XR Newsletter Archive #11: Get ready for a green 2019!

Happy 2019, and welcome to the 11th Extinction Rebellion Newsletter!

We’re hitting the new year running, with an incredible number of events happening all over the country. The main theme for January will be the laying of foundations and preparing for the coming Eco Spring, as reflected in the many planning meetings happening regionally and nationally (see Upcoming Activity for more), together with a bumper crop of socials, training events and talks.

That said, things won’t be too quiet on the actions front either: we’ve already seen several solidarity actions over the festive period (see Recent Activity), and are expecting many more between now and mid-February when we’ll be returning to the streets in (non-violent!) force. We’re also looking forward to rebellions in several major US cities at the end of this month – stay tuned!

If you’d like to get involved in making it all happen, please see our newly refurbished volunteers page for available roles.

Check out what’s on near you with our full list of upcoming events, available to view on our website, rebellion.earth/events. If you’re new, or haven’t already seen it, remember to check out our Campaign Overview Document.

If you’d like to look back through the newsletter archive, you can find it here.

Let’s make 2019 go down in history as the year we, the people, changed the game on climate change!

Contents

 

  • Recent Activity
  • Upcoming Activity
  • Announcements
  • Extreme Weather
  • Latest News and Data
  • Recommended Content

Recent Activity

Action at Global Coal Resources Annual General Meeting

(Note: Group of men huddled together to the right of the picture are shareholders locked out of the meeting)

On the 28th of December, Extinction Rebellion joined Reclaim The Power to support the Phulbari Solidarity Group and disrupt the Annual General Meeting of Global Coal Mining Resources. The company has been trying since 2005 to begin work on an open pit coal mine in the Phulbari region of North West Bangladesh. By the company’s own admission, the project would immediately displace 40,000 people. Detailed reports of the project have shown that as many as, “220,000 people could be displaced over time as mining operations drain the water from wells and irrigation canals in the area.”FOOTNOTE: Footnote The project could pose a huge threat to some of the world’s largest Mangrove forests, the Sundarbans, listed as a Unesco world heritage site.

If the mine is built, it would lead to the forced displacement of up to 230,000 people over the 36 year life cycle of the project. It will increase poverty, water pollution and will plunder 14,600 hectares of Bangladesh’s most fertile and productive agricultural land in the region, causing a crisis of food production. It will have a devastating impact on the people and the environment. In return Bangladesh’s government would gain nothing but economic exploitation”, stated Dr Rumana Hashem of Phulbari Solidarity Group.

The three Extinction Rebels who blocked the entrance to the building inside the lobby successfully stopped major shareholders, including GCM’s Head of Corporate Affairs Brian Mooney, from attending the AGM. After standing outside for over three hours with the rest of the Phulbari supporters chanting and singing, the shareholders gave up and decided to leave.

The three arrestees were later removed by police, arrested for aggravated trespass, and charged with £4000 worth of damages. The Rebels were proud to have joined and supported the Phulbari people and will fight the charges with the support of all groups involved.

For more info on the day please read the Phulbari Blog summary, or a personal account from XR’s Tim Jones.

Rebel starts the Year as we mean to go on

 

 

On January the 2nd a Rebel in Exeter started the year with a bang, spray painting a Barclays Bank with black powder paint, reading, “Frack Off! #XR”. He was arrested for criminal damage, with a court date to follow in January.

Barclays Bank is notorious for its continued investments in a number of fossil fuels. In the UK, a subsidiary of Barclays Bank is the majority shareholder of Third Energy, a company pursuing multiple fracking operations in Lancashire. Every action we take helps this movement grow stronger, and draws further attention to the climate emergency. We are grateful to Matt, the Exeter Rebel, who was arrested for taking a stand against this twisted system that seeks financial reward in the destruction of our planet.

With Love and Rage, the fight goes on.

 

Man arrested in Exeter after anti-fracking slogan scrawled on Barclays Bank

First Court dates for November arrestees

 

 

Last week, Extinction Rebels attended their first court dates in London and Manchester for actions they took as part of the November 2018 Rebellion. These preliminary hearings were the start of a process that will see the UK legal system seek to punish those brave people for actions they took to draw attention to the climate emergency, and force our government out of its inertia in the face of the sixth mass extinction that is underway. All of us here at XR cannot express enough our gratitude to these people who are dedicated to preserving this planet as it is. Thank you to all of those who have stood up and continue to stand up for climate justice!

The vast majority of those arrested in November, including all those arrested on the bridges, are yet to hear anything about their arrests. We will keep you updated with any news on those who have been charged, and those still waiting to be.

 

Upcoming Activity

Preparing for 2019 – XR UK Strategy Meet Up

19th – 20th January

Register here

In 2018 Extinction Rebellion went from a handful of people planning in a room to some of the biggest acts civil disobedience in decades. It’s clear why – the climate and ecological crisis is beyond dire – and rebellion is now both necessary and justified.

