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June 1, 2023

Yeomans leaves XR: a ‘toxic, manipulative cult’

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In a blow for Extinction Rebellion (XR) local coordinator Sherrie Yeomans says she has walked away from the Byron bypass blockade. ‘I can no longer surround myself with the toxic, manipulative Extinction Rebellion cult,’ said Yeomans this morning. ‘Need I say it is a loss to this campaign. I must stand in my truth.’

Yeomans, founder of Passionate Planet Protector has been steering the Byron Bay blockade since it began on July 14.

‘As of Sunday evening, I have walked away from the Byron bypass blockade front line that was established with Passionate Planet Protectors.The reason for this is due to unacceptable, toxic, manipulative behaviour from members of Extinction Rebellion’, she said.

Yeomans says she has worked with many groups across the country, and that: ‘The connection to one another, spirit and the lands is of first and foremost importance to me.’

Earlier Yeomans had sent out a release calling for people to report to the XR action first thing Monday morning at the Butler St blockade site.

‘This will be day 9! Gather from 6.30am on Monday in Butler Street Byron Bay to protect the beautiful forest and the critically endangered creatures within from the desecration of the Byron bypass.

‘We are demanding Hazell Bros STOP any works.

‘We are demanding Byron Shire STOP the Byron Bypass.’, her message said.

When Echonetdaily spoke to Yeomans on Friday she was still forging ahead with her connection with XR though she said she would be stepping away from managing Extinction Rebellion Northern Rivers and Byron Bay. Things changed over the weekend.

Ms Yeomans said she would prefer not to elaborate on what has happened at the blockade site to make her leave. She said that it was another step in that process.

‘I would like to say I am not fighting for anything – I’m loving. I am so loving my fellow brothers, sisters and mother earth.

‘We (Passionate Planet Protectors) are no longer accepting what isn’t our highest truth. We are demanding truth. As always I am standing in my truth!

‘My work protecting Byron’s mahogany swamp lands and stopping the Byron bypass will continue unabated. I am still on this, just not on the blockade.’

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  1. Wow, such finger-wagging and such a one-sided view! Interesting that when someone points a finger, they also have a few pointing right back at them! Hardly a toxic or dangerous cult, but hey, if it was, then she was the one steering it, until just last night, so her coordination mustn’t have been very good! And she says ‘We’ a lot, wonder who the rest of the ‘We’ are? Seems that there’s still a lot of folks down at the blockade, seems to be just one person has left… hmmmm…. pretty poor way to address this. Maybe the Echo should extend and edit this article to include some of the other voices of the XR people here. There may be a whole other opinion on this, and this person too!

    • Nicqui it may sound like that to you. However I was informed by this in the weekend by friends that have been at the blockade.
      My reply to them : This is exactly what the powers that be is to create duality and separation. Divide and conquer mentality.
      Don’t know Sherrie personally so cannot say anything about her. But she does say she will continue to take a stand just not with XR. I do find it a shame that she has gone public about this instead of working it out behind the scenes

    • The Blockade was various crew Passionate planet protectors, a number of XR & community members were on board & many backing the Blockade. I thought you of all people would know the situation that has occured Nicqui. I have shared this with out details. I felt that was best for all concerned. I am sure you are well aware eco anxiety and depression is not to be taken lightly. My sharing of what I have is for good reason. I have received so much feed back since last week from XR people or people associated with XR and it was time to say something. It doesn’t mean it is this way for all people it has been my experience and I am hearing others also. What says alot is the messages I have received since last week from members of XR. I feel for them holding such anger & animosity. I suggest they work on the mental health issues within the group. I wish them all well.

    • yeah met a few of these narcisists …….look if your intentions are pure and clear shut up and keep helping the earth it’s hard enough as it is… big money is hard to stop ..we need love and co-operation otherwise we are lost…do you Sherrie know why you are there?you are there to help the little bit of ground from death and destruction and not only koalas but many other species depend on all of us including YOU.we found a way at terrania creek to halt them and it was bloody hard but we did it through focus sweat and tears.. yes there was plenty of that… and we ploughed through our disagreements as painful as some were to fight for what was right and all we had was ourselves in the end ….and a little bit of forest was saved from the chainsaws….bently was saved as people got into the mode of beehive colony and quietly people got on with the job…there is no time for narcissism set your anger aside and do your bit for mother the best way you can.

  2. This sounds like one person’s personal rant. Where is the balance in this piece? Completely one-sided and no details, just allegations. Ask a few people on the ground, there might be a different opinion going around. This piece does well with reflecting sherries personal bias, maybe it should be published in a celebrity mag instead of the echo? How is this good journalism?

