Skip to main content

Climate change   |   Farming

Extinction Rebellion shines spotlight on food security

Climate change will have ‘catastrophic’ impacts on our ability to produce food as international crop failures begin to affect global supply.

That was the message behind yesterday’s (15 October) mass action orchestrated by climate group Extinction Rebellion, as part of its two-week civil disobedience protests in London to demand more urgent action on climate.

Activists blocked the road in front of security offices MI5 in central London to attempt a mass feast and food sharing action, and to share messages about food security and climate.

Under the banner ‘No Food, No Future’, the event took place despite police banning further protests in central London after more than a week of Extinction Rebellion actions and over 1,600 arrests.

Extinction Rebellion activists focused on food security on 15 October. Image Cassie Riches.

“We are in trouble. Drought and heat waves are killing crops. Pesticides are killing wildlife. We are losing our precious soil and millions are undernourished right now,” said Tony Whitehead, a member of Extinction Rebellion in the south west.

“International crop failures will have catastrophic impacts upon our society especially as the UK is particularly vulnerable to crop failures and food shortages with 77 per cent of our fruit and veg being imported.

“Achieving food justice for all and addressing the climate and ecological emergency are one and the same thing. There is no food on a dead planet.”

As well as food security, other direct actions have targeted the Department of Transport to demand a transition to a zero carbon transport system, the banking sector to stop financing fossil fuel companies, and the BBC to ‘tell the truth’ about the climate emergency.

Police have been clearing major gathering points under Section 14 of the Public Order Act, including Trafalgar Square and Vauxall Pleasure Gardens, while lawyers from Extinction Rebellion have submitted a judicial review to the High Court about the legality of police bans.



    1 Year 3 Months

    Extinction Rebellion has done an amazing job in raising awareness of climate change and food insecurity. That should not be forgotten as emphasis is placed by one highly reported incident. The movement must carry on and aim to get more of the public engaged.

    0 Reply


    1 Year 3 Months

    Power to XR's elbow. We happened to pass through Vauxhall on Tuesday on the way to a family funeral by train from faraway north Derbyshire. The amount of police vehicles was unbelievable. Having heard Radio 4's 'Feedback' I am now incensed that not once did I hear any mention of the topics the actions were focussed on. Anyone reading this please contact the BBC to protest. Hypocritical that they did not mention the BBC being targeted at all, as far as I heard all week. Nor DoT re zero carbon transport nor banks re fossil fuel financing.
    Expecting a call from my bank manager this week re negative feedback I gave on a recent branch visit. Will be telling him it is only a matter of getting it sorted that we take away our most if not all of our money due to them not disinvesting from fossil fuels. Staff had no idea.

    1 Reply

    view replies


    1 Year 1 Month

    The BBC makes up its own version of the news. A few years ago, I went on the march against Monsanto. Two million people around the world marched. There was a media blackout on the march. I wrote to the BBC about it and they replied that there were so few people it didn't warrant mentioning. It is about time the BBC had license money withdrawn. I certainlt don't watch anything relating to news items as they are biased.

    0 Reply

    Wicked Leeks issue 5: Out now

    Featuring a cover interview with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, and articles ranging from the power of positive thinking, green jobs for the future and how to reset the joy of food in 2021.

    Read now

    Ethical organic veg boxes

    There's never been a better time to live life on the veg.

    Shop Riverford

    How to make veg crisps

    Netflix and kale, anyone? If the crisp crisis in your lockdown household is causing problems, you could be overlooking a surprising source of immensely tasty, packaging-free TV snacks.

    Read more