Week-long scientific resistance to government and industry inaction on the climate emergency

Press Release

Over 1,000 scientists and academics in over 25 countries took disruptive, non-violent actions and engaged in civil disobedience targeting governmental, scientific and corporate institutions, many risking arrest in order to highlight the urgency and injustice of the climate and ecological crisis. The global week of action coincided with the release of the third part of the latest IPCC report.

  • From Sunday 3rd April to Saturday 9th of April, more than 1000 scientist rebellion activists took part in over 63 non-violent direct actions in at least 26 countries.  Actions varied and included bridge and building occupations, entrance blocking, sit-ins, strikes, pasting of scientific papers and posters, marches, theatrical performances, teach-ins and outreach events. Demands were location specific but the groups were united under the slogan “1.5°C is dead, climate revolution now!”; highlighting how inaction has led to a situation where it is virtually impossible to not overshoot 1.5° C and that urgent emergency actions are needed to prevent every fraction of a  degree of warming.

    Hundreds of scientists participated in the week-long strike from their academic work. Some engaged in educational disobedience and taught about the climate crisis instead of the topic on the syllabus or holding classes on the streets. Strikes happened in more than 25 countries, including Spain, Chile, Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador, Congo, France, Germany, USA, Norway, Sweden, UK, Austria, Italy, New Zealand, Holland, Thailand and Brazil.

    Numerous nonviolent lock-ins took place in Spanish universities such as Granada, Seville, Madrid, Mallorca and Barcelona. Some universities, such as the University of Panama, embraced the state of climatic and ecological emergency and promoted the Scientific Rebellion campaign, committing to alert the civilian population to the situation, and pressuring for emergency measures to be taken by the institutions.

    Scientist Rebellion march in Lilongwe City, Malawi on April 8th

    Many of the actions took place in the Global South, specifically in Africa and South America, where climate impacts are felt strongly already today. In Zimbabwe they highlighted that inland wetlands are critical to help communities adapt to a changing climate, and that they need to be protected as they are currently deteriorating. Activists in the Global North also spoke out in support of the Global South, asking their governments to not only decarbonize rapidly but to also assist the Global South financially for adaptation and mitigation.

    There were strong police responses and legal actions for some of the actions. In Italy, Sapienza Università di Roma sued 4 activists for interruption of public service which can lead to 7 years in jail and a 3000 euro fine each. In Los Angeles, about 100 members of the police force arrived in full riot gear to deal with 4 scientists that were peacefully chained to the entrance of Case bank.

    Pasting abstracts of scientific papers in poster format to buildings is one of the signature actions of Scientist Rebellion. The founding action in September 2020 used this method and since then it has been used many times by Scientist Rebellion and other groups. With this action, the group wants to highlight the science that is being ignored by the organisation or government agency residing in that building.

    Quotes:

    “The needs of the poorest countries must be addressed swiftly. Unless we have social justice, there are not going to be more accelerated greenhouse gas reductions. These issues are inseparable.” Blessed Chidhoni, Scientist Rebellion member

    “I think scientists need to be out here with our children, with our Indigenous, with our old and our young”

    Dr. Rose Abramoff, who got arrested twice in Washington DC last week.

    “Scientists do not know how to shout or stain walls or stop traffic. But we know how to do one thing well: learn. And we are studying the new language to communicate the gravity of climate change.” Prof. Fernando Valladares, Scientist Rebellion member from Spain

    “If everyone could see what I see coming, society would switch into climate emergency mode and end fossil fuels in just a few years”

    Dr. Peter Kalmus, NASA Scientist and scientist rebellion member

    “We need a billion climate activists. I encourage everyone to consider where we are heading as a species and to engage in civil disobedience. The time is now”
    Dr. Peter Kalmus, NASA Scientist and scientist rebellion member

    “We are likely to lose everything we have. Imagine the entire global economic system collapsing because of the heat, all the Amazon trees are down, all the ice in Antarctica and the Arctic melted, all this would be happening…”

    Ugandan Scientist Rebellion Activist

    “The fight for 1.5 C is over, the fight for human existence on this planet has begun… Act now”
    Scientist Rebellion activist from Sweden

    “Listen to the scientists.Hear the voices of activists.Climate justice now. I stand for climate.”

    Amwanika Sharon Scientist rebellion member protesting in the heart of oil exploration and refinery construction in Uganda.

    “Yesterday, I was arrested for occupying the WTC in Portland in solidarity with hundreds of scientists across the globe because I am terrified of climate and ecological destruction. I feel obligated to use my voice and my body to push for radical change”

    Will, Material Scientist and Scientist Rebellion member

    “Climate activists are sometimes depicted as dangerous radicals. But the truly dangerous radicals are the countries increasing the production of fossil fuels.”
    – U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres, April 4th, IPCC report press conference

    Overview of actions that took place:

    This table is an incomplete overview of all actions. Number of people participating is abbreviated as P., number of people arrested or detained as A. XR stands for members of Extinction Rebellion and SR for members of Scientists Rebellion.

