Extinction Rebellion just got its own spot in a Bristol museum

  • Post last modified:March 20, 2024
  • Reading time:6 mins read

Extinction Rebellion has only been around since 2018 – but already, the group has got its first museum exhibit. It showcases one local branch’s commitment to the cause and actions that it has taken.

XR Bristol: years of activism

From the start, Extinction Rebellion (XR) Bristol has been one of the biggest XR groups outside London, providing ideas and energy that embody Bristol’s rich history of activism for social change.

XR Bristol has often been at the forefront of direct and effective Extinction Rebellion action. The Canary has documented much of the group’s work. For example, recently the group joined forces with Just Stop Oil to take part in an international campaign. Activists occupied Tokio Marine insurance offices as part of the global Insure Our Future action.

Then, XR Youth Bristol (XRYB) is a very active group. It has been persistently campaigning over council cuts to local bus services – juxtaposed with the proposed expansion of Bristol airport.

XRYB has also targeted Bristol University over its complicity in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza. Student activists have repeatedly doused themselves in fake blood as a protest over the university’s ties to arms companies.

2023 was a particularly busy year for the group:

So now, a museum has honoured XR Bristol’s dedication to direct action.

Extinction Rebellion: exhibited in a museum

A new permanent display at Bristol’s M Shed Museum includes a description of XR Bristol, important items related to its campaigning, and these three XR videos:

The description of XR Bristol in the display states:

Extinction Rebellion (XR) was launched in October 2018 with a “declaration of rebellion” embracing the principles of non-violent direct action.

Through targeted protests and building coalitions with other groups, it seeks to halt mass extinction and minimise the risk of social collapse posed by “business as usual”. XR’s three demands are:

  • Tell the Truth about the climate emergency.
  • Act Now to prevent further destruction.
  • Decide Together through citizens assemblies to shape a better world.

The display also includes life-size figures of the Red Rebels, the Colston statue, and placards from the Black Lives Matter demonstration:

Of course, the irony of all this may not be lost on everyone. A permanent museum spot for Extinction Rebellion – a group which protests about the potential destruction of our planet – won’t be that permanent if politicians, corporations, and those in power don’t listen to the group’s demands.

Featured image and additional images via XR Bristol

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