Thousands of people are now involved and we’re inviting all of you to come to the first UK meet up in London on the weekend of the 19-20th January. The weekend will consist of three things:

1. Take the time to meet each other, and share our stories, hopes and fears. Understand what has brought us all to this point of action. Learn what we are all contributing around the country – this movement requires a lot of work, but we will get there by doing it together.

2. Inputting into the Strategy Process for how we are going to win in April this year. Core teams of XR have been working overtime to develop new ways of working, and coordinating our plans to bring together a dramatic series of mass civil disobedience events during the International Rebellion, starting from 15th April. You can ask any questions and feed ideas into the strategy process via small group discussions.

3. On Sunday we will hit the ground running with training on how to build our movement and learn the many skills which will make us both effective and humane in our plan for system change.

More details will be posted on the event page in the coming days.

Places may be limited so please book soon and bring new people from your local group or affinity group. Everyone is very welcome, whatever your background and relationship with Extinction Rebellion. If you need accommodation in London let us know at info@risingup.org.uk or xrtravel2018@gmail.com. We hope to have places to sleep – but if you can stay with friends then please do so!

In 2019 we have to go from national movement to world transformation – our children’s future depends on it. This is our intention, and are planning for it. We look forward to seeing you on the 19th.

Register here

Conscientious Protectors: skilling up for the courtroom, Sat 19th Jan

Legal training session 2:30-5pm, Central London

Polly Higgins & Jojo Mehta of Mission LifeForce will be running this session for XR and other environmental activists wishing to represent themselves in a criminal court using the Freedom of Conscience argument (as a means to ensure the court hears why direct action has been taken). Entry is free; more info HERE. Venue to be confirmed once we have an idea of numbers, so please indicate your interest on the Facebook event page.

First UK-Wide Youth Strike 4 Climate #FFF (Fridays For Future) – Friday 15th February

Supported by XR

The World’s Youth are waking up. Millions of young people are realising it’s now or never and are taking direct action in the face of the climate crisis and ecological catastrophe. Greta Thunberg’s pioneering school strikes in the lead-up to the Swedish elections last year, and every Friday since, have gained worldwide attention. Thousands of students have been doing the same in Australia.

Whether you are at school, college or university, go on strike on Friday 15th February. For some this falls on half term; join the protest anyway, with youth from across the world.

Come down to Parliament Square in London or, if you don’t live in London and would like to organise a similar event in your own city or town, please contact us at: youthstrike4climate@gmail.com

– Register your event here: https://www.fridaysforfuture.org/register

Tell the Government you’re prepared to break the rules to make change happen.

If you can help promote this event and the 15th February strike email us. Time is short – take the initiative

For updates, see the event here

 

International Rebellion Week – April 2019

In November we planted the seeds of our Rebellion; over winter we’ve been spreading roots internationally and across the UK. As spring comes, these seeds will grow into a forest. On April 15th we are calling for a global week of Rebellion, with independent local XR groups taking to streets all over the country to demand decisive action on climate change and ecological collapse.

In the meantime, we’ll be building up with weeks of action in mid-February and mid-March, and a Spring Gathering among many other events around the country. For now, we’re asking people to prepare by booking time off work for the week (or more!) following April the 15th.

More details to come in due course. Please share this with everyone you know. We’ll see you on the streets then, rebels.

We will not disappear.

We will not die off.

We will not give in.

Stay tuned for more information

See Event Page here

Announcements

Volunteering, Land Support, Festivals and Space

As our movement grows, so too does the number of ways in which people can get involved and help us to achieve our vision of a sustainable future. For this reason, we’re excited to share this new section of the newsletter, where you’ll find requests and opportunities from people across XR.

The most important thing to look at, if you haven’t already, is the volunteering page on our website. Here you’ll find a whole range of positions and roles with descriptions and the means of applying. It’s worth mentioning that the applications deadline for some of these is Friday 11th of January – so if you think you might be interested, go ahead and apply!

Beyond this page, you’ll also find various requests and announcements below.

The Newsletter needs you!

Following the departure of a deeply valued member, and anticipating a much bigger and busier new year, the Newsletter team is currently looking for new members. We’re especially looking for people with experience in writing, editing/proofing, content-sourcing, and html-based design; though enthusiasm for any of these definitely counts!

Time commitment can be as little as a few hours a week, and working remotely is very feasible.

Please email xr-newsletter@protonmail.com if you’re interested.

Regen announcement: Land Support Base and Open Homes

Hello all you lovely XR folk. We have just launched a subgroup of the core XR Regenerative Culture group for the UK under the title ‘Land Support Base and Open Homes’. In Regen we are grateful for all the positive and constructive feedback from the well-being support we have provided on actions. However, we are not resting on our organic laurels!

It’s now time to start looking at a deeper embedded support for our activists and organisers in UK society, especially land-based society, as biodiversity, and connection to the land, are essential for human physical and mental health.

