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).

Newsletter #14 – Going Global

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Welcome to the 14th Extinction Rebellion Newsletter!

In the global north, spring is almost here – but Extinction Rebellion is blooming in both hemispheres, bringing our ideas and energy to minds and streets around the world.

In time for the new season, we’ve publicly released our strategy for the coming months – you can read it here. Branching out from the main strategy is a specific actions overview, from which in turn has branched an actions how-to guide which will help empower people all over the world to organise their own rebellions against our criminally complacent systems.

Speaking of guidance, the snowballing Earth March has also released a guide to help rebels everywhere in joining or establishing a March near them.

And in case that isn’t enough preparation, the Spring Uprising festival, coming up on the 16th of March, will welcome rebels from across the UK (or even beyond!) to take part in a weekend of training, celebration and community. You can book tickets here.

 

But it’s not all preparation – in fact there’s been so much going on over the past few weeks that it’s been hard to keep up. Actions include XR launching in many new countries and cities, rebel teachers marching on the Department of Education in London, XR members blocking coal ports in Australia, and a week of rebellion across Canada.

More and more citizens across the globe are joining our movement and standing up to rebel for life; in celebration of this global solidarity, this week we’re giving special prominence to the actions of our fellow rebels all over the world.

 

We’re entering a pivotal moment in history – if you’d like to get involved, our volunteers page has just published an exciting new round of available roles which we’d really love to fill. 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.

Please help us improve the newsletter by telling us what you think about its current content, format and what are the most important things we should be including. Take the 4 minute survey.

 

Contents

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

International Highlights

South Africa – February 7, March 15 and 23

Rebels used South Africa’s recent state-of-the-nation address to raise awareness of Extinction Rebellion’s demands, by holding a mock parliament and making their own address to the nation. There’s an ongoing, dynamic discussion about how XR can best tackle South Africa’s unique challenges, and help people affected by climate breakdown.

As well as participating in the upcoming international actions, Extinction Rebellion South Africa has two upcoming events:

March 15 Co-hosting the Cape Town Climate Strike, in solidarity with school students.

March 23 Funeral for the earth events in Cape Town, Jo’burg, Durban and more.

Italy – February 10

Rebels performed a die-in at a Mall in Milan. It was a rainy Sunday afternoon so the mall was busy, and the protest garnered a lot of attention. You can watch Extinction Rebellion Italy’s beautifully produced video here.

Canada – February 10-17

An Extinction Rebellion week in Canada saw a variety of creative actions across the country. As well as road-blocks and die-ins, XR attempted to deliver 4180 dumpster-dived candy canes to a politician to highlight the problem of food waste, and used the occasion of Valentine’s day to invite people to write love letters to trees.

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Switzerland – February 12 and 23

Lausanne saw its first Extinction Rebellion action on February 12, when Rebels enacted a silent grieving in front of the city hall. This powerful demonstration asked arriving councillors to vote yes on a resolution that would declare a climate emergency, and prioritise measures to combat climate breakdown. The resolution was postponed but the Swiss rebels remain undeterred, declaring “the pressure on the government is only the beginning”.

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Meanwhile, in Zurich, on February 23, Rebels performed a series of die-ins in the city’s main shopping area. More than 25 participants simultaneously dropped to the ground and remained motionless for five minutes, while others spoke to people in the crowd. Despite some negative (though comical) comments such as “you should be at home making babies!”, the response was generally positive.

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Belgium – February 19

In a spectacular first action for their country, Rebels protested outside a high-level international climate conference in Brussels. Rebels challenged the attending world leaders to set more ambitious targets on the oceans and climate change; they also managed to infiltrate the conference and interrupt the opening speech by Prime Minister Charles Michel (you can see a video of that here and more coverage on their facebook page). Their protest received significant media coverage: see here, here, here, and here for a few examples (not in English).

Sweden – February 22

Teachers in Stockholm demonstrated in front of their Department of Education in solidarity with protesting UK teachers and pupils, demanding the declaration of a state of emergency and the prioritization of the climate crisis in education. Students must be taught the truth about the ongoing catastrophe, they insisted, and all student climate strikes must be permitted.

