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WITH ONE MONTH to go before thousands descend on Parliament from 21st -24th of April for The Big One, a groundbreaking alliance of leading NGOs, unions and movements have announced their commitment to stand with Extinction Rebellion and many others this April.

Environmental charities Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, and Earth Day; health groups NHS Workers Say No and Greener Practice; justice groups Global Justice Now, Black Lives Matter local groups, Don’t Pay UK; global peace movement Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND); trade union PCS Union; are just a few of the organisations supporting The Big One, having agreed to take part in April during a turbulent moment in UK political history and the government’s ongoing failure to provide solutions to the major crises of our time.

By joining the dots between the intersecting crises we face, the breadth and diversity of these organisations demonstrates that it is time to meet the urgency of the moment and unite people across the UK in demanding systemic change to tackle the interconnected crises of climate, cost of living, and politics.

The Assistant General Secretary from PCS Union said: “PCS members taking strike action understand the need to coordinate across our movements to win our demands for better pay and to safeguard jobs. The climate and nature emergency requires the same to win the future we desperately need in the face of multiple crises and why we are supporting this XR action.”

Greenpeace announced to their supporters over the weekend: “We believe that we will win as a movement. That’s why we’re inviting you to join us in attending Extinction Rebellion’s ‘The Big One’. They recently announced a change in tactic making this a peaceful protest which prioritises attendance over arrest and relationships over roadblocks so they can be as inclusive as possible. We are joining many other organisations, charities and concerned people in Parliament Square on 21st-22nd April, to call on the government to act now for people and planet. The more people that come, the louder our message will be.”

The full list of organisations signed up as supporters so far are: Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, PCS Union, NHS Workers Say No, Earth Day, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), Compass, Right to Roam, BLM Merseyside, Global Women’s Strike, Mothers Rise Up, Greener Practice, Whale and Dolphin Conservation, Global Justice Now, Viva, Women of Colour Global Strike, Fossil Free London, M.P. Watch, Parents For Future, NEU Climate Change Network, PAN UK, Winvisible, Women Against Rape, Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD), Fuel Poverty Action, Stop Rosebank, Don’t Pay UK, Withdraw Consent, Women’s Climate Action, Women’s Climate Strike, Campaign Against Climate Change, Climate Justice Coalition.

Zoë Howard from Don’t Pay UK said: “The energy and climate crises are inextricably linked. The extortionate energy prices we pay line the pockets of fossil fuel company shareholders and fund the breakdown of our climate. We’re proud to join Extinction Rebellion in demanding the systemic change we need to make sure everyone has access to affordable, sustainable energy.”

NHS Say No co-founder Holly Blackler said: “We have experienced a pandemic and a heatwave that has taken us to the limit of our endurance. These two issues are intertwined. The climate crisis is unfolding in front of us and we are deeply concerned about our patients. For that reason Extinction Rebellion has our unfailing support.”

Lasting four days from the 21 to 24 April and including international environmental awareness Earth Day on 22 April, The Big One will encourage people to keep up the pressure by coming back to Parliament in mass numbers for several days. Like other campaign styles that increase pressure over a prolonged period, the four days aim to be the beginning of building a united, persistent force for change. Held in the heart of Westminster, the intention is to transform the politically powerful streets with a diverse programme of speakers, performers, and interactive workshops. People’s Pickets will be staged at at least seven key government department locations, addressing crucial issues in environment, education, health, housing, and work.

Alongside the larger organisations who have signed up to join, Extinction Rebellion’s self-organising network of Local Groups from across the UK have been building community and connections with other community groups and local unions, such as Norwich Trade Union Council and Unite Grassroot Climate Justice Caucus.

The local groups include Exeter Community Alliance, representing 30 local community groups, who said: “We have been counting down the days until we all go to London together to draw attention to the fact that the government is failing in its duty in not tackling the climate and environmental crises. Opening coal mines and licensing new oil fields having declared a climate emergency is incoherent. They have succumbed to pressure to give NHS workers a much deserved pay rise, they now need to realise that there is a need for similar support for serious efforts to ensure our children and future generations can enjoy a planet not ruined by a lack of political willpower.”

With the loss of public trust in government at an all time high and corruption in plain sight, democracy in the UK is under threat The climate crisis and the crisis in society share the same root cause, with the majority of people being forced to pay for multiple crises not of our making while a tiny minority profit from the struggle of many. By demanding change that happens with the people, not to them, The Big One will see a broad group of movements join forces and create the change needed.

Gold medal Olympian, Etienne Stott from Extinction Rebellion, said: “We’re made to believe that our struggles are independent of one another and that each needs tackling before the other. But they aren’t. Those who profit from destroying our world want us to believe that. And they win time and time again by dividing the rest of us, pushing us to fight each other. But what Power is most afraid of is people setting aside their differences to stand together. We can overcome our fear and mistrust of each other and rediscover our power. This is survival solidarity – for us all.

Because despite the corruption deep in the heart of our politics, ordinary people are ready to get to work and create a fairer, safer, better world. If politicians refuse to listen to the needs of the general public, refuse to listen to millions striking for better pay, refuse to tackle the climate and ecological crisis, refuse to prioritise people suffering during the cost of living crisis over energy company profits, then it’s up to us to turn things around. It is possible to change society in a way that is just and fair, to put care for people and nature at the forefront. It is possible to rediscover our collective power and change the course of history together. To make this a reality, this moment calls for a mass movement to stand together and become impossible to ignore.”

The announcement falls on the day the latest IPCC Synthesis Report is released, which confirms that there is still no credible pathway in place to meet the 1.5 degree target, and that it is ‘now or never’ to take drastic action to avoid disaster.

* The latest list of supporting organisations is here.

* Find out more about The Big One and sign up here.

* Source: Extinction Rebellion