Black Friday Outlet Centre “Die-In”

XR Ciren Crew in Action – Friday 29th November 2019

The term “Black Friday” has in recent years become synonymous with massively over-hyped consumption, and the Swindon MacArthur Glen Retail Park has become a magnet for shoppers seeking deals at this time of year.

But this year, things are different, and bargain hunters encountered more than they were bargaining for as Extinction Rebellion Swindon carried out an Action to draw attention to how we all need to change our behaviour in the face of mounting Climate and Ecological Emergencies.

The Action had evolved of a period of weeks from some very imaginative designs involving speeches and singing, and culminated in a moving and thought-provoking piece where some two dozen activists marched in a funereal procession to the sound of a slow, solemn drum beat, then at the signalled moment, took it in turns to “die-in”, falling to the floor to lay as if dead for ten, long minutes.

XR Ciren strongly involved

From the outset, many familiar faces from XR Ciren have been involved, being present at the initial planning meeting, attending follow up sessions learning some of the songs, helping prepare materials for the event, and playing very important roles in the heat of the Action itself.

On the day, there was an initially nervous gathering of slightly apprehensive souls assembling outside the National Trust building, with only the fact that they were dressed in black and using the “secret code question”, ‘are you here for the XR Action?’ (!) to make them stand out from ordinary citizens going about their regular Friday lunchtime activities.

After some superb team-bonding and confidence building exercises, including a wonderful round of “If you’re an uncooperative-white-middle class-hypocrite-crusty, clap your hands” etc, the group assembled into their marching formation and set off to the sound of the drum, and the astonishment of many a shopper.

The march was sympathetically facilitated by the Outlet Centre management and also the local Police Liaison Officer and did cause quite a stir amongst the shoppers, many initially oblivious of what was going on, then engaging to absorb the message whilst the activists made a poigniant scene.

Lessons Learned

  1. Plan well
  2. Be Brave & just do it
  3. It is amazing how people turn up to take part
  4. Lots of people made very positive comments and were clearly moved by the Action
  5. Celebrate the success
  6. Plan for more!

Thanks to all who took part and experienced a “very XR” Friday lunchtime – here’s to many others until the aims of the movment are achieved.

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