Blue Plaque Actions Highlight ‘Dirty Water’ Across the South West

On 28th January blue plaques were put up around the South West to ‘commemorate’ MPs and the UK government voting to allow sewage to be dumped in our waterways.

The commemorative blue ‘plaques of shame’ have been awarded to MPs who on 20th October 2021 decided to block amendment 45 to the Environment Act 2021 which would have required water companies to “demonstrate improvements in the sewerage systems and progressive reductions in the harm caused by untreated sewage discharges.” Since then the dumping of sewage has become a toxic problem affecting many waterways and beaches across the UK as water companies routinely dump untreated sewage with impunity.

The blue plaque actions involved many local community groups including Surfers Against Sewage, the Rivers Trust, amongst others and the day was great for building local support and alliances. The actions were also incredibly creative with special unveilings of the plaques with ceremonial curtains and ribbons, music and other creative ideas such as ‘poo parties’ and masks of MP’s worn by activists pointing at their own blue plaque!

Our waterways are the veins of our country, home to an incredible number of species and habitats. But our clean water and biodiversity are being sacrificed by politicians and water companies who see our rivers and seas as nothing more than a commodity to be exploited.

Luke Pollard MP of Plymouth, was thanked by Extinction Rebellion Rebels – he is one of 3 MP’s across the UK whose actions to save our waterways have been recognised with a blue plaque of gratitude.

Look out for updates on Wave 2 and 3 of the #dirtywater campaign, which will give plenty more opportunities to participate and highlight the failures of our MP’s and water companies to protect this vital resource and habitat.

You can sign up to find out more here: Join the Dirty Water mailing list – Action Network

Change is now South West Bus Tour Autumn 22

The ‘Change is Now’ bus tour started in Bournemouth and toured around the South West including to Exeter, Teignmouth and Taunton.

Bringing rebels and creativity and music with it, the tour was a great opportunity to do outreach. We gave out a lot of leaflets , did lots of art blocking and signed up people to ‘The Big One’ next Spring. Plus, we had lots of people coming over for a chat!

One of our most successful outreach tools is the Citizens surveys board. Surveys are so important! Too often, our voices go unheard, but by simply joining in one of these surveys, you can easily get involved in some direct democracy. Everyone that wanted to vote was given a sticker and these were put on the board, The majority of votes for ‘How concerned are you about the climate crisis’ were ‘Seriously concerned’ or ‘Terrified’.

The majority of those surveyed also said that the Government isn’t doing enough about the Climate Crisis and most want a Citizens Assembly to decide how to tackle it!

Thank you toall the rebels for making the tour such a success and to everyone else for coming along and getting involved!

South West Summer Uprising 2022: Queen Camel Oak

Autonomous activists occupied the Queen Camel Oak in her final weeks on earth to extend her life in a bid to protect her.

Unfortunately, this Ancient, 450 year old, Oak tree was lost to the destructive grip of the RIS2 road building scheme, a £140 million scheme to dual the road. The tree stood near Sparkford roundabout and activists had been campaigning tirelessly to prevent her from being cut down.

These destructive government infrastructure projects, backed by the National Eviction Team to remove protestors, have caused scars on our countryside, something which we must protect as we go through this ecological and climate crisis.

As a part of the summer uprising, rebels came to the tree days after it was felled, to celebrate its life and mourn its loss. Over 30,000 people signed a petition to protect her, including Chris Packham and tree lovers everywhere but it was ignored by the authorities.

Thank You to the rebels who came together to hold national highways to account for their eco-cidal acts.

South West Summer Uprising 2022: Plymouth

Bravo to Rebels from the South West who held Oil Firm Valero to account for their dirty business processing fossil fuels and polluting our rising seas at our South West Summer Uprising on 17th July. In case you did not know, Valero has a number of fuel depots across the UK and in April this year they took out a High Court injunction against any climate protestors who might want to demonstrate at their terminals – a terrible infringement of our right to protest!

It was a scorching hot day, but well over 100 of us braved the heat to march through Plymouth. Our wonderful samba and colourful spectacle attracted the public and shopkeepers along the way. Many on-lookers were thanking us and applauded, while our outreach team explained what we were doing and why we were there.

