Beautiful Balconies Over Dark Depths

Extinction Rebellion (rebellion.earth)

20 MAR | Italy

Isolated rebels across Italy have found some light in the darkness by turning their balconies into dance floors and staging a synchronised discobedience.

XR Italy teamed up with Fridays For Future Italia to organise the balcony boogie, and the two groups are planning more Friday actions as the nationwide quarantine continues.

Italy has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic. Throughout this crisis, XR Italy has remained highly active online and is now welcoming a surge of new recruits.

In just one week, their online induction meetings have drawn interest from over a thousand people, and every 50 person session they schedule gets booked up within the hour.

Asked what might have caused this surge in interest, a coordinator in Rome felt the lockdown had given many people the time to reflect on larger social issues like the environment and our consumerist culture, and how these link to public health.

There is a growing awareness in Italy that this pandemic is being linked to man’s exploitation of nature and that destroying animals and their habitats may have paved the way for this virus to move to human hosts.

Even with scientific opinion behind them, XR Italy realises this is a difficult message that needs to be delivered with delicacy. Italy is in the midst of a true tragedy. Over fifteen thousand have died, and social distancing guidelines make traditional funerals impossible.

In a country ready for systemic change, Italian rebels are determined to start a vital conversation with their fellow citizens.

Hospital workers in Bari demand we protect ecosystems to stop contact with new pathogens.


XR Uganda: Be For Mother Earth, So She Can Be For You

Uganda

XR Uganda setting off to Mbale district Eastern Uganda to mark International Women’s Day

XR Uganda was founded by a teacher in 2019, and its numbers have been steadily growing ever since.

The Ugandan rebel we spoke to, an IT professional, was the second person to join the group. “I was researching the shocking number of suicides by Indian farmers whose crops had failed as a result of climate change. I came across the XR website and thought, let me sign up and be a part of this team.”

Uganda has been radically altered by climate change. Temperatures are rising. Groundwater is disappearing. In some regions, spring wells and village boreholes have dried up completely.  

Lack of rain has brought drought, with unpredictable seasons leading to shifts in planting patterns. Floods and landslides, caused by deforestation, degradation of wetlands, and poor farming methods, have resulted in forced migration across Uganda. The country already hosts the largest amount of refugees in Africa.  

XR Uganda Children

XR Uganda is considered illegal as it isn’t registered as a community based organisation, NGO or business. Rebels believe the authorities fear that the movement will sponsor individuals to stand against the ruling political party.

But the Ugandan rebels remain optimistic. They are taking their message to communities and schools, engaging children while demanding access to quality education for all andhighlighting how the climate breakdown has a disproportionate impact on women.  

The message from our rebel contact is clear: “XR Uganda is rising up – watch this space!”

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