I was fascinated to read a letter in support of the Extinction Rebellion last week, expressing support, as business people, for the aims of XR. After 24 years focused on voluntary business efforts on sustainable development, last year I abandoned that to explore different approaches to our climate disaster. That included supporting people putting together […]
An Open Letter to Business Supporters of Extinction Rebellion — Professor Jem Bendell
Author Archives: Filiberto Heidenreich
Extinction Rebellion Tie-in Die-in, Kendal
By Lawrence Freiesleben
On Wednesday 17th April, members of Extinction Rebellion South Lakes staged a Die-in around Kendal market place. The weather was beautiful and who is ever going to complain about that? Unfortunately, far too many people still seem to share demagogue Donald Trump’s delusion that all global warming amounts to is lucky people in temperate zones getting more sun. As a recent casualty of increasingly unstable weather systems, the population of Kendal and villages nearby must be uneasy about this. Yet it’s always been amazing, how sunny weather and the onset of spring is apt to ameliorate or dim our fears – as if us and our beautiful landscapes with their trees in blossom and the cheer of daffodils will be here forever. Despite the broken bridges that remain broken, left behind by Storm Desmond, we are all too easily reassured. The body is simple in its reaction to warmth and light and the attractions of market day.
Setting up signs and banners in three different parts of the square, chiefly outside the low chains protecting the war memorial, at first, we passed unnoticed – the colourful signs and lettered flags taken for a precursor of carnival? Careful not to conceal any information already present on the windows of two untenanted shops, our own placards were propped or masking-taped to the glass. When we left, the only real sign of our presence would be the chalked lines around the fallen bodies, including those of children who spontaneously joined in. The only damage that occurred was caused by an officious security guard to whose initial crocodile smile we had granted a charitable benefit of the doubt. Taking advantage, while we were dying elsewhere in the square, he ripped down Wendi’s banner, also throwing her treasured bicycle to the ground – all part of the job, only doing his duty . . .
By contrast the community police officer who chatted with us a while, cheerfully agreed we were doing nothing he considered illegal: the disused shop was ‘a civil matter’.
With various members of the South Lakes group away for the duration of the main Extinction Rebellion event in London, our numbers were limited. Arrest however, seemed unlikely and the greatest block in many of our minds may have been embarrassment – that classic British trait?
Never underestimate the effect of embarrassment. If it wasn’t for crippling embarrassment, you never know, I might have taken up ballroom dancing, or any type of dancing. Or learned languages freely.
A Cornish friend of mine ,an eco-activist since the 70’s – who held secret midnight discussions with Swampy in the 1990’s and was an invited guest at C40’s 2011 conference in Sao Paulo – was adamant that action needs to be taken at every level, from every possible angle.
The thought that the Home Front is just as crucial as the Front Line, was one I kept in my mind to deflect disappointment at not being able to get to London – a regret of other members too. But if some considered Kendal a soft option, others were not convinced.
One interested office worker, who soon became a member, said she’d been down in London and felt quite comfortable joining the throng: the largeness of the company making her feel safe. In Kendal our group fluctuated at around 16. Crowd support and back-up were, to say the least, limited. That, she felt, would have made her think twice.
By contrast, a lady who died there and then, wished she’d known in advance that an expensive trek to London wasn’t necessary – nor incurring the irony of extra carbon to get to an event protesting against it!
Though I admire all those resolute, tireless, folk who walked to London, my ideal would have been to cycle. And maybe next time, if things don’t change fast, there will huge columns of cyclists all across the country, legally blocking routes everywhere – a wheeled echo of the Jarrow marchers. With enough warning there need be no idling engines. Everyone will know to put their cars and lorries away and stay at home.
In provincial towns, many of the public appear to know little or nothing about Extinction Rebellion. To them, it’s just a story on the news about some “pesky protesters” far away, “down in London”. Seeing Kendal residents they recognise – many of them pensioners with no experience of making a spectacle of themselves or braving abuse, determined for the sake of their grandchildren to make their point and explain what XR is about – really opens their eyes. It becomes personal rather than a fleeting headline. Our purpose in Kendal was not to disrupt ,but to try to publicise and explain, and although we had two or three hysterical people railing against us, generally, there was interest and support. Even the stallholders trying to make a living, were not all hostile.
