Francesca E. Harris - Southwark Bridge
Francesca E. Harris - Protester on Southwark Bridge

17 November 2018: Lucy holds her six-month old daughter on Southwark Bridge as part of Rebellion Day One.

Lucy joined others who traveled from the South West to London to take part in the non-violent direct action, peacefully blocking roads. She told of her deep sadness and anger: “It could be different. I want decisions to be made that protect the Earth for our children, and other non-human beings.”

XR has three demands to UK Government, which include a citizens assembly to guide policy change for preventing ecocide.

Our future

24 November 2018: A rose lays upon prints of photographs from Gideon Mendel, after a group of Extinction rebels ceremoniously presented a coffin bearing the words ‘Our Future’ outside Buckingham Palace.

Mendel's Drowning World series “is a visual attempt to capture the magnitude of climate change, through portraits of flood survivors taken in deep floodwaters, within the remains of their homes, or in submerged landscapes, in the stillness of once lively environments.”

Francesca E. Harris - Roses laid on Gideon Mendell prints
Francesca E. Harris - Roses laid on Gideon Mendel prints


Teach the truth

22 February 2019: Schoolchildren stand outside the Department for Education in London, having participated in an action where the words 'Teach the Truth' were sprayed by a secondary school teacher in washable chalk paint.

Youth in XR are supported by parents and guardians to publicly share their feelings and thoughts on preventable extinction, such as through the collage art piece they hold.

Climate Truth for Schools
Children outside Department for Education 


Parliament Square

24 November 2018: A young person cries in Parliament Square, as their fellows sing in honour of those who have already suffered and been killed by climate and ecological collapse and pollution.

Extinction Rebellion promotes a 'Regenerative Culture' to get people past political divides; encouraging a reconnection to each other through empathy.

Thomas Katan - Protesters in Parliament Square
Thomas Katan - Protesters in Parliament Square


This Author 

Francesca E. Harris is a visual artist and photographer currently living in Bristol, UK.  Join XR here.

Help us keep The Ecologist working for the planet

The Ecologist website is a free service, published by The Resurgence Trust, a UK-based educational charity. We work hard - with a small budget and tiny editorial team - to bring you the wide-ranging, independent journalism we know you value and enjoy, but we need your help. Please make a donation to support The Ecologist platform. Thank you!

Donate to us here