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.’

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/apr/05/why-the-guardian-is-putting-global-co2-levels-in-the-weather-forecast

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!

Onwards.

Lynn

Accommodation

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: xr-landandrespite@protonmail.com

XR Blog:

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: matthew.xr@protonmail.com

Newsletter

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!

Press

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.

Legal

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 xr.talks.trainings@gmail.com . 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:

https://impakter.com/scenes-from-a-rebellion/

And a podcast

https://resurgence.podiant.co/e/3739d47722c2aa/ 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
Advertisements

Newsletter #19 – Get Ready for Rebellion!

Welcome to the 19th Extinction Rebellion Newsletter!

It’s finally here: the International Rebellion is now just days away. For the details of what’s coming in London, we’ve released a comprehensive guide packed with useful information including a map, a timeline, and a legal overview. We’ll also be giving live briefings, including trainings in NVDA and regen, and a legal observer training over the weekend.

The buildup is already well underway: following an amazing action from XR Youth (see below), Extinction Rebellion Fashion Action will be shutting radically repurposing Oxford Circus this Friday. The following day, the Earth March will be arriving on the outskirts of London; Sunday will be the final stretch of their awe-inspiring journey – if you’re in London on the weekend, please join them to show your support!

Eagle-eyed rebels will have noticed that some of the above links lead to our wonderful new website, which went live earlier this week. As the pace of news accelerates next week, you’ll be able to find daily updates on the website, courtesy of the newsletter team.

And for those pondering the many exciting and nerve-wracking possibilities which next week may hold in store, now might be a good time to read an article written by one of our members, about about the first major action in November. We don’t know what exactly will happen on Monday – but we know it’ll be exhilarating, sincere, and rooted in a profound love for each other and the planet.

You can check out local upcoming events on our website at rebellion.earth/events. If you can’t spare time, but can donate money instead, please see our fundraiser page



Contents

  • Recent Activity
  • Upcoming Activity
  • Act now
  • International Highlights
  • Announcements
  • News & Recommended Content




Recent Activity

Culture Declares Emergency

3 APR

Last Wednesday the group ‘Culture Declares Emergency’ held a symbolic, horse-lead procession through the streets of London to visit some of the 190+ cultural institutions and individuals who have joined them in declaring a climate and ecological emergency. The group blocked roads after setting off from Somerset House across Waterloo Bridge and along the Southbank, stopping to make announcements and hold short performances at the venues such as the Tate Modern and Shakespeare’s Globe.

Walking with the procession were ‘Heralds’ wearing living grass coats grown by visual artists Ackroyd & Harvey and carrying banners with names of the declarers listed. A newly composed soundscape by Mira Calix featured in the ceremony of declarations of Planetary Emergency, as well as readings from selected ‘Letters To The Earth’, writings submitted by the general public for a nationwide cultural action – the first project of Culture Declares which will take place on Friday 12 April. To find out more about this event please visit their website.

XR Youth block London Fracking Conference

4 APR

Our young rebels threw themselves into the mix last Thursday when 6 members of XR Youth ‘locked on’ outside the entrance to the London Fracking Conference at Westminster Energy, Environment and Transport Forum. They planned to disrupt a seminar titled ‘Unconventional oil and gas market in the UK – planning changes, environmental regulation and tackling the scale-up challenges’.

The young rebels used bike locks to chain themselves together blocking entrances to the building and forcing attendees to step over them to the enter, while wearing t-shirts saying “Don’t step on our future”. The event promised to “assess the next steps for overcoming barriers to the commercialisation of domestic shale into the UK energy mix” and look at “questions around the economic viability of the sector and the implications for further investment and exploration for additional wells, taking into account oil price trends.”

No arrest were made. For some of the rebels it was their first action and we couldn’t be more chuffed and proud of them for their courage!

Earth March Update: More Groups Join Road to Rebellion

ONGOING

As more and more Earth Marchers join the long road to Rebellion Week, it was brilliant to see 5 more groups set off to join us here in London before activities kick off on the 15th.

Stroud Earth March gathered for a send-off supported by the Stroud Red Band, Stroud MP David Drew and Mayor Kevin Cranston. He said: “The most serious problem this country, and all nations on earth, face is Climate Change. We have only a very short time to turn things around, it is simply not good enough for governments to say it is a very important and then carry on as usual.”

(source: @Kathyrnor Earth March leaving Oxford)

Oxford march left on Tuesday 9th April, heading for Wallingford, with further planned stays in Henley, Slough and finally reaching Richmond by 13th April.  The Oxford marchers are currently numbering around 50, with numbers reportedly increasing all the time!

Also setting off this week were Earth March Colchester and Ashdown Forest Earth March. One of the marchers, Ness writes:

‘And we’re off… All packed. Annual leave booked. Today I set off with a new friend, Theresa; to walk to London. We have stocked up on good food, warm gear and may even treat ourselves to a few evenings in the local pubs. Some of the route takes us through miles of farmland; something I’m really looking forward to.’

Finally, a group of about 50 people from Brighton group left the city’s Palace Pier at 2pm on Sunday for the 8-day trek, with the hope of reaching Peacehaven after day one. Before leaving, the group were read a letter of support from Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas. She said: “Your action could not be more urgent. We have all the tools we need to shift to a zero carbon economy – what we lack is the political will. Make your voices heard. Change the debate. This is an emergency. Let’s treat it like one.”

Earth Marchers will be arriving in London on the 14th, the day before Rebellion Week kicks off, for a welcoming ceremony in Hyde Park. And we can’t wait to join them!

For photos, videos, accounts of the marches, and details of the remaining legs of the Earth marches, please see the Earth March Facebook page and individual march pages.  

Local contributions

Decentralisation is a key element of XR’s ethos. So while high-profile actions will often take place in the big cities, we’re eager to celebrate all the amazing actions across the country and the world every week. If you’re involved in your local XR scene, in whatever part of the world, and if you’ve got a story to share, please email xr-newsletter@protonmail.com with ‘Story Contribution’ in the subject line. For major bonus points, it’d also be really helpful if you could write the story as you’d like it to appear in the newsletter!


Upcoming Activity

International Rebellion

15 APR | 11:00 | GLOBAL

That’s right, the moment we’ve all been waiting for is almost upon us. In less than a week’s time the International Rebellion will begin and thousands of us will be descending on our cities to shut down the streets and demand our governments take immediate action to address the climate catastrophe we all face.

Starting at 11am on Monday 15th April, we will meet at Parliament Square in London before holding five of London’s busiest, municipal areas and bringing the city to a standstill. We will hold a full-scale festival of collective action and creative resistance with people’s assemblies, art actions, stage performances, talks, workshops, food and family spaces.

There is so much going on and we want to make sure you’re all prepared for the week(s) ahead. So check out our comprehensive guide packed with useful information including a map, a timeline, and a legal overview.

Earth March: Marchers Arrival Celebration

14 APR | 17:00 – 18:00 | Hyde Park, London

Earth Marchers are walking from as far away as Land’s End in Cornwall to join the Rebellion. They’ve braved hard weather and hard roads to join us. For those who live in London already, or those who couldn’t join the marchers earlier: let’s give them the welcome they deserve by joining the last leg of the journey, and coming together in Hyde Park for a celebration on the eve of our Rebellion.

The final day’s march will begin on the morning of the 14th at locations around the perimeter of London; if you’d like to join the marchers, please see the Facebook event to find your nearest route.

The reception at Hyde Park will include speeches, music (details to come), training, dancing and food. Marchers and Rebels are encouraged to set up tents to stay in Hyde Park overnight.

The South Central Rebel Ride

12-15 APR | Southampton to London

Join the Rebel Riders who are cycling from Southampton to London to join the International Rebellion! You can either ride the whole way or join for short or long sections of the route through Hampshire and Surrey from 12th to 15th April. The South Central Rebel Ride is one of many marches and rides heading for London for April 15th.

Route: between Southampton, Eastleigh, Petersfield, Hankley Common, Guildford, Woking, Kingston-upon-Thames and London.

Find out more on how to join the route and times here.

Fashion Circus: Dress to Excess

12 APR | 6.30pm | Oxford Circus, London

London’s Oxford Circus – the epicentre of fast-fashion – is getting taken over. The iconic zebra crossing will be transformed into a catwalk as Extinction Rebellion Fashion Action teams up with performers, musicians, and sustainable designers to throw light on the environmental cost of the fashion industry.

The theme “Fashion Circus: Dress to Excess” speaks to a throwaway culture of overconsumption and waste which pervades the entire economy, not just the clothing sector.

If you can’t join the party in person, the event will be broadcast live via mainstream and social media ( #xrfashioncircus).

Creative Actions

For creative actions and to join the preparation for the rebellion, please see our full list of upcoming XR Arts events!

Mrs Noah

15 APR | 18:00-18:20 | Parliament Square, London

A comic take on a medieval mystery play in the age of climate change.

Invisible Circus

15 APR | TBC | Parliament Square, London

Join the circus! We need – performers / supporters / theatre and dance people!

Red Brigade is a slow motion Buto meets Venice Carnival style procession aiming to create beautiful disruption using the architecture of the streets to create powerful and arresting imagery, moving in flocking style in en masse improvisation. dress fully in red (shoes, gloves, headgear a must – skin is sin!) with white face red lips and black eyebrows, extra fabric and face paint will be provided.

Mermaid Queens and crustation nation is a more lively and interactive musical procession with Plastik Paradisco aiming to draw attention to ocean pollution, come as your favourite sea creature or Mermaid queen and join the parade.

Street Circus Cabaret: we will also be supporting and participating in Circus processions putting performances on a mobile cabaret stage to bedazzle stranded commuter and bewildered tourists showing humans are capable of beautiful and impossible things! – this is hoping to use the Swarming idea but taken to the next level so we need supporters to surround and protect this action whilst holding up the traffic.

Upcoming: The Regeneration Game

The XRPD (Extinction Rebellion Performing Arts Department) proudly and humbly invite you to join a spontaneously generated, collectively created, fully immersive, symbolic, rebellious rite of renewal: THE REGENERATION GAME.

Keep an eye on The XR Regeneration Game Facebook page for playing times and locations.


Act Now

XR Mass MP Letter Writing Campaign

Until 19 APR

It is said that the pen is mightier than the sword. Now it is time to wield that particular weapon.

We are calling for a massed letter writing campaign to flood MP’s with our concerns about the climate crisis.

Take up your pens and ask your MP to sign the Caroline Lucas led Early Day Motion #2177 to declare a climate emergency. Demand they accept the need to have the people take the lead on addressing the ecological crisis by supporting the widening call for a citizens’ assembly for the climate emergency.

You can find your local MP here and more details about the campaign here.


International Highlights

Three Die-ins in Switzerland

18 + 20 MAR, 5 APR

Rebels in the city of Neuchâtel have performed three die-ins in recent weeks. While the first two aimed to highlight the overall message of Extinction Rebellion, the third one was specifically targeting telecommunications companies to protest the release of 5G. Rebels pointed out that faster connection speeds come with increased emissions, and that relentless progress and consumption is unsustainable and unacceptable.




Protest at Museum Opening in France

31 MAR

Rebels used the opening of the new Science and Nature Museum of Bordeaux to draw attention to the ecological crisis and the systemic problems causing it. Some rebels performed a die-in while others spoke to the assembled crowd.

Arty Rebels in Ireland

2 APR

Showing that rebellion can occur in any way and at any scale, a family at a beach in Wexford, Ireland created the Extinction Rebellion symbol out of sand and seaweed. They said, “The most interesting thing was people who stopped to watch us and ask what we were doing it for – it was a great way to get the conversation started”.




Supportive Marathon Runners in Spain

7 APR

Rebels hung a banner from a bridge across the route of the half marathon in Madrid, to remind runners and spectators that we are all running against the clock to halt the climate catastrophe. They were pleased to receive a lot of encouragement from runners passing below.




Announcements

Last Chance – Legal Observer Training

13 APR | 12.00 – 17.00 | XR London Office, 184-192 Drummond St.

Don’t miss the last Legal Observer Training before the big event! More Legal Observers are needed for International Rebellion so please come along.

You’ll often see legal observers at demonstrations wearing bright orange bibs. Despite having no official status, theirs is an important role recognised by bodies like the Courts and the U.N.

This training session will cover key legal guidelines for protesters, how to take Legal Observer notes, how to monitor arrests, and the legalities around Stop & Search. This is important work so if you’re interested, please come along.

If you can’t make the full training, we’re also offering an online Arrest Watch training 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.

XR Legal Support – read these two guides.

With actions come consequences. And with XR actions come legal consequences.

So make sure you are well versed on XR’s legal strategy here and the practicalities of arrest here before partaking in any International Rebellion fun on the 15th.

The basic XR Legal Strategy is to tell the truth about the climate emergency and the urgent need for a radical change of course. If you’re arrested and prosecuted for your actions, the courts present an opportunity to do that.

The XR Legal Strategy Team has developed these documents to support you through the legal process, whether you have external legal representation or elect to represent yourself. They are designed to help you explain why your actions are a reasonable and proportionate response to the crisis and include a letter of support from the leading climate scientist and activist, Professor Jim Hansen.

XR Circle of Counsel: Questions & Reflections on the Rebellion

12 APR | 6.00 – 7.30pm | https://zoom.us/j/104408290

The first gathering of the XR Circle of Counsel will be a valuable opportunity to hear renowned rebels, authors, facilitators and mischief-makers discuss XR’s present and future.

