What is Money Rebellion? The Extinction Rebellion sister protest group starting to make waves

The sister group to the better-known climate action movement Extinction Rebellion is taking aim at big banks and insurers

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Activists who set off brightly-coloured smoke flares during the AIG Women's Open golf tournament over the weekend hailed from a slightly different protest group than the usual suspects.

The protesters - who set off flares and held up banners reading 'AIG is a climate criminal' and 'AIG stop insuring climate crisis' on the last round of the Walton Open golf tournament - were claimed by a group called Money Rebellion.

They rushed the 17th hole while tournament leaders Lilia Vu and Charley Hull were on the green, before being removed by police and security staff.

But what exactly is Money Rebellion, and what were they protesting? And how does the group differ from the similarly-name Extinction Rebellion?

Here's everything you need to know:

What is Money Rebellion?

Money Rebellion describes itself as a "sister group" to the more well-known climate action movement Extinction Rebellion.

On its website, Money Rebellion says its ranks are made up of activists, economists, financial experts, bankers and others, who - through direct action, campaigning, and sharing expertise - seek to expose the root causes of the climate emergency: "the financial systems dependent on endless growth, and the greedy and powerful who continue to profit from the status quo".

Protestors made their way onto the 17th green on day four of the AIG Women's Open at Walton Heath Golf Club (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)Protestors made their way onto the 17th green on day four of the AIG Women's Open at Walton Heath Golf Club (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Protestors made their way onto the 17th green on day four of the AIG Women's Open at Walton Heath Golf Club (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

The group says it is directly targeting those responsible, which includes banks, insurance companies, and the government. Under the current financial system, Money Rebellion says "the very richest are getting richer", while people in the UK - and around the world - are suffering a worsening cost of living crisis.

At the same time, oil and other fossil fuel companies are seeing enormous profits while lobbying governments to reduce regulation, and investing in more fossil fuel expansion - as the greenhouse gases created by burning them continue to heat up the planet.

Besides non-violent protest, some of the other actions the group encourages include are tax "disobedience" - or holding back some taxes owed to the government to donate to other causes - and disputing debt, in court if need be.

What have activists from the group done so far?

Over the weekend, Money Rebellion activists disrupted the AIG Women's Open.

Five members rushed the green on the 17th hole during play, setting off flares and holding up banners reading "AIG is a climate criminal" - in protest of AIG’s insurance of fossil fuel projects, and for allegedly refusing to rule out insuring the controversial proposed East African Crude Oil Pipeline.

“AIG are insuring climate breakdown by enabling deadly fossil fuel projects to pump out more and more greenhouse gasses," protester Jane Clarke said in a statement from the group. "AIG know the science and are happy to protect their profits by cutting off insurance for homeowners facing floods and fires, caused by climate change."

She continued: "The executives making these decisions are climate criminals. Instead of sponsoring golf events to clean their image, they must stop insuring all new fossil fuel projects now.”

This, however, was not the first high-profile action Money Rebellion members have taken part in. In May, activists set off fire alarm sirens, and lit black and red smoke flares outside the Lloyd’s of London headquarters, as executives and shareholders held their Annual General Meeting inside.

How is it different from Extinction Rebellion?

Money Rebellion has a lot in common with its sister group, Extinction Rebellion, including some of its members and protest methods.

But while XR's actions focus more on the climate and ecological crisis, Money Rebellion - which stylises itself with a similar £R - hones in on systemic economic inequality, rather than purely environmental causes.

As well as direct action, it also encourages financial disobedience against political and economic systems that cause harm to people and the planet.