  3. Have had personal involvement with Sherrie at an XR meeting with further umbridge taken by her via Email, but when next met at the Buttler St Blockade we hugged. She is a firebrand and mercurial. No idea what happened with Sherrie at the blockade, but the Report today from the blockade is: “The Byron bypass blockade camp is going strong, and it seems as if workers went home this morning after protectors peacefully impeded them.”

  4. I don’t know what “cult”she’s talking about? but it sounds nothing like the beautiful loving family at XR northern rivers.
    If she wants to leave that’s fine, but attempting to slander the movement in the media on the way out seems a lot like putting her feelings before the good of the planet and our shire.

  5. The Echo has become a boring, humourless gossip rag bent on some twisted editorial attack on things Green and community minded. Long gone are days when it was a must read for its whimsical satire and cutting edge humour. It’s now a depressing, soulless thing best tossed from footpath straight to bin.
    The negative writing, the constant whinging about council and councillors, the rabid anti- Greens editorialising has made it unreadable. Time for the editor to move on hand it on to a more creative energy with a sense of humour.

  6. All the comments here subsequently reflected exactly my feelings as I read the article. I don’t know this woman, nor was i privy to any of the stuff going down she is claiming – I’m out of town so not present for the Blockade. I do find it unfortunate that the reputation of an important group can be contaminated because someone, a single person, chooses to bail. I do hear this phrase by hippies a lot ‘..this is MY truth’ used to substantiate or justify their argument or action. As if, by sheer virtue of someone feeling a certain way, validates and certifies their stance by default. But what if its not your truth? What if its a reaction, or a set of beliefs, a certain prejudice. Ones that don’t reflect the highest extent of your conciousness, wherein your own pesonal truth lies. But no, carry on, cling desperately to your tired beliefs/fears/prejudice and knee jerk reactions – insist they are ‘your truth’ therefore inarguable, whole, self-sustaining, righteous and a golden sword of justice none dare defy

    By the way if this person really cares so much about the blockade, why did she not chose to be discrete, keep the matter personal and dealt with privately behind closed doors instead of kicking and screaming to the Echo, in an article that does nothing to resolve any issues, or educate the public, or help heal anything, and does everything it can to impede the public support of XR and the Byron Blockade and the good people sacrificing their personal time to be there. Whose needs and aims does this article serve – from someone supposedly committed to love etc etc. Was she paid off to do this? That was my first thought.

  7. In our stand 4 the EARTH we all bring our ego , traumas , difficulty in communication and our good will . I don’t know what happen but I know it is life to have to deal with difficulties between PPL … I hope it is not going to distract from the main game : SAVING THE PLANET from dirty greedy bastards.

  8. Sherrie said that she is standing in her truth. Part of her truth is being loving and inclusive. Why do you want to deny her personal truth? XR, by its very nature, is not inclusive.

  9. I think XR’s problem has just left the building. I would like to say as someone who has seen first hand Sherrie scare people off with her own social issues that she deals with. XR is in no way a cult or anything like it. You can participate as much or as little as you want. It is a community coming together for the greater good of the environment. I think XR will flourish without the toxic personality.

  10. Having throught about it, arguably this does not constitute news. In fact, The Echo should be ashamed of
    publishing this. Okay, it’s topical. But is it in the public interest? Is it proportiionate,impartial, balanced? No on all t counts. There are no news articles reporting from the frontlines about whats going on – whats the Blockade actually up to, how are they functioning? How are they being received by the employee’s? Is it a 24hr presence established by the Bloackad? And so on. None of this is being reported. No interviews. That would constitute news, be relevant, and could be conduted impartiallly.
    Instead. This…hysteric item rightly compared by commenters here to The Daily Mail and whatever Australian equivalents are
    So Echo how long til you have ‘page 3′ girls in your print edition?
    Sherrie, good luck with your endeavours, I trust you can ’cause no harm’ in your efforts to be of service

  11. Gosh thank all you Extinction Rebellion crew for your rather cutting comments. I now see why I wasn’t feeling too embraced by you all. May be I should share a few of the nasty & vindictive personal messages I have received from many of you since last week. That is what has lead me to this place. I could have shared a lot more than was written here. Eco anxiety & depression are matters that need to be addressed within the group. When this is shared a number of times and situations continue to occur I believe sharing what I have is well within my rights. People’s well being should comes first. Clearly many of you have no idea of what has occured. Saddened to read of such personal attacks. Sending you love your way… This photo was taken last Friday before this occurred.