    Country

    3rd April

    4th April

    5th April

    6th April

    Germany

    Berlin: Poster pasting

    Berlin: Bridge blocked for 4 hours. 15 P.

    Spain

    Granada: Occupation of University, 30 P.;

    Madrid: Press conference 5P and action at the Education Ministry, 2P

    Madrid: Throwing fake blood at National Congress and sit down. 80 P. 53 A.

    Oviedo: Educational Disobedience at the University of Biology

    Mallorca: Occupation at the University of Balears

    France

    Nice: University Strike, Paper pasting

    Portugal

    Lisbon: Display of Posters at Environmental and Economy Ministries, 4 P.

    Argentina

    Buenos Aires: Poster pasting

    Australia

    Sydney: Occupation of City West Link, 1 P., 1 A. Collaboration with Fireproof Australia

    Rwanda

    Muhanga city: March and Teach In at Lilongwe University

    Italy

    Venice: 10 hour Occupation of ENI 20 P and details taken.

    Rome: Occupation of University of Rome La Sapienza, 10 P. 4 A.

    Turin: Poster pasting Piemonte Region Palace, 12 P., restricted by police in continuing action, details taken.

    Denmark

    Roskilde: reading of the IPCC report at University campus

    Copenhagen: Street blockade at the Climate Ministry, display of papers, reading of IPCC. 40 P. 10 scientists detained and fined. 2 scientists arrested.

    United Kingdom

    London: Throwing fake oil at shell HQ 15 P. 1 Detained

    Norway

    Trondheim: Protest  100 P.

    Sierra Leone

    Stakeholder engagement, 20 P

    Netherlands

    The Hague: March 50 P., Block entrance to Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy 7 P. 7 A.

    Switzerland

    Bern: Pasting of papers on walls of Federal Palace. 18 P. 18 details taken

    Colombia

    Bogota: Teach-in

    USA

    Washington DC: Protest, Locked onto white house fence 12 P. 5 A.

    Los Angeles: Locked to entrance of Case bank 10 P. 4 A.

    Portland, OR: Occupation of PBA headquarters and city council, 100 P. 2 A.

    New York City: Paper pasting 7P.

    Malawi

    Lilongwe: Teach in at Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources 30 P.

    Ecuador

    Quito: Pasting paper and protest at Ministry of Environment 8 P.

    3 other actions 12 P.

    Panama

    Panama city: protests at the US, German and UK embassy 20 P.

    Entire country: Climate march with 500-1000 High school students, climate talks at schools

    Country

    7th April

    8th April

    9th April

    Germany

    Berlin: Action and paper pasting at the Federal Ministry for Economy and Climate 5 P.

    Berlin: Paper pasting at Bundesverkehrsministerium  15 P.

    Bonn: Paper pasting at Bundesministerium für Digitales und Verkehr 6 P.

    Stuttgart: Paper Pasting at Wirtschaftministerium 4 P.

    Würzburg: Paper pasting 4 P.

    Mexico

    San Luis Potosí : Paper pasting at University 2 P.

    Playa del Carmen: Poster pasting 1 P.

    Uganda

    Kampala: Road block, paper pasting 90 P., 3 A.

    DR Congo

    Boende Tsuapa: Action with 25 P.

    Goma: Action with 14 P.

    Kinshaha: Conference on climate and ecological crisis 200 P.

    Zimbabwe

    Harare: Protest at PPC cement company 12 P. 3 A.

    USA

    Washington D.C: Traffic blocked on I-395 into DC

    Argentina

    Buenos Aires: Poster pasting

    Buenos Aires: Poster pasting

    Misiones: Poster pasting

    Mar del Plata: Poster pasting

    Rosario: Poster pasting

    Spain

    Oviedo: Educational Disobedience at the University of Biology

    Girona: strike at University of Girona + concentrations in 4 places of the city

    Oviedo: Talk calling for the University to act and society to organise

    Gijón: 30 mins work stoppage in support of action of day 6th in Madrid at the Oceanographic Centre

    Madrid: Teach-in in front of Spanish Congress and popular assembly later in Plaza España

    Sweden

    Lund: teach-in at the University, 100P

    Stockholm: paper pasting at the headquarters of the ruling party, 6P

    Italy

    Venice: Occupation of main square of university campus; throwing of “blood”; paper pasting. 30P. (22 XR, 8SR)

    Venice: Teach-in at Ca Foscari scientific campus

    Rome: Teach-in at Rome La Sapienza University with paper pasting. All pages of Executive Report pasted.

    Venice: 2 Teach-ins including theatrical act

    UK

    London: Teach-In at Jubilee Park

    Netherlands

    Amsterdam: Outreach event with written quotes and graphs from IPCC reports 12 P.

    Nigeria

    Abeokute: Action: climate talks and walk

    France

    Paris: Occupation of Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle 30 P.

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