SALON OF LIES - 18/01
HOW TO TAKE PART - A STEP BY STEP GUIDE
This page provides you with all necessary information to participate in Salon of Lies
- 9.Meet with your AG before coming to the Motor Show for a last briefing
- 10.Go to the Salon of Lies to tell the truth! 📣
With “Salon of Lies” we will disrupt this year’s Motor Show in Brussels in order to Tell the Truth about the ecological breakdown and the driving role the car industry plays in it. On Saturday 18 January (the penultimate and most busy day of the fair) between ca. 13:00 and 16:00 hundreds of participants will go to the Autosalon in small, autonomous groups of 2-6 people to carry out different actions of non-violent civil disobedience in a decentralised, but coordinated manner. Each group of participants decides autonomously about the actions they wish to perform, they prepare them in beforehand and self-organise on the day itself. The overall action will be coordinated by an action team, providing legal and arrestee support, as well as action support. Live information during the action will be given to all participants via a dedicated Telegram broadcast channel. “Salon of Lies” ends with all participants joining in a final collective action that will take place at a specific time and location that will be communicated last minute via the telegram channel.
The car industry is one of the major drivers of climate warming and ecological breakdown. Faced with the rising awareness of the ecological crisis, car manufacturers use all means at their disposal to generate a "greener" image of themselves in order to preserve their business and profit without actually having to change anything significant to the way they conceive mobility. They have blatantly lied in the past regarding the actual ecological impact of their products ("Dieselgate") and they continue to lie today, reinforcing the myth that people can just carry on with the current mobility model which relies on the use of individual cars. The car industry claims to take care of the solution, but while promoting "zero emission cars", they make and sell ever more and heavier SUV's. Electric and hybrid cars are presented as THE solution for the future, as an inherently "clean" solution, but the facts about the true ecological, and human impact of scaling up the electric vehicle production are carefully hidden. In fact, the car industry has no intention to shift towards a more sustainable mobility model. They abuse people's rising ecological awareness as just another marketing trick, to postpone the problem of ecological breakdown and sell as many cars as possible in the meantime.
Brussels Motor Show is the car industry's main propaganda event in Belgium (a third of car sales in Belgium happen in the weeks around the Autosalon). By disrupting the Motor Show, "Salon of Lies" aims at denouncing all the greenwashing lies of the car industry in order to rectify the false image which car companies are manufacturing of themselves.
If the car industry really wants to be part of the solution to the climate and ecological crisis as they claim, then they should be doing all they can to help a fundamental and democratic change in the way we perceive and practice mobility, moving away as quickly as possible from overproduction and consumption of vehicles. Whether powered by petrol, electricity, or whatever other type of energy source, new, large, powerful individual cars must no longer be established as the symbol of human freedom and accomplishment: they are in reality one of the balls and chains which are holding us back.
1- Participants form Affinity Groups
Participants form groups of 2-6 people with whom they will carry out the action. These groups are called “Affinity Groups” (AG). Affinity groups are small groups of people who organise and take action together. They’ve proven to be effective at enhancing activist support, sustainability and safety. At their core, they’re small groups of people who trust each other and have similar views on their preferred types and levels of actions. If it feels right, your AG can continue to exist after “Salon of Lies” and you can find yourselves performing many other actions together!
To form an AG, you can either: 1) ask friends or people you know to form a new group with you, 2) join an existing AG if you know any, or 3) come to one of the affinity group formation events that are organised in your city.
2- Affinity groups decide what they would like to do during the “Salon of Lies”
Each affinity group should decide autonomously about the actions they would like to carry out at the Motor Show. A series of different actions are proposed in the “Action Menu” hereunder. Together with your AG you decide which actions are the most relevant to you, which you feel most excited about, which you feel comfortable enough to perform… You also decide whether you would rather go inside the exhibition (for which a ticket must be purchased - see “ticket crowdfunding” below), or rather perform actions outside of the fair buildings, or both.
That way, we get an overview of how many groups and people are taking part and about what actions will take place. There you will also be asked to read and agree with our “action consensus". Please register as soon as possible to help us plan the action. Adding extra members to an AG it can be done later on.