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Ireland – February 10

Extinction Rebellion Ireland, in coalition with other groups, held a die-in in Dublin on February 10, to protest a proposed gas terminal. This was covered in the media, including on page two of the Irish Independent, a prominent newspaper (picture shown here).

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The Irish Rebels have also been busy holding various meetings and community talks.

Germany – February 23

In Hamburg, Rebels held a ‘funeral’ march in memory of all of the species that have gone extinct due to human activity. It was the first action in Hamburg; Rebels found it to be a good chance to meet each other and plan for the future. This video gives good coverage of the event.

Czech Republic – February 26

Extinction Rebellion CZ had a high visibility action when they dropped a banner in Prague old town square, calling upon the City of Prague to declare a climate emergency. Bravo!
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Australia

Recently, having blocked a coal terminal in Australia for several days, protesters were greeted by a row of police at the gates to Abbot point, Adani. One protester had suspended himself on a giant tripod above the railway line that feeds key Adani infrastructures.

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Spain – March 1 and 5

Extinction Rebellion Spain University group, along with FridaysForFuture and Youth4Climate, held a sit-in at the Congress of Deputies in Madrid.

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Now, Rebels are inviting climate and ecocide protesters to join them on the March 5th at 7.30pm in Madrid. They plan to hold a ‘jam’ in the city centre and are inviting everyone to share their creative skills. This could involve music, dance, circus skills and art on the streets. For more information click here.

France – March 24

French working groups are busy preparing for the “Jour de Declaration de Rebellion” (JDR) on 24 March, which will mark the start of Extinction Rebellion action there. It will take place at 2pm at the Place de la Bourse, in Paris, and will urge the government to meet Extinction Rebellion’s demands. A declaration statement will go out as a press release on March 20. The event page is here.

Planning is already underway for follow-up civil disobedience locally and nationally, and Rebels are conducting training in non-violent direct action and discussing how best to respond to the questions of the media and individuals.

Recent Activity

London Rebels Disrupt International Petroleum Week

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On Wednesday 27th February, Extinction Rebels disrupted International Petroleum Week by blocking access to the hotel hosting an international gathering of fossil fuel companies, meeting to network and form new partnerships. Global finance’s cynical continuation of the status quo at the cost of life on this planet cannot continue unchecked, and we are supremely grateful to the brave Rebels who took action to disrupt the event and draw attention to the crimes of Big Oil. And despite the ideological clash, some delegates expressed support for Extinction Rebellion and took up the chanting inside.

Filmmaker Jack Harries was among nine arrested at the peaceful action, where activists glued themselves to the glass front doors of the hotel.

 

The Blue Wave, Glasgow

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On March 2nd people flooded into Glasgow dressed in blue and green to draw attention to the rising sea-levels and flooding caused by the changing climate. They came together to demand that Glasgow City Council join local authorities across the country in making a Declaration of Climate Emergency.

 

XR Media Briefing

On 25th February, Extinction Rebellion held its first mass press briefing at its new London offices. Attended by media from across the world, the briefing shared Extinction Rebellion’s plans for the months ahead in order to ensure maximum coverage of our upcoming actions. Please keep an eye on our Upcoming Activity section and the press section of the website to keep up to date with these developments.

 

Teachers March on Department of Education

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Friday 22nd of February teachers and students of all ages, supported by Extinction Rebellion, marched on the Department of Education in London to demand that climate and ecological emergency is made an educational priority. The protest came in the wake of  a letter signed by more than 200 academics in support of the Youth Strike 4 Climate. As it stands a student can go through the state education system and only hear climate change mentioned up to 10 out of approximately 10,000 lessons.

After some inspiring speeches from activists of all ages, teacher and Extinction Rebellion member Tim Jones spray-painted “Tell the Truth” outside the door of the Department. The peaceful act of protest was followed by a children’s sit-in outside the building, where they sang protest songs.

