October 13th 2019: Week One Doctors Rebellion Roundup

Posted by: HealthXR - Posted on:

What a week!

Thank you to everyone who made it down to Extinction Rebellion or supported from afar. As XR closes week 1 with 2770 arrests (1307 in London and 1463 internationally), here’s the Doctors for Extinction Rebellion round-up. 

“As health professionals it is our duty to protect our patients against the greatest threat to health of the century”

The Planetary Health Hub at the Global Justice Site 

After a last-minute detour on Monday morning, we built and ran a site in St. James’s Park for 4 days as part of the Global Justice Rebellion

We delivered over 25 talks to health professionals and members of the public on the topic of the climate crisis as a health emergency. Here’s the programme in case you missed it. 

Thank you to all our fantastic speakers, our incredible programmers, and everyone who helped with set up, engaging the public and holding the space! 

We were heartbroken when we had to rapidly take down our camp on Thursday early evening as the police cleared the site. We’re really sorry for our speakers who didn’t get the chance to speak, and look forward to inviting you to a future event that’s in the pipeline. 

The Swarms 

On Friday after our site was taken, we decided to hold-off on decamping to Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens where a number of rebels still are and decided to join other activities and actions, including the protests in Liverpool Street at the Government Oil and Gas Fiscal Summit. 


Earlier in the week, doctors also joined with the Extinction Rebellion protests at London City Airport.

The Health March

On Saturday, 300+ health professionals gathered and marched from Shell HQ to Trafalgar Sq where 110 pairs of shoes were laid out to highlight the daily deaths as a result of air pollution across the UK. Despite the rain, we had a fantastic turnout and made it into a number of print and TV outlets, including the BBC, Daily Mail, iNews, Huffington Post, ITVandBelfast Telegraph.


Other stuff 

At least 10 doctors have been arrested this week, risking their liberty for the seriousness of this diagnosis. Understandable given that Richard Horton editor of The Lancetrecently stated “It might be an exaggeration to say health workers have 14 days to change the world. But not much”. 

We’ve made almost 1 million Twitter impressions 24,000 reaches on Facebook since the rebellion started. We’ve also had other media engagement, including in the Independent, Wired, andITV news.

Have you seen us anywhere else? Drop us a message if so! 

What next?

We’re now unlikely to have a physical base now for the rest of the rebellion, but Doctors for XR’s actions are by no means over. Every day, doctors and other health professionals who are around for the rebellion will meet in the morning and decide on how to support Extinction Rebellion actions that day.
You can keep up to date with our activities, as always, through our online channels. 

Thank you for everyones hard work, support and commitment both on the ground and from afar! 

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”