XR UK Protests Shitty Water

Following the massive scandal in the UK where nearly 60 swimmers fell ill with Diarrhea during a Triathlon event which included sea swimming portion, Extinction Rebellion mobilized a weekend of dirty water campaigning.

On social media Angeles Wales, Ashburton, Southend, Seaton Cornwall, Hackney London, Swansea Langdon Beach, Lincoln, River Calder, Hebdon Bridge Yorkshire, Dorset, Liskeard Cornwall, Plymouth Devon, Minehead, The River Tonne, Seaford, and finally, Hasting and St Learnords, the group that engaged in the Toilet Sit in. 


The actions included banner dropping, street theater, and a lot of shit themed signage. There is a video on the XR UK Actions Twitter which works as a sort of ultimate shit post - with a video of all the actions. 


The entire montage made a rather humorous post, but the message was serious. A report published by the Environment Agency in March showed that Southern Water released raw sewage into UK rivers and coastal waters well over 16,000 times in 2022. Bexhill alone had 96 spills. Years of under-funding means that every time there is heavy rainfall, the antiquated sewage system struggles to cope, resulting in excess water being released into the sea along with the sewage.

Far and away the most effective imagery was the toilet sit in done by Hastings and St Leanards.

A spokesperson for the groups said: “We held the protest to show our disgust at Southern Water’s repeated discharges of raw sewage into the sea.

Protesters sat on the toilets atop the concrete casing of the sewage discharge pipe, reading mocked-up newspapers with headlines such as ‘The Daily Discharge’ and ’The Daily Evacuation’. 

According to Surfers Against Sewage, a national campaigning group, there have so far been 256 alerts this year at the beach at St Leonards. In July alone, there were 12 sewage discharges reported at this location.


In Solidarity, Will Regan



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Will Regan


Will Regan has been a spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion in the US and Declare Emergency. He's editor in chief for the Daily Rebellion and has been arrested 4 times since taking that role.