Author: Virginia Fallon

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The rebels are dead.

About 40 bodies of men, women and children are lying motionless in a paddock beneath a sky that threatens to pour any moment.

Above them a buzzing drone films the carnage and a man balances precariously on top of a ladder to photograph the scene.

"Can we get up now?" one of the bodies calls, "The grass is making me itchy."

Over the next few days, the self-described rebels practising "die-ins" will be joined by comrades from around New Zealand to plan and prepare for rebellion.

Members of Extinction Rebellion doing a "die-in" at a "rebel camp" ahead of Monday's action.

Wellington is the first of more than 60 cities worldwide targeted for climate activist disruption in what has been called a "global rebellion" by Extinction Rebellion, an international anti-climate change movement.

At Saturday's camp, Extinction Rebellion spokeswoman Dr Sea Rottman​ wouldn't reveal the group's plan, but said they would be drawing the line on climate change.

"There's going to be some relatively serious disruption, but we're going to try and minimise the disruption to the working public as much as possible."

She wanted to make it clear the group was sorry for what the public would experience on Monday.

"But it's so minor as to the disruption coming that we need to prepare them for when the seas are rising and the climate is breaking down and our ecosystems are dying."

The rebels are preparing too and at first glance the schedule for the gathering at Paekākāriki​ on the Kāpiti Coast, north of Wellington, looks like any other school holiday activity.

Caz Sheldon, left, with Ricky Inkson compare notes during the cam

There's plenty happening at the camping ground and at first glance the schedule looks like that of any other gathering.

But among the planned talks, team bonding and art workshops are training courses for "all who intend to put themselves at risk on arrest", legal briefings and "non-violent direct action" rehearsals.

Non-violence was at the very centre of Extinction Rebellion's ethos, Rottman said.

"We want to make sure our people are safe... there's no violence towards each other, the police or passersby."

Members of Extinction Rebellion from left, Ricky Inkson, Ellie Johnston, P-J Stylianou and Annie Welvaert.

Against a backdrop of rebels practising "regenerative grounding" in a nearby paddock, Wellington woman Caz Sheldon said she wasn't planning on being arrested, at least this time.

"I've got another role to play but I'd be happy to arrested another time."

Typical of many camp-attendees, the grey-haired, well-spoken Sheldon said she had always cared about the environment, but had seen a "ramping up" of consciousness lately.

"People are realising they can do something about it and asking 'if not now, when? And if not me, who?' Action is the way to deal with despair."

The group are preparing and planning for a "major disruption" to the capital city on Monday as part of international action.

Not far from Sheldon, Dunedin man Cameron Cook took a break from erecting his tent to say how far he'd go in Monday's action.

"I'd definitely go to the point of arrest, it's worth it."

Any inconvenience the public experienced was worth it too, he said, and believed most people - however disrupted they were - would be supportive.

"They damn well better be, they're affected by climate change too."

Note from Nighthawk.NZ:

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