Confirmed attendees include Micah White, Miki Kashtan, Anne-Marie Culhane, Dominic Barter, Toni Spencer, and Helen Meads.

More details on the event can be found here and you can submit your questions for the gathering to xr-counsel@protonmail.ch

Learning to hold the world in our heart: Holding an Intention Field for our rebellion actions

In the Vision Sensing group we are continuing to ‘build a loving field’ to support the rebellious acts that many are courageously undertaking.

There will be many opportunities during the Rebellion weeks in London to contribute to building a collective vision of the future we wish.

To help support those undertaking rebellious acts we have an online “intention field” Facebook group, “Holding the World in our Hearts”, which we invite you to join. Together we hold the intention to move through our planetary crisis with “love in action” and “love in stillness”. We lean into the riches of our imagination and curiosity and through our hearts into leadership. Please join us and dedicate your sacred practices to this vision. We hold regular ‘virtual meetups’ where we can contribute our love, our intentions and our spiritual and heart-led capacities for creating a more beautiful world. Please join us!

We will also be holding Intention Circles during the first week of Rebellion in London, and details of these will be advertised within the Holding the World in our Hearts Facebook group. So watch this space and join us.

Internal newsletter

Want to get the inside track on developments in XR UK? If you’d like to be added to the internal newsletter, please email xr-newsletter@protonmail.com with ‘Internal subscribe’ in the subject line.

XR Blog

XR Blog seeks submissions on an ongoing basis, from rebels from all walks of life. Minimal writing experience is required. If you’re stuck for content we can provide a variety of writing briefs. Please contact us on xrblog@protonmail.com

News & Recommended Content

1.BP has been convicted of environmental crime in South Africa

For a seemingly minor crime of building petrol stations without the proper environmental authorisations, but apparently the first successful private prosecution in SA on environmental grounds, which potentially ‘opens the door for a large number of similar prosecutions, perhaps on thousands of counts of historic environmental crimes never prosecuted by the state’.

2. ‘Dead corals don’t make babies’ in the Great Barrier Reef

Reproductive material was down 89% in 2018 after successive mass bleaching events in 2016 and 2017 according to a study in Nature. Here’s what we’re missing:

In related news this was the hottest March in Australian history – ‘Despite two severe tropical cyclones in the northern states, temperatures across Australia were 2.13C above the average.’

3. Saudi Arabia’s largest oil field producing 35% less than previously announced

Ghawar, which is the largest conventional oil field in the world, can pump out a maximum of 3.8 million barrels of oil per day, not the 5.8 million claimed by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) in 2017. No mention of climate change but surprisingly some discussion of peak oil in this Bloomberg article which finishes by noting revised estimates that Ghawar has ‘48.2 billion barrels of oil left, which would last another 34 years at the maximum rate of production’. Meanwhile, a panel of judges at the ‘Permanent People’s Tribunal’ has urged the United Nations to ban fracking, though regrettably this is again just an ‘advisory opinion’.

4. Promising new campaign: Natural Climate Solutions

Championing all the ways that restoration of ecological communities can contribute to carbon sequestration. Importantly they observe that this shouldn’t be used to enable ongoing CO2 emissions, and insist that projects ‘work with the guidance and free, prior and informed consent of indigenous people and other local communities’. Here’s an introductory article by co-founder and usual suspect (!) George Monbiot with links to some remarkable new research.

5. Living Without Oil

This free online course through The Open University explores oil’s role in society and the economy and the danger of carrying on with the current status quo. Some of the topics covered include the debate surrounding peak oil, oil consumption in the UK, how greenhouse gasses and particulates are produced through reactions, and even a bit of basic chemistry notation. This is an eye opening course that clearly outlines some of the key reasons why action is needed now to combat climate change and protect the environment from the big oil companies

6. Why the Guardian is putting global CO2 levels in the weather forecast

As CO2 levels continue to rise The Guardian has made the decision to publish current global CO2 levels in their daily weather forecast. As CO2 levels fluctuate naturally with the seasons they will be also publish the level for the same day on the previous year and the pre-industrial level.

7. The false promises of ‘green growth’

Important critique of the renewable energy industry and moves towards a ‘green new deal’. The key point being that, without a challenge to ongoing economic growth and ballooning global energy consumption ‘the energy it produces has been in addition to, rather than instead of fuel-based energy sources’. She also mentions the environmental impacts of mining for the necessary component parts, especially rare earth metals – a catastrophe on land and lately being prospected under the sea (including ecologically invaluable hydrothermal vents). Apart from anything else these are all nonrenewable resources which, as with oil & gas, will hit a peak and become depleted within a short space of time, especially if there is a concerted effort to upscale their use to keep the unsustainable economic system going for as long as possible. ‘To change our energy model requires doubling the production of rare metals every 15 years, and will require extracting over the next 30 years more minerals than humanity has extracted over the last 70000 years’. This graphic illustrates the scale of the problem:

8. How Climate Change is Fuelling the US Border Crisis

An engaging, long-form New Yorker piece investigating the impact of climate change and extreme weather on subsistence farmers in Guatemala’s western highlands. Many have been forced to emigrate, leaving villages as ghost towns. Others stayed, fighting back with new agricultural methods and meteorological technology, only for the Trump administration to defund the programs that were assisting them. “In most of the western highlands, the question is no longer whether someone will emigrate but when. ‘Extreme poverty may be the primary reason people leave,’ [said] Edwin Castellanos, a climate scientist at the Universidad del Valle… ‘But climate change is intensifying all the existing factors.’”

9. Forests are a Low-Tech but High Impact Way to Fight Climate Change

Recent research has demonstrated that preserving and replanting forests can have a profound effect on climate change, in addition to other ecological and economic benefits. As the piece reports, “natural climate solutions such as conservation and restoration of forests, along with improvements in land management, can help us achieve 37 percent of our climate target of limiting warming to a maximum of two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.”

10. Inside the rebellion

Two long-term XR participants speak about their experiences of the movement and share their thoughts on how to take it forward: ‘Scenes From a Rebellion’, an in-depth piece by James Westcott from the bridge occupations to April 15th, and ‘Forging identities through collective action’, a podcast with XR strategist and lawyer Mothiur Rahman looking at issues around belonging and ‘vulnerable honesty’. Worth passing on to those unfamiliar with the movement.


Thank you

Thank you for reading. There’s so much exciting stuff going on that we barely have time to write this sign-off. Keep up the good work! If you have any questions or queries, please get in touch at xr-newsletter@protonmail.com.

This newsletter was written collaboratively by a hivemind of 12 rebels.

As we enter this crucial phase in human history, our Rebellion will need money to make sure our message is heard. Anything you can give is appreciated. Please visit our Fundrazr page.

Alternatively, 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.For queries contact Dave Nicks (dave.nicks@btinternet.com).

Newsletter #18 – Never mind the bollocks, here’s the elephant in the room

Greetings Rebels!

Welcome to the 18th Extinction Rebellion Newsletter, another rip-roaring guide to events happening and events happened in the XR universe.

Highlights wise, let’s start with the bare essentials and the eleven brave rebels who got naked this week in the public gallery of the Houses of Parliament. Reminding everyone that yes, there is a climate crisis, and no, it cannot be ignored, this cheeky bit of action garnered a whole lot of media attention. Normally it’s the Mail and Murdoch press ogling the flesh, but this bevy of buttocks even made it onto the front page of The Guardian. Not too shabby.

Paint the streets meanwhile, XR’s DIY guerrilla marketing campaign, has got off to a fly(post)ing start – with XR posters and stickers sprouting up across the globe like little truth mushrooms. Special creative bonus points to the rebels who printed their own clothes pegs and clipped them onto commuters! More details below and more updates here.

Casting our collective gaze further afield we have updates on XR Ghana and how it is forging links across West Africa, details of a die-in by Dutch rebels in Amsterdam’s financial district, and a full blown funeral for the Earth in Cape Town.

But despite all this excellent hustle and bustle on behalf of our planet, the great day of International Rebellion must not be forgotten. Yes, April 15th looms larger and more lustrous than ever, so lets make sure our affinity groups are ready with all the latest details. A comprehensive guide to the event is available here.

And if you’re in London on the 14th, please consider coming to join our incredible Earth Marchers​ for the final day’s walking, as they converge on Hyde Park from all sides of London. Let’s give them the welcome they deserve!

If you’d like to get more involved with XR, and really why wouldn’t you, please check out our volunteers page. If you prefer to keep it close to home, why not get in touch with your nearest XR group. And if you’re time poor, but able to spare a few coins, maybe you could drop them into our fundraiser pot.

You can check out local upcoming events on our website at rebellion.earth/events. Or create your own event by filling in our talks and trainings form! If you’re new, or haven’t already seen it, remember to check out our Campaign Overview Document. It’s basically the DNA of XR.


Contents

  • Recent Activity
  • Upcoming Activity
  • Act now
  • International Highlights
  • Announcements
  • News & Recommended Content





Recent Activity

Rebels strip off in House of Commons

1st April

We know you’re all sick and tired of hearing about Brexit and it’s monotonous carrying on with the same old indecisive nonsense week in, week out. Well, we hope this didn’t make you miss the debates on Monday evening where Extinction Rebellion stirred things up and switched the subject from Brexit to climate emergency!

11 rebels stripped off during debates and glued their hands to the glass in the public gallery. During the peaceful protest, rebels stood with their arses pointed at MPs and spoke frankly with onlookers about climate breakdown, before singing and dancing along to the nursery rhyme ‘Nelly the Elephant’ in reference to climate change being ‘the elephant in the room.’

Rebels had painted ‘SOS’ and ‘For Life’ on their chests, managing to hold their ground for 20 minutes before being removed. 12 people involved were willingly arrested.

While all eyes are on the UK due to the Brexit mess, this was a unique opportunity to shake things up and get the global media talking about the climate crisis. The support within the gallery was positive with MPs laughing and many people within the gallery cheering the rebels on, no doubt relieved to have a breather from Brexit, even if just for 20 minutes.

Earth March Update

As the International Week of Rebellion looms closer, Earth Marchers have continued their journey towards London, buoyed by the support of people along the way: the Bath and Bristol group reaching All Cannings, Devizes, while the Cornwall group reached Bruton, stopping by Yeovil MP Marcus Fysh’s office on the way. Meanwhile other groups are gearing up for their March beginning this week including: the Colchester March setting off on 9th April; the Brighton March on 7th April; the Ashdown forest March also setting off on the 7th April along the Greenwich Meridian, amongst others.

This week, Maddy Adams shares her experience from the Cardiff to Swansea XR March on the Earth March blog:

It was joyous to be walking in the glorious sunshine, through beautiful countryside with fabulous friends old and new.

Felt hugely grateful to the public, supporting and nourishing us along the way, and to the XR members who greeted us at our destination.

Felt thankful for the hundreds and hundreds of “honks” of support and thumbs up from drivers passing us on the roads.

Felt inspired by the teacher who listened to us sing to his schoolchildren at the school gates, as they left school for the day.

Total admiration for Laurie 87, still marching, still caring, still fighting for a better world.’

You can read the full post here https://rebellionearth.uk/reflections-experience-xr-earth-march-pilgrimage-planet-4-day-swansea-cardiff-legs/

If you’re interested in joining the Earth March for part of the journey, please look at their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/XRMarchForLife/

Tower Hamlets Street Party

30th April

Saturday 30th April, XR London had there third Saturday Street Party, following Crouch End’s on the 24th March. It was another family friendly day, with local residents holding a communal space for creative discussion of how to deal with the climate and ecological crisis. Discussion centred around the key local issue of air pollution, with children in Tower Hamlets having “stunted lungs”, 5-10% smaller than they should be – according to a 2018, large scale study by King’s College London.

Blocking the main junction in Bethnal Green for twenty minutes, the group followed a samba led procession into a park, where a numbers of speakers and performers were heard, for an uplifting day of solutions focused discussion. This celebration of our collective power followed Tower Hamlets Council declaring a climate emergency on the 20th March. Over 40 Councils have declared a climate emergency since Extinction Rebellions Declaration day in October 2018.

Manchester Street Party

31st March

Sunday 31st March, Manchester rebels put on a fantastic street party in Stevenson Square. The sun was out, the shops opened their doors to join in, and the community came together in a beautiful fun filled day. Manchester DJs B L O O M performed, with a number of local bands supporting, to spread the love with amazing music – all pedal powered! The food was home-made or saved from going to landfill, with donations pouring in at the vintage market stall. The samba band held the day together and attracted people from across the city – with conga lines going for hours. It was a beautifully rebellious day for Manchester.

Paint the Streets

Paint the Streets officially kicked off on Sunday 31st March with rebels all over the globe plastering XR posters and stickers in public spaces. Rebels have been working hard to break the law and get the XR message out there in places ranging from London to Berlin to Austin. The London Underground might have been worst hit with the XR adornments stuck all over stations and billboards in as many awkward spots as possible, and there has been a makeshift ‘nature’s graveyard’ in Bethnal Green, with animals at risk of extinction named on the gravestones. One clever group of troublemakers have printed ‘Rebel for Life’ on clothes pegs and have been clipping them to coats of tourists and commuters. Bravo, you lot!

Regional groups have also been doing their bit, such as in Bristol where young rebels have been painting murals encouraging onlookers to join in the fun.

Harmonie, writing to us from Exeter, says:

We painted the streets of Exeter with chalks, posters, leaflets and stickers. We displayed the XR message on bus stops, doors, cashpoints and shop windows. We adorned the statues in the city with big banners and held a stall all day printing XR logos on anything we were offered. Our day ended with a die in on private land in a shopping centre where the police who had been lovely all day stepped back and let us protest in peace.