Not wanting to disadvantage any of the stallholders in particular, after an hour we altered one of the locations of our dying. I asked the trader on the vegetable stall if he minded us dying nearby and he said not. Taking a leaflet to read at home, he only cautioned us against the shifting shade.
Undoubtedly, there is a vulnerability felt in lying on the pavement. With eyes shut, all the passing comments of support or scorn, impatience or contempt, become magnified. Yet talking was harder for me . . . at least at first. Others went through this same transition. My partner, who tends to be reserved in interactions with strangers, quickly warmed to the task. By the end she felt empowered. At last she was doing something instead of just worrying – and if things turned nasty we had a plan to ensure at least one of us would be free to pick the children up from school.
I’m not sure I felt empowered, but I did eventually manage to engage a few sceptics – who hopefully walked on with at least some idea of the crisis we are in.
“When you lot can do something about over-population let me know!” One woman challenged, and it was tempting to emphasise how wars, plagues and famines linked to climate change are already common and will only get worse. It’s always difficult to avoid the temptation towards fatalism that underlies the go-for-broke mentality so prevalent all over the world.
Throwing leaflets straight in the bin or refusing eye-contact were probably less common than the polite statement “I’m O.K. thanks” to proffered leaflets – a reaction which riled some of my comrades – struggling perhaps to resist the retort of “Not for long!”
The dilemma of how forceful we should be – purely verbally – stays with me. Long arguments with bitter opponents absorb valuable time, as does preaching to the converted. The background hope is that some people between these extremes, will later usefully reflect on a few points gently made.
The role of chief hysteric went to a woman ranting about our lack of respect for the war memorial. This, we stayed outside and fixed nothing to. We merely lay down nearby. Personally, I saw this more as a homage. What was the point of all those soldiers dying, only for us to trash the world they died for?
The war against extinction, against apathy over climate change and our own careless consumerism, is more urgent even than the fight seventy years ago, against the Axis powers.
(Photos by Kirsten Freiesleben April 17th 2019)
From XR Die-in, Seattle
By Rob Lewis
I am lying on sunlit bricks before the Henry M. Jackson Federal Building. I have died, and now look up at a twisted rectangle of sky framed by glass-sided buildings. A single branch waves overhead, reaching from a tree rising from a square of trucked-in soil. About twenty people have also died around me, and lay in the positions they fell in. We will stay dead for about twelve minutes.
That’s how many years we have to prevent climate hell on
earth, at least according to the last fleet of studies. Twelve years is not a lot of time. Perhaps I
should have better things to do with mine. But then I realize, arms splayed
out, looking slantwise up at the diamond-pointed sun, I’m doing precisely the thing
I should be doing and want to be doing. I am dying into the truth of my time. I
am dying into the dying. And it feels strangely restorative
The sea is near. I can smell it. And I begin thinking of orcas,
in particular, one named Tahlequah. Last August, with her dead calf draped
across her nostrum, she heralded her calf through the sea for seventeen days
and nights? She made us look. She made us see what life is like behind the word
extinction. It’s hunger, loss, attrition. Extinction lowered its mask of data and
revealed a broken-hearted mother, grieving on a scale beyond our ken, a grief
as big as the ocean. I am thinking I am lucky to be able to lie here and grieve
for her, and for all of creation, really. I am thinking of how long I have
needed to do this.
Those who can’t lie down join in standing-death. I can’t see anyone though, just this strange, powder-blue fragment of sky. On this chilly April morning the bricks are surprisingly warm, laying a deep bed of deep quiet amidst the clanging jack-hammers, staccato horns, rhythmic sirens. The city thrums on and I realize we are the lucky ones. We at least have found an off-ramp, a brief side exit from the techno-industrial race to ruin.
Though we appear to be sleeping, we are actually waking. We are shaking off an industrial drowse, grieving for a distracted humanity. There’s a feeling of honour to it, a solemnity. This is necessary work. It helps that the sun warms our faces. It helps that we decided to just do this, as awkward as it might have felt at first.