4 - Affinity groups get ready for their actions
Buy an entrance ticket to the Motor Show well in advance if you wish to carry out actions inside the exhibition. On the day itself it might prove difficult or impossible to get tickets! (see “ticket crowdfunding” below for a possible refund of your expenses).
1 - Last briefing
You meet with your AG before entering the fair grounds, in a safe place where you can do a last briefing and make sure everybody and everything is ready (and why not have lunch). Note: Each AG does this independently - there is no meeting of all participants before the action!
2 - Entering the Motor Show (before 13h)
Once they are ready, each AG enters the fair ground as if they were normal visitors of the Motor Show. Best to arrive well in advance in order to be able to get a bit of orientation and probably also stand in the line. As there will probably be security checks, everything that you need for your actions will need to be concealed.
3 - Beginning of the action
As of 13h all AGs start carrying out their actions, at their own rhythm, at the locations and moments they decide and following their own dynamic. Note: useful information and instructions to coordinate the action will be broadcasted by the action coordination team via the dedicated Telegram channel.
4 - Final collective action
Around 16h, to round up “Salon of Lies”, following a cue and instructions that will be sent via the dedicated Telegram channel on the moment itself, all participants gather at an indicated location to perform a final mass collective Die-in which will probably lead to participants being carried away by security, or police, and mass administrative arrest.
5 - After the action is finished
Either all participants are free to leave the fair grounds after the end of the action, in which case we all gather for a small post action party (location will be communicated at a later stage), or we are under administrative arrest. In this case, everyone will be released during the night. At this point, if you need accommodation or if you simply wish to meet other rebels you can join the arrest support team at a location that will be communicated in due time. Important: make sure to read the legal briefing carefully!
Below you’ll find a list of actions from which each AG can choose to perform during “Salon of Lies”. These actions and options can be performed in any combination and order, depending on the desires and conditions of each individual AG.
All these actions are to be carried out in total autonomy by the AGs. They are meant to generate a nice unpredictable and disruptive buzz at the Motor Show, while at the same time converging towards the same main narrative in terms of the messages they send and the images they create.
None of these actions aims at preventing visitors from entering or exiting the Motor Show, nor should any action attempt to do so! The purpose of “Salon of Lies” is to correct the falsified greenwashing story that the car industry is selling to the world via such events, NOT to block the exhibition.
This action has been publicly announced. The Motor Show management, the media, the security, and the police are aware of this action menu, they have had access to the same information as you and will most probably also have subscribed to our Telegram channel.
Taking part in “Salon of Lies” you must be aware that you expose yourself to being arrested by the police and held under administrative arrest for up to 12 hours. Please plan your day accordingly and tell friends and family about this risk.
The risk of arrest obviously depends on which actions you choose to perform and how you do it, please take this into account when making your choice. The collective action that concludes “Salon of Lies” is conceived as to last until the police carries us away. This often results in them arresting us, but this has not always been the case in the past.
It is very likely that some of us will be kicked out of the fair, or arrested already before the end of the action. This is part of the game. Since certain actions are much more likely to lead to arrest than others, it is recommended to plan them accordingly and strategically! It is also to be expected that arrest probability will increase as time goes because police will be called in and security will also be more and more on alert.
Different actions require different skills - some people dare to do certain things more than others. Please be encouraged to dare to do things you've never tried before! Use the AG as a support group to help each individual to go beyond their comfort zone in all safety.
These actions can be carried out collectively (i.e. the whole AG performing it at the same time) but they can also very often be carried out individually, one of the AG's members performing an action at the time with the others playing support roles, often remaining incognito among the visitors. This can be seen as a way to slowly build up people's confidence and increase the intensity of the actions as time goes.
In any case, it is strongly recommended that whatever their choices, each AG plans a good preparation, both in technical as in mental terms so that the group arrives at the Autosalon in the best possible conditions to keep it joyful and to make a great efficient mess. A lot of on-the-spot decisions and improvisation will be required.
If you do not agree with the proposed actions, or if you have another idea for something that you think would fit in, please get in touch ASAP with [email protected] to question, propose, discuss. Please do not just do your thing in solo without informing the action team as this might make things more difficult for everyone!
What: Distribute flyers to visitors of the Motor Show with a clear statement about the car industry's delusional greenwashing propaganda & info about the action.