Please keep an eye out for updates by following the Facebook event here.

Critical Mass


Rebel riders swarmed the streets last Friday, handing out leaflets to passers by as they rode their bikes around Central London. Rebels set off from Waterloo Bridge at 6:30pm wearing high vis jackets and clad with leaflets containing information about International Rebellion Week starting on 15th April.

Story contributions

Decentralisation is a key element of XR’s ethos. So while high-profile actions will often take place in the big cities, we’re eager to celebrate all the amazing actions across the country and the world every week. If you’re involved in your local XR scene, in whatever part of the world, and if you’ve got a story to share, please email xr-newsletter@protonmail.com with ‘Story Contribution’ in the subject line. For major bonus points, it’d also be really helpful if you could write the story as you’d like it to appear in the newsletter!


Upcoming Activity

Taunton Rebellion Day – Samba March

6 APR | 11:00 | Taunton High Street, Taunton

This week, Taunton XR organises its first event: a peaceful Samba March through Taunton to raise awareness of the sixth mass extinction, climate change and ecological breakdown. They are meeting on the High Street at 11am calling everyone to join them for a Day of Rebellion.

You can see details of the event on https://www.facebook.com/events/975998342788099/

Climb for the Earth, family-friendly parade and climb

7 APR | 15:00 | Llanberis, Wales

On Sunday 7th of April the world class climber James McHaffie will climb a new route in North Wales – and name it after Extinction Rebellion. He will raise an Extinction Rebellion banner to draw attention to the climate emergency and to mark the countdown to International Rebellion.

Join James and other climbers: XR Earth Climb and Parade, Llanberis, Wales

Ahead of this, and to mark the event, on the 7th of April there will be a family friendly parade in Llanberis from 3pm until 4pm. Starting at the Electric Mountain Visitor Centre (beside the lake), we’ll walk along the lakeside and finish at Pete’s Eats where James will give a talk. In addition to James’ talk local people will talk about their concerns about the changes to the landscape that they have seen over the years.

The dress code is ‘animal’ so come dressed up if you can. Enjoy the festivities and have fun with this unique and important event.

Look at the Facebook page for details of the event https://www.facebook.com/events/492319227968529/?active_tab=about

Local section of Earth March – Brighton to Peacehaven

7 APR | 13:30 | Palace Pier, Brighton

On Sunday 7th April, the Earth March from Brighton will set off, with a fully accessible and family-friendly walk along the undercliff path. Along the way, marchers will encounter: a Rebel Piano; a Fun Beach Cleaning opportunity; and of course, tea and cake! Other ideas are very welcome, including poems and readings, meditation by the sea or rockpooling.

Anyone wishing to join the March is invited to meet 1.30pm at the Palace Pier for a 2pm start.  At the end of the March, people can easily return to Brighton independently via public buses on the coastal route.

The full path available here : https://www.komoot.com/tour/59089721/embed…

See also the Facebook page for the event on https://www.facebook.com/events/2373598602924147/

XR Fashion Action: Circus of Excess

12 APR | 18:30 – 19:30 | Oxford Circus

Join the Fashion Circus – dynamic sustainable fashion show in the street at Oxford Circus on 12th April then swarm to Buckingham Palace to demand a response from the queen (bee)! Rebels will be taking over London’s Oxford Circus, the epicentre of the fast-fashion shopping “experience”. The Tokyo-style zebra ‘X’ crossing is to be turned into a catwalk as XR Fashion Action teams up with students from art and fashion colleges and universities all over London to showcase their sustainable fashion and body-protest designs. The theme “Fashion: Circus of Excess” addresses issues of un-sustainability in fashion and how its practices impact other species.

The models will parade across the iconic crossing, accompanied by the XR choir and XR musicians. This will include opera singers and an amplified string quartet performing Beethoven’s ‘Ode An Die Freude’ (Ode to Joy) from his Symphony number 9, drums ensemble “EarthNicht”, and blues band Gabriel Byrd and the Ambitious Bastards.  Surrounding the performers in a circle will be XR cyclists, there to provide both protection and lighting.

Find out more on the Facebook event here.

Power Beyond Borders – Solidarity Event

26 – 30 JUL | South East England (Specific Timings & Location TBA)

Are you against new fossil fuel power stations and racist border policies in the UK? If so, this mass action camp might be just the event for you.

Power Beyond Borders is your chance to meet people from across Europe and beyond, have a great time protesting for climate and migrant justice, and take direct action over two urgent injustices: Drax Power’s plan to start building Britain’s biggest gas fired power station this autumn.

 And Theresa May’s ‘Hostile Environment’ policy, a scheme that inflicts raids, imprisonment, and violent deportation on those seeking refuge in the UK.

The camp is being hosted by Reclaim The Power (RTP) a national network fighting social and environmental and economic justice through direct action. Everyone is welcome this summer, and there are three things you can do right now to make the camp a success.




1) Fill in this short form to let RTP know you are coming and what skills you might bring. 

2) Spread the word on social media (Facebook Page #PowerBeyondBorders #ClimateJustice #MigrantJustice) 

3) Contact RTP to host a workshop or find out more (powerbeyondborders@protonmail.com)

When the location is announced, we’ll let you know.

Samba for Rebellion

APR 13 – 14 | Near Euston (TBD)

Two samba drumming groups are coming to London on 13 April to support protests, block roads and teach samba over the following weeks! On Sat 13th and Sun 14th of April we are organising two days of samba practice in preparation for the International Rebellion in London. All skill levels welcome!

If you would like to join the XR Samba Band, don’t hesitate! XR have invested in the drums and we need players. We are going to have at least two Samba bands and the workshops will likely be near Euston. Please sign up using the Facebook link here.


Act Now

1. Join our call for MPs to sign the Parliamentary motion to declare Climate Emergency.

We’re asking all XR members living in the UK to write to their MPs. This will be a concerted push of ‘soft pressure’ before we take to more disruptive measures on the 15th of April; we’re looking for hundreds of letters. Find out more about the motion here.

Contact your MP (https://www.writetothem.com/ or https://www.mpsontwitter.co.uk/list).

2. Make or sponsor a dead canary

From the 15th of April, thousands in the UK will be making our way to London to be involved in non violent direct action to pressure the government to change their planet wrecking policies. Many people want to have their voice heard but aren’t able to make it to London … so send a message – send an emissary to represent you, your group, your village. The Irish Prime Minister said ‘If we were miners we would be up to our knees in dead canaries’ … send a beautiful dead canary to represent you: make it yourself, in a group, at school and send it along to the International Rebellion with your local XR group.

If you can’t make a canary yourself, but still want to support the work of XR, you can sponsor a canary: we’ll make your canary and take it with us to the International Rebellion – and we’ll pile them high as a visual manifestation of our predicament. We’d like the whole of the UK to be represented! Start making your canaries now, about hand size is good, make them YELLOW with a string to hang them by, reuse, recycle, use what you have! We need diversity. We need to show the government the damage their policies are doing! Can’t wait to see your amazing Dead Canary Emissaries!

3. Message 50 friends and invite them to join the International Rebellion.

It could be the most important thing you ever do on social media. To be heard by those in power,  we need a multitude of people to join us in rebellion from April 15. We can probably offer accommodation to those who need it. Please fill in this form to request or offer accommodation in London and/or email xr.accommodation@gmail.com for queries. We’ve booked coaches from all over the country. Every single one of you counts.


International Highlights

Collaboration in Ghana

27 FEB + 6 MAR

Extinction Rebellion Ghana has joined up with multiple grassroots organisations and informal groups in West Africa under an umbrella group working against humanitarian, social and environmental injustice. They held a meeting in Accra to give a statement to local chiefs and international media calling for a pan-African climate emergency. They want an end to ‘Maangamizi’: the genocide and ecocide inflicted on their continent. Instead they aim for the rise of ‘Ubuntunkonso’: a term used to describe international, progressive movement towards a just and equitable world where humanity and nature are protected.

XR Ghana already has an ongoing, inventive ‘whistling exercise’ to draw attention to the climate emergency. It began in schools as part of the international student strikes, and has proved to be an ear-catching way to make their point. On 6 March, Ghana’s Independence Day, they continued this theme with a ‘whistle blowing for climate emergency’ action at a main square in Accra.

Earth Funeral in South Africa

23 MAR

Four generations of South African rebels, including community and spiritual leaders, held a funeral for the earth in Cape Town. The somber procession, complete with coffin, moved through the community gardens and was followed by speeches, music . . . and bellydancing!

Dutch rebels disrupt financial district

27 MAR

Rebels staged a die-in in the financial district of Amsterdam during evening rush hour. They sought to call attention to the role these companies play in causing climate breakdown by supporting the fossil fuel industry.

Photo credit: Egbert Born

Rise For Climate Belgium

28 + 31 MAR

Continuing last week’s action in Brussels, rebels held a protest titled “Make Noise for an Ethical Choice” outside the parliament building. And make noise they did! They were pressuring politicians to pass a constitutional amendment improving climate legislation. Disappointingly, parliament did not pass the amendment.

A few days later a group of international rebels joined the Rise For Climate Belgium march, putting pressure on Belgian and European politicians to make the necessary changes to reverse climate breakdown. On their way to join the main march rebels were escorted by police, for their own safety as there had just been a violent incident (unrelated to XR). This live-stream video shows the police collaboration, some footage of the march, and interviews with rebels from several countries. This one shows rebels taking the stage and speaking after the march.

Letters from Catalonia

21 MAR

Last Thursday afternoon (21st of March 2019), XR Barcelona handed in an open letter in person to the director of Catalunya Ràdio (Catalan public radio channel), Mr. Saul Gordillo. This letter was addressed to the CCMA (Corporació Catalana de Mitjans Audiovisuals/ Audiovisual Media Catalan Corporation), and is intended for the attention of the rest of the media. It requires the media to assume its responsibility in the face of the climate emergency, and demands a coverage in accordance with the scale of the emergency situation.

The letter has been signed individually by relevant people from science, culture, Catalan unions, politics and social movements. People who are part of the main scientific and university institutions of Catalonia and many other sectors of civil society. We have gathered 230 signatures in total, but more and more people continue messaging us asking to join the petition.

You can find a copy of the letter here, and media coverage here.

The letter has also been sent to the deputies of the Catalan Parliament, and will be discussed at the next control session in April, and two deputies have confirmed to XR Barcelona that it will be discussed in an upcoming session.


Announcements

PIEL Environmental Law Conference 2019 – Solidarity Event

12 APR | 9.30 – 5.30pm | Cast Business School, London

A number of leading academics and legal specialists (including XR’s very own Farhana Yamin!) will be speaking next Friday about why environmental law is crucial to solving the climate crisis.

Run by students and hosted by Public Interest Environmental Law UK, this conference will explore the theme “12 years to mitigate, legislate and litigate: How can environmental law adapt in time?”

Whether you’re a legal eagle or just passionate about ending environmental injustice, the event promises to be an inspiring and insightful day of discussion.

Student and adult tickets are available here.

Arrestibles willing to be in the media

Are you new to activism and planning to get arrested for the first time during the International Rebellion? The XR media team is looking for people like you, from around the country, whose stories we can share with the mainstream press.  If you’ve recently been inspired to join the movement and to take non-violent direct action for the first time, we would love to hear from you.

Please email zoeblackler@gmail.com asap

Internal newsletter

Want to get the inside track on developments in XR UK? If you’d like to be added to the internal newsletter, please email xr-newsletter@protonmail.com with “Internal subscribe” in the subject line.

XR Blog

XR Blog seeks submissions on an ongoing basis, from rebels from all walks of life. Minimal writing experience is required. If you’re stuck for content we can provide a variety of writing briefs. Please contact us on xrblog@protonmail.com


News & Recommended Content

1. US Judge Rules Against Trump’s Offshore Drilling Expansion

A coalition of indigenous Alaskans and environmental groups has won a victory against the Trump administration’s offshore drilling policy. In 2017 Trump signed an executive order overturning Obama’s ban on offshore drilling in 500,000 square acres of the continental shelf, including the Arctic and the Atlantic coast, but the court has ruled that only Congress has the authority to reintroduce drilling. Athan Manuel of the Sierra Club described the outcome as “great news for the Arctic Ocean, great news for the planet, great news for the fight against climate change”.

2. Most Americans Now Worry about Climate Change – And Want to Fix It

Two new surveys reveal that recent natural disasters and extreme weather have shifted US public opinion on the reality and seriousness of climate change. The percentage of Americans who say global warming is personally important has risen to 72%, while 60% agreed that it is caused by human activity, and nearly half would support carbon taxes.

3. Evidence for Climate Change Meets Physics’ Gold Standard

A new analysis shows that the evidence for climate changes passes the highest evidentiary bar in the field of physics, known as five sigma, putting “a nail in the coffin” of denier theories.

4. Antarctic Project to Drill for Oldest-Ever Ice Core

An international team of geoscientists funded by the European Commission is planning to sample a 1.5 million-year-old Antarctic ice core this June. Ice cores are a key form of evidence about the Earth’s past climate, but no ice older than 800,000 years has yet been retrieved. The team hopes that finding ice of this age will improve our understanding of the climate oscillations that regularly affected the Earth before the climate stabilised about one million years ago. “This iconic project will help us better understand climate change in the past and to come”, says principal investigator Carlo Brabante of the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice.

