On 28th January HXR members across the UK took part, along with other groups such as Surfers against Sewage, in the first wave of Extinction Rebellion’s Dirty Water Campaign. The protests highlighted the need for government and industry to act urgently to stop poisoning, and then start cleaning up coastal waters and waterways across the UK. They posted over 80 blue plaques on UK beaches, rivers and MP’s offices to the decision made by UK politicians to block a law that would see better protection for rivers from raw sewage dumping. HXR took part in protests in:
Cornwall: lively protests took place in a number of locations including Truro, Perranporth, St Agnes (Trevaunce Cove)
Plymouth: early morning action at Firestone Bay with Plymouth XR. Lots of interest from swimmers and paddleboarders. Blue plaques were also later installed at Plymouth MPs’ offices
Barnstaple: HXR members joined almost 200 people from 27 organisations to protest and march against the devastating impacts of raw sewage and agricultural run-off into North Devon waters and the failings of South West Water in preventing this
Bristol: HXR joined other groups for a bonkers protest involving synchronised (land) swimmers, a mermaid, a floating poo and a plaque unveiled by a Jacob Reece Mogg head,
South Coast: HXR joined protesters at Newhaven and Peacehaven campaigning against Southern Water and its shocking sewage dumping track record (including illegally discharging 21 BILLION litres of raw sewage in 2021). This has huge consequences to health and ecosystems, Maria Caulfield, the local MP, had just voted for this to continue
Manchester: HXR were amongst the protesters (including local councillors) at Winsford Flashes on the banks of the River Weaver and at MP Edward Timpson’s office in Tarporley, Cheshire,
HXR members have continued to support XR in their subsequent waves of dirty water protest in April, June and August 2023.
There is no doubt these actions have raised the public’s awareness of sewage pollution by water companies despite their enormous profits.