Rhythms are the thundering heart of the movement. We play simple percussion music inspired by Brazilian samba. Bands can help rebels claim and hold space for protest, attract attention and create a positive and fun atmosphere. Our group can be large or small, bands have ranged from over a hundred to just a few individuals so we are versatile and agile in our support.
Things to remember: integration of Samba at marches and actions can look effortless, but how noise will be used on protest needs be considered. Any action which intends to use Samba should be discussed beforehand. Communication is vital, so a link role is essential during an action.
Typically used in marches, longer and larger actions or where rebels energy needs to be maintained.
In 2018, Jake Slocombe and Pedro Brace brought some people and some drums together to make the first Extinction Rebellion band during the October Declaration of Rebellion in London, using Rhythms of Resistance as an inspiration. The bands spread from small groups in London and Bristol to a national network that can bring hundreds of people to protests.
XR Rhythms is a crucial part of the climate activism movement because we bring a fun, carnival atmosphere to protests that can lift spirits and diffuse tense situations. Although it’s not always appropriate to have a band at quieter and more serious demonstrations, when we are invited to a protest we help people claim space for nonviolent resistance.
We also help people who want to get involved in environmental and social justice protest find a place for themselves. No experience and very little time commitment is necessary to join a band. Most bands practice for a couple of hours once a week or every few weeks, and will usually have spare instruments. You’ll immediately have something to do in Extinction Rebellion and a friendly group to do it with!