5. A Reading List on Women and Climate Change

Yale University’s Climate Connections blog has published a list of twelve must-read books on gender and climate change, writing that “the challenges posed by climate change cannot be met without also addressing gender issues. Because their lives are more vulnerable even under stable conditions, women face greater risks when climate-related impacts – droughts, floods, hurricanes – disrupt their communities. Conversely, giving women more power over their lives typically results in more resilient communities.”

6. China state investment giant drops coal

Not unqualified good news as investments have ‘merely been shifted to another state-run vehicle’ and there has been ‘a surge in new mines at local government level’ but significant because of the precedent it sets for investors shifting from coal to renewables. Meanwhile in Cumbria a 165m undersea coal mine has been ‘unanimously approved’ by conservative, labour and lib-dem councillors, claiming that an increase in jobs and local investment ‘outweighed concerns about climate change’

7. Widespread loss of pollinating insects in Britain

New study comparing samples from 1980 to ones taken in 2013. Typically framed to emphasise their role as providers of ‘ecosystem services’ in support of agriculture but at least they note that ‘Non-crop pollinators are also vital for a healthy countryside rich in biodiversity; not only because of their crucial role in pollinating wildflowers, but as a key food resource for other wildlife’.

8. The Middle East’s Authoritarians Have Come for Conservationists

‘Debilitating droughts, worsening pollution, and soaring temperatures have contributed to severe resource scarcity in the Middle East and North Africa in recent years. And as environment-related unrest has proliferated, with protests in at least a dozen regional countries, people who were previously viewed as largely harmless “tree huggers” have been reappraised as spy-gear-wielding, frontier-traipsing, data-sharing threats.’

9. Why Stopping Wars Is Essential for Stopping Climate Change

Interesting analysis connecting up anti-militarism with environmentalism. She argues that the strategic military goals of securing access to oil fields during the two world wars has carried on into the postwar period, only with more of the resources allocated for machinery in civilian life. Warfare still emits huge amounts of CO2 as well as wrecking ecosystems more directly: ‘It has been estimated that 20% of all environmental degradation around the world is due to military and related activities.’

10. Excellent video by Derrick Jensen ‘Running Into Solid Limits’

I think his point about national parks and nature reserves being a playground or retreat for the wealthy generalises to western countries in general: the horrors of civilisation (wars, famines, slavery, epidemic diseases, totalitarian dictatorships, environmental destruction etc.) have in effect been externalised to the global south while western populations can entertain progressive notions of relative equality, democracy and ecological health, living in a strange kind of ‘green zone’ of relative comfort and safety. What happens when the bubble bursts and all those chickens start coming home to roost? This is further complicated by the reliance on fossil fuels to do the majority of the labour formerly done by people and draught animals, making even more ‘liberation’ possible…


Thank you

Thank you for reading. There’s so much exciting stuff going on that we barely have time to write this sign-off. Keep up the good work! If you have any questions or queries, please get in touch at xr-newsletter@protonmail.com.

This newsletter was written collaboratively by a hivemind of 12 rebels.

  (source)


As we enter this crucial phase in human history, our Rebellion will need money to make sure our message is heard. Anything you can give is appreciated. Please visit our Fundrazr page.

Alternatively, 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.

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

Newsletter #17 – Paint the Streets

Welcome to the 17th Extinction Rebellion Newsletter!

As we approach the 1st of April, we’re deadly serious about the need for rebellion.

It’s with regret, therefore, that we must first announce a postponement of the planned Dover Blockade action: organisers have decided to focus their resources on the many other actions coming up.

Our main focus right now is International Rebellion. Those rebelling in London can use this new form to either request or offer accommodation (email xr.accommodation@gmail.com for queries), and coming to London just got a whole lot easier with the option of XR coaches. Unless you’d rather walk!

Before then, we’re asking rebels across the globe to join us in Painting the Streets. We’ve painted the town red in London and painted Glasgow blue. Next is covering the world in a green message. And with the Letters to the Earth campaign starting soon after (with the submissions deadline on March 29th), we’ll be spreading this message through airwaves and public spaces.

Elsewhere, XR has seen some exciting international developments. In  Belgium, XR and Greenpeace members have joined forces to pressure their government towards legislation on climate. Not far away, French rebels gathered in Paris for a phenomenal declaration of rébellion. There have been yet more actions in Spain, Australia and India. See below for details!

And before the International Rebellion gets going, we need training. See our Announcements for opportunities to get trained in First Aid and in speaking to the media, and check out our events page to find a Non-Violent Direct Action training near you.

If you’d like to get more involved with XR, please check out our volunteers page. To help out in your area, get in touch with your nearest XR group. If you can’t spare time, but can donate money instead, please see our fundraiser page.

You can check out local upcoming events on our website at rebellion.earth/events. Or create your own event by filling in our talks and trainings form! If you’re new, or haven’t already seen it, remember to check out our Campaign Overview Document.

Contents

  • Recent Activity
  • Upcoming Activity
  • Act now
  • International Highlights
  • Announcements
  • News & Recommended Content

Recent Activity

Earth March

ONGOING

Our rebellious Earth Marchers continue to make speedy ground as they make there way progress through the country to arrive in London for International Rebellion Week on 15th April. The Cornwall group recently reached Exeter in Devon, while the Cardiff rebels arrived in Cardiff on Monday. Others  are joining the march for different legs of the journey. The recent blog post from Jackie Dash tells us a bit more about how they’re getting on:

“We gradually found ourselves back in narrow winding lanes with sheep held in their enclosures, hedgerows and woodland defining our way. As we took another break, lolling on a roadside embankment next to a small holding, a woman in a pink top leaned from a bedroom window offering support in the form of a tray of tea, Jaffa Cakes and a most welcome ‘gardener’s toilet’…Wonderful. Of course, she was wholeheartedly supportive of our commitment to Rebellion and wished us well.

On towards Moretonhampstead, where some some local people had come out to meet us and guide us into town. At the Parish Hall we were greeted with more tea, before we were provided with an array of curries, cakes and cream teas!! What an amazing community!! Rachel, who has worked as liaison with me around Earth March had brought all of this together with many wonderful people in the town and from what I gather, this endeavour is now steadily progressing towards establishing a local XR Group here.

We were taken home by Kate and John, Quaker Friends, who lavished us with bottles of wine, cheese and biscuits and all the home comforts one needs at the end of a really good day. Thank you Moretonhampstead, One and All!!”

You can read the full post here. If you’re interested in joining the Earth March for part  of the journey, please look at their Facebook page and use their search function to find specific legs.

Sheffield XR block traffic

19 MAR

50 ordinary folk from Sheffield’s Extinction Rebellion blocked the inner ring road in this major city for 60 minutes in the morning rush hour. Sheffield station is one of the top 10 most polluted places in the UK. The Sheffield rebels “facilitated pedestrians getting past the cars” to the station – a  service to the community! School kids and rail travellers joined in. The Police were marvellous, supportive and protective.  

Traffic was backed up right round the ring road and miles out of the city towards the M1. The classic swarming technique worked perfectly. We had wide coverage on local radio, press and TV. On BBC Look North (9 mins 30 secs into clip), two out of three drivers interviewed were positive:

“….I don’t mind being late for work… Brilliant that people are trying to make a difference. So important!”

Our first road blocking action. We feel energised.

Scotland XR painting Glasgow blue

21 MAR

Rebels in Glasgow covered George Square in blue footprints, symbolising the threat of sea-level rise to the city’s streets and squares, and swarmed the streets. The action follows a week of peaceful lunch time sit-ins at the Glasgow Council City Chambers to call on the council to declare a climate emergency and take urgent action after 30 years of delays.

Funeral processions in Brighton & Northampton

24 MAR

Human activity is the cause of the greatest extinction in history of a huge number of species. This week we held funeral processions  In Brighton and Northampton to mourn all the life that has been lost because of our inaction. Rebels held silent funeral marches complete with bagpipes, gravestones and flowers. Watch this video of the action in Brighton. Find out more about how global warming will lead to mass extinction of life on earth: read our blog.

Send in your stories

Decentralisation is a key element of XR’s ethos so while high-profile actions will often take place in the big cities, every week we’re eager to celebrate all the amazing actions across the country and the world. If you’re involved in your local XR scene, in whatever part of the world, and if you’ve got a story to share, please email xr-newsletter@protonmail.com with ‘Story Contribution’ in the subject line. For major bonus points, it’d also be really helpful if you could write the story as you’d like it to appear in the newsletter!


Upcoming Activity

Check out what’s on near you with our full list of upcoming events, available to view on our website rebellion.earth/events. Or create your own event by filling in our talks and trainings form.

Dover Blockade

POSTPONED

It is with regret that we are postponing the Dover action until later in the year. In light of logistical concerns about our ability to definitely ensure participants’ safety, and within the context of concerns raised around the timing of the action, we are choosing to focus our energies on the International Rebellion beginning April 15.

Sincere apologies to all those who were looking forward to participating and particularly to anybody who had changed  personal plans in order to be there..

Culture Declares Emergency: Letters to the Earth

12 APR – 28 APR | Worldwide

Last week, a group of arts and culture organisations and individuals called ‘Culture Declares Emergency’ officially launched ‘Letters to the Earth’. The campaign is asking for people to write and submit letters in response to the climate and ecological emergency. Some of the UK’s leading art institutions – including the Royal Court and Shakespeare’s Globe – have joined in the callout and will be hosting a day of action on 12th April where the  letters will be read/performed in public.

The pieces will then be made rights free and available for anyone to download and present anywhere in the world from 15th – 28th April, coinciding with the International Extinction Rebellion and School Strike For Climate. These pieces  can be presented and performed globally when hundreds of thousands of people will be taking to the streets worldwide to demand that governments tell the truth about climate collapse and act accordingly.

Deadline for submissions is on 29th March. Please visit their website at www.letterstotheearth.com to find out more.

Critical Mass

29 MAR | 18:30 – 21:00 | Waterloo Bridge, London

29 MAR | 18:45 – 20:15 | The Forum, Norwich

XR groups are taking over the streets by bicycle. We’ll cycle together as a group, asserting our right to be on the road. This is not illegal. We have the same right to the road as cars. We’re not blocking traffic. We ARE traffic. We’ll go as slow or fast as we want, and won’t leave anyone behind.

29 MAR – XR London will gather at 18:30 on Waterloo Bridge, leaving around 19:00.

29 MAR – XR Norwich will meet at 18:45 in front of The Forum, leaving around 19:00.

This will be an opportunity to practice an action, build existing relationships, and make new ones.


XR Paint the Streets Worldwide

30 MAR | Worldwide

Starting in just a few days’ time, XR groups around the world will take part in Paint the Streets – a week of breaking laws and social norms by using creative artwork and street performance to tell the truth about  the environmental and the democratic crisis. It’s a wake-up for fellow citizens and a call to arms for the International Rebellion beginning on April 15th.

Is your affinity group clued up yet? To help groups with planning and preparing for the action, the London team have written an Advice and Guidelines document which we’ll continue to update throughout the week. We hope you’re inspired to get creative and go even further! Be sure to hashtag your social media posts with #ExtinctionRebellion and #PaintTheStreets. We’ll be looking out for your fine work.

In this action, anyone can join at any level of commitment, and everyone can play their part –

  • From handing out flyers on street corners,
  • To slapping a few stickers on your way into work every day,
  • To standing up on the bus and speaking the truth to fellow passengers,
  • To replacing the adverts on train carriages and bus stops,
  • To performing in high streets and squares
  • ….and so on!

Please see our Facebook event to find out more.

Sound the Alarm – XRyouth

28 MAR | 10:00 – 16:00 | Bristol, Leeds, Manchester & more

Following the inspiration of Ghanaian students who have been using whistles to disrupt classes during the school strike, students will be sounding the alarm everywhere. Set off alarms in institutions to alert everyone of government inaction on the sixth mass extinction.

Email xryouth.actions@gmail.com if you want to get involved:

Actions are already planned in Bristol, Leeds and Manchester.  See facebook page

In the spirit of open, disruptive action- we will be informing the emergency services beforehand.   

XR Street Party – Manchester

31 MAR | 11:00 | Oxford Road, Manchester

To celebrate our future and bring together those who are prepared to stand up in its defence, a street party is in order!! We are going to host a family friendly event to reclaim the streets of our city.

We are in open, peaceful rebellion against the UK Government and Manchester City Council must declare a climate emergency and follow this with concrete action.Manchester airport must not expand, doing so is a foolish and dangerous decision. We also demand a full review of the 2038 decarbonisation targets to bring them in line with IPCC and other independent bodies findings to avert the worst of climate breakdown.

This action is to help set the stage for our International Rebellion starting April where thousands will occupy the streets of London. Let us know you’re coming on our Facebook event page

Act Now

1. Ask your MP to sign Caroline Lucas’ climate emergency early day motion. https://edm.parliament.uk/early-day-motion/52682/ukwide-climate-emergency. After the failure of most MPs to attend the climate debate last month, will any more show they will take action in line with the science? Or will we hear  yet more excuses? Or a deadly silence? Currently the motion has collected only 37 signatures. Pathetic!

Contact your MP (https://www.writetothem.com/ or https://www.mpsontwitter.co.uk/list)

2. Contact your local XR branch and ask for a roll of stickers or a bunch of flyers.

Our Paint the Streets guide has some amazing, imaginative and ambitious ideas but there’s loads of room for simple involvement by individuals or  groups. On your commute, a few well placed stickers will help to build our message for International Rebellion.