And now here we are, dying into something beyond ourselves,
into orcas, snow geese, yellow tanagers, glacier-fed streams, snow-fed
glaciers, salmon and seasons. Climate refugees, hurricane victims; we die for them
too. By our bodies we have cleared and planted a small plot of human atonement,
and inhabit it with a mood akin to prayer. A cloud’s view would see a city
swirling around a spot of stillness. Is it a wound or a flower?
It is surely both.
Stop climate change with carbon taxes
By Andy Gebhardt
Everything has a price
Everything has a price. We can look at climate change as an economic problem. Economically speaking, climate change is a market failure. People fly, drive cars and overuse air conditioners because the consequent carbon emissions incur no cost: we do not have to pay for the damage we cause. That is where a carbon tax comes in: to resolve the market failure.
A carbon tax puts cost to pollution
A carbon tax is a tax just like VAT (value added tax), that we pay at the point of purchase, included in the price of the good/service, on all purchases we make. However, a carbon tax is a tax not levied on all purchases like a VAT. It is only applied to fossil fuels and other Green House Gas producing activities. The level of taxes is determined by the amount of CO2 emissions generated per unit of sold energy or substance.
Higher energy cost = higher efficiency = lower consumption
tax increases the cost of energy intensive goods and services (e.g.
fuel, flying). This is an incentive to use less of the now more
expensive goods/services. It triggers efficiency. And with that, lower
However, for people with limited income, a hike in e.g.
fuel cost can be disastrous -they might not be able to afford to go
work anymore, as the yellow-west protests in France have shown. In
particular in the absence of an affordable alternative to gasoline fuel.
In addition, increasing the cost of GHG emitting fuels alone will not
reduce emissions as fast as is required.
For this reason,
individuals have to be compensated for the increasing energy cost.
Simultaneously, we have to develop an affordable GHG-free alternative.
The climate tax develops a cheaper and GHG-free alternative to fossil energy
This is why 50% of the tax revenues will be paid back to individuals in cash; to compensate for the increasing energy bill and potentially increasing cost of goods. 40% of the tax revenues will be used to finance the rapid development of a renewable energy infrastructure. The new renewable energy infrastructure provides a cheaper alternative to fossil fuels, and will reduce emissions fast. The remaining 10% could be used for research and development of renewable energy technology.
The proposed carbon tax will reduce GHG emissions to Zero by 2035, while reducing the total global energy bill by 2% of World GDP.
For more information, please check
By Bill McGuire
Even as thousands of XR foot soldiers bring London to a halt in the name of climate change sanity, the bad news keeps rolling in. The latest despatches from the climate breakdown front point to the last days of the world’s mountain glaciers and the marvellous ecosystems they support. In an earlier post (Asia – Climate Breakdown’s New Front Line), I revealed how the loss of Himalayan glaciers and ice fields feeding Asia’s mighty rivers could lead to widespread famine as they shrink to little more than trickles. Now, it appears, glaciers in western Europe look likely to suffer the same fate. Hardly surprising really, but nonetheless another nail in the coffin of our stable, pre-climate-breakdown world.
What makes the picture painted by the new study (Modelling the future evolution of glaciers in the European Alps under the EURO-CORDEX RCM ensemble) especially bleak, is that even if we act to drastically curtail greenhouse gas emissions, most of the ice locked up in the world’s mountains will not survive until the end of the century. Given a business as usual scenario, the European Alps will be effectively ice-free by 2100; the winter sports business a distant memory. But even if emissions are slashed, two thirds of the ice will still have melted away in a little over eight decades time. Even more dramatically, whatever action we take on the emissions reduction front fully half of the ice locked up in the four thousand or so Alpine glaciers will be gone within barely thirty years.
