Paint The Streets - Info Pack

This is a live doc! To find the most up-to-date Paint The Streets (PTS) info doc please find it linked in the very first page of this book. Use the Toolkit version for ease of browsing.

What is Paint The Streets?

What is Paint the Streets?

Paint the Streets is an ongoing creative campaign, breaking social norms to raise awareness about the climate & ecological emergency.

What are the aims of Paint the Streets?

Paint The Streets creative actions use images to tell the truth about climate breakdown, ecological collapse, and the injustice of our toxic system and failing governments Create an action pathway and build confidence for new Rebels

Move hearts and minds

Who can take part?

Anyone in XR! This is an inclusive campaign and we welcome all rebels.

There are creative actions for everyone from flyposting and making stencils to mural painting, creating street sculptures to folding origami offerings. For rebels to take part we ask that you are mindful of our core principles and demands as well as strategy guidance.

Messaging and Action Guidelines (PTS)

What are the Paint the Streets Guide - Action Guidelines?

In April 2020 the Paint the Streets UK working group put together these Action & Messaging Guidelines which is also a book within the Rebel Toolkit here: Action Guidelines (PTS), along with ideas from Rebels around the UK to inspire creativity.
For any actions you take part in, including Paint The Streets, please check out these guidelines to help groups link up with art resources, consider the design ethos and get the best images and media shots from your actions: XR Arts - Action Design

What kind of messaging should we use?

We encourage you to create work around current UK-wide action campaign messaging or agreed local messaging such as: #Rewild #NoGoingBack #NHSnotHS2 etc
When you post pictures to social media please remember to include the relevant hashtag for your campaign with #paintthestreets. Please share images on the UK-wide Telegram chat, including your local group so the social media team can pick them up for our Facebook page and Instagram.

Paint The Streets - Slogans

We suggest using slogans which have been agreed on by action campaign groups, also don’t forget to use XR’s three demands and original slogans. These can be found in the Paint The Streets slogans document.

It is up to your local group if using the XR logo feels appropriate. Some groups have found that slowly building up imagery (such as the painted vines) can make a strong statement before adding the XR logo at a later stage.
Note: The logo is copyrighted and not to be used for commercial purposes. Check out the XR design guidelines, you can get more info from including the latest version of the design programme.

Action Guidelines (PTS)

Paint The Streets

Action guidelines v.1.7 - May 2020

This is a live document that is regularly updated - If you're not viewing it from the Google Drive please click here or on the image below to make sure you have the latest version.

For the Rebel Toolkit version we have made the writing on each of the pages available in text form. The writing is below the picture of the avialble Action Guidelines.

This image is the Paint the streets action guideline booklet front page



Action guidelines v.1.7 - May 2020

This is a live document that is regularly updated - If you're not viewing it from the Google Drive please click here to make sure you have the latest version.

This is a picture of the page in the booklet. ALl the writing is included in the section below.

The current lockdown and the effects of Covid-19 have changed our lives. As human activity has headed indoors some of us find ourselves with more time to make & create.

Action Design and Planning Advice (doc linked here) is to prioritise looking after ourselves and our communities; take the space to reflect and get organised.


Let’s take care to avoid messaging which can be seen as divisive or upsetting, instead focusing on the things that unite us all. We suggest avoiding the use of skulls, death motifs and slogans which are not agreed by your group and aligned with actions messaging. These media guidelines offer more details on messaging during Covid19.


Read the FAQ document here on the Rebel Toolkit or here on a google doc
XR Arrest Welfare does not advocate arrestable actions for the time being.The increased police powers and health dangers mean that activities previously seen as low risk might not be. Click here to read more.

Now for some fun

As the lockdown continues, this document contains some suggested activities of things to create, to be deployed when the time is right. And remember. It’s great when we change our environments with creative actions, however small. It’s even better when these actions combine on a grand scale.
If your group wants to create a bigger impact, connect with others by joining the Paint The Streets Telegram chat to share your ideas and links to your projects. For the XR Design Programme contact your local Art group or email

This is an image of the page Message and Timings. The writing on this page is in the section below


Messaging will follow three phases: PAUSE (where we are now), CONNECT and WHAT’S NEXT? How long each phase will take is unknown, we will work together with other XR Groups to make sure our messages are aligned with actions.