We challenged the fossil fuel giant for putting an injunction against us, we say we will NOT be stopped from peaceful nonviolent protest!

Cornwall Climate Camp May/June 2022

Successfully occupying the grounds of Cornwall Council in Truro, and stealthily erecting their tents overnight, activists from all over Cornwall delivered a two week programme of events, talks and workshops for the community and for councillors to attend.

At first the campers were met with distrust and asked to leave, but after a few days the councillors got used to seeing the tents there and started to drift across to visit. Keeping the camp clean and safe and orderly was of the utmost importance to the activists to show that they were not going to create an unsightly nuisance, and with regular litter picking the site was cleaner when they left it, than when they arrived!

Highlights of the two weeks included amazing food donations from local supporters, music from Jessi Norgaard who gave a free gig for anyone that wanted to attend, regular clay workshops with local artist Lizzie Stevens and a huge programme of events each day that gave a bewildering array of subjects to learn about including compost, renewable energy, community supported agriculture, walking footpaths, dealing with climate anxiety and . Of course each day there were regular times to sit down for a very civilised tea and cake, to which all councillors were invited. All in all it was a job well done and the activists would highly recommend it to any group that wants to speak directly with their councillors in peaceful direct action!

More info here:

“George’s Gaff” : Rent from George Eustice’s constituency office used to fund Insulate Britain

Photo credit: Gav Goulder

Press Release – February 10th, 10am

For Immediate release

A coalition of investors, who own the Camborne constituency office of Environment Minister George Eustice, announced today that they have donated all of his rent so far to the Insulate Britain campaign.

In the run up to the Extinction Rebellion protests at G7 in Cornwall in June 2021, the group of 30 set up a company under the name of Cawton Ltd which is an anagram of Act Now – one of Extinction Rebellion’s three key demands. 

The group acquired the property at 13, Commercial Street, Camborne on 18th October 2021 for the sum of £51,000. Since then the company has received £2,820 (ex VAT) in rent from the House of Commons which has been donated to help pay the legal defence costs of Insulate Britain supporters.

Brenda Shrewsbury, 65, a grandmother of three from Budock Water said: 

Insulate Britain had it right and the government and media crucified them for it. Now we’re all feeling the pain of the home energy crisis, while the oil and gas companies make windfall profits and some ignorant MPs want to roll back progress on reducing our emissions.

“The rent from George’s gaff is tiny compared with the costs faced by the individuals that have been persecuted by the government for demanding action on home insulation, but I hope that this move will inspire others to do what they can. We need to come together and act now on the climate emergency.

Since November last year, 28 Insulate Britain supporters have been charged with contempt of court, 25 people have been found guilty and 13 have been sent to prison, in some cases more than once. 12 people have received suspended prison sentences. So far the courts have awarded costs of £84,000 against Insulate Britain defendants, with a further claim of £159,216 from lawyers acting for the government due to be decided next week.

The group has decided to donate future rent money to local food banks and community initiatives to help people suffering from the cost of living crisis and facing the choice of whether to heat or eat.

Sally Wright, a mother of three from St Day said:

“I invested because I am sick and tired of the Environment Minister’s complete refusal to make any decisions which deviate from ‘business as usual’ when we are facing a devastating climate crisis that will lead to the death of millions if we don’t take immediate action. I’m glad we’re using his rent to pay the fines of the people who are risking their livelihoods, reputations and personal safety to give the rest of us hope that change is possible.”

Daniel Newman from Carharrack, who is also one of George Eustice’s constituents said

“There are plenty of reasons to push back against the soft denialism of ministers like George Eustice. He’s been spreading lies about pollution from electric vehicles, undermining the government’s plan to roll-out heat pumps, approving bee harming pesticides and allowing water companies to pollute our rivers with impunity, all the while touting his green credentials. 

“ People are beginning to think he is on the payroll of the oil industry.”

Last week George Eustice was quoted as saying that electric cars are not necessarily as green as people believe and that as electric cars are heavier, they produce more brake, tire, and road dust than petrol and diesel cars. A claim that was easily debunked by the editor of WhichEV online magazine, James Morris who wrote that Eustice was “just plain wrong”.