A second study (Key indicators of Arctic climate change: 1971–2017) for the first time draws together information from both physical and biological systems to show how rising air temperatures are fundamentally transforming the Arctic and the life it supports as the Earth continues to heat up. As the landmark study reveals, the Arctic region’s long stable climate is now following a path into the unknown. The consequences of this are likely to be widespread and catastrophic, not only for the region itself, but also across the world. What happens in the icy wastes of the north is already affecting the climate at more temperate latitudes, such as Europe and North America. Here, the knock-on effects of changes in airflow at high latitudes are driving persistent weather patterns in both winter and summer that result in extreme weather; big freezes and baking heatwaves. Rapid ice melting in the Arctic is also affecting the Gulf Stream and associated ocean currents and has the potential to bring them to a halt or at least precipitate a major slow down. This, in turn, threatens colder winters around the North Atlantic rim along with rapidly rising sea levels along the eastern seaboard of North America.
a message to our XR heroes in the London campaign and those bringing
the truth about climate breakdown to cities all over the world. Hang
on in there. Our planet needs you now more than ever.
The Benefits of Accepting the Possibility of Environmental Collapse and Human Extinction
By John BellS
Professor of Sustainability Leadership, Jem Bendell, has recently
published a thoughtful review of the scientific studies on climate
change, called “Deep Adaptation”.
He concludes that social
collapse is inevitable, environmental catastrophe is probable, and
human extinction possible.
He says, dramatically enough to get our attention,
The evidence before us suggests that we are set for disruptive and uncontrollable levels of climate change, bringing starvation, destruction, migration, disease and war
But when I say starvation, destruction, migration, disease and war, I mean in your own life. With the power down, soon you wouldn’t have water coming out of your tap. You will depend on your neighbours for food and some warmth. You will become malnourished. You won’t know whether to stay or go. You will fear being violently killed before starving to death.
thinks facing this can lead to individual and collective change and
growth toward insight, compassion, and action. He proposes what he
terms “deep adaptation,” which includes the following framework:
reading the piece, I found myself relieved and encouraged.
because I too have been thinking about the likely collapse, thinking
that the earth’s environment is past the “tipping point” in
many areas, that we will lose more species that we can imagine, that
there will be social chaos, that we need to grieve the current and
looming losses, and that I may need to become a planetary hospice
worker, or a climate chaplain, joining with others in trying to
provide support, comfort, and perhaps some spiritual wisdom to help
us manage the coming troubles.
I was also relieved
because I too have been hesitant to share these kinds of thoughts
publicly for fear of reinforcing discouragement and despair that most
people carry. I haven’t wanted to be a voice of gloom and doom,
since that usually helps disempower people. Prof Bendell addresses
this fear by saying that refusing to look directly at the seriousness
of our situation gives us false hope that somehow we can avert the
worst, and thereby keeps us numb enough to go along with accepting
things as pretty much they are, or just advocating for mild,
piecemeal reforms, thereby sealing our fate.
because I have long believed that what is required is radical
transformation at the base of our civilization—an economy that
promotes well-being and happiness, not based on greed; a society
based on fairness, compassion, and cooperation where the “isms”
have been healed and eliminated; a re-uniting of humans with the rest
of the natural world, recognizing our inextricable interdependence
and embeddedness; a human culture that encourages contentedness,
sufficiency, caring, curiosity, and creativity. The author points in
transformation seems like a dream, given the current trends. All the
more reason to not
continue the slow, incremental reformist moves that most of the
environmentalists have attempted. This is not sufficient. Nothing is
sufficient to stop the severe climate induced disruption and
suffering already built in. But hoping that technology or the market
or human decency or enough political will can “save” us from the
worst is not sufficient either. We are called to a radical shift in
consciousness coupled with deep changes in our behavior, policies,
and structures in the external sphere, and correspondingly deep
changes in the interior realms–our self-concept, beliefs,
internalized feelings of powerlessness and unworthiness, unconscious
biases that make us feel superior or inferior, and the underlying
conditioning that makes us feel separate from each other, other
beings, and the Earth.