Visual messages that emphasise regeneration over rebellion and reflect the transition we are witnessing. What are we prioritising? What really matters? These are tough times, let’s try to brighten up our days with beautiful artwork

and positive messages.


Messages that highlight the connections already happening in society. Messages showing that some of the responses we are seeing to Covid19 embody the values we want to see in the world (eg. Mutual Aid). We are awaiting the release of an XR messaging framing document and emergency demands. We advise treading carefully with XR branding, unless it is related to specific campaigns such as #NHSnotHS2 or #carbonlockdown.


Messages that highlight the need for a Green Recovery, inviting people to consider what future they want to see. Campaigns for the government not to bail out the big polluters. Can we be happy with less? Can we distribute income fairly? Messages that invite community into government through Citizens Assemblies.

THis is an image of the page Get Creative. The Writing on this page is in the section below.


Here are some ideas for actions during this phase.
Join in or make your own!


Print and share messages of solidarity with yourneighbours, community and the wider world by putting up tiled window displays such as these ones here.


Note: If you plan to Paint The Streets please avoid any vandalism; go for chalk spray or posters and do not target private property.


Stay safe in style! Use XR image assets, found material or draw your own. See the tutorial for making your own facemasks here.

THis is an image of the page Rewilding. The writing on the page is in the section below



While our streets are free of people and traffic, we have a chance to rewild thems. Using stencils or free hand, we can paint vines, trees and other vegetation on the concrete.
This project can be completed over a series of weeks where the plants ‘grow’ with each visit.

Rewilding image - the page continues below

REWILDING (continued)

Lots of lawns will be left unattended due to the lockdown, so we have the chance to help nature reclaim the city! Mustard seed is cheap and will grow to around 60cm in 6 weeks on any soil: buy it here. The land needs to be a bit bare or disturbed for best effects. More info here in this Infinite Growth doc

This is an image of a page in the book called Origami the streets. The writing on this page is in the section below


Most of us have by now an extensive library of printed XR matter lying about. Now is not the best time for person-to-person outreach but we can still use the colourful bits of paper to make origami animals and leave them (safely) outdoors on our daily walks. See here for example instructions, or the web has a multitude of other resources!


Animals and plants stickers are quick to put up during a walk. Decorate your bins!


Learn new skills and focus your mind by making a skeleton model of an endangered bird, using (mainly) recycled materials from your lockdown household. You can hang it from your living room ceiling for now, and then watch it come to life when we next fly together in protest. Join the XR Skeletons Rebellion (links to Facebook) and read the XR Birds brief for more info. Here’s also a look ‘Inside a Bird’ - via a DK website and an example of how to make a paper mache crow.

This is an image of the page what does your hashtage paint the streets look like? The writing on this page is in the section below


Join the telegram chat to discuss and share your ideas and images and share your ideas and images: XRUK Paint The Streets Telegram Chat

Paint The Streets on Social Media: Facebook: Paint the streets Instagram: Paint The Streets

Share your work! #paintthestreets

For the full up-to-date document of ideas, please see here


PTS FAQs on the Rebel Toolkit PTS FAQs Google Doc

Actions during Covid19

The parameters of an action have transformed with Covid19, with new rulings and restrictions.

In this space creative projects have emerged which have galvanised the movement and keep people creating and our messages getting out there! We continue to encourage rebels to safely engage in NVDA. Just keep social distancing 2m apart, wear a mask, gloves if handling materials and get clued up on the legal risks and Know Your Rights training!

Paint the Streets:

Is doing an action like chalking or flyposting going to get me arrested?

You are highly unlikely to be stopped whilst doing this type of work in th UK.

If you are, it’s more likely to be by people who work in the industry rather than the police. Avoid giving your name or details to any industry worker. You’re only obliged to give your details to the police, and even then, only in certain circumstances.
The situation varies depending on external factors and location, particularly in countries with different laws. Spray-chalking usually provokes the police if they see you do it. There have been incidents of rebels receiving a fixed penalty fine of £90 for chalking outside a company HQ.
In the worst case scenario, a charge is likely to be that ‘criminal damage’, which holds minor penalties.