3. Message 50 friends and invite  them to join the International Rebellion.

It could be the most important thing you ever do on social media. To be heard by those in power,  we need a multitude of people to join us in rebellion from April 15. We can probably offer accommodation to those who need it. Please fill in this form to request or offer accommodation in London and/or  email xr.accommodation@gmail.com for queries. We’ve booked coaches from all over the country. Every single one of you  counts.

International Highlights

India

15 MAR

Extinction Rebellion is gradually gaining traction in India with rebels using the international student strike as an opportunity to organise their first events. In two major cities, Delhi and Gurugram, XR helped students manage their protests. These events were a huge success, attracting attention from hundreds of enthusiastic students and local and international media. Indian rebels tell us that social and cultural factors, which vary regionally, make rebellion challengingut they are committed to the cause and will keep working. They hope to have their next action in April. We will keep you updated on their progress.

Spain

21 MAR

Rebels gathered in Barcelona, at the headquarters of Radio Catalonia, to hand-deliver an open letter to mainstream media. The letter requests coverage of the climate crisis be given the prominence and consistency it deserves. It  points out that this crisis is no longer an inconvenient truth but an unavoidable reality and that to respond appropriately, citizens need accurate information. The letter was signed by over 200 notable people including scientists, economists and representatives of social movements. You can read the full letter (in Spanish) here, and watch a video of the event here.

Australia

22 MAR

Australia’s Declaration of Emergency day saw rebels in four cities deliver their message to government officials in four buildings. In Melbourne, rebels with angel costumes, representing climate guardians, led the march to the Prime Minister’s office where they were  shut out and ignored by government officials. Their thoughtful words raised up en masse would undoubtedly have been heard though, and a security guard accepted their written declaration. All of this and some of the preceding action is in this extended video. Rebels in Adelaide sang songs of peace as they delivered their declaration to the State Administration Centre. Similar actions took place in Sydney and Brisbane. And the pressure it working; Adelaide council will vote this week on declaring a climate emergency!

Germany

22 + 23 MAR

In Berlin, rebels held a protest to disrupt a meeting of the of coalition leading party CDU’s Council of Economic Affairs. The following day they staged a die-in at Berlin’s Tegel airport to highlight the extreme climate damage caused by aeroplanes.

France

24 MAR

France declared their rebellion, marking the beginning of non-violent civil disobedience there. The  Paris event opened with a concert and included speeches from scientists, authors and activists, and offered creative workshops for all ages. There was extensive media coverage including (in French) here, here, and here. Simultaneously, rebels performed a die-in at the Natural History Museum, Paris. French rebels are now busy planning their next actions.

Belgium

24 – 26 MAR

Extinction Rebellion Belgium and Greenpeace Belgium jointly organised Occupy For Climate in Brussels. Joined by hundreds of people, many of them members of various other environmental groups, they occupied the area in front of the Parliament building in Brussels. After camping there on Sunday night, and after discussions with police, they moved to nearby Troonplein where they spent Monday night. They were pressuring legislators to make constitutional amendments that would allow a law to be passed binding the government to commitments already made under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Their persistence paid off The Constitutional Review Committee voted on Tuesday to make the necessary amendment. Now it must be put to a plenary vote on Thursday. Most rebels have left, but a small hardcore team is camping out until then. You can follow their progress on their facebook page.

Announcements

Travelling to the Rebellion

14 APR ONWARDS

International Rebellion is coming. We have Earth Marchers and Rebel Riders coming from across the country to arrive in London in time for the 15th. For those of you unable to join these inspiring pilgrimages, we have organised coaches from multiple cities across the UK.

These will be arriving in London from the 14th April, and throughout the week to accommodate the various needs of Rebels across the UK wanting to join the Rebellion

Please follow this link to see the coach tickets we have available.

After arriving in London, you’ll find  a range of accommodation options for the days following April 15th. We recommend requesting a space in good time to ensure that you are placed with a host. Please follow this link to book a place, or offer a space for fellow Rebels.

First Aid Training in London

13 APR | 09:15 – 16:30 First Aid Training   | Kings Cross, London

14 APR | 09:30 – 16:30 First Aid Revision  | Kings Cross, London

We are pleased to announce our First Aid training session. Everyone partaking will receive a certificate from First Aid for Life. We have limited space available but we are eager to get people trained up with a decent FA provider like First Aid for Life (approved by the HSE).

XR is funding this training, but would appreciate  a donation towards this properly accredited certificate, as well as a small commitment to help out during our weeks of International Rebellion starting on the 15th April.

Please bring an ID, some comfy clothes and arrive 15 minutes early.

We will need to confirm the FULL cohort by March 30th by the latest, so please don’t delay!

First Aid Revision will be taught by Jill Bartlett and is happening on the 14th April. There is no certificate for this event but r it may be useful for existing practitioners, or  those who have existing training and would like a refresher. If you have a general interest in FA and wish to come, then you are welcome, but those with prior experience or wish to revise their skills will take priority for spaces.

Jill was previously an ambulance IHCD and  a trainer for the British Red Cross. She is passionate about empowering people to support  one other in emergency situations. The Regen Team are grateful for her valued input.

If either event is something that interests you, then please get in touch!

EMAIL: tomashbylennard@gmail.com

VENUE: 184 – 192 Drummond Street, 4th Floor, Kings Cross, London

Spokespeople Callout

Could you be a spokesperson for the rebellion? Media interest will be high around April 15th and we’re looking for people from all walks of life who are ready to have a voice and make a difference. Everybody welcome – no need to be a climate scientist or a super smooth talker. Ordinary, informed folk are very welcome.. You’ll be representing yourself, not XR as an organisation, and we’re extra keen to hear from people who are trying activism for the first time. Contact Nuala Gathercole Lam at nmgathercolelam@gmail.com, and inckude some details about yourself. Training available on and off-line.

Faith and Extinction: holding the world in our hearts

We live in a secular society where, for the last few hundred years, affairs of the heart and spirit have been firmly kept separate from the “worldly” affairs of power and politics. And yet many are longing for a deeper connection to one another and enlisting in actions of civil disobedience. This demonstrates that the craft of civil disobedience as a powerful force for societal transformation when held from the heart and with the intention of non-violence (see in particular Mark & Paul Engel’s book “This is an Uprising”).

Creating “sacred space” may be no more than just telling people to put a hand on one another’s shoulder as we gather together, a remembrance of touch and togetherness uncommon in our atomised culture, the “sacredness” coming through an alignment of intentions through an action that, in its own small way, opens the heart.

We now have an online “intention field” Facebook group, “Holding the World in our Hearts”, which we invite you to join. Together we hold the intention to move through our planetary crisis with “love in action” and “love in stillness”. We lean into the riches of our imagination and curiosity and through our hearts into leadership. Please join us and dedicate your sacred practices to this vision. We are planning regular ‘virtual meetups’ where we can contribute our love, our intentions and our spiritual and heart-led capacities for creating a more beautiful world. Please join us!

Internal newsletter

Want to get the inside track on developments in XR UK? If you’d like to be added to the internal newsletter, please email xr-newsletter@protonmail.com with ‘Internal subscribe’ in the subject line.

XR Blog

XR Blog seeks submissions on an ongoing basis, from rebels from all walks of life. Minimal writing experience is required. If you’re stuck for content we can provide a variety of writing briefs. Please contact us on xrblog@protonmail.com

News & Recommended Content

1. Good News | David Attenborough to Present New BBC Film on Climate Change

BBC presenter David Attenborough is to host a one-off documentary about climate change, which last year he called “humanity’s greatest threat in thousands of years”. Attenborough says that conditions have changed far faster than he could have imagined only a few decades ago, and the BBC says that the film will offer “an unflinching explanation of what dangerous levels of climate change could mean for human populations”.

2. Good News | US Judge Blocks Hundreds of Drilling Projects on Public Land

In a decision hailed by campaigners as a “triumph for our climate,” a US federal judge has ruled that the Bureau of Land Management must take greenhouse gas emissions into account when making decisions about leasing public lands. As a result, drilling for oil and gas has been halted on more than 300,000 acres of public land in Wyoming with lawsuits to follow in other states.

“With the science mounting that we need to aggressively rein in greenhouse gases, this ruling is monumental,” said Kyle Tisdel, attorney and energy and communities program director for the Western Environmental Law Center. “Every acre of our public land sold to the oil and gas industry is another blow to the climate, making this ruling a powerful reality check on the Trump administration and a potent tool for reining in climate pollution.”

3. Latest News |  Global Honours for Two South African Climate Scientists

Two South Africans have been recognised for their behind-the-scenes work mitigating climate change. Dr. Debra Roberts was named one of the world’s 100 most influential people on climate policy by the public servants’ networking group Apolitical, and Dr. Jackie King was awarded the prestigious 2019 Stockholm Water Prize for her research on rivers which “has helped decision-makers understand that healthy river ecosystems are not a luxury, but the basis for sustainable development”.

4. Latest News |  Uganda’s Young Climate Activists Go on Strike

As a developing nation, Uganda experiences some of the worst effects of climate change while contributing little to its causes. But Ugandan students are fighting back. One of their leaders is Vanessa Nakate who decided to act after learning about Uganda’s changing rainfall and temperature patterns. Nakate couldn’t find a local group of activists to join, so she started striking as an individual, sharing her story on social media and inspiring other students around the country.

5. Latest News| Top oil firms spending millions lobbying to block climate change policies, says report

A new report details how top fossil fuel firms are paying lip service to low carbon projects while at the same time spending vast sums on lobbying to block climate legislation.

6. Extreme weather | 90% of Mozambican city of Beira destroyed by Cyclone Idai

‘The city was cut off from due to the effect of strong winds and rains that continued across the week according to reports. Most communities were submerged with all communication lines cut off. Deaths have been reported along with massive human displacement and destruction of buildings in Beira.’ This Grist article provides extra context.

7. Extreme weather | Flooding in America’s Midwest and Twin cyclones batter Australia

Farmers in America’s Midwest face decades of recovery from the recent catastrophic flooding. Towns, farms and infrastructure are still under flood water which will take months to fully drain away. The task of restoring the soil imay take decades. And the risk of flooding is still present, with areas along the Missouri and Mississippi rivers facing major flooding through May. Meanwhile, Cyclones Trevor and Veronica hit Northern and Western Australia in quick succession.

8. Recommended Content | Podcast & Video

The XR Podcast Team have released their second episode, XR Podcast Episode 2 – Nonviolent Rebellion looking at one of the Rebellion’s core values and strategies: nonviolence. Featuring interviews with XR members. Be inspired by spoken word poet, Magero’s, beautiful new video about our personal responsibility to fight climate change. Climate Change Need Not Become the Legacy We Leave

9. Recommended content | A view from the Isle of Wight

I loved this compilation of photos and words by photographer, Lucy Boyton. They show a relatively small XR event on the Isle of Wight but  the sentiments of not blaming each other, and tackling climate change as an act of love, is particularly moving.

10. Recommended content | Electric cars, vegan food & recycled trolls

Looking back to the dieselgate scandal and forward to electric cars, this long read piece in The Guardian is a sweeping look at the failures of many governments across Europe regarding diesel regulations and a possible future with electric cars with the ominous banner of fossil fuel companies flying overhead.

Fancy trying a new vegan restaurant? This article in The Guardian reviews several restaurants across the UK specialising in vegan chow.

Danish artist, Thomas Dambo, has created over 40 giant troll sculptures across the world with more  planned. Thomas believes that these sculptures, all made from locally sourced discarded wood, will help teach people to recycle more of their rubbish and “to think of our trash as something beautiful instead of something disgusting.”

Thank you

Thank you for reading. There’s so much exciting stuff going on that we barely have time to write this sign-off. Keep up the good work! If you have any questions or queries, please get in touch at xr-newsletter@protonmail.com.

This newsletter was written collaboratively by a hivemind of 12 rebels.

As we enter this crucial phase in human history, our Rebellion  needs money to make sure our message is heard. Any amount is much appreciated. Please visit our Fundrazr page.

Alternatively, standing orders or money transfers  can 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, PayPal payments can be made to info@risingup.org.uk.

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

Newsletter #16 – Beware the Ides of Earth March

Welcome to the 16th Extinction Rebellion Newsletter!

This week saw an incredible turnout from the Youth Strike movement, with strikes in over 130 countries! In the UK, strikers received support from the newly-established XR Youth, who threw an afterparty on Westminster Bridge.

Speaking of celebration, this weekend also saw an amazing Spring Uprising event in Bristol.

And at the same time, Earth Marchers in Wales made their first steps on their journey to join in London’s International Rebellion.

Wherever you’re coming from, if you’re joining the International Rebellion you might want to read the new briefing/guide which contains all the latest details. And in case you missed it last week, check out our legal briefing (pdf) – a must-read for anyone considering risking arrest.

Before April 15, there’s plenty else to keep us busy. On the 30th of March we’ll be blockading Dover – there’s also a brand new briefing (pdf) for this action. Shortly after that, we’ll be painting the streets; due to a technical hitch we’ve had to make a new Facebook event where the old one had many hundreds of attendees – so please share this one far and wide to let people know it’s still happening!

And the rebellion will be global: this weekend will see large-scale declarations of rebellion in both France and Australia. We at XR UK wish our fellow rebels abroad the best of luck, and we can’t wait to come together with one voice on April the 15th!

Wherever you are in the world, if you’re looking to take action right now, then look no further: as part of a campaign to get the world of culture telling the truth about our emergency, XR is encouraging anyone to take part in the Letters to the Earth campaign (more details in Announcements).