The interior transformations
needed require, among many things, dedicated and effective methods of
healing trauma, providing emotional safety and safeguards in the home
and public settings, a set of mindful ethics to guide our behavior,
and ways of nurturing compassion, loving kindness, peacefulness, and
enjoyment in the joy of others.
the interior dimension of change needed leads me to three conclusions
or directions for myself. a) To re-dedicate myself to do even deeper
emotional work to release stored distress and childhood hurts so that
I can think more clearly and act more boldly. b) To re-commit myself
to meditate more diligently and to practice even more fully the
I’ve been engaged with, namely, reverence for life, generosity,
kind speech, and mindful consumption, so that my actions point to the
world I want, and c) To live more deeply into the insights of
interdependence, continual change, and unbroken wholeness of reality
from which I can’t be separated, so that I know that the Earth and
I are one, that what hurts the Earth or other being, hurts me, that
when I care for a river’s health I am caring for my health.
the radical change in social structures needed leads me personally to
commit myself to advocate for a bold vision beyond reform; to support
big ideas like the Green New Deal and beyond; to participate in mass
non-violent civil disobedience actions; to help dismantle white
supremacy, patriarchy, and all the dominator systems; to support the
creation of a new just, cooperative economy. A tall order for sure,
but why not go for it!
don’t and can’t know how the story ends. But starting by
embracing the strong possibility of environmental collapse and human
extinction can jar us into a deeper relationship with our true nature
and other beings.
healing, social transformation. You can’t have one without the
– the tagline of Tikkun Magazine years ago.
John Bell is a Buddhist Dharma Teacher who lives near Boston, MA, USA. He is a founding staff and former vice president of YouthBuild USA, an international non-profit that provides learning, earning, and leadership opportunities to young people from low-income backgrounds. He is an author, lifelong social justice activist, international trainer facilitator, father and grandfather. His blog iswww.beginwithin.info and email email@example.com.
Will we collapse like Easter Island?
By Zeeshan Hasan
The spectacular statues of Easter Island, a sparsely populated Pacific isle which is seemingly so desolate that there are not even any large trees on it, have been a mystery for centuries. How could an island of a few thousand people produce hundreds of such statues, the largest of which are 33 feet tall and weigh 82 tons? This question inspired Erich Von Daniken, a best-selling author of the 1970s, to speculate that the statues were erected by aliens from outer space. The real story of the statues and the people who carved them are the subject of the first chapter of Jared Diamond’s book, ‘Collapse: How Societies Choose To Fail Or Survive’. Diamond is professor of Geography at the University of California at Los Angeles and author of several award-winning books on the impact of the physical world on human history. His Easter Island history turns out to have profound environmental lessons for us even today.
Diamond points out that archaeologists have proved that Easter Island was once very different from today; before being colonised by people, it was covered with forest typical of other sub-tropical Pacific islands. Once settled by explorers who arrived by canoe from other islands, it seemed to present itself as a hospitable place, and the human population expanded rapidly. Incidentally, this solves the mystery of the statues; a population several times bigger could more reasonably be expected to erect such monuments. However, unknown to the new settlers, the soil of Easter Island was much less fertile than that of other islands that they had lived on. This infertility manifested itself in slower tree growth. Thus when the Easter Islanders cut down trees for firewood, houses and deep-sea canoes, they did this at a rate which may have been sustainable on other islands that their ancestors had lived on; but on Easter Island it brought disaster. As the population grew, people cut down more trees for firewood and canoes. Canoes were necessary as dolphin-hunting provided a large portion of the animal protein in the diet (along with wild birds and other small animals from the forest). But once the forest cover was removed, the exposed land eroded quickly in the rain and wind. Crop yields decreased, and the islanders’ solution was apparently to cut down more trees to plant more crops and build more canoes for dolphin-hunting. As a result, within a few centuries the island was completely deforested. Without trees, there were no more wild birds or animals to hunt, except rats. With no more wood available for canoes, dolphin meat was also no longer available. The islanders descended into famine, war and cannibalism (unfortunately, human meat was one of few remaining sources of animal protein). Two-thirds of the population perished in this terrible manner.
Diamond describes other societies that collapsed primarily due to environmental difficulties, including several more Pacific islands, the Norse colony in Greenland, the native Anasazi culture of the southwestern US, the central American Maya civilisation and modern Rwanda. He also presents the case of Japan, which came close to such a fate but managed to avoid it thanks to intelligent decisions and good leadership.
