Rebels hold a socially-distanced beach party to highlight Cardiff’s rising tide

Today, on the second day of five days of Cardiff Rebellion, rebels are holding a socially-distanced “beach party” on the steps of the Senedd in Cardiff Bay, to highlight the catastrophic impact of climate change on weather patterns and rising tides.

From 11am, rebels kitted out with deck-chairs, beach umbrellas, swimsuits, life jackets, surf boards and kayaks will be partying with a skeleton of King Canute. 

According to legend, King Canute attempted to demonstrate to his courtiers that could hold back the incoming tide. Famously, he failed, and the story is used by present-day climate educators to illustrate the futility of building flood defences while the policies that are accelerating climate change continue. 

Members of the public are invited to hear the speeches and observe the fun in a COVID-safe, socially distanced manner. 

From 3.30pm “King Canute” will be carried in procession to Cardiff’s centre of local government, City Hall, to highlight the need for governments at every level to take urgent action on climate crisis. 

Unless urgent action is taken on climate crisis most of Cardiff will be underwater in 80 years, according to an October 2019 study by Cardiff environmental consultants Afallen. Cardiff residents can expect to see their iconic landmarks Cardiff Castle, the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, the National Assembly, Sophia Gardens, the International Sports Village and the Principality Stadium flooded every year. 

Across Wales, those living on the coast are most vulnerable to rising sea levels.

In 26 years – or sooner, if forecasts worsen or a storm breaches current sea defences – a task force led by Gwynedd council will begin to move the 850 residents of Fairbourne out of their homes. The whole village – houses, shops, roads, sewers, gas pipes and electricity pylons – will then be dismantled, turning the site back into a tidal salt marsh.

Fairbourne resident Julia Wilson says:

“The UK declared a state of climate emergency in 2019 but instead of investing in sustainable energy sources, such as solar, wind and tidal energy, the UK Government is investing over £86 billion in HS2.

“No amount of sea defenses will protect all the millions of low lying coastal regions worldwide, unless urgent action is taken now. 

“In my area the mountains used to soak up excessive rainfall through the bogs and trees, but many of those were lost a long time ago due to hill grazing, with the result that we now have torrents of water coming off the mountains and flooding our towns and villages.” 

During this week’s actions in Cardiff, rebels are chalking water lines and tide marks in locations across the city to graphically represent the threat of rising sea levels. 

Cardiff-based climate scientist, Dr Aaron Thierry says:

“It’s been over a year since the UK and Welsh governments declared a climate  emergency but we haven’t seen any action that fits the scale of crisis we’re in. 

“We’ve seen from the cCOVID pandemic that in an emergency drastic action is needed to avert disaster. So where is the plan? We need MPs to back the CEE Bill, which will enable us to establish a way out of this situation.” 

The Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill, if passed, gives the Prime Minister a duty to ensure that the UK achieves specified objectives on climate change, ecosystems and biodiversity. The Bill sets out a framework for how this can be achieved, including establishing a citizens’ assembly.

Extinction Rebellion Cymru are calling upon members of the public to contact their MPs to urge them to back the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill. 

Today’s events

  • 11am – 2pm: Rising Tide Action! Creative action with arts, theatre, speakers, music, props, procession to the sea, XR boats in the harbour
  • 3pm – 5pm: Tidal Wave Action! Taking a tidal wave through the streets of Cardiff
  • 6pm – 7pm: Daily People’s Assembly
  • 8pm – 10pm: Evening programme

COVID-19 and public safety

All of XR Bristol’s actions are designed to be inclusive, safe and family-friendly, with the movement taking every precaution to ensure the protests adhere to COVID-19 guidelines.

All supporters have been asked to come with masks and hand sanitiser, and to observe social distancing at all times. There will also be on-site sanitation stations, extra face masks available, and markings for safe distancing in the main stage area. All gatherings will take place outdoors with safety stewards onsite to support and promote COVID-safety around the clock.

Join the action