Where: It is very likely that security checks will be carried out at the entrances and that flyers would be confiscated and people denied entrance. Therefore, this action is mostly to be carried out outside, in the queues at the entrance, in the parking lots, anywhere where masses of visitors can be found (although any flyers smuggled inside are also a plus, obviously!)
What: Deploy a banner with a strong anti-greenwashing slogan anywhere visible. Probably better to plan many short appearances of the banner at different places than try to settle in one place for too long. Slogans and templates for making banners will be made available in beforehand here, but AGs are very much welcome to make up their own!
Where: To be carried out outside of the Autosalon, as smuggling a banner inside will prove rather difficult.
What: Simple shouting of anti greenwashing slogans in crowded places. This can be done as a one-off disruption: slogans are shouted once (the group then disappears again in the crowd and repeats some time later at another location), OR it can also be carried out at one location repeatedly in order to establish a more steady disruption.
- Individual version: AG perform the action individually as they please.
- Swarming version: many/all AG perform it at the same time wherever they are in the fair, prompted by an instruction on the Telegram broadcast channel.
Where: anywhere in the fair, where there is a crowd of visitors, whether inside or outside.
What: stick stickers wherever you are, preferably on advertising and meaningful places and try not to get caught doing so. (Stickers commenting on false advertising, f.i. a sticker saying “really?” to be stuck on an ad for a “zero emission” car)
Stickers will be made available via the local groups in due time.
Where: anywhere, but be aware that doing it inside implies good smuggling tactics!
What: spray slogans with chalk-spray on whatever makes sense and is visible: adverts, cars, windows… your AG can function as a visual shield, standing in front of one of the members while that person is spraying (each AG should develop their own cunning tactics)
Where: anywhere you can bring your chalk-spray can along. (Doing it inside implies excellent smuggling tactics!)
What: A short ephemeral blocking of a flow of visitors to communicate a specific truth. Like an advertising intermission in a TV program: people are forced to pause and take in a message, an information.
- A. Individual car-talk version: one or two persons wearing a hi-viz vest stand along an access road to a parking lot; they make a sign to the first car to stop and to roll down their window. They then start a discussion with the people in the car about the future of mobility and greenwashing by the car industry (ideas for contents will be made available here). They try to keep the (friendly) discussion going for as long as possible before letting the car go and repeating the action with the next car. The idea is that from a distance, the next car driver would think that you are a steward from the Autosalon. Although in practice, this results in a true blocking and slowing down of the visitors flow, the cars behind do not see that this is the case, they just see a person in hi-viz vest talking to the car in front and they will most probably take down their window on their own initiative… Remark: A single AG can be carrying this action on different access roads at the same time and seriously limit the throughput of visitors without creating any mass anger.
- B. Mobile blockade version: a whole AG steps onto an access road with an anti-greenwashing banner and block the road explicitly for a short while before letting the cars pass and repeating it a short while after. The banner needs a slogan that does not point at the car drivers themselves, but rather takes their side, as in protecting their consumer rights against the lies of the car industry. Remark: This action requires a good de-escalation and mediation with the people blocked in the cars.
- C. Impromptu Ted Talk version: this can take place wherever people are walking by, or hanging out: the ticket queue, a lounge, the access bridge to the entrance of the fair, probably most places inside the fair. One single person holds a short informative speech around key ecological facts on mobility and how the industry is cheating to the bystanding crowd. A discussion about this can follow, facilitated by the AG. A template for the speech will be provided in beforehand here and can simply be read out. Remark: while one person does the talk, the other members can play the role of interested bystanders which will help get people's attention.
What: just a traditional die in, except that you do not stay dead until security comes but you stand up and move away after a while in order to be able to do it again later.
Where: anywhere, really, but preferably at meaningful locations (f.i. near a Tesla, an SUV, a particularly lying ad…).
- Individual version: one person, or several from an AG fall on the floor
What: simply pour a bottle (or several bottles) of fake blood onto something to highlight its true noxious nature (for more information about fake blood see tutorials below). Once the blood is poured, read a declaration out loud to the surrounding crowd to explain and take responsibility for the act and denounce the industry’s toxic behaviour. A template for this declaration will be made available here.
Where: anywhere where the addition of a blood puddle creates a strong image feeding our general narrative (tell the truth). This can be inside or outside, but it must be a place where the blood will be very visible.
What: glue your hand to a target item with superglue. Take possession of the space for a maximum amount of time (until security unglues you with acetone) in order to read a declaration out loud to the surrounding crowd to explain and take responsibility for the act and denounce the industry’s toxic behaviour. A discussion / debate can ensue with visitors, facilitated by the AG. A template for this declaration will be made available here.
Where: 1) inside: on a particularly deceitful piece of advertising, on a particularly greenwashing or noxious car's windshield, on the pedestal of that car… 2) outside: on a particularly lying advertising (f.i. One of the screens in main entrance bridge), on the window of the ticket booth, on an entrance door…
- It is important that you agree with your affinity group beforehand how to deal with the different situations you might be confronted with. Try to imagine all these possible scenarios together and figure out what you would do in case they happen.
- Distribute roles: 1) De-escalation mediator(s) (see “De-escalation” tutorial below), 2) Telegram follower(s) : that person makes sure that the AG is always up to date with all the info that is being broadcasted via the action’s telegram channel 3) Video and Photo documentation (see “Documentation” tutorial below)
- Agree on what to do after the action, when and how to debrief
If you plan to carry out an action in which you will speak up to the other visitors, make sure to practice your text a couple of times in the days before the action. Best is to do this by organising a little rehearsal with your AG. You do not need to learn the texts by heart, you can read it out loud on the moment.
In many cases, the actions that you carry out will generate reaction from the part of the other visitors. These reactions can be positive, but also negative, even hostile, or simply perplexed. Our main goal is that people understand why we are doing what we are doing, even if they disagree. We do not want situations to become violent or aggressive so the way we behave must be exemplary.
In all cases it is always good to be proactive, to go talk to people immediately, to engage in a dialogue rather than creating a front. In most cases, simply explaining what we are doing in a friendly and patient manner is enough to calm the situation.
For each action which your AG performs make sure that at least one person takes the role of De-escalation Mediator. This simply means that this person is especially alert to the situation and takes the initiative to go talk to people if needed. This also counts if all members of the AG are involved in an action. The De-escalation Mediator is the one who will step out the first in case of need.
Don't forget that you might be facing visitors of the salon, who could be aggressive. Keep in mind it's not them we are against, and that we should always keep peaceful and try to de-escalate in order to avoid panic movement or injures among activists and/or visitors.
In some cases, a situation of conversation or debate might happen with the other visitors. Engage as much as possible with the debate when this happens and try to help facilitate it. Take the role of moderator, ask people for their opinions. The more other visitors engage with what we are proposing, the better. Turn the Motor Show in a place where people reflect on mobility in a critical manner!
This action is derived from “Blood of our Children”. It symbolizes all the destruction that has already occurred and the one that is still to come if we do not act now. In the context of this action, the blood symbolizes the true impact of the car industry, all the harm that it does, under cover of greenwashing.
The blood should this be poured in a significative place, where the killing effect of the industry is clearly revealed. When you pour the blood, do it in a calm and demonstrative way, do not rush or try to hide your action. It must appear as a responsible act for which you are ready to face the consequences.
Since there will most probably be security checks, it might be difficult to bring in bottles of red liquid. For this reason, it is better to bring red pigment powder (go to the resource page for more details) which you can easily hide on you (in your underwear, f.i.) and discretely mix into a bottle of water once you have passed the security check (having a non transparent thermos bottle with you could be useful).
When you glue-on, you basically take possession of place and time for the cause. Since you cannot be removed, people have to bear with you. The object you will attach to is symbolically very important. Glueing on also shows a string determination from your part. It has a strong emotional implication on onlookers.
In order to glue-on well and safely please respect the following guidelines:
- Test it at home before you use it at the action. Make sure you try to glue yourself to something to experience how it feels, to learn how to do it and which difficulties you might encounter.
- You need to cover the palm of your hand with the glue, and apply your hand on the object you would like to glue onto immediately. The quantity of glue you apply is important, if you do not put enough glue, it might dry too quickly and/or not stick well enough - if you put too much, you might have to wait for too long before the glue sets.
- Choose the position of your glued hand carefully because you might stay in that position for a long time: it needs to be comfortable enough!
- Once your hand is in position keep it totally still for a couple of minutes before testing whether it sticks.
- Once the glue has set, it holds very well. The only way to take your hand off without hurting it is to use a solvent (acetone, or similar). You will need to wait until security or police comes to free you - but your goal is to stay in position as long as possible…
- Make sure you have tested the solvent as well before glueing on. Always give a bottle of solvent to someone else in your AG so you can detach yourself without the help of the police in case of need.
- If your hand is pulled off violently it will injure your skin badly. It is very important that you indicate on your hand that it is glued on by either pinning a paper under your hand when you glue on, or by writing on your skin with a felt marker.
- When you glue-on, it is imperative that at one other person from your AG stays next to you. That person must make sure that everybody approaching is aware of the glue and care for your wellbeing for as long as you are glued on.
At any moment during the day, police might step in to arrest you, or security might attempt at kicking you out. In both cases, you should never attempt at actively resisting them. Instead, just fall dead on the floor and force them to carry you away as a sack of potatoes. This is called passive resistance and is a very easy and efficient way of slowing down and dramatising the arrest. You do not need to “play dead” you just need to be totally limp and let them do all the work. That way security carrying you away in the crowd will be a little show on its own.
A crowdfunding campaign has been set up to finance the entrance tickets of the rebels who choose to perform actions inside the exhibition. Please indicate in the subscription form whether you need your entrance ticket to be refunded (please only request refund if you really need it!). You will need to buy your ticket yourself and ask for refund after the action. Since we do not know how much money we will raise, nor how many people will need a refund, the available sum will be split between all those who have requested a refund. Any surplus will go to XR Belgium to finance its other activities.
Legal advice is being carefully studied and finalised - this information will be updated latest on January 8th.
In general terms, judicial risks related to this action are considered to be very low. Administrative arrests are likely. For as long as there is no direct material damage civil law suits are unlikely.
Please read and agree before engaging in an action with XR!
This agreement is the binding framework for actions by Extinction Rebellion Belgium.
Anyone who acknowledges this rebellion consensus is welcome to participate in actions by Extinction Rebellion (XR).
We are taking action to make the public as well as the governments of the world aware of the ecological, social and political crisis we are in.
We rebel because we and all the living beings we share this planet with are threatened by extinction.
The basis of our actions are our ten principles and values as well as our three demands.
Because of the political, economical and social reality we are forced to breach the societal normality through disruptive actions of peaceful civil disobedience and we believe by doing this we can induce the necessary change. We regret having to disturb the public life and the public order. We behave peacefully and respectfully towards our fellow humans as they are trying to go on with their daily routine.
- Peace and respect for all life are central values of our rebellion. Misanthropic and discriminating statements and actions are not welcome.
- We are strictly non-violent when it comes to our actions, communication with the public, the police and among ourselves. We treat every human with dignity and respect.
- We film and take pictures of our actions in order to generate publicity.
- We stand accountable for our actions and do not hide our faces or our names. When in contact with others, we avoid any verbal or physical altercations.
- Our understanding of non-violence includes not actively resisting measures by the police. In case of clear-outs and arrests we behave peacefully and refrain from active physical resistance, for example by linking arms with each other.
- Our own safety and the safety of our fellow humans is our highest priority. We plan actions carefully and pay attention to keeping emergency escape routes accessible.
- We constantly inform ourselves about the potential legal consequences of our actions and only move into action once we are aware of those consequences.
- We do not carry out any actions under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
- In addition to protest and civil disobedience we create a regenerative culture that is healthy, adaptable and resilient. We support each other during the creation of this culture in order to overcome our toxic system together.
- We encourage our fellow humans to become active and contribute towards the necessary change.
- We are aware that not every human is privileged to take the legal risks of committing civil disobedience.
- When we carry out actions of civil disobedience, we do this with the awareness that there are people who cannot take the associated risks. We stand by them with the same solidarity they give us when we are arrested or experience other forms of repression by the state. This mutual solidarity is of the utmost obligation to us all us all.
- We respect that there are socio-political and climate policy movements that differ from us and maybe choose different tactics and ways of communicating during their actions.
- We invite all humans who accept this rebellion consensus to help us bring about the necessary change together.