In January, Environment Minister Eustice approved the “emergency” use of the bee killing pesticide neonicotinoid thiamethoxam,  despite the Health and Safety Executive and the government’s expert committee on pesticides concluding that the requirements for an emergency authorisation had not been met, and that pollution from the pesticide would damage river life. This decision came just two months after the government passed a “world-leading” Environment Act with a target to halt species loss by 2030.

In November last year, Eustice was asked whether he had a heat pump and he responded that “the technology is not quite there.” This was a startling admission given that the government had just announced it’s long-awaited heat and buildings strategy which contained several measures to promote the use of heat pumps to help reduce carbon emissions from homes. These included a new Boiler Upgrade grant scheme that will pay £5,000 per household towards the cost of installing a heat pump. 

In October last year, Eustice encouraged MPs to vote against an amendment to the Environment Bill that would have forced water companies to end the practice of dumping untreated sewage in our rivers and seas. After MPs rejected the amendment there was an outcry among voters and the government was eventually forced into a u-turn.

G7 Rebellion Roundup

Unofficial estimates suggest around 2,000 rebels took part in 3 days of creative and occasionally disruptive actions at the G7 summit in Cornwall from June 11-13th. Many arrived on foot or bike after epic multi-day treks. This roundup focusses on some of the actions we may have missed while preparing for or particpating in the main events on the 3 days in Cornwall.


Around 50 people completed a 6 day, 84 mile trek from Plymouth to Carbis Bay, accompanied by a large globe towed on the back of a trike. The scorched and drowned model of the world showed the expected impact of the climate crisis at 2 degrees including drowning coastlines and drought affected tropical land. “None of the G7 countries have taken the action they promised as part of the Paris Agreement to avoid this level of heating.  It really is an impending catastrophe and the world’s leaders must wake up to the implications,” said Sylvia Dell from XR Totnes and area. “We have several young people joining us on the walk who are understandably deeply concerned about what their future holds.”

Photos: Colin Moore, Sylvia Dell, Mike Pul


On June the 11th the G7 protests began in St. Ives. The focus of the first day was a noisy, colourful march through St. Ives to Sound the Alarm for Climate Justice. A reference to the fact that climate catastrophe has already arrived in climate vulnerable communities, affecting the poorest who have done least to cause it. The creative and peaceful protest was helped by 100 samba players, a blue whale, a school of mackerel and hundreds of banners and flags.

A number of groups participated in actions around the town. XR Bristol rebels posing as G7 leaders told politicians to “Stop Rearrranging the Deckchairs”, Doctors for XR staged a spectacular die in on Harbour Beach and three young people from XR Bath were symbolically drowned in oil by characters representing the big oil Giants- Shell and BP.

Photos: Jessica Kleczka, Gareth Morris


Day 2 was dedicated to greenwashing, with actions that exposed how the G7 and their banks promise ‘green growth’ but then invest in fossil fuels and other ecocidal industries, while the media turn a blind eye.

The focus of the day was a procession through Falmouth to the G7 media centre focusing on: greenwashing, fossil fuel financing and global justice. Rebels chose a variety of ways to get their message across.

Photos: Melissa Carrington, Tristian Herbert

On the sidelines of the march, a range of creative protests took place: a G7 versus the rest of the world football match in which the referee is a banker and the games are rigged reflecting the reality of climate negotiations for developing countries; the Dirty Scrubbers told Barclays and HSBC to clean up their act and stop fossil fuel lending while the Big heads street theatre featured the G7 leaders kicking the climate crisis can down the road and propping up the fossil fuel industry with wads of cash.

Photos: Illya Fisher, Denise Laura Baker

Media complicity in greenwashing the crimes of the G7 leaders and fossil fuel corporations was a big theme of the day. Rebels carrying fake broadsheets could be seen around the town and a spoof souvenir programme “News of the G7 World” was handed out in shops and to tourists. Down load your free copy here:

Photos: Melissa Carrington, Denise Laura Baker

Later on, processing through the centre of town in single file, over 100 Penitents wearing sackcloth and ashes performed a silent and highly visual ceremony bearing shame for funding the tragic destruction of our climate. Away from the main action, sailing boats bearing messages for the G7 leaders were spotted in Falmouth Harbour.

