Fake XR posters hosting white supremacist slogans have appeared in Brighton.

Words by Joshua McLaughlin, Staff Writer.

Multiple posters have been spotted in Brighton containing sensationalist and racially motivated headlines, formatted onto posters that replicate the distinctive branding of the global environmental activist organisation, Extinction Rebellion (XR).

The posters, which were discovered on Portland Road on January 2, have been reported to the police and Brighton and Hove City Council. They contained extremist commentary on race and immigration, which have been condemned by Extinction Rebellion Brighton as ‘false’ and ‘intolerant’.

The posters read:

“Stop white genocide”, “Sink the boats, save the world”, “Save the environment, end mass immigration”, and “Populations in Europe are going down. Populations in Africa are exploding. We don’t need mass immigration, we need population control in the third world.”

In retaliation to being affiliated with these posters, Extinction Rebellion Brighton remarked that these “are not endorsed by Extinction Rebellion in any way, our movement is based on love and inclusion.” 

Stating that the posters “do not adhere to our principles,” Extinction Rebellion Brighton are urging members of the public to join their general meetings to learn more about the organisation’s ‘values’, ‘principles’ and ‘demands’, further detailing their inclusive policies as a ‘non-violent’, ‘decentralised’ and ‘culturally regenerative’ environmental activist group.

The Badger approached XR University of Sussex for comment. They said:

“Two white supremacist posters have recently been put up in Brighton purporting to be from Extinction Rebellion. It should be very clear to anyone who has interacted with Extinction Rebellion (XR) that these are in complete contradiction with our values. XR Sussex Society, along with XR Brighton, wholeheartedly reject any racist, divisive or exclusionary narratives. We have already begun a process of working towards closer links with people of colour self-organising groups and Global South solidarity movements, as well as forming a diversity and inclusivity working group within XR Brighton.

Our house is on fire. Now more than ever we need to join together and act together. Attempts to co-opt our branding and discredit our movement only show the desperation of those in our society motivated by hate. We cannot be deterred from our goal of a movement for all, inclusive of everyone – especially the marginalised communities worst affected by climate breakdown and least responsible for causing it. XR Sussex Society commit to ensuring our programme and practices have anti-racism as a core value, one which informs all aspects of our campaigns against the devastating reality of climate breakdown. We ask that anybody who sees these posters please remove them. Anybody who hears others speak doubtfully of Extinction Rebellion’s compassionate ethos please stand with us. Do not allow our message and movement to be tarnished by these hateful actions.”

These posters have emerged in the wake of Extinction Rebellion being ‘called out’ for allegedly ignoring that ‘class’ and ‘race’ are intrinsic factors within the discussion of climate change.

Writing for The Independent, Kuba Shand-Baptiste stated that “Environmental issues are human issues; are class issues; are race issues. They have been aggravated and created by the structures we’ve wrongly come to think of not just as irreplaceable but as intrinsic to the survival of the world: capitalism, colonialism, the patriarchy.”

She, and other critics, spotlight the historical malpractices of Extinction Rebellion in dealing with race and class issues; such as Green Party campaigner and XR spokesperson Rupert Read’s controversial suggestion on Question Time that the “net environmental footprint” is increased by migrants, with harsher immigration controls being necessary to combat climate change, and the now deleted, ‘online prison guide’ for climate protestors allegedly suggesting that imprisoned protestors of colour should find comfort in the fact that “most prison officers are black and do not wish to give you a hard time”, the latter statement subsequently prompting an apology for its ‘wording’.

Extinction Rebellion, despite these recent controversies, are remaining vigilant in maintaining their inclusive policies and peaceful, yet civilly disobedient practices, of counteracting and educating on climate change. 

XR Sussex meet on campus every Wednesday, visit their Facebook page for more information: https://www.facebook.com/XRsussex/

[Image Credit: Markus Spiskse]

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