Article by Phil O’Brien, Grandparents against Climagedon

IT was all very secretive – masterminded by an Extinction Rebellion (XR) team from Bristol.

No one except the team leaders knew where we were going.


I was in the outreach team – my job to handout leaflets and talk to the public.

Hands in pockets, banners hidden, costumes under coats, separately the teams strolled through Madrid and stopped outside the massive Primark store on Gran Vía. The street was packed. Then wham – we stopped the traffic, made a space and the flash mob hit the street, the samba band thumping.

Extinction Rebellion
FLYING THE FLAG: XR protestors in Madrid, led by a group from Bristol ©theOlivePress

‘Ah ha ha ha stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive’. 

For two hours we danced, sang and chanted our message to the Government delegates in Madrid for the COP 25 Climate Conference

Extinction Rebellion 2
TAKING A STAND: Activists outside popular shops on the Capital’s Gran Via ©theOlivePress

“We’re on a planet that has a problem. 

“We’ve got to solve it, get involved and do it.

“Now Now Now.”

The police cordoned off the road. I handed out all my leaflets.

One indignant old gentleman told me I was mad wanting to keep the oil in the ground. I tried to explain why but he stormed off. 

Extinction Rebellion Madrid
PRIMARK: Protesters made their mark outside the retail giant by performing the Bee Gees’ 1977 hit Stayin’ Alive ©theOlivePress

But most passers-by took selfies, smiled and waved. Some joined the dance.

We didn’t gum up the town for days or mess up people’s journeys to work.

We just had a good time and kept our message going.

Get involved! And do it now! 

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