XR Newsletter #5 – Climate Chaos: REBEL to Stop This Madness!

Hold tight!

It’s the 5th Extinction Rebellion Newsletter.

If you’ve just joined us you can catch up on what we’ve been up to by visiting the archive, here.

We’ve been busy this last week preparing for rebellion in November. Three rebels were arrested for a non-violent direct action in Bristol and we’ve been networking non stop, hosting talks, workshops and trainings in sixteen more cities around the UK.

Check out what’s on near you with our full list of upcoming events available to view on our website, http://rebellion.earth (or Facebook here).

If you’re new or haven’t already check out our Campaign Overview Document.

Contents:

  • Activity Since Last Newsletter

  • Declaration of Rebellion

  • Key Demands of the Rebellion – Zero CO2

  • Volunteer Call out

  • Latest News and Data

  • Extreme Weather

  • Suggested Reading/Viewing

Activity Since Last Newsletter

Affinity Groups Take Action

One of the key principles of the Extinction Rebellion is Holocracy, empowering affinity groups to take the lead on Non-Violent Direct Action themselves. The aim of this movement is NOT to have a central group of figures dictating the terms of the rebellion. We want to see all rebels implement their own ideas of how best to raise awareness of the environmental crises through organised and creative disruption. We must all step forward and take the lead!

Bristol

Monday 8th October saw non-violent direct action from XR Bristol halt traffic around the Bearpit roundabout in the city centre. Extinction Rebels drew attention to the need for legislation against the environmental crime of Ecocide. Two rebels sprayed the words “Make Ecocide Law” across the windows of the Magistrates Court, while others held flares staging a roadblock with banners which read, “Climate Emergency!”. Extinction Symbol decorated cupcakes were handed out to drivers and onlookers.

Police arrested three rebels (video report here): One of the roadblockers and the two spray chalkers.

The action made the front page of the Bristol Post on Tuesday morning. Robin Boardman, one of those arrested, has written an open letter in the Post about the action.

London

Tuesday 9th September Extinction Rebels joined Divest London to say NO to climate criminals outside The Dorchester Hotel. “Oil and Money 2018” was an evening organised by the fossil fuel industry that saw Bob Dudley, Group Chief Executive of BP, earn an award for his services to an industry that has precipitated the 6th mass extinction. Environmental campaigners marched to the entrance of the hotel to disrupt the shameless display of pomp and ceremony. Private security was used to forcibly move protestors from the entrance.

London Rebels attended the First Pedal on Parliament and Mass Die-in; The National Funeral for The Unknown Cyclist. This demo was organised by Stop Killing Cyclists and called on the government to invest #3Billion4Cycling infrastructure and to reverse tax cuts on toxic diesel and petrol. A symbolic horse drawn hearse led the cyclists from Lincoln’s Inn Field’s to parliament, where a 10 minute die-in was held.

The same day, other Extinction Rebels also joined the thousands who turned out for the London Antifascist Unity Demo

The Extinction Rebellion is an Anti-fascist Rebellion

Sheffield

Rebels from the Manchester affinity group attended the Global Frackdown Carnival in Sheffield, where Extinction Rebellion held a public talk followed by Non-Violent Direct Action training. Welcome XR Sheffield!

To find out about affinity groups in your local area, or to inquire about setting one up, email extinctionrebellion@risingup.org.uk with the title ‘AFFINITY GROUPS’

Declaration of Rebellion

Wednesday, October 31, 2018. 10 AM – 3 PM
Meet at the statue of Millicent Fawcett, Parliament Square, London.

We will rally at Parliament Square to make clear our defiance in the face of extinction and our determination to rebel. Speakers will discuss the dire situation we face. We will hold a short extinction ceremony, honouring those who have died and those who will. We will hold a peaceful sit-in and a banner drop at a nearby location. Some will take a non-violent action which may lead to arrest. If the government does not respond meaningfully to the Extinction Rebellion’s demands, decentralised mass civil disobedience action will commence from the 12th of November.

Now is the time because we are out of time.

There is nothing left to lose.