For more information check out: [Greenand Black Cross website( criminal-damage-theft/)

Note: Avoid taking or posting photos of anyone doing the work as it can be used as evidence in the future.

Police liaison:

To be an XRUK action, some arrestables should stand by the action and face possible arrest. This does not necessarily mean you have to tell police exactly what you’re planning; this is an action individuals or affinity groups (outside lockdown) can take alone, and as such is more easily stopped by police than a mass action. Scout your meeting location an hour or so beforehand to check for police presence.
In the UK (this advice will vary depending where you live) we don’t recommend running away if police find you taking action. This could be classed as resisting arrest and may also make them think you’re doing something far worse than you are. However, some members of affinity groups could calmly and quickly walk away, or even continue the action, while the police liaison negotiates with them.
Know Your Rights online training takes place every fortnight, you can sign up on the facebook page here.

Creating a Campaign and Support

Can I create my own campaign?

XR Local groups and Regions are encouraged to create their own campaigns. Consider the messaging and targets carefully eg. the funders and profiteers of climate and ecological destruction; the government, corporations and the bank system.
Make sure you give consideration to how your campaign fits into the XRUK Strategy for 2020* and reflect on the impact of the messaging as well as how it will be interpreted by society as a whole.
XRUK Paint The Streets campaigns are shared or scaled up UK-wide, sometimes Internationally. It’s good for new campaigns to be mindful of:
Contact to share your idea with actions coordinators, or run it past reps in the Telegram chat (just reach out there and someone will reply)...
This is to check in with the UK calendar of actions and also to receive support.

Things to consider….

Where can we find information to support our campaigns?

The Paint the Streets googledrive folder has an array of designs and resources from past and current campaigns. All the work has been created by dedicated individuals who have volunteered to support our movement. These documents are not to be used for commercial gain.

Where is information from previous Paint the Streets campaigns?

The Art resources section of the Rebellion.Earth website has electronic copies of Extinction Rebellion flyers, stickers, posters etc which you can download. Please contact your regional Creative / Arts coordinator or for more details, or to get access to the XR Design Programme. You can then modify these to suit your local needs, provided your messaging is in keeping with strategy and aims.
The XRUK Paint the Streets Design Drive also has a wealth of material from previous campaigns. Don’t forget to share your images, with your location, to the XRUK Paint the Streets Telegram chat.

Stenciling and murals

How do I make a stencil?

Our friends at Paris68redux have created a brilliant How To video and comprehensive guide on stencil and print making. Check out Paris68redux for more information.

How do I make a BIG bike stencil (for the road)?

How to make a large stencil video here

Is there a list of environmentally friendly sprays and paints?

Is it okay to chalk spray, paint or flypost local businesses?

This public art project is aimed at sparking a conversation and building the movement in line with the XRUK Strategy 2020. Rebels are asked to be mindful about where they create their art. Please don’t damage private property or small and independent businesses as this can be seen as vandalism and might damage relationships within the community. Please try and use materials which give minimal damage to private property and the environment.
Some actions are potentially seen as “vandalism” and may have a high risk of arrest especially if private sector buildings are targeted. It is unclear what police reaction will be to some of these actions so take precautions.

What about spraying over existing artwork?

As a golden rule don’t not tag over other posters and spray tags as this could cause conflict. Organised fly-posters and graffiti groups can be territorial and could get violent.

How do I organise / paint a mural?

Matt from XR Brighton has launched the murals campaign. He has a growing community of artists keen to get painting and has completed several murals so far. He’s making a guide on how to organise a mural - coming soon!


Flyposting - All you need to know:

How do I organise a fly-posting group?

WARNING! If you’re flyposting during Covid19 make sure you’re social distancing and staying 2m apart. The action can be riskier than usual so check out the legal advice above.


What materials do I need for fly-posting?