    • Sherrie if you were to share ‘personal’ messages via the media, it firstly would be a beach of privacy, as that is what private messages are meant to be, private between two people. To be honest, your sharing with the media in this way has already brought you many comments that do not present you in a positive light, if you took it any further, this could further compromise both yourself and the actions of the group. It’s not cool to air dirty laundry in this way…. There are laws that now protect people from online harassment and bullying. If you feel you have been damaged in this way then by all means take it up, … and this does seem to be a two-way street, yet your voice is the only one heard in this article. How far do you want to take this is the question, in my opinion it’s already gone far enough. You would be wise to do what you have stated you have done, and just step back. It’s already done damage, to you, to the XR group and to the reputations of all involved. It’s just not on Sherrie… You spruik light and love, but that’s not what you have shown here.

      • Did I read that correctly?! Take it easy love. You know full well what was threatened and it wasn’t threatened by me. IT is NOT okay what was shared by XR members. XR need to address the issues within the group. Mental health issues and the front line DONT mix. When someone speaks up and asks to be heard time and again by various people within the group and no one listens, it time to speak louder. I didn’t share this lightly, awareness is good & the well being of all people involved is paramount. I believe you work with community members if you saw them having difficulty with certain groups or organizations I would hope you too would voice that concern too. I have opened a gate for communication for people, I am glad of that. Ideally XR will address the issues raised. I have stepped away from XR & the front line blockade not the Byron By Pass campaign. I don’t want to take this anywhere… I stand in my integrity as always.

  12. Byron’s washing?out on the line
    I don’t know any of them and have nothing to do with XR. The article sounded like a lot of personal BS and nothing to do with saving the planet.. very one sided

  13. “As far as we’re concerned, there’s nothing whatsoever spontaneous or grass-roots about the ‘climate mobilisation’ that’s currently being promoted all over the mass media. Mirroring what happened with the ‘colour revolutions’, idealistic youth are simply being herded into pre-approved movements, to create the illusion of a popular mandate for what the ruling classes have already determined to be the best course of action for preserving their dominance and control: carbon taxation, ‘smart’ cities, the 5G/ internet of things surveillance grid, AI, depopulation, and new investment opportunities in what’s being called the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ (‘renewable technologies’, dependent on very limited rare earth minerals and heavily polluting mining operations, combined with health-damaging microwave technologies), as well as ‘carbon capture’/trading scams.”


    • TR, what does your quoted text even mean? It’s incomprehensible and doesn’t constitute an ”argument’ let alone a rigorous one. Got any thoughts of your own? Or is copying and pasting some incoherent ‘takedown’ the best you have to offer

      • Hi Rachel,

        If you actually take the time to read the whole article it makes a pretty strong case for not blindly trusting XR. Yes we all want to make the world better, but personally I am sceptical of this group and I would urge others to take some time to also research deeper about the people in charge of XR, and what their tue motives are. With love

  14. I was down that neck of the woods yesterday. Speaking of woods, I spied a heap of banners and signs saying saving the the Koala this and that. But I didn’t see one eucalypt (gum tree) tree. Which are essential to support koalas, it’s what they eat and live in. No gum trees, no koalas. A Fake Protest, just a bunch of squatters illegally camped

    • There are far more koalas around Byron Bay than there were sixty years ago, which is unsurprising as there are far more trees around the Bay than there were sixty years ago. With the the Byron line report not recommending other than slow light rail vehicles, after we build the rail trial it can be planted with wildlife and koala friendly plants that will provide them with a safe corridor through the region. Instead of the self indulgent tokenism of Extinction Rebellion, we can have real action to stem extinction.

  15. Hi mark
    Koalas Di lube in the wetlands surprisingly and we have seen them there just a few days again
    Also one got killed on Johnson st last year

  16. This is not news worthy, not even half a story here.
    Whoever approved this piece should look up the definition of journalism.

  17. Was down at the Buttler St blockade yesterday. Ian Cohen and Richard Staples (with his wife and new baby!) turned up in support. Jan Barham is also pursuing the bypass issue with State and Federal Govts (and donated XR temporary tattoos for fundraising, that she organised and personally paid to get printed). The Buttler St protest camp crew are there for the long haul. Strategy meetings are taking place, and XR held a successful die in at Main Beach last Sunday, and is organising locals to join a Brisbane Rebellion Day on August the 6th. XR has established a base in Byron and another in Mullum, as part of further connected Northern Rivers (and beyond) groups (300 to the first meeting in Lismore). And encouragingly appears globally as one of the few lights (with the School Strike movement) in this planets dark period of environment inaction, denial and business as usual.


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