Extinction Rebellion announces Manchester action at Deansgate

  • The climate change campaign group will occupy Manchester city centre’s central shopping street, Deansgate to highlight the ecological emergency

  • The street will be turned into a giant peaceful, safe, family-friendly protest zone for four days - with workshops, talks, music, art, performances, food and other activities

  • On Monday 2nd September, there will be further non-violent direct action protests in other places across the city.

Extinction Rebellion has announced it will occupy Deansgate, Manchester’s main shopping street, from this Friday (30 August) in order to hold a non-violent, peaceful ‘uprising’ to draw attention to the growing environmental emergency.

Extinction Rebellion Manchester and supporters from groups across the UK, will turn the north end of Deansgate into a giant, peaceful, family-friendly protest and creative space for four days.

There will be free talks, music performances, art, training, food, workshops - as well as various eye-catching installations including a five-metre high sculpture made from waste plastic, a garden of donated plants, and DJ-decked yellow boat.

Deansgate is one of the most polluted roads in Manchester with illegal levels of nitrogen dioxide (1) and named as the city’s worst street for pedestrians (2).

Claire, from Extinction Rebellion Manchester said:

Most Greater Manchester boroughs and the GM Combined Authority have now declared a climate emergency. Every policy, including transport, is now supposed to consider its effects on our climate crisis and help cut carbon emissions.

Yet despite these statements little seems to change and we’re barely scratching the surface of the cuts we need to make. Manchester airport is still expanding(3), and millions are still being invested in major road developments that will increase car journeys, such as Great Ancoats Street in Manchester.

Unlike other cities such as Edinburgh and Leeds, Manchester has not yet introduced car-free days nor will private cars be included in the forthcoming Greater Manchester Clean Air Zone.

The Northern Rebellion is free and open to anyone - and visitors are being urged to join in by bringing plants, containers and compost to help create a green space for the duration of the event.

Claire added:

We apologise in advance for any inconvenience, but this is a very small price to be paid in comparison to the threat to life we are facing. Unfortunately, years of polite campaigning and petitions have not worked, and we are left with no choice. We have been working with Greater Manchester Police to minimise disruption and they have been helping other agencies plan contingencies, and people plan alternative means to travel over this period.

The Northern Rebellion echoes similar events taking place around the UK outside of London, as part of Extinction Rebellion’s Rebel Rising campaign, in which communities around the UK are rising up in support of the group’s demands.

The uprising is being held as part of Extinction Rebellion’s preparations for its third big national action - in London from October 7th.

Claire added:

The Amazon is burning, glaciers are melting, temperatures are rising and there is an existential risk to all life on Earth. It is the very least we can do, as the last generation who have the time and the power to stop this, to act to prevent this unfolding catastrophe.

More and more people are starting to feel the same and stepping forward to make their voices heard. The time to do that is now. We are urging anyone who is seeing what is happening and feels similarly heartbroken and let down by our leaders, to come and find out more about the crisis we are facing and what to do about it.

Extinction Rebellion is calling on the UK Government to tell the truth about the urgency of change needed by declaring a climate emergency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025 to halt biodiversity loss and create a Citizen’s Assembly to lead decision-making on climate justice.

For more information on Extinction Rebellion and to support the Northern Rebellion, visit: https://xrmcr.org/archives/northern-rebellion/.

Notes to editors:

All donated plants will be given a new home after the event.

Extinction Rebellion has three demands:

  • Tell The Truth. Government must tell the truth by declaring a climate and ecological emergency, working with other institutions to communicate the urgency for change.
  • Act Now. Government must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.
  • Beyond Politics. Government must create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice.


  1. Deansgate was named as one of the 152 most polluted streets in Manchester

  2. In a survey of 4,000 people last year - half felt pedestrians had too little space on Manchester city centre streets and Deansgate was highlighted as the worst culprit.

  3. Under Manchester City Council’s Carbon Zero plan, the city must reduce carbon emissions 13% by a year and become carbon zero by 2038, at the latest. But in 2018, data shows emissions in the city fell by only 2.5% (See page 12)