Check out this amazing website that has the answer to all your questions about fly-posting: Everything You Need to Know to Blanket the World in Posters

How can I get posters printed?

There are several ways of printing flyers, posters, stickers for outreach and actions. (Please note that the logo is strictly not to be used for any commercial purposes)
Go to XR Arts website to download electronic copies of Extinction Rebellion flyers, stickers, posters etc. You can then modify these to suit your local needs, provided your messaging is in keeping with strategy and aims. We advise working with your media & messaging and actions group closely before producing new messaging or print materials. XRUK design group can also offer support and guidance on design decisions and induction into the XR Design Programme.
Check out the list of local groups to make contact with nearby existing groups and see if they have any materials you could share.
You can print the materials yourself, either with your friendly local print shop or online at or DigitalPrinting. We recommend bond type paper (unfinished or natural look).
How do I claim costs from Open Collective? Check if still supporting - last update no longer funding
The Open Collective supports environmental protest organisations with the cost of printing their posters, vinyl and fabric banners. You will have to pay the upfront costs for the print run. Keep your receipts for inks/fabrics and then claim back the costs from the OpenCollective website (these usually take a month).
Can I order posters for my group from XRUK?
We soon hope to offer you a range of flyers, posters, stickers and booklets. This isn’t available yet.

What are suggested Action Tactics for flyposting?

During lockdown:
Exercise social distancing 2m and stay safe. Some activities are designed for an affinity group but during this period of social-distancing they are not recommended by public health guidelines.

In general:

Action planners have provided some key points to consider when undertaking an action:

What is a suitable target?

Remember, you also don’t have to flypost, you can give posters away and put them up on school/university noticeboards, in windows of cafes and on flyer tables. People often like being given things and to have a chance to share their thoughts on the climate and ecological emergency- use any available opportunity for outreach.
During lockdown: Your windows, homes, your streets, parks, local neighbourhood - please tag your local group when you post your images to the chats or social media.
In general:


What is Subvertising?

Subvertising is the practice of making spoofs or parodies of corporate and political advertisements. Crews like Special Patrol Facebook Group and Brandalism are currently very active and providing inspiration to Extinction Rebellion through their witty and cutting satire of companies who aggravate racial and climate injustice. Check out Brandalism’s amazing Subvertising Manuel for an in depth guide to all things Bus Stop related.
Note: Brandalism and Special Patrol Group are separate organisations to XR and any reproduction of their work must be credited.

How do I get into a bus top?

There are videos, guides and websites with plenty of info but the main piece of kit people use is a T30 key, high visibility jackets and non-descript worker clothes; it’s best to hide in plain sight and look like they belong when they are putting up the posters.

What can I print?

Where can I get bus stop ads printed?

To print bus stops sized sheets use DigitalPrinting and select 6 sheet measuring 1,200mm x 1,800mm.
There is generally a view that this kind of action is a lower level in arrestability.
From the Brandalism Subvertising manual:

Action Groups (PTS)

How do I join a P.T.S. group?

The most likely points of contact to find out if you have a local / regional Paint The Streets group are either your local group coordinators, arts coordinator or actions coordinator. You can also take action with your affinity group or by yourself. Some activities like fly-posting are easier with a small group of people, but during this period social-distancing needs to be observed.
Join the Paint The Streets UK Telegram chat to share images and be part of a supportive community. Images and videos will be picked up from the chats to share on social media platforms.
XRUK Paint The Streets Groups - links

How can I set up a Paint the Streets group?

How do we coordinate campaigns with other local groups?

Simultaneous actions across the country can have a very powerful effect, so please connect up with your regional Action Planners group to get informed or share ideas to bring into synchronised campaigns eg. No Going Back. Join the XRUK Paint the Streets chats to stay in the loop with new campaigns and key messaging updates. We also encourage you to post all your own work on the Telegram channel to inspire other groups.

Is there funding available for materials?

XR funding for printing posters and buying materials is currently limited. Ask your Regional and Local Group coordinators if your group has any budget available.
Please also note that funding for printing and distribution of posters currently comes through Regional rather than Arts budgets. If there is no funding available there are some options available to you: