On Saturday 18th January, Extinction Rebellion invites all citizens and organisations to take part in "Salon of Lies". On that day, hundreds of participants organised in small autonomous groups will perform a multitude of non-violent disruptive acts both inside and outside of the fair. Participants are invited to choose from a “menu” of different actions ranging from small actions of sensibilisation on the parking lots to more disruptive actions such as holding uninvited speeches, glueing themselves to exhibited cars or pouring fake blood on them. “Salon of Lies” will end with a final collective action that will be announced on the day itself. Participants are aware of the legal consequences of their actions and are ready to risk arrest.
A detailed description of the actions and explanations on how to carry them out can be found here.
Car manufacturers 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 dominated by individual cars. The car industry pretends 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. People’s rising ecological awareness is abused as just another marketing trick, to postpone the problem of ecological breakdown and sell as many cars as possible in the meantime.
“We don’t trust the car industry to provide solutions on mobility or ecology,” says Lyllou Christine from Extinction Rebellion. “If the car industry really wants to be part of the solution to the climate and ecological crisis as they pretend, then they should be doing all they can to help a fundamental and democratic change in the way we perceive and practice mobility. New, large, powerful individual cars, whether powered by petrol, electricity, or whatever other type of energy source must no longer made the symbol of human freedom and accomplishment: they are in reality one of the balls and chains which are holding us back.”
Extinction Rebellion demands a truly democratic reform, in which the future mobility is discussed and chosen by citizens’ assemblies, not by the car industry.
Salon of Lies does not aim at blocking the fair, nor at targeting the visitors themselves. On the contrary, by telling the truth about the false image car companies give of themselves, Extinction Rebellion sides with all victims of the industry’s noxious practices. This action aims at empowering people, communities and governments to resist the perverse pressure put onto them by the car and oil corporations and act towards a model of mobility that is truly ecologically sustainable, socially just, and preserves people’s health.
This action is a part of a campaign from broad coalition of movements, #BoycottAutosalon, including organisations such as GRACQ les cyclistes-quotidiens, Bruxsel’Air, Inter-Environnement Wallonie, BRAL, 1030/0, Fietsersbond and Extinction Rebellion.