We have lots of plans and intentions long-term, which everyone in XR is welcome to contribute to. For now, the practical focus is on building a spreadsheet of both land-based projects and ‘open homes’ (private homes) across the UK who are happy to provide respite, on a non-commercial basis, to those in XR who need it, be they organisers or front-line activists. Some basic respite training for hosts is in development and will be made available online.

Arrangements with land-based projects may involve some XR members doing a little therapeutic physical work in return for board and food. (A bit like wwoofing, but with more emphasis on recuperation for the activists / less working hours). We are also seeking any land-based projects that can host events or trainings on a non-commercial or bartering / work exchange basis.

Decentralisation of this strategy out to regional and local groups will happen ASAP.

 

How you can help:

* Maybe you are already sorting out something like this for your local group or area? If you want to get in touch to coordinate with this wider strategy, please do.

* The priority right now is to find people across the UK who are happy to be entered into our spreadsheet of land-based projects and open homes, so that in the lead-up to international rebellion April 15th, we already have a grounded UK network of hosts ready to accept people for rest and psychological prep before April actions. We are especially keen to facilitate city dwellers getting a break in the countryside.

* We are also seeking committed XR folk to join this working subgroup in the capacity of contacting land-based projects and asking if they might be able to help. Significant time on data entry will then be required. If you can spare a few hours per week on an ongoing committed basis, let us know.

If you have any questions, would like to learn more, or contribute to this new Regenerative Culture subgroup, please write to us at xr-landandrespite@protonmail.com

We look forward to hearing from you!

XR Festivals

Extinction Rebellion Festivals is operational! XR will be a big presence across the UK’s Festivals in 2019, and the Working Group are currently building strands that will match the variety of scales, genres and “feels” of different festivals. The creativity, passion, expression and connection to the land that festivals provide are brilliant spaces for us to train, grow, inform, support and dance together! If you are involved as a key organiser of a festival, or have a contact who is, we’d really like to hear from you. Please, can you email XR Festivals at xrfestivals@gmail.com. We also know there are lots of XR people who have experience & skills from working at festivals who we can work with to massive effect, and we’ll asking about those very soon. Right now though, so that we can manage the right part at the right time, please just contact us with festival organisers and/or those who have contacts for them please 😉

XR SPACE SEARCH

We’re looking for an XR community space!

It would be used in a variety of ways; for office and storage space, meeting and training rooms, socials/regen events and growing food (if there’s an outdoor area). Ideally, it will be in zone 1 or 2 and it should be easily accessible on public transport from central London.

If you know of an empty building or one which is available to rent please send the details (address, owner, photos etc.) to xr-spaces@protonmail.com or perhaps you could organise an empty building search with some other XR members and let us know what you find!

Please drop us an email if you want to get more involved in the project.

Latest News and Data

 

Extreme Weather

 

Recommended Content

 

This civilisation is finished, so what is to be done? (and as video)

A lecture/paper presented by Rupert Read, asking what might come after the collapse of our present civilization

Douglas: The first section is a brilliantly clear and incredibly worrying summary of the current climate crisis – the best such analysis I’ve read to date. This is followed by a consideration of what might happen in the very real possibility (now probability, in Read’s view) that we fail to face up to the challenge. Such speculation is certainly bleak, but instead of despair I found that Read’s framing provides all the more reason to fight even harder to save as much as we can of the world we love.

Are we heading for Another Mass Extinction

A BBC radio piece on our understanding of past mass extinctions – and how the current one compares

Painted As The Activist Elite: XR and Elitism

A short, sincere piece in the XR blog contemplating media portrayals of XR from a class perspective

“Everything can be explained to the people, on the single condition that you want them to understand.” – Frantz Fanon

Thanks for reading this, our 11th newsletter. We’ve got a really exciting few months ahead of us, and we’re looking forward to documenting as much as we can in future issues. Whether at a meeting room, on a street or in the cybersphere, we look forward to sharing with you our fight to save the planet!

If you’d like to get involved in helping put together future editions, join the newsletter hivemind by emailing xr-newsletter@protonmail.com.

This newsletter was written collaboratively by a hivemind of 5 rebels.

 

Can you give financial support to the Extinction Rebellion/RisingUp?

RisingUp! and the Extinction Rebellion will have many costs over the coming months including arrestee support, transport and accommodation for protests, art materials, banners, fliers, personal expenses etc. The Rebellion needs a lot of funding to start in several places across the UK at the same time and to continue into 2019. Indeed, the scale of the Rebellion could be limited by the amount of money available.

If you would like to support the Rebellion financially, a regular standing order would be perfect (as would one off donations). Standing orders or money transfers should be made to our Triodos Bank Account (Sort code: 16-58-10 Account No: 20737912) in the name of Compassionate Revolution Ltd (the holding company for Rising Up!).

Alternatively, if you’re a PayPal user (or more comfortable with PayPal), PayPal payments can be made to info@risingup.org.uk

Any queries contact Dave Nicks (dave.nicks@btinternet.com)

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