Speakers at the event included Professor David Humphreys (Open University), Dr Anne Andrews (Cambridge University) and Dr Alison Green, who recently stepped down from her Pro Vice-Chancellor role to focus on full-time climate activism and who authored the academic letter published last week.

 

Fashion Designer Clare Farrell Banned from London Fashion Week

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During the opening of London Fashion Week on Sunday 17th February, Extinction Rebellion began a day of disruption by swarming outside Victoria Beckham’s show at the Tate Britain.

Following the protest, Extinction Rebellion member, organiser and fashion designer, Clare Farrell was barred from entering London Fashion Week, even though she was a Product Developer for the event. A police officer approached Farrell in the queue for the show, addressing her by name and informing her that she would not be allowed to enter as they did not want anyone from Extinction Rebellion to attend.

 

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!

XR Canterbury

Extinction Rebellion campaigners held a mock funeral parade through Canterbury to raise awareness about climate change. At the end of the procession, the traffic was blocked near Westgate Towers, drawing praise as well as anger from drivers.

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XR Shrewsbury

XR Shrewsbury organised a climate march through the town centre on February the 16th, and it was so much better attended than we were expecting. It was a fabulous day!

Marlborough

Rebels in Marlborough have been spreading the message of emergency with leaflets, letters in bottles, and a banner right outside the town hall.

 

Halifax

On the 17th of February 150 rebels in Halifax, Canada, shut down multiple intersections – and then went on radio to talk about it. They’ve since disrupted a local legislature meeting.

 

Upcoming Activity

The Blood of our Children: an Act of Civil Disobedience, March 9th  

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Join our bloody but non-violent civil disobedience at a central London government location. The science is done. We are in a climate and ecological emergency. We’re sending our children into a future likely to involve mental breakdown, starvation, war and early death. There are no words to describe the horrors we risk if we do not make governments act immediately. So we all have a responsibility and duty to take action. Even if that means breaking the law.

So whatever your age, beliefs, or background, Extinction Rebellion is calling for you to come and pour (artificial) blood on the ground outside a key government location. We’ll make the gravity of the crisis viscerally clear and show that we’re prepared to make the sacrifice of our own freedom by being arrested. This is now what’s required. We also wish to apologise to the next generation for our complicity in bequeathing them the toxic legacy of climate and ecological breakdown.

The event page is here. Say you are “going” or “interested” on this page and we will message you with a full briefing. Please share and spread the word. If you have any questions, email us at boocxr@gmail.com.

 

Wales Rising Up: Carnival of Animals, March 9th

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Extinction Rebellion Wales will be taking over some central streets in Cardiff with a colourful eclectic carnival of insects, animals, and plant life.  People across Wales will come together to openly declare rebellion and to call on the Welsh Government to declare a Climate Emergency. There will be music, costumes, performance and more. Check out their Facebook page for more info.

 

XR Rig Rebellion – Edinburgh, March 8th

On Friday 8th of March, the Scottish Oil Club, an exclusive body representing the international oil and gas industry, will hold their annual celebratory dinner at the National Museum of Scotland.

A major driver of the climate emergency, the fossil fuel industry should not be celebrated, and definitely not on International Women’s Day! Women across the globe are on the front line of facing climate chaos, while rarely being the drivers of it.

Extinction Rebellion Scotland will protest this event through a dance-demonstration, driven by love, music and compassion. We’ll be dancing, singing, speaking and sharing – bring music, instruments, and your dancing feet!

Facebook event here.

 

Second UK-Wide Youth Strike – March 15th

Last month saw 10,000 young people across the UK rising up and demanding change, as part of the Global Youth Strike. Their voices caught national media and political attention. Unfortunately, the Government hasn’t received the message yet, as No.10 tweeted that it was a “waste of lesson time”. Together, we can show that that the inaction of political leaders for the past 30 years is much worse, as Greta rightfully pointed out. Join your local strike next Friday, found out more here.