On top of this, our BBC Campaign group is looking for as many people as possible to submit questions through this easily-accessible form – let’s show the BBC how much appetite there is for truthful climate coverage!

We’ll be bringing easily-accessible actions like the above to your attention every week – but we hope these are seen as part of a deeper, population-wide effort to save our children’s future. If you’d like to get more directly involved with XR, please check out our volunteers page. To help out in your area, get in touch with your nearest XR group. If you can’t spare time, but can donate money instead, please see our fundraiser page.

Check out what’s on near you with our full list of upcoming events, available to view on our website rebellion.earth/events. Or create your own event by filling in our talks and trainings form. If you’re new, or haven’t already seen it, remember to check out our Campaign Overview Document.


Contents

  • Recent Activity
  • Upcoming Activity
  • International Highlights
  • Announcements
  • Extreme Weather
  • Latest News and Data
  • Recommended Content
  • Good News Stories

Recent Activity

Second Worldwide Youth Strikes in over 2200 cities & towns

15 MAR

They did it again, and this time even bigger and better! Last Friday, over 1.6 million young people in 130 countries skipped school and created the biggest global climate march ever. In the UK, over 26,000 students walked out of their classrooms to demand action on climate change for their future. In London thousands of students marched from Parliament to Buckingham palace and occupied Westminster bridge. They are putting politicians globally on the spot with their numbers and creative messages. Feeling inspired? Join the XR Youth Network and check out our Facebook page.




Spring Uprising

16 – 17 MAR

Extinction Rebellion’s Spring Uprising was a storming success with talks and workshops throughout the weekend bookended by a jam packed musical line up including Dizraeli, Nick Mulvey, Sam Lee, and many more.

Thousands of Rebels came together from around the world to learn and grow together. Among the numerous events offered in five spaces, there was opportunity to nourish the mind, body and soul.

There was extended discussion of how to cement the movement in international solidarity, a diversity of action tactics practiced through clowning and flocking workshops, as well as Non-Violent Direct Action trainings done with hundreds of participants. Physical trainings were balanced with workshops on decolonising the movement, as well as developing emotional resilience in a world of uncertainty.

Reboot the Roots, Reclaim the Power, and Occupy all contributed to the array of workshops on offer, with local environmental groups and campaigns showcasing their work in the central “Solution Zone” throughout the weekend.

As each days’ bursting schedule came to an end, an array of musical talent was on offer in to the night to put the regenerative culture of the movement in to practice.

“It was only at the Spring Gathering that I realised how deep this movement goes in to people’s lives. The talks, skill shares and assemblies were amazingly effective but it was the conversations with people from all ages and backgrounds, that really blew me away.”

Jamie

“Fabulously inspiring to see so many people connecting, thinking together, having fun and ready to act.”

Gail

It was a weekend not to be missed and we can’t wait for the next one!

Earth March

As the Cornwall marchers begin their crossing of Dartmoor, and the March gets going in Wales, rebels across the rest of the country are getting ready to join in the journey. The latest entry in the journal, written by Mary Roddick, reads:

Excellent and inspiring day with the XR Cornwall Earth March for Life. I joined them for the single leg to Lostwithiel at St Austell railway station where I was warmly greeted and quickly integrated into the smallish but sturdy group. The weather hadn’t been particularly kind to them and ill health taken a toll, maybe due to the huge amount of work that has gone into the organisation. Today, though windy enough to keep our banners dramatically fluttering, was mostly dry, occasionally brightish and cool enough to feel comfortable on the hills.

Highlights were an unexpected tea break on a farm, spectacular views back down to St Blazey and the sea and a couple of unsolicited donations from a passing motorist and some pedestrians in Lostwithiel. The time and miles passed quickly with easy camaraderie and interesting conversation.

I learnt about and tasted 3 varieties of foraged wild greens as well as getting advice on how to collect and include seaweed in my diet.

I thoroughly recommend joining them for as long as you can manage even if it’s just for a day.

If you’d like to join any part of a march, read our guide and check out the Facebook group to find a route near you. If you’re more into cycling, take a look at the Rebel Riders; and if you’re an intrepid runner, you might be interested in Sue Cooper’s heroic plan to run across England.

Local contributions

Decentralisation is a key element of XR’s ethos. So while high-profile actions will often take place in the big cities, we’re eager to celebrate all the amazing actions across the country and the world every week. If you’re involved in your local XR scene, in whatever part of the world, and if you’ve got a story to share, please email xr-newsletter@protonmail.com with ‘Story Contribution’ in the subject line. For major bonus points, it’d also be really helpful if you could write the story as you’d like it to appear in the newsletter!

Upcoming Activity

XR Critical Mass – Bring your bikes

21 MAR | 13:15 – 14:15 | Parker’s Piece, Cambridge
29 MAR | 18:30 – 21:00 | Waterloo Bridge, London
29 MAR | 18:45 – 20:15 | The Forum, Norwich

Following the lead of the Critical Mass movement – whose 25th Birthday is this month – XR groups are taking over the streets by bicycle. XR Cambridge is gearing up for their 3rd bike ride this week, while XR London and Norwich are joining the monthly cycles in their respective cities for the first time.  

Call for more local groups – XR Groups across the country are encouraged to replicate this action in their Towns and Cities. Come together, take over the road, and promote Extinction Rebellion in the build up to No Food on a Dead Planet: Dover Blockade and International Rebellion. Local Groups interested in doing this can email xr-action@protonmail.com with any questions.

We’ll cycle together as a group, asserting our right to be on the road. This is not illegal. We have the same right to the road as cars do. We’re not blocking traffic. We ARE traffic. We’ll go as slow or fast as we want, and won’t leave anyone behind.

XR Cambridge will meet at 13:15 at the Reality Checkpoint in the middle of Parker’s Piece for a briefing, aiming to set off at 13:30.

XR London will gather at 18:30 on Waterloo Bridge, leaving around 19:00.

XR Norwich will meet at 18:45 in front of The Forum, leaving around 19:00.

This will be an opportunity to practice an action, build existing relationships, and make new ones.

Dover blockade

30 MAR | 10:00-15:00 | Dover, Kent

While politicians bury their heads in the sand and get on with business as usual, Extinction Rebellion is planning one of their most turbulent actions to date to highlight the extreme vulnerability of the British people to our food insecurity. On 30th March XR calls on rebels to join them in peacefully and non-violently blocking the roads out of Dover. As much as 50% of the UK’s food is imported through ports like Dover – this food is crucial to feed our nation. While newspapers resound with predictions of empty supermarket shelves as a result of Brexit, this is nothing compared to the misery of climate crisis induced famine and hunger.

We understand this action will be controversial, but don’t worry, this is a symbolic one-day action which will cause major disruption, but not stop medicines or food supplies getting through.

If you are interested in joining please sign up for the action.

We need as many people as possible to join us for this so please check out the Facebook page for more details and get involved! See here for a detailed briefing (pdf).

XR Paint the Streets Worldwide

30 MAR | Worldwide

Rebellion Week is less than a month away so we’re calling on rebels worldwide to join us for a week of non-violent direct action starting 30th March to cover the streets in XR messaging. We need help to spread our message with stickers, posters, banners, music, art and much more to alert people to the climate and ecological emergency we’re sleepwalking into.

The original event was deleted by accident, but we’ve put this one back up.

Every affinity group can take part in their location – stay tuned on the event for updates! Deadline for designs to submit on the GDrive (link in event description) is SUNDAY 24th MARCH at 12:00 noon GMT.

In this action, anyone can join at any level of commitment, and everyone can play their part –

  • From handing out flyers on street corners,
  • To slapping a few stickers on your way into work every day,
  • To standing up on the bus and speaking the truth to fellow passengers,
  • To replacing the adverts on train carriages and bus stops,
  • To performing in high streets and squares….and so on!

Please see our Facebook event to find out more.

International Rebellion

15 – 28 APR | Worldwide

That’s right, International Rebellion Week is almost upon us. We hope you’ve booked time off work to join us for this open-ended period of non-violent direct action where we’ll be shutting down our cities and calling for a full-scale Rebellion to demand decisive action from governments on climate change and ecological collapse.

This is the moment we demand we are heard. Further details to come in due time – watch our Facebook page for further updates. You do not need to be arrested to take part. Please tell everyone you know about this event, invite all your friends, and spread the word. There is no greater cause on Earth than Earth itself, and the struggle for a true democracy to protect life on this planet, our only home.



International Highlights

Canada

1 MAR

Rebels interrupted question time at the Nova Scotia legislature on March 1, singing and chanting for three minutes before being escorted out waving Extinction Rebellion banners. This action follows on from XR Canada’s national week of rebellion in February, to put continued pressure on government to declare a climate emergency. Nova Scotia officials have not acknowledged the climate crisis, though Halifax, the capital of the province, has recently declared a climate emergency.

One determined rebel made the same demand when she entered the council chambers during the Charlottetown city council’s monthly public meeting. Other rebels sat in the public gallery but she refused to leave the chambers unless she was allowed to display a banner reading “Declare a climate emergency”. She was arrested and charged with causing a disturbance.

New Zealand

12 MAR

Extinction Rebellion Auckland funeral marched, complete with coffin and bagpipe player, into Auckland city council to deliver a message to the Environment and Communities group. They were pleased with the response, as they were invited to an upcoming Climate Summit. Afterwards, rebels gave heartfelt speeches outside the building, asking that we all “hold grief in one hand and hope in the other” and demand a better world.

France

16 MAR + 24 MAR

Extinction Rebellion France took part in the Marche du Siècle (March of the Century) in Paris, joining the crowd of 100,000 people demanding climate and social justice. Environmental, political and social groups, along with thousands of individuals, united to send a strong message: climate breakdown will affect everybody. Peace, joy and music propelled the marchers; the many musical groups included a full brass band. Similar marches took place in cities around France.

And this Sunday, thousands of French rebels will be gathering in Paris to declare open rebellion.



Finland

16 MAR

To protest logging policies in their country, Extinction Rebellion Finland interrupted the Forest Economy Seminar at the University of Helsinki. Seven rebels performed a hauntingly beautiful dance before being ushered out of the room, while others displayed an XR sign and handed out leaflets.

Declaration Day in Australia

22 MAR | Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide

On Friday Australian rebels in four major cities will simultaneously gather at government buildings, to demand that their government declare a climate emergency. More details, including meeting times and specific locations, are on their facebook page.

Announcements

Letters to the Earth: Deadline for Submissions

Deadline: 29 MAR | Midnight

Submit your written letters of response to the climate and ecological emergency for presentation at theatres and arts venues across the country on 12th April, a day of joint action from the cultural sector. This can be a letter to or from the earth, past or future generations, those in power, other species. The idea is open to interpretation: it can come from a personal place, be dramatic in form, be a call to action. The invitation is open to all – to think beyond the human narrative and to bear witness to the scale and horror of this crisis.

The pieces will be made rights free and available for anyone to download and present anywhere in the world from 15th – 28th April as part of the Rebellion.

Deadline: Friday 29th March | Midnight

Email your submissions to letterstotheearth@gmail.com – subject line ‘Letter’

Find out more: https://www.letterstotheearth.com/

Zero Hour – Getting to the Roots

We are happy to announce our support of Zero Hour’s new campaign #GettingtoTheRoots. Follow this link to join in their worldwide education campaign, become an ambassador and bring climate justice education to your community.

Affinity Group stories for XR Blog

Are you part of an affinity group that has participated in direct action?

We ask for your stories of courage, struggle, compassion and collaboration, of whatever you have experienced together. This is an offshoot of the #HumansofXR project, to show the world that this movement is their moment too. Creative writing and mixed media all considered. Please email xrblog@protonmail.com with your A.G. name in the subject line.

XR Blog also seeks submissions on an ongoing basis, from rebels from all walks of life. Minimal writing experience is required. If you’re stuck for content we can provide a variety of writing briefs. Please contact us on xrblog@protonmail.com

Extreme Weather

Torrential rain in Papua triggers landslides

At least 50 people have been killed by flash floods in Indonesia’s eastern province of Papua. Flooding is not uncommon in the area — in January 70 people were killed by flooding and landslides in Sulawesi island.

‘Major humanitarian crisis’ after cyclone slams southern Africa

‘Cyclone winds and floods that swept across southeastern Africa have affected more than 2.6 million people and could rank as one of the worst weather-related disasters recorded in the southern hemisphere.’

Drought turns part of Iran into a new dust bowl

‘[T]he dust storm season has expanded, sometimes spanning half the year—and so, as a consequence, has the volume of respiratory problems’. In the provinces of Sistan and Baluchestan agriculture is ‘now all but impossible and everyday life a struggle […] the region risks becoming uninhabitable’.

Latest News and Data

Overfishing and climate change blamed for 80% decline in sooty terns on Ascension Island

Climate change creates a new migration crisis for Bangladesh –‘Over the last decade, nearly 700,000 Bangladeshis were displaced on average each year by natural disasters’ – in-depth article for National Geographic

UK failing on 14 out of 19 global targets for the UN’s Convention on Biological Diversity

Climate change denier invited to comment on school strikes for BBC Nine

Dahr Jamail: ‘We’re Living in the Warmest Decade Since Record-Keeping Began

Some of the above stories and lots more in his latest ‘Climate Disruption Dispatch’

Recommended Content

A journalist spent time with Extinction Rebellion New Zealand, and wrote an in-depth piece describing recent XR activity, the bigger picture in NZ and globally, and, most poignantly, his own thoughts and emotions when facing the immensity of the crisis:

“I grieve for the loss of the world I so deeply wanted to share with my partner, growing old together into a sweet, carefree senility. We are both 29. The sort of world that would allow that course of life to unfold will not exist by the time we’re ready for it. I grieve for the birds and animals that will go extinct. I grieve for the trees that will wither and die. And most of all I grieve for the people who will never have the chance to live the sort of decent life that everyone deserves.”

