Extinction Rebellion (XR) staged a 'Rebel Rising' event on Blackheath Common and nearby sites in Greenwich last weekend (August 17-18).

The two-day gathering saw various discussions, training events and gigs take place on Blackheath Common with approval of the council.

The sprawling series of events also witnessed XR activists conduct several temporary "swarm" roadblocks in the area and stage a "die-in" protest at the Royal Greenwich Observatory.

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One of those who helped organize the event was 19-year-old Daisy-May Wyatt.

Wyatt, who lives locally, helped run the main stage at Blackheath Common throughout the weekend.

She told News Shopper that the main purpose of the Rising events was to reach as many people as possible with the group's message of urgency.

XR want to tell more and more people about the severity of the climate crisis and come up with a collective response to the emergency.

"These events are happening all over the country and the main purpose is outreach.

"The weekend was trying to show the public what we're about and show that we are part of our communities, that we're doing this for our communities.

"One of the titles was 'towards the common' and we want to show that what we're doing is towards the common good," Wyatt said.

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Bands including Sister Mercedes, Van Susans, The Correspondents and The Majestic all played sets at the event free of charge, while Hare Krishna provided free lunches and dinners for everyone who came, organisers and attendees alike.

Meanwhile a separate stage offered a platform for environmentalists from the developing world to talk about their experiences of climate breakdown, as Wyatt explained.

"Everything that we're fearing from the climate crisis happening in our own country is currently happening, at the moment, just in a different part of the world," she said in reference to the developing Global South in particular.

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Beyond the festival-like hub on Blackheath Common, the Rebel Rising moved into the urban areas of Greenwich and activists took part in some roadblocks and a symbolic "die-in" outside the Royal Observatory.

XR methods are designed to cause disruption through non-violent civil disobedience like this.

Their ideas are based on the success of previous social movements like the US Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s.

Campaigners say this is the most effective way to encourage the rapid changes now needed to avert catastrophic global heating and the severe social disruption associated with this.

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In Greenwich, four such actions took place over the weekend, including a procession from the Cutty Sark, traffic swarms near to the common, a die-in at the Observatory and the 'New Black Death Action' which involved symbolically soaking cuddly toys in oil.

"We had permission, we've given people notice and we cooperated with the council and the police throughout the weekend," Wyatt pointed out.

In line with XR's message in previous actions, she also apologised for the disruption.

"We're really sorry if it's disrupted you but by all means come and enjoy it too — we had a big family tent with arts and crafts and face-painting, we had some councillors and a local MP come and show their support.

"We wanted it to be as inclusive as possible."

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Like others in the group, Wyatt said she got involved campaigning for XR almost by accident.

After taking her book to Marble Arch on a day off in April, she encountered one of the group's occupation sites in central London.

Ultimately, April's 'International Rebellion' witnessed thousands of non-violent activists arrested in the capital — now thought to be the largest act of civil disobedience in modern British History.

"I saw all of the tents, the fantastic artwork and everything they had set up and I just thought 'I should have been doing this my entire life' and joined right there."