 

Spring Uprising – Festival – March 16th

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WINTER IS OVER, WAKE UP – THERE’S A REBELLION ON

LET’S GET TOGETHER, CELEBRATE XR, GET TRAINED, GET ORGANISED

AND HAVE A DAMN GOOD TIME DOING IT

The weekend of 16/17 March in Bristol, Extinction Rebellion will put on its first ever festival of rebellion, activism and music – dubbed ‘Spring Uprising’ – at which up to 1,000 people at a time will be trained in peaceful non-violent civil disobedience.

Bringing together an unprecedented gathering of people from different backgrounds for nonviolent direct action workshops, music and art, the festival to be held in Bristol’s Motion venue (74-78 Avon Street, Bristol, BS2 0PX) is part of Extinction Rebellion’s planning for what is expected to be one of the largest non-violent civil disobedience acts in decades – International Rebellion beginning 15 April 2019.

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 over a dozen musical acts have so far been confirmed.

Don’t miss it!

See the website for details – and bookings!

Facebook event-page here.

 

Announcements

 

Legal – Arrest Watch

Extinction Rebels are getting arrested all over the country at a speed that makes it impossible to train up new legal observers fast enough. So what to do?

The XR Legal working group has designed a training to skill up a new team for your local group: The Arrest Watch! Those who do an arrest watch training are not fully trained legal observers. Instead, they know of the whole arrestee support system, from pre-action day preparation to solidarity at the court, and make sure that no arrest goes unwatched.

The Arrest Watch training is intended to prepare you to support fellow rebels by:

– watching and reporting arrests at the time of the action

– answering the arrest phone in a back office

– making sure that no rebel has to go to court on their own

– setting up a legal team in your local XR group

We want to enable every local XR group to set up their own Arrest Watch Team for their actions. So even if you can’t get hold of a legal  observer, you still have a system in place to support your arrestees as best as you can.

Please send 1-2 representative(s) from your local XR group down to the arrest watch training on Saturday, 23rd March, from 10am-3pm.

 

Affinity Groups

NVDA trainings are steaming ahead and Affinity Groups are popping up all over.  Our network is growing so fast! If there are any Affinity Groups out there, who haven’t had a call from a member of the Affinity Group Support Team, please do get in touch with us at xrgroupsnetwork@gmail.com

 

Culture Group

‘Bringing Extinction Rebellion to Arts and Culture’ is a group that will mobilise the power of art and artists for International Rebellion

This group is calling together artists – music, theatre, dance, circus and every other imaginable art – to raise the Rebellion and engage people in a way that protest and actions alone cannot. Ideas are snowballing. Guerrilla arts events to generate a buzz in the weeks up to 15th April – musical flashmobs, poetry slams, and more. Here’s just some of the projects bursting into life…. if you are an artist/arts worker and would like to join this group, get in touch via email to lola@lolaperr.in  We meet on Thursday evenings in the XR London office.

The Silence Ends – an emotive mass spoken chorus with music taken up by multiple groups.

Street Explosion – an explosion of pop-up and street theatre across London featuring new works by famous writers.

Play Piano for International Rebellion – Pianists outdoors in a prominent London street; watch the film.

Sound the rebellion!!! – Flashmobs gather to make a lot of noise and fill the air with sound and fury in the days running up to the 15th.

Sounding Twelve Years – Groups of hand-bell ringers and metal clangers sound the warning knell in locations all over London, ringing out the 12 years we have left.

Moments of power and beauty. Poets and musicians drift into numerous place and engage people with their own personal brief moments of power and beauty to remind people what a precious world we may lose.

And there’s plenty more…  Come and join us and help us make the Rebellion a creative force!

 

Earth March

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The idea of the Earth March is spreading fast, with over 700 people already involved in planning marches from all over the UK. To make things easier, we’ve written a guide which we’ll be progressively filling with tips and advice – organisation, logistics, press, and plenty more. The first march leaves from Land’s End on the 11th of March – once this has started, we’ll be able to write up the lessons we learn onto this guide.