For a full list of the 19 events coming in the next week from Plymouth to Manchester check out our website- https://risingup.org.uk/XR/rebel.php

Key Demands of The Rebellion: Zero CO2

In last week’s newsletter, we covered our demand for Sortition – the use of random selection to fill a legislative assembly with members of the public who are trained and appointed to decide on policy. This week, we look at our demand that the UK Government enact legally-binding policy measures to reduce carbon emissions in the UK to zero by 2025.

In 1988, NASA scientist Dr. James Hansen testified before a Congressional committee that significant global warming was happening due to increasing levels of man made Carbon Dioxide (CO2) in the earth’s atmosphere[1]. The New York Times’ front page discussed this revealing testimony in no uncertain terms, “If Dr. Hansen and other scientists are correct, then humans, by burning of fossil fuels and other activities, have altered the global climate in a manner that will affect life on earth for centuries to come.”[2] – This is now unequivocal[3].

Since then, we have continued emitting CO2 at an exponential rate, with emissions increasing 62.1% since 1992[4]. As the recent IPCC report has made categorically clear, global warming beyond the threshold of 1.5C above pre-industrial levels, will have catastrophic effects on the world. It also lists “rising atmospheric CO2 levels”, first in its “Drivers of Impacts” on global warming[5].

At their going rate, the levels of CO2 in the earth’s atmosphere are projected to match that of the last mass extinction on earth within one hundred years, “It took roughly a million years for CO2 to change by one hundred parts per million. It is now changing about 25,000 times faster than in known geologic history.”[6]

Ongoing trends in global CO2 emissions are the biggest impediment to ensuring the safety of the natural world [8]. The science is clear. If we want to leave a habitable world for future generations, limiting emissions will not suffice. We must act now, and we must act decisively.

Our demand for zero carbon is technologically and economically possibly, we just need to create the political will!

Latest News and Data

UN’s IPCC Report Rounds Doomsday Clock Down to 12 Years

The most damning indictment of climate change by the IPCC to date, while still conservative in it’s estimates, has already proven to be a provocative, newsworthy story.

High Court Rejects Injunction Against Fracking at Preston New Road

Expressions of grief and rage from water protectors worldwide on Friday, as the High Court rejected an emergency injunction to stop Cuadrilla fracking at Preston New Rd. Mr Justice Supperstone also refused permission for a judicial review of Lancashire County Council’s emergency planning procedures. The only positive news to come out of the case is the revelation that each day’s work stoppage has cost Cuadrilla a reported £94k. Fracking was expected to begin on Saturday but was ironically prevented by the extreme weather conditions of storm Callum. Cuadrilla claim fracking began on Monday, despite an epic 12 hour lock on at the gates

It has been discovered that Judge Altham who sentenced the #frackfreethree to jail time, has family interests in the fracking industry. Blackpool South MP, Gordon Marsden, has tabled Parliamentary Questions about this apparent breach of the judicial code and the Justice Secretary has been urged to open an investigation. The #frackfreethree’s appeal will be heard this Wednesday, 17th. The community is rallying for a mass demo on Saturday 20th October.

Frack-Off London Install Fracking Rig Outside BEIS Offices

The stunt on Monday was in opposition to the ‘permitted development’ consultation, which would allow exploratory drilling to take place anywhere in the country, without planning permission.

Judge Acquits Climate Activists Who Shut Down Tar Sands Pipelines

Just before the 2016 US election, on October 11, 2016, activists in North Dakota, Washington, Montana and Minnesota turned the valves on four pipelines, temporarily halting the flow of oil from Canada to the US by nearly 70%. Their acquittal this week stands in stark contrast with the recent sentencing of the #frackfreethree who received lengthy jail sentences for the much lesser crime of lorrysurfing on this side of the pond.

Hambach: Greenpeace Activists Scale German Embassyfor Banner Drop

The banner, which was dropped from the embassy on Monday read: “Exit Coal – Protect Hambach Forest”, following a court order which suspended the clearance of the forest, pending the verdict on a lawsuit brought by environmental group, BUND. The German courts also overruled a police ban on anti-coal protest near the site.

Ecosia Offers to Buy Hambach Forest for €1 million!