There is a lesson for us here: in these times of global warming, it may be comforting to believe that our leaders can be trusted to sort everything out, and that humanity would never allow itself to be destroyed. But such a faith would be unfounded; many previous societies have thought this way, and failed. Long-term survival requires a real understanding of the limitations of our environment and a strong political will to live within those limits. Like the first settlers of Easter Island, we find ourselves in a new, unknown environment; namely an industrialised 21st century world with greenhouse gas levels higher than they have ever been in human history. We no longer need to colonise a new island to experience unfamiliar environmental conditions; our carbon dioxide emissions are altering the climate of our whole planet, which will bring unpredictable new risks for everyone. The lesson of Easter Island should make us think on the failure of our own leaders to take real action to prevent catastrophic climate change, even though the latest IPCC report said that only 11 years remain to prevent catastrophic global warming of more than 1.5 C.
Poem: The Tactics of Our Antics
By Liz Darcy Jones
us be Up Rising!
a mighty swell:
words are magnetising
say ‘Wake up! Rebel!
get up and we’ll stand up
those who don’t or can’t
if you’re not for marching
then find some trees and plant!
us be Up Rising!
a mighty swell:
words are magnetising
say ‘Wake up! Rebel!
will not stoop to fight or harm
mischief-make with glee
songs and chants and mass arrests
up those in denial
rouse the ones who sleep
all can see we’ve got to change
and make it deep!
us be Up Rising!
a mighty swell:
words are magnetising
say ‘Wake up! Rebel!
we can challenge and rise up
rock the status quo
keeping our hearts open
there’s just a chance we’ll show
of power or greed)
far more threat than you or I:
fierce love be our creed
us be Up Rising!
a mighty swell:
words are magnetising
they say ‘Wake up! Rebel!
“Hitler denial” as a parallel to climate denial
By Zeeshan Hasan
I recently came across the online comicHitler Denialby Australian artist Stuart McMillan. Two panels are shown below as a taster.
The whole comic is definitely worth reading, please visit Stuart’s site to see it! I would discuss it further, but don’t want to give away the whole thing. What I would mention is that I’m cautious about glorifying war time leaders like Winston Churchill; although he was indeed successful in fighting Nazi Germany,it was at the cost of presiding over a terrible famine in India which killed millions.
Nonetheless, I think the parallel with the second world war and the ‘war footing’ that the entire world economy needs to be put on to in order to fight climate change is a worthwhile one to make.
Inside XR #5 – IT’S APRIL!
I hear swathes of positivity from all the groups with success and expansion on many fronts. To quote Regen, there is a ‘flowering’ of support everywhere with a reaching out to countries outside the UK. XR is happy to work within and alongside Europe!
Huge thanks to everyone who sent in up-to-date news from the groups. I know how frantically busy you all are as we move towards April’s Mighty Big Push. My hunch is to keep reports here short and informative, as you have done in this issue, so it’s not another dreaded job to do. Think of it as joining the inner dots. Can you also please send photos and images to pretty-up the text.
Along the same lines, I query including an essay here. I’m not convinced it’s the right place as this is primarily a catch-up briefing. I’d welcome your thoughts. This time around, I’ve adopted Matthew’s suggestion of adding a few inspiring quotes, in tune with the mood for April.
I sign off with some about-time good news from the media: ‘The Guardian will now publish the Mauna Loa carbon count, the global benchmark, on the weather page of the paper every day.’
And the Guardian asks: ‘Were you inspired by XR?
The next internal newsletter will be out after April 15th. Now that will be an exciting issue!
The people of London have come through for us massively and we have ~250 spaces for rebels in London being hosted by other activists scattered throughout the two weeks, if you are wanting for accommodation with a personal touch hit us up. On the open spaces front we have finalized 7 free locations of various sizes ranging from 10-100 capacity in London, but only for evening sleeping space.
We are still looking for spaces for day time respite for our brave overnight blockaders! We won’t stop till we we do!