Photos: Zoe Broughton, Gareth Morris


On the final day of the G7 summit we returned to St. Ives for a range of creative beach actions and some disruption, while we declared G7 a flop.

Our press release said:“The G7, leaders of the world’s richest democratic nations have met and yet we’re STILL Drowning in Promises. We asked the leaders of the world to ACT NOW and they’ve made more hollow promises… How can we trust them with our futures and our children’s futures.”

A group of XR women posed as G7 leaders, embodying the saying “all mouth and no trousers” wearing giant lips and no trousers, an action that proved popular with the hoards of assembled media photographers.

Photos: Melissa Carrington, Joao Daniel Pereira

Later on the beach, the Big Heads blew giant bubbles representing 30+ years of hot air on climate and then lined up for their alternative summit photo opportunity in front of a sinking G7 logo. Activists stood topless with drowning in promises spelled out across their backs, while discobedience dancers performed and then fell to the wet sand in a mass die-in.

Photo: Melissa Carrington

Elsewhere, a group of brave activists blocked two exits out of the G7 at Carbis Bay with a van, banners and a samba band. Five people glued themselves to a road in St Ives and three others locked themselves to a minibus at a roundabout in nearby St Erth. There were 8 arrests.

Photos: XR BCP rebel, Emma Smart, Denise Laura Baker

Many thanks to all our brave and creative rebels who took part in the G7 actions both in the lead up around the UK and in South West and Cornwall itself. You are amazing!

You can see more of the amazing pictures from G7 on the UK media archive here:

Relive each day of the rebellion by watching these G7 livestreams on XR Youtube.

G7 Cornwall Rebellion: All Hands on Deck

Photos: Serena Shellenberg, Joao Daniel Pereira, Gareth Morris, Ilya Fisher, Chris Jerrey

The theme for the final day of our actions in Cornwall was ‘All hands on deck’ as the G7 proved to be yet another failed opportunity for change. We are clear that all sections of society must work towards creating a better world that lives in harmony with nature and respects all people.

We returned to St. Ives for a range of creative beach actions and a bit of disruption.

A group of activists declared that the G7 Summit was all mouth and no trousers. Leaders need to stop paying lip service to the climate and ecological emergency. Elly, a psychologist from London said: “I’m baring myself in public, a very silly thing to do, frankly, because there is nothing silly about a world at 2 or 3 degrees of global heating. I work with older adults as a psychologist, and in the UK alone currently for every week that we have a heatwave about thousand excess deaths occur. Higher global temperatures will kill many more of my patients, and I can’t stand by and let this happen.”

As the G7 meeting drew to a close the Big Heads blew giant bubbles representing 30+ years of hot air on climate and then lined up for their alternative summit photo opportunity in front of a sinking G7 logo. Activists stood topless with drowning in promises spelled out across their backs, while discobedience dancers performed and then fell to the wet sand in a mass die in.

A group of activists blocked the exit out of the G7 at Carbis Bay with a van, banners and a samba band. The group said that they were acting because the G7 leaders have not.

A spokesperson said: ”This weekend was a key moment. The G7, leaders of the world’s richest democratic nations have met and yet we’re STILL Drowning in Promises. We asked the leaders of the world to act now and all we’ve had are hollow words. We’re in no better position than before the G7 took place.

”This G7 conference begs the question. Is the outcome of this “event” really worth all the disruption, the carbon footprint and not forgetting the unfathomably large financial cost of all this security?”

On the third and final day of the G7 summit we focussed on the failure of G7 nations to respect the global climate commitments they made in Paris in 2015, and urging the leaders leaving Carbis Bay to act immediately to address the Climate and Ecological Emergency.

Gail Bradbrook, Extinction Rebellion co-founder,said: “These pledges for change are pathetic in the face of the collapse of the natural world- they might have been appropriate 20 years ago but not in 2021. An emergency means an emergency and our leaders aren’t keeping us safe. Tipping points are being breached and billions will die because of this inaction.

”The only thing left for people to rebel against our leaders, to rise up and pull together on the streets to take action ourselves. Because none of us are safe until all of us are safe. We’ve had enough of targets for the future, we need action now.”