Ecosia chief executive Christian Kroll has written to RWE chief Martin Schmitz, saying: “We think that such a fair balance of interests between RWE and the population can be found, and are committed to the purchase of the land”. RWE declined to comment.

Dutch Appeals Court Upholds Emissions Ruling

The original ruling came in June 2015 following a case brought by environmental group, Urgenda who were representing 900 Dutch citizens. The Dutch Government appealed but the court’s landmark ruling on Tuesday says that they are under a legal obligation to protect citizens from climate change and must reduce CO2 emissions 25% by 2020. Similar cases are underway in countries around the world.

Politicians Still Ignoring IPCC for Short Term Profits

Brazil
Jair Bolsonaro, the right wing candidate in the Brazilian Presidential election this week won the first round of the race. His commitments include pulling Brazil out of the Paris Climate accords, closing Brazil’s environment agency (IBAMA), and supporting Agribusinesses that cleared 545km² of the Brazilian Amazon in August 2018 – a tripling of the figures for August 2017

Australia
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has rejected IPCC recommendations to phase out coal power by 2050, stating that Australia can meet targets of cutting CO2 emissions by 26-28% by 2030 “at a canter”. This lack of political will is particularly shortsighted in the case of Australia where any survival of the Great Barrier Reef is dependant on holding global warming to 1.5C rather than 2C.

To see Scott Morrison’s belligerent stance in support of coal, click here

Germany
Germany is continuing to drag its heels regarding a date for ending coal-fired power generation. Police removal of those occupying Hambach forest is representative of a global pattern that sees a huge divergence in rhetoric and practice on Environmental policy.

How Times Change…Irony Award

Shell boss wins this week’s irony award for announcing that mass reforestation is needed to limit temperature rises to 1.5C. This follows revelations that Shell and Exxon privately predicted the global damage that would be caused by their industry.

Extreme Weather

Storm Callum Has Killed at Least 2 People, Amidst Landslides, Floods, Power Cuts and Evacuations.

Landslides, Flooding in Scotland closed the A83 both ways on Tuesday. Vehicles were submerged by low level flooding of car parks and roads, with Oban the worst affected town. In Wales, Aberdulais was evacuated on Friday, as the worst flooding for 30 years submerged parts of the village. Passengers had to be evacuated from a train which become stuck in floodwater at Penrhiwceiber. The flood barriers at Carmarthen have been breached for the first time since they were built, 30 years ago. The extreme weather has left thousands without power and disrupted roads, trains, ferries and flights. Flood warnings remained in place through the weekend as heavy rain and 70mph winds continued battering the country.

In the US, Hurricane Michael Has Killed at Least 17 People

The Florida coastline suffered storm surges of 12-14ft (3.7 to 4.3m) and 155mph winds. Mexico Beach has not yet been searched. Residents there had been under a mandatory evacuation order, but it is believed at least 285 people among a population of 1,000 had stayed behind to ride out the storm. Hundreds of thousands of people are without power in Florida, Georgia and Virginia and could be for weeks to come.

Fatal Flash Floods in Majorca Have Killed at Least 10 People

Fatal Flash Floods in France Have Killed at Least 13 People

Our thoughts are with all those who lost their lives in these tragic events.

Suggested Reading:

Suggested Viewing:

Thanks for reading this 5th Edition of the Extinction Rebellion Newsletter.

As long as people work to profit from causing damage to our natural environment, we will work to stop them. As the compassionate, concerned people of this world join together in common cause, our chances of averting the worst improve.

I receive and I give – such is human life. Each directs and is directed in his turn. Therefore there is no fixed and constant authority, but a continual exchange of mutual, temporary, and, above all, voluntary authority and subordination.
– Bakunin

 

Please contact us at extinctionrebellion@risingup.org.uk if you have any questions or want to be added/removed from the mailing list.

If you have news or information which you think should be in the next newsletter, email: extinctionrebellion@risingup, with ‘XR NEWSLETTER’ as the title.

We’re developing the format of the newsletter to make it as useful and helpful as it can be. Any help with future editions; constructive criticism, feedback and input would be much appreciated.

This newsletter was put together by Extinction Rebels; Roman, Ann and Robin

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