Land & Respite:
This subgroup of Regen is really flowering. We now have close to 70 Open Homes as part of our network, willing to take activists on respite for a few days and in many cases, provide food. On the Land side, we are making excellent links with social farms around London, and the national Permaculture Association. After April L & R will split into two subgroups. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
The original renegade international blog has retained its identity separate from the main XR websites, and we are now pleased to announce that we are in the process of expanding outward to other global movements such as Earthstrike, Youth Strike, Earth First and Reclaim The Power. We will henceforward be an international mass civil disobedience blog. Please bear with us during this transition phase, which will at some point include a name change. Interim Contact: email@example.com
The newsletter team has continued to enjoy its long-awaited regular output schedule: sending an issue every Wednesday has allowed us to find a steady rhythm in terms of content-writing. We’ve recently added a short new section called ‘Act Now’, the idea of which is to encourage our wonderful readers into taking small and immediate actions which will (theoretically) lead to bigger ones. We’re also working on a plan for how best to deal with the daily pace of news beginning from the 15th. All of which will hopefully be made lots easier by the addition of four new friendly faces to the team!
The press team is working on all cylinders to cover the build-up to International Rebellion, and also to develop a game-plan for the 15th onwards. We’re building relationships with journalists as ever (but even more hurriedly!), and are liaising with the rest of the M&M team to ensure we have a presence at all of the Rebellion’s locations. We should have some fairly big coverage coming out towards the end of this week to set the scene.
International Support Team
The international support team have been working on facilitating conversations among different national XR teams in different countries, to build more connections across the international network. We’re working on twinning city/local groups and bringing representatives from specific work areas such as media and messaging together with similar national working groups in other countries, to ensure that folks internationally are as up to date as possible with one another.
On the weekend of 30th March, XR rebels from over eleven different countries came together in Brussels for a weekend gathering of workshops, discussions and delicious vegan food. Some were familiar with each other from months of online calls, many were meeting face-to-face for the first time, and others were completely new to the movement!
We sang, danced, did theatre workshops, chatted about biodiversity, regenerative culture and internationalist solidarity, and ended the weekend together by joining the climate march and announcing rebellion week on stage, much to the crowds enjoyment! It was a truly wonderful weekend, connecting many different groups and sharing experiences and stories.
The rebellion is near – get yourself trained up now! Green and Black Cross (GBC) have provided three more Legal Observer trainings before April 15th:
6th April – Birmingham
7th April – Exeter
13th April – Manchester
The Legal working group is also offering two Online Arrest Watch trainings on Saturday, 6th April, 6-9.30pm (register here), and on Thursday, 11th April, 6-9.30pm (register here). Arrest Watch trainings are not the same as Legal Observer trainings and are not meant to replace them. They are much more about providing rebels with insight into the full arrestee support system (rather than just what’s going on at an action) and showing them how they can become part of it. You can find more information here.
We’re still in urgent need of more legal observers (LOs) and back office supporters for the rebellion! If you can help us out, even if only for one shift, please sign up on our rota. Only people who attended the full 5-hour GBC LO training should sign up for legal observing. Anyone can help out in the back office but it’s preferable that you attend an Arrest Watch training beforehand.
Talks and Trainings
|Rather excitingly, we have developed an XR meeting facilitation training together with a bunch of professional facilitators, including a lot of input from Seeds for Change (thanks to you guys!). This training is now being trialled for the first time. It introduces rebels to facilitation techniques as well as XR meeting culture. If you are a facilitation trainer and would like to deliver this format in your local area, please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org . There is a massive demand for this kind of training so don’t be shy!|
To end on a very high note:
So far there’s confirmation for over 70 Affinity Groups attending next week’s rebellion, which means we’ve got an absolute minimum of 700 highly trained and motivated people joining us on Monday.
And here’s an article just published by James Westcott in Impakter:
And a podcast
by Marianne, editor of Resurgence & Ecologist magazine, interviewing Mothiur Rahman about XR.
Quotes for April
(I’ll try to find more obscure ones next time!)
“There’s one issue that will define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other, and that is the urgent threat of climate change.”
- Barack Obama
“It’s a collective endeavor, it’s collective accountability and it may not be too late.”
- Christine Lagarde
“We have a single mission: to protect and hand on the planet to the next generation.”
- Francois Hollande
“People of conscience need to break their ties with corporations financing the injustice of climate change.
- Desmond Tutu