This article suggests that solar power in schools could provide economic, educational, and social benefits in Jamaica, as well as the obvious environmental ones. It describes the systemic problems which need to be addressed in Jamaica:

‘Countries like Jamaica will always struggle when parliamentarians and the traditional press remain eager bedfellows– there are more chickens with teeth than investigative journalists. The poor get their news with their ears and the viability of renewables and solar school stories are not reported over the airwaves. The people are kept ignorant.’

The author tells me that people there frequently protest about issues that affect them. He hopes that XR can harness that spirit to get a foothold in Jamaica, by highlighting the links to socio-economic issues.

How to revive our fantastic mini-beasts– an interesting mixture of information about the catastrophic decline in insect populations around the world and useful tips about how all of us can take small steps to help our insect friends. The article refers to recent scientific studies, carried out in Germany and Britain and explains how the collapse of the insect populations impacts on bird life. But my favourite part comes at the end, where there is a list of easy things we can all do in our garden to help.

On Contact: Civil Disobedience to Stop Ecocide’ – Chris Hedges interviews XR co-founder Roger Hallam

Rebecca Solnit makes an impassioned argument in The Guardian to reject the broken politics that enables both climate change deniers and violent extremists like the attack in New Zealand and come together for our collective future.

Regenerative Culture / Good News Stories

Antonio Guterres organises climate action summit

The international student strikes last Friday caused many people to take note, and question how they could do more. Luckily, one of those people was António Guterres, secretary general of the United Nations. In this opinion piece, he acknowledges that the response to the climate crisis so far has been insufficient. In response, he has organised a climate action summit in New York in September. He is asking world leaders from governments and the private sector to arrive with ambitious, concrete plans in key areas: emissions reductions, renewable energy, withstanding climate impacts, investing in the green economy, sustainable infrastructure, sustainable agriculture and management of forestry and oceans.

‘While climate action is essential to combat an existential threat, it also comes with costs. So action plans must not create winners and losers or add to economic inequality: they must be fair and create new opportunities for those negatively impacted, in the context of a just transition.’

Emissions reductions policies can work

A recent study has suggested that policies to reduce carbon emissions in 18 countries with developed economies may be starting to work. The countries, including the UK, France, Germany and the US, saw emissions decline significantly between 2005 and 2015. The changes were mostly due to replacing fossil fuels with renewables and an overall decrease in energy use.

‘”New scientific research on climate change tends to ring the alarm bells ever more loudly,” said co-author Charlie Wilson . . . “Our findings add a thin sliver of hope.”’

Geothermal power could become more accessible

Geothermal power is very low emission, like wind and solar, but more flexible as it can provide energy whenever needed. Until now it’s application has been limited to regions with very hot water caused by volcanic activity. However, a Swedish company has developed technology to harness power from low temperature heat, and a recent boost in funding means they are about to scale up their work.

Thank you

Thank you for reading this, our 16th newsletter. There’s so much exciting stuff going on that we barely have time to write this sign-off. Keep up the good work! If you have any questions or queries, please get in touch at xr-newsletter@protonmail.com.

This newsletter was written collaboratively by a hivemind of 12 rebels.

As we enter this crucial phase in human history, our Rebellion will need money to make sure our message is heard. Anything you can give is appreciated. Please visit our Fundrazr page.

Alternatively, 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.

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

Newsletter #15 – The British Isles Rebel!

Welcome to the 15th Extinction Rebellion Newsletter!

As we near the equinox and Ides of March, change is in the air.

This week saw significant actions in London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Dublin, while on Monday the first Earth March set off from Land’s End, ready to spread rebellion across the breadth of Britain. Further afield, actions have continued all over Europe, from Spain to Finland.

With so many actions happening and coming up, it’s perfect timing for the XR legal team to unveil their nigh-comprehensive guide to arrest. Even if you’re not personally planning to risk arrest, please read this and pass it on – the more people who know their rights the better!

XR’s next high-profile UK action will be a symbolic blockade of Dover – click here or read below to see how you can help. The online briefing is at 7pm on March 14th, so don’t delay!

In the meantime, don’t miss the chance to join a weekend of celebration and preparation at the XR Spring Uprising on the 16th-17th of March.

Wherever you are in the world, we hope you’ll be able to join or support the next Youth Strike 4 Climate on this Friday, the 15th of March, when the kids can once again show everyone else how it’s done!

And if you can’t wait until Friday to help in the fight against climate change, then please take four minutes to fill in our newsletter survey and help us inform you even(?) better than we already do!

We’re entering a pivotal moment in history, and we really need help if we’re to be as effective as the situation requires – if you’d like to get involved, please check out our volunteers page. To help out in your area, get in touch with your nearest XR group. If you can’t spare time, but can donate money instead, please see our fundraiser page.

Check out what’s on near you with our full list of upcoming events, available to view on our website rebellion.earth/events. Or create your own event by filling in our talks and trainings form. 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.

 

Contents

  • Important: Legal Briefing
  • Recent Activity
  • Upcoming Activity
  • International Highlights
  • Announcements
  • Extreme Weather
  • Latest News and Data
  • Recommended Content
  • Regenerative Culture / Good News Stories

Important Legal Briefing

The Legal Support team are thrilled to announce that we have completed a handy infographic/briefing combo for every single Rebel to read before hitting the streets. Equip yourself and your communities with this easy-to-read gateway into preparing for taking action from a legal perspective – learn about consequences and what the risk of arrest might mean for you.

How to use the briefing document:

  1. As stand-alone quick overview of the most important things to remember to prepare for an action.
  2. Click on page numbers to read the legal briefings that apply to you.
  3. Click on underlined links to reach external info online
  4. Go to links throughout the briefing to reference everything from common charges to documents on legal strategy used by XR defendants.

Recent Activity

Blood of our Children – 9th March

On Saturday 9th March, black-clad Extinction Rebellion activists, many with children,  amassed outside Downing Street with buckets of fake blood to carry out a dramatic act of civil disobedience. As the crowds gathered, Rebels emptied more than 200 litres of red liquid on the road to draw attention to the violent future today’s children face unless there is radical action to save the environment.

There were many moving speeches from speakers including an eight-year-old girl and a heavily pregnant woman who risked arrest by taking part in the action, which gained widespread publicity, and made the front page of the Sunday Times.

Edinburgh – 8th March

When the Scottish Oil Club, an exclusive body representing the international oil and gas industry, held its annual dinner on March 8th at the National Museum of Scotland, XR Edinburgh Rebels turned up in force and held a peaceful assembly inside the building, refusing to leave when the police arrived. An XR banner was hung from the Museum balcony and thirteen Rebels were arrested. More here.

Cardiff City Centre Protests – 9th March

On 9th March Extinction Rebellion activists in Cardiff blocked a major road in the city when over 300 marched from the City Hall to Cardiff Central Library where they staged a sit-down protest, closing St Mary Street to vehicles, before moving on to Castle Street and bringing traffic to a grinding halt.

They then moved on to target a branch of Barclays Bank, staging a sit-down outside to block the entrance. Sian from Brecon said they were protesting against Barclays because “they are investing in lots of planet-destroying activity like fracking and fossil fuels”.

Earth March begins – 11th March

Abridged account from Jackie Dash; read the full version – and future entries – here.

The weather was perfect; a wide, late winter-blue sky with scudding clouds overhead and the blue Atlantic stretching away to the West. Around seventy people turned out to give Earth March a strong and powerful send-off on our March to Westminster. Local radio and TV crews were there to interview and record this momentous gathering and the start of our pilgrimage across these Sacred Lands to the heart of government and the financial centre in the capital.

Two or three marchers asked if we could make a slight detour and walk down past one of the local primary schools, this lies midway between Land’s End and St Buryan. The headteacher had brought the entire school, all 25/30 children out to see us. We arrived to heartfelt cheers and then sang for them…something relatively cheery as XR songs go!! It was moving for us all, especially since it is their future and those who come after them that we are fighting.

In Penzance we were greeted with welcoming cheers, mugs of tea and chocolate, and good Cornish ale: we felt a deep appreciation of what we had already achieved and the hard work that lies ahead of us. An auspicious start to what promises to touch the hearts and minds of the nation.

Derbyshire – 2nd March

Peak Extinction Rebellion in Derbyshire had a stall at the monthly Farmers’ Market on Saturday 2 March, celebrating the Wirksworth Town Council’s Declaration of Emergency the previous week, and discussing with shoppers what actions they can take to respond to the crisis. They were a bit surprised at a Monster arriving at the market and declaring “Your Planet is Dying. There is No Planet B. Act Now.” but were informed that an XR member was underneath.

There was lively debate on social media about whether the monster was too scary for children, or a fitting expression of the scary situation we all face. In the half hour the controversial Monster was at the market it provoked far more discussion than four hours on the stall – but the Rebels concluded that both had a valid part to play.

Solidarity at the Heathrow third runway hearing – 11th March

On Monday 11th March, rebels stood in solidarity with Friends of the Earth and Plan B Earth who are responsible for two of the four legal challenges to the Government’s plans to build another runway at Heathrow Airport. Aviation is one of the biggest contributors to carbon emissions. An expansion at Heathrow would see seven hundred extra planes emitting millions of carbon emissions a day. These plans clearly don’t fit with our climate targets under the Climate Change Act, the Paris Agreement or any serious commitment to cut emissions.

Local contributions

Decentralisation is a key element of XR’s ethos. So while high-profile actions will often take place in the big cities, we’re eager to celebrate all the amazing actions across the country and the world every week. If you’re involved in your local XR scene, in whatever part of the world, and if you’ve got a story to share, please email xr-newsletter@protonmail.com with ‘Story Contribution’ in the subject line. For major bonus points, it’d also be really helpful if you could write the story as you’d like it to appear in the newsletter!

 

Upcoming Activity

Second UK-Wide Youth Strike – 15th March

This Friday thousands of young people in over 40 countries across the world will take to the streets to demand climate action. Last month thousands of young people across the UK joined the global movement and blocked roads, occupied bridges and squares and danced the day away. Let’s make this strike even bigger and better: join your local strike next Friday! You can find out more here.

Spring Uprising – 16th/17th March

Our Spring Uprising Event is THIS WEEKEND!

In Bristol on 16/17 March Extinction Rebellion launches the Spring Uprising, its first ever festival of rebellion, activism, music and art. Over the weekend, up to 1,000 people at a time will be trained in peaceful non-violent civil disobedience at Bristol’s Motion venue (74-78 Avon Street, Bristol, BS2 0PX).

The event is supported by music industry and festival organisers such as Boomtown Festival, Buddhafield, Ninja Tune Records, Alfresco Disco, The Green Gathering, Woman Fest and Burn Punk, and more than a dozen musical acts have been confirmed.

Bringing together an unprecedented gathering of people from different backgrounds, the Spring Uprising is part of Extinction Rebellion’s build-up to the launch of International Rebellion on April 15th. April’s global uprising promises to be one of the largest non-violent civil disobedience actions in decades.

Don’t miss it!

See the website for details – and bookings!

Facebook event-page here

No Food on a Dead Planet: Dover Blockade – 30th March

On 30th March, Extinction Rebellion is calling for hundreds of brave people, regardless of age or background, to do their duty: for our children, for our communities and for this great nation. Together we will peacefully and non-violently block the motorway out of Dover.

As much as 50% of the UK’s food is imported through ports like Dover – this food is crucial to feed our nation. While newspapers resound with predictions of empty supermarket shelves as a result of Brexit, this is nothing compared to the misery of climate crisis induced famine and hunger. The Dover road block will highlight the extreme vulnerability of the British people to food insecurity and underline the need for the Government to take emergency action on the climate and ecological crisis.

There is no doubt that this will be a controversial action but rest assured, the Dover Blockade will NOT stop medicine and food supplies getting through. This is a symbolic one-day blockage. It will cause major delays, but nothing critical. Its purpose is to tell to the British public and the Government to WAKE UP; very soon we could have food supply collapse and medicine scarcity because of climate breakdown.

There will be no food on a dead planet, only dead people.

We need as many people as possible to participate in this action. Calling all legal observers, arrestee support, welfare and first aiders – we need you! We’ll also need musicians, other creatives, speakers and mass participants to help with road blocking, crowd building and crowd entertaining.

If you are interested in joining please:

1. Read the full background here, then attend our online briefing meeting at 7pm on 14th March: https://zoom.us/j/337115789

2. Sign up for the action here: https://goo.gl/DJj7vR

XR: The Silence Ends – A chorus of voices – 15th April

Add your voice to the call for climate action!

In protest against the resounding silence of the government on the climate emergency, The Silence Ends event in London on 15th April plans to create the biggest chorus of voices ever heard. XR has prepared a dramatic spoken-word chorus with music, which Rebels will perform in central London as part of International Rebellion. The action lasts about eight minutes. Lend your voice to help this gigantic chorus of protest and affirmation attract planetary attention!

Check out the Facebook event here.

 

Petition for Parliament to declare Climate Emergency

More and more communities across the country are pushing their councils to declare a climate emergency.