Sarah Lunnon from the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill Alliance said: “There remains a gap between the promises G7 leaders have made for emissions reduction and nature conservation and the policies that they have in place to deliver those promises.

“Now is the time for action. We need all hands on deck and we need a cohesive cross party strategy so that people in all sectors of society know what they are working towards; business, civil society, finance and government. The transition is a huge project and it needs everyone to play their part.“



G7 Cornwall Rebellion: G is for greenwash

Photos by: Gareth Morris, Chris Jerrey, Ilya Fisher, Tristian Herbert, Robin Markland, Joao Daniel Periera, Denise Laura Baker

The theme for Day Two of the Extinction Rebellion G7 summit actions was ‘Greenwash’. Its purpose: to expose rich countries and their banking systems which talk about ‘green growth’ while continuing to prop up carbon polluting companies and initiatives. 

Actions included: a procession through Falmouth to the G7 media centre accompanied by samba bands; a G7 versus the rest of the world football match in which the referee is a banker and the games are rigged reflecting the reality of climate negotiations for developing countries, the Big heads street theatre with the G7 leaders kicking the climate crisis can down the road and propping up the fossil fuel industry with wads of cash and a “Restaurant at the end of the world” in which ‘Fossil Fuels’, ‘Profit before Planet’ and ‘War’ greedily eat the Earth, while attended by G7 leaders, bankers and the media as waiters offering money, broken promises and greenwash.

Extinction Rebellion (XR) activist and one of the  ‘Shell 7’,  Senan Clifford, said: “Greenwashing’ is about fossil fuel companies like Shell  trying to convince people that they are part of the solution; it’s about banks like Barclays promising Net Zero while pumping trillions into new fossil fuel projects; and it’s about the UK government as greenwasher-in-chief claiming climate leadership while simultaneously granting licenses for new oil and gas exploration. 

“Shell is a major greenwash culprit. On one hand it announces plans to cut its emissions by half by 2050. Yet,  99% of its business is still in fossil fuels. Under its new timeline, Shell would only achieve carbon neutrality by 2070 – far too late to limit global warming to the 1.5 degrees the UN is now saying will be necessary if we are to avoid catastrophic damage.”

XR spokesperson Nat Squire, an osteopath from Falmouth, added: “G7 is greenwashing on a grand scale: the gap between promises and action has never been greater. A recent analysis by Green Alliance found government policies announced so far would deliver just 26 per cent of the necessary cuts to achieve the target of a 68 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030.  

“As we brace for a tidal wave of greenwash we hope people will also read our Cornwall 2021 Souvenir Programme – News of the G7 World – likely to become a collector’s item!”

Down load your free copy here:

G7 Cornwall Rebellion: Sound the Alarm March

Photos by Tristian Herbert, Chris Jerrey, Gareth Morris

June 11th, 2021

On the first day of our G7 Cornwall Rebellion, we marched through the centre of St Ives to sound the alarm for climate justice and to highlight the disastrous consequences of the G7’s broken promises for people in the global south already experiencing the effects of climate and ecological collapse.  

The march was a creative, artistic, noisy protest featuring over 100 samba players, with onlookers invited to “sound the alarm” for climate justice by making as much noise as possible with air horns, drums, rattles and other instruments. Participants include: the Red Rebels, a blue whale, a school of mackerel and some blackbirds issuing a wake up call for nature.

A group of activists representing young, indigenous and marginalised communities walked from the beach to the Carbis Bay security checkpoint, accompanied by flag bearers. They carried  letters for the G7 leaders from communities in climate vulnerable countries .  They were allowed to progress as far as the permieter fence but were denied entry to the G7 compound. The letters that the Cabinet Office had decreed were not suitable for G7 leaders to hear were ceremonially read out.

An activist from Extinction Rebellion Mexico wrote,

“It hurts to know that my daughter will not be able to live in a healthy environment and will face serious problems derived from the climate crisis.

An activist from Extinction Rebellion India, referring to the hoarding of vaccines by rich northern nations wrote,

“ We all know that Covid pandemic is a result of exploitation of nature. As climate activists we also know that in future climate and ecological crisis will be many times greater”

With much of the world’s media in attendance our overarching message was seen and heard around the world. Here is a selection of the media coverage: