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Monday 01 July 2019

Gathering the Whirlwind: Extinction Rebellion Held Major Recruitment Drive In Brighton

Last Saturday at The Level, in Brighton, over 350 people took part in a major recruitment event organised by Extinction Rebellion


Called Gathering the Whirlwind, the event centred around a People's Assembly, in which local people worked together to decide on the next acts of civil disobedience for the Brighton arm of the global nonviolent movement, created to sound the alarm about the climate crisis. 

Roger Hallam, one of the movement's founders, came to Brighton to kick off the event with a forthright and emotive speech: 

"We've been lied to by politicians about the climate for three decades and now we're in this horrendous situation. 

"The environmental movement has woken up to the reality of our situation. 

"Standard protesting, leafleting, signing petitions and campaigning hasn't worked. Now is the time for a proper rebellion.

"In April, we brought London to a standstill and a thousand people were arrested. It was the biggest single act of civil disobedience in British history. It made big things happen. We met Michael Gove. Parliament declared a climate emergency. 

"The Labour Party declared a climate emergency and over 50,000 people joined us. 

"We are organising another rebellion in October. This is how radical change happens."


The aim of the event was to celebrate and build upon the enormous growth Extinction Rebellion Brighton has enjoyed in the wake of the International Rebellion in April. 

This was when five iconic London locations – Oxford Circus, Parliament Square, Marble Arch, Waterloo Bridge and Piccadilly Circus – were held by activists for up to 12 days. 

Over 200 people from Brighton and Hove were involved, with more than 20 of them arrested.

Extinction Rebellion Brighton's active group now has over 2,200 members on its active Facebook group and hundreds of local people attending its weekly meetings. 

Gathering the Whirlwind brought these members together to celebrate and plan for the coming months, but also attracted many new members too. 

This recruitment drive was organised so that the group can stage bigger and better acts of civil disobedience locally and also grow numbers for the next major international action, centred around London, in the autumn.

In true Extinction Rebellion style the event was highly creative and inclusive. 

It featured guerilla gardening, a samba band, a drumming group, a banner painting area, the distribution of free tea and cake, a children's play area, tree climbers and a bike swarm. All local people and passers-by were invited to join in.

Local people who want to join Extinction Rebellion Brighton can email xr_brighton@protonmail.com or find out more on its Facebook page.

by: Mike Cobley




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