But last week’s dismally-attended debate on climate change in Parliament shows that hundreds of our MPs still don’t get it. Young people are showing more leadership than our politicians.

Will you tell Parliament that it’s time to declare a climate emergency? Sign the petition now.

We know we only have until 2030 to take positive action which limits climate catastrophe. Yet over the last ten years, we’ve seen the Government recklessly gamble with the future. Zero Carbon Homes targets scrapped. Onshore wind effectively banned. Solar power shafted. The Green Investment Bank flogged off. Fracking forced on local communities.

This simply isn’t good enough.

These are extraordinary times and they call for extraordinary measures. We need nothing less than total economic transformation – starting with a Green New Deal for the UK.

It’s time for Parliament to declare a climate emergency.

Over the last few months we’ve seen an inspiring resurgence of climate activism, from the civil disobedience of Extinction Rebellion, to the incredible courage of school children striking for the climate.

We all know this is an emergency. Now it’s time to make our politicians wake up too.

Sign the petition now.

International Highlights

Denmark – February 24

The small Scandinavian country is among the world’s top polluters, according to the Living Planet Report list. In Copenhagen Rebels marched through the city centre and protested in front of parliament, with posters and chants demanding that politicians acknowledge the truth of climate breakdown. The action attracted wide media coverage; a few examples are here and here (in Danish).

On the same day there was a similar action in Århus, at the City Council, with banners and singing. Rebels then proceeded to the oil depot at the harbour to make their voices heard there, and draw media attention. Together, the protests ensured that XR Denmark launched in style and made its mark.

Ireland – March 3

Dublin and Galway held Funeral for Humanity marches, mourning the many species already lost and demanding change, an appropriate message on World Wildlife Day. They got a good turnout despite the freezing rain, heard inspiring speeches and music, and shared great energy. More information including the extensive media coverage is on their Facebook page.

Spain – March 5

Rebels took to the streets on the main avenue in Madrid, whistling, juggling and banging pots beneath an Extinction Rebellion banner to create an entertaining disruption. The action, to draw attention to the ecological crisis and demand action from regional and national governments, can be seen here.

Netherlands – March 5 and 10

On March 10, in Amsterdam, 40,000 people participated in the biggest climate march in Dutch history, demanding stronger action on climate change. Extinction Rebellion NL were there and dropped a banner reading ‘Rise Up’, to applause from the crowd.

The previous week, Extinction Rebellion NL performed die-ins in Utrecht and Groningen, where Rebels dressed in animal costumes to acknowledge World Wildlife Day and draw attention to the current mass extinction. The action in Groningen happened to coincide with a visit to the area by Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who was campaigning in the upcoming elections. In a region where fracking has left homes vulnerable to earthquake damage, Rutte’s visit drew many protesting against the exploitation of gas. Rebels joined with them to demand climate justice, and performed spontaneous die-ins in front of the Prime Minister, who was forced to step over the bodies of some Rebels. When confronted about government policies, he expressed concern over anything that might threaten jobs and drive residents to seek work in neighbouring countries – thus confirming the status quo. The action in Utrecht had a more upbeat atmosphere, sparking lots of interaction from shoppers and conversations with children.

Finland – March 6

Rebels gathered on the steps of the parliament in Helsinki to demand that the climate emergency is given prominence in upcoming elections. As Finland will take over the EU presidency in June, now is an especially crucial time to hold its government to account. Around 250 protestors from several environmental groups including XR took part, and eight Greenpeace protestors were arrested for climbing the pillars of the parliament house.

Italy – March 6 and 13

A Rebel dressed as a scuba-diver rode the subway in Rome to highlight the future submersion of parts of the Italian coastline by 2100, including outlying areas of Rome. The threat, highlighted in a study two years ago, has been in the news again – not because of climate but due to concerns about tourism and commercial routes. The scuba-diver’s protest provided a striking reproach about priorities. More photos and a video of this action can be found on the XR Rome facebook page.

In other Italian news, the call to action, signed by notable figures and published internationally in December, will now also be published in Italy. Many Italian academics and notable people have added their signatures and the letter will be released in simultaneous press releases in Rome and Milan, on Wednesday March 13 at noon.

Announcements

Regen – Growing Resilience Workshop, March 23/24

UK and London Regen Present: Growing Resilience for the Rebellion

At this time of existential crisis it is urgent and essential to get out on the streets to make our voices heard.

But how do we ensure that we are equipped for the task ahead?

How do we stay resilient, energised and connected as we engage in the vital work of activism? How do we avoid getting lost in despair, anger, numbness or burnout?

Informed by Joanna Macy’s powerful and influential ‘Work That Reconnects’ this workshop will be an opportunity to explore our responses to the climate crisis, and to experience how this can leave us strengthened and more alive. Speaker, activist and author of ‘Coming Back to Life’ and ‘Active Hope’, Joanna Macy’s ‘Work That Reconnects’ practices have made a pivotal contribution to inspiring and sustaining activists and to growing community over the years.

We will be learning how to build resilience, personally and in our groups, so that we can remain engaged and effective for the long term. The weekend is planned to be the first of a series of workshops on developing Regenerative Culture.

The workshop will be of help to all those involved in the environmental and climate justice movement including:

  • Action co-ordinators
  • Affinity group members
  • Regen/Well-being co-ordinators

You are welcome to attend one or both days: each day will cover similar ground from a different perspective.

PLEASE BOOK A FREE TICKET SO THE ORGANISERS KNOW HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE COMING!

The days are free to all, but donations to XR are very welcome. Please bring your own lunch, and food to share if you can.

We look forward to welcoming you to these days of connection and discovery.

Details: 10.30am to 4.30pm March 23 Saturday and 24 Sunday

Venue: go to Eventbrite page to find venue address in London

Considering Imprisonable Actions – Webinar

As a movement we can potentially gain a lot of media attention when people are sent to prison for non-violent civil disobedience and taking direct action. This can be helpful to escalate political drama, increasing the pressure on the system, and so helping us to achieve the XR demands and realise our visions.

However, risking imprisonment comes with its own complexities. Although some RisingUp activists went to prison-on-remand for one week in 2017 (by doing the same action day-after-day 4 times), no one was imprisoned around Rebellion Day 1 last Nov – despite the best efforts of many! Another possible pathway to prison could be to put yourself in contempt of court by talking over the judge about the threat to the planet and its ecosystems and the negligence of the government and legal system to respond adequately.

If you’re considering pushing the boundaries of activism in this way, you’ll likely have to come up with your own action plans and carry them out. Before you do, be sure to check out the XR webinar that explores the topic of imprisonable actions: https://youtu.be/krfsr3asbq8

Talks and Trainings

Have you ever asked yourself what the XR Talks & Trainings working group does all day? What are all the fabulous trainings that XR offers and where can you find them?

You’ll be happy to hear that you can find the answer to all your questions in this visually intriguing and yet informative slide show.

A lot of our projects are work in progress and so this is a living document and will be updated from time to time. Hopefully, this will help your local groups to flourish! If you have any questions about this beautiful piece of art, please email xr.talks.trainings@gmail.com.

Legal – briefing and training

Arrest Watch training has been postponed to the 24th March in order to enable rebels to attend the Put It To The People march if they wish to do so. Please make sure to send at least one representative of your local group to it and email luerkenfm@cardiff.ac.uk if you need help to find accommodation so you can attend this training.

And in case you missed it above, the legal team has released its master-guide to arrestibility – a must read for anyone planning to be out on the streets in April.

Drumming for the Rebellion

A group of XR Rebels are organising a huge samba drumming action as part of the International Rebellion in London from 15th April.  We are collectively known as Music for Rebellion (facebook.com/MusicForRebellion/).

Every day, we plan to alternate between teaching samba drumming and roaming the streets of London, disrupting traffic.

We currently have about 50 drums but we need lots more – can you help?

– Donate unwanted drums to Music for Rebellion

– Bring your own drums to the International Rebellion.

– Buy a drum kit for £50 – this will give you 5 drums (a bass, a floor tom, two rack toms and a snare).  We can show you how to rope these up so you can easily carry them around town

– Start your own samba band.  There is loads of demand for samba bands at XR actions – why not start your own?  Buy 2 drumkits, 2 cowbells, 2 agogo bells, a good whistle and some blue rope (all for about £150) and you have everything you need to start a 14-piece samba band!  We can teach you how to play and how to lead a samba band in London!

If you can help us by bringing drums, please get in touch with xrsouthsomerset@riseup.net and let us know how many drums you will be bringing. You can also donate to and share our crowdfunder to buy drums – www.gofundme.com/drums-for-international-rebellion.

If you are interested in joining us for the drumming, please join www.facebook.com/MusicForRebellion/ and sign up for our International Rebellion Samba Drumming event – all skill levels welcome.  There is a Basecamp group “XR Drummers” for those who want to help us organise and spread the word.  See you in London!

XR Blog

XR Blog seeks submissions on an ongoing basis, from rebels from all walks of life. Minimal writing experience is required. If you’re stuck for content we can provide a variety of writing briefs. Please contact us on xrblog@protonmail.com

 

Extreme Weather

More than eight million people need food aid in Ethiopia

‘The impacts of the climate change-induced droughts of 2016 and before have persisted. Moreover, violence in many parts of the country have added to the burden’ and ‘dry conditions are once again creeping into the country’s southern and southwestern regions, crippling crops and vegetation.’

Non-survivable humid heatwaves for over 500 million people

‘Researchers at MIT warn that if climate change remains unchecked […] over half a billion people will, from 2070 onwards, experience humid heat waves that will kill even healthy people in the shade within 6 hours.’

Ocean heatwaves devastate wildlife

‘The number of marine heatwave days has increased by more than 50 percent since the mid-20th century […] Just as atmospheric heatwaves can destroy crops, forests and animal populations, marine heatwaves can devastate ocean ecosystems’

 

Latest News and Data

How the Tobacco and Fossil Fuel Industries Fund Disinformation Campaigns Around the World

‘Fossil fuel companies have a long history of adopting public relations strategies straight from the tobacco industry’s playbook. But a new analysis shows the two industries’ relationship goes much deeper — right down to funding the same organisations to do their dirty work.’

Dearth of worms blamed for dramatic decline in UK songbird population

‘Britain’s first farmland worm survey reveals nearly half of English fields lack key types of earthworm and may help explain a 50 per cent fall in song thrush numbers’

Climate Change plays major role in top 10 underreported humanitarian crises of 2018

New report from CARE: ‘Climate change plays an increasing and often exacerbating role in humanitarian crises that have been neglected by the global public, such as in Madagascar, Ethiopia and Haiti.’

The US Air Force is gearing up for a bird massacre in the English countryside

‘The US Air Force, which has thousands of personnel at British Royal Air Force bases at Lakenheath and Mildenhall, seeks to “reduce the attraction of wildlife to the airbase” and “deny the use of airspace to birds there.” ‘ Meanwhile Natural England and Natural Resources Wales have ‘given the go-ahead for Red-listed species such as Eurasian Curlew, Eurasian Skylark and House Sparrow to be shot.’

WWF Knew locals opposed its flagship park – but hid this from funders

Rangers employed by the WWF have been brutally attacking the Baka people, who live in the Messok Dja rainforest in the Congo, to make way for a national park. Background report and petition.

 

Recommended Content

A group of seven-year-olds talk about their future birthdays’ – Made by an XR member and really quite good (facebook page here) – Douglas

Useful research on this twitter account, looking at mentions of climate change on the BBC website day by day. Spoiler: it’s pitiful / criminal

Excellent, wide-ranging interview with Indian scholar, physicist and environmental activist Vandana Shiva by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now

There’s an interesting critique of the FAO’s estimate that livestock farming accounts for 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions by Simon Fairlie in the latest Land Magazine. It hinges on the difference between carbon dioxide and methane and how they behave in the atmosphere: methane has a ‘half life’ of around ten years whereas CO2 stays in the atmosphere for hundreds of years, leading to a cumulative, long-lasting effect. The FAO fails to take this into account, basing its calculations on the assumption that methane has a ‘Global Warming Potential’ 34 times stronger than CO2. (I should note that the 51% figure popularised by the film Cowspiracy has also been thoroughly debunked, partly for the same reasons.) Fairlie doesn’t view livestock agriculture as totally ‘guilt-free’, but he objects to the ‘calumny’ of disproportionate blame especially when this is directed towards small-scale or subsistence farmers who still provide at least 53% of the global food supply.

Regenerative Culture / Good News Stories

Wild carnivores stage a comeback in Britain

‘Once-endangered carnivorous mammals such as otters, polecats and pine martens have staged a remarkable comeback in Britain in recent decades. [W]ith the exception of wildcats the status of Britain’s native mammalian carnivores (badger, fox, otter, pine marten, polecat, stoat and weasel) has “markedly improved” since the 1960s. The species have largely “done it for themselves” – recovering once harmful human activities had been stopped or reduced’

Video from the Devon Wildlife Trust: beaver completing her lodge after seven hours’ work

In related good news beavers have been granted protected status by the government of Scotland.

Thank you

Thank you for reading this, our 15th newsletter. There’s so much exciting stuff going on that we barely have time to write this sign-off. Keep up the good work! If you have any questions or queries, please get in touch at xr-newsletter@protonmail.com.

This newsletter was written collaboratively by a hivemind of 12 rebels.

As we enter this crucial and potentially final phase in human history, our Rebellion will need money to make sure our message is heard. Anything you can give is appreciated. Please visit our Fundrazr page.

Alternatively, 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.

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