If you’d like to get involved in Earth March but don’t know if it’s feasible, don’t worry! For those already in living in London, and for those a long way a way, we’ll be encouraging all XR UK members to join the last leg of the March as Earth Marchers enter London in time for the International Rebellion. Stay tuned for details on when and where as we get closer to April and London.

If you’re outside the UK and are interested in setting up an Earth March in your own country, please email earthmarch@protonmail.com for support.

 

Flyposting in London

See what fly-posting and leafleting is on in London over the coming days here. Any questions email xrflyeringlondon@gmail.com

If you’re not in London but would like advice on starting up your own fly-posting scene, please contact the same address.

 

Zero Hour – Young People’s Brief

Zero Hour is a US-based movement aiming to give greater prominence to young voices in the conversation on climate change; we’re filing an Amicus Brief for the Juliana v. United States Lawsuit and we are hoping to get 100,000 young people to sign their names onto it showing their support.

In 2015, 21 young people became plaintiffs in a case against the U.S. government. They filed the Constitutional climate lawsuit called Juliana v. United States. These 21 young men and women sued the government demanding action against climate change.

Zero Hour will file the Young People’s Brief with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals so that the Juliana Plaintiffs will be heard.

The Juliana Plaintiffs want to hold the US government accountable. The young people believe that the government’s affirmative action has violated the youngest generation’s constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property, while also failing to protect essential public trust resources.

We are launching a planetwide drive to get thousands of young people to add their names to a Young People’s Brief in support of the Juliana Plaintiffs. Over 25,000 people have signed their name so far.

Add your name to the brief here to be a part of history!

 

XR Seniors

A new group has been launched for XR seniors – for more information, please contact xr.seniors@gmail.com.

 

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

According to a new report commissioned by Care International, the majority of humanitarian crises in the last year were caused by extreme weather. During 2018, as a result of extreme weather conditions, worldwide 5000 lives were lost and 29 million people were left in need of humanitarian aid and emergency assistance.

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Areas of the UK experienced the hottest February day. The Met Office recorded temperatures of 20.8°C at Porthmadog in Wales, 21.2°C at Kew Gardens in England and 18.3°C at Aboyne in Scotland. The new figures are the warmest on record for the UK at this time of year.

Australia’s summer smashes seasonal heat records – ‘Australia has posted its hottest summer and the first season in which temperatures exceeded two degrees above the long-term averages, according to the Bureau of Meteorology’ (no mention of climate change by the Sydney Morning Herald)

Apocalyptic scenes as Saddleworth Moor burns.

 

Latest News and Data

 

Cuadrilla loses planning appeal for second UK site

The Government has recently refused Cuadrilla’s application to open a second fracking site in Lancashire. This follows the company’s admission that commercial fracking is impossible in the UK unless rules on minor earthquakes are relaxed. The government has shown no interest in changing the regulations previously agreed upon by the fracking industry. We are extremely grateful to all those on the frontline of anti-fracking campaigns all over the country that have banjaxed the possibility of active fracking in the UK.

‘We need more bullets’

Shocking losses to wildlife and livestock in Queensland, Australia after seven years of drought are interrupted by freezing winds and ‘three years worth of rain in 10 days’. News.com report with upsetting images and no mention of climate change here.

“Disaster” as Indian Supreme Court orders eviction of “8 million” tribespeople

Survival International Director Stephen Corry: ‘This judgement is a death sentence for millions of tribal people in India, land theft on an epic scale, and a monumental injustice […] it will do nothing to save the forests which these tribespeople have protected for generations.’

Drax Can’t Grow Trees Fast Enough — Biomass is Not a Climate Solution

‘Drax often makes the misleading claim that they save over 80 percent of carbon emissions compared to coal. This is far from the truth, because it is not counting the emissions from combustion, which are 3 percent higher than burning coal’

New evidence linking mass strandings of beaked whales to military sonar

‘Scientists have long known that some beaked whales beach themselves and die in agony after exposure to naval sonar, and now they know why: the giant sea mammals suffer decompression sickness, just like scuba divers.’

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One of the wildest parts of Britain is under threat

Coul Links dunes, heath and wetlands on the Sutherland coast at risk from ‘high impact’ golf course development, compromising its ecological integrity.

Record-level earthquake in Newdigate, Surrey – calls for reopening of inquiry into links to oil industry

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First debate about global warming in the houses of parliament for two years. Heartwarming to see how much our elected representatives care about our future and that of the living world! h/t Andrew Harmer

Recommended Content

This is a really interesting graphic from the New York Times, showing what would happen to US CO2 emissions if they were to adopt seven ambitious climate change policies from around the world.

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New research on clouds, indicating that atmospheric CO2 concentrations of around 1200ppm can cause them to break up and lead to a dramatic tipping point where they no longer provide a cooling effect by shading the surface and reflecting heat back into space, leading to excess warming of up to 8°C. This might explain why earlier periods of rapid warming such as during the Eocene were much hotter than models otherwise would suggest. Not a cause for immediate concern at the current 410ppm, but a nightmare possibility if the dominant culture were to ‘massively expand coal use and eschew any climate mitigation’ until 2100. Longer report here – Ian

 

Victory For The Chagos Islanders as the International Court of Justice rules that the UK is ‘under an obligation to bring an end to its administration of the Chagos Archipelago as rapidly as possible’. The UK foreign office is regarding it as ‘an advisory opinion, not a judgment’, and brazenly insists that the US military base on Diego Garcia is necessary ‘to protect people here in Britain and around the world from terrorist threats, organised crime and piracy’ (have they looked in the mirror lately?) This continues its longstanding policy of seeking any means to deny justice to the Chagossians, from antiquated Royal Prerogatives to a marine reserve deliberately designed to ‘prevent the resettlement’ of ‘Man Fridays’ on the islands. This was a cynical move to play environmentalists off against human rights supporters, because ‘the UK environmental lobby is far more powerful than the Chagossians’ advocates’ according to confidential cables published by Wikileaks in 2010. John Pilger (see opening link) and historian Mark Curtis are well worth checking out on this shameful story. Former diplomat Craig Murray will be commenting in depth on the ICJ judgement shortly but has this to say for now. Hopefully the Chagossians are now a step closer to establishing their right to return to the islands they were expelled from just over 50 years ago. – Ian

 

Regenerative Culture / Good News Stories

 

Following a speech by Greta Thunberg at the plenary session of the European Economic and Social Committee in Brussels, the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker has pledged that a quarter of the EU’s budget will now go towards tackling Climate Change.

Wild Justice is a new organisation set up to take legal cases on behalf of wildlife against public bodies where they are failing to protect species and/or habitats. Wild Justice is working with legal teams in England and Scotland. Legal action will be funded by public donations and crowdfunding appeals. One of the founders, broadcaster and wildlife campaigner Chris Packham said ‘Wild. Justice. Because the wild needs justice more than ever before.’

Clothing firm Patagonia has made an additional $10 million in profits since President Trump slashed corporate tax rates in the US from 35% to 21% last year. But instead of ploughing these profits back into the business, the company has just announced it will be giving the money away to grassroots campaigns to fight against climate change.

 


 

Thank you for reading this, our 14th 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).

 

Newsletter #13 – Back in Action

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Welcome to the 13th Extinction Rebellion newsletter!

Extinction Rebellion is back on the streets. Months of preparations are now bearing fruit, with actions in Britain’s major cities and all over the world.

 

But April’s International Rebellion takes us into the countryside too. On April 15th, our March For Life will see rebels walking across the fields and the hills to take a stand against climate inaction, while before that we’ll be re-connecting with nature and each other at the Spring Uprising festival on March the 16th. But we’re also mobilising in cyberspace: this new Facebook group gives us a collective voice – one that can’t be ignored – to demand that the BBC gives the ecological crisis every moment of attention it deserves. And the design for a new window-poster (best printed on coloured paper) means our rebellion will be brewing not just on the streets, but above them!

There’s a lot more to come, and not just from us: on Friday the 15th, the globe-spanning Youth Strike made a phenomenal start in the UK, with 10,000 children across 60 towns showing adults how it’s done. With growing momentum for an American Green New Deal, and major NGOs shifting to support civil disobedience, it’s clear that we’re part of a rapidly rising tide of protest.

 

It’s time for a turning-point. The next few months could be a crucial moment in human and ecological history. To join the momentum, please see our volunteers page for available roles or 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

 

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

 

Recent Activity

 

First National Youth Strike for Climate – February 15th

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On Friday 15th over 15,000 children left school to take part in the UK’s first Youth Strike for Climate. In more than 60 towns and cities, children gathered with teachers and parents to demand that the government take action on the ecological emergency.

In London, the turnout far exceeded organisers’ expectations with thousands of children gathering to block traffic in Parliament Square, on Westminster Bridge and outside Downing Street. The deployment of police horses did nothing to dampen the jubilant spirits. And nor could the helicopters drown out the children’s calls for justice.

Bing Jones, a member of XR, was in Sheffield: “300 to 400 kids turned up. We provided a PA system and a focus and I spent 2 and a half hours doing nothing but guiding kids to come forward and speak: say your name and school and off they went. They spent an average of about a minute each. They were articulate and informed and electric. It was one of the best days of my life. We had more than 100 speakers, cheered every time. Only a handful of adults spoke. Electric.”

Given the day’s success, it’s likely that the next strike on the 15th of March – planned as both national and global – will be many times bigger. In the meantime, XR and Youth Strike will be co-hosting an event outside London’s Department of Education (see below for more.)

See here for a debate on the strikes with XR spokesperson Clare Farrell; see here for Youth Strike organiser Anna Taylor on BBC Newsnight

 

Day of Regional Rebellion – February 16th

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On Saturday, hundreds of rebels across the UK united to let those in power know that our numbers are growing, as is our willingness to act. In Bristol, hundreds united in shutting down the city centre with a street party, using dance and song to pressure the local council into greater action on the ecological emergency. In Cardiff, over a hundred rebels gathered to sing and speak to the public, gathering signatures to provide a big boost to their petition to the Welsh government. Over a hundred rebels in Cornwall blocked roads and marched in a funeral procession through the streets of Looe in honour of coastal communities. There was an eleven-minute silence, as well as speeches, poems and songs. Even more actions took place in Nottingham, Brighton and Gloucester.

 

Swarming Fashion Week – February 17th

 

The fashion industry is unquestionably one of the world’s most powerful and polluting industries. So on Sunday 17th February rebels disrupted the opening of London Fashion Week’s by swarming the streets outside key venues and calling on fashion to wake up to the climate and ecological crisis, and to use its influence to help create a just and sustainable world.

In mourning for the daily extinction of hundreds of species and the human lives lost as a result of the natural world’s collapse, rebels dressed as though for a glamorous funeral. We were joined by some of the catwalk models who posed in front of our banners, and the disruption was filmed by international TV channels and featured in the national press – including the fashion industry’s flagship magazine, Vogue.

 

Local Actions

 

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On Saturday 9th February, XR London rebels held a peaceful street party and blocked the road outside Dalston Kingsland station in Hackney. This was the first of a number of creative roadblocks planned in the build up to International Rebellion Week starting 15th April. Activists enjoyed a sunny day filled with great speakers, friendly discussion, delicious vegan food – provided by the Turkish Gözleme stall in Ridley Road Market – and a jam-packed schedule of music and spoken word poetry. The event was MC’d by Marv Radio and saw spoken word from Dizreali and Earthman Bob, live music from All Things Mata and Zantagola and Samba provided throughout by the Baque de Axé Drummers. Hackney local DJ Dgo opened and closed the event with Reggae, Roots, and Dub.

Amongst all the music was an array of amazing speakers promoting local causes. Sam Smithson from Sustainable Hackney brought their campaign for Hackney city council to declare a climate emergency to the crowd’s attention. Only 200 signatures are needed for this to be discussed in an official forum so please sign here. Other speakers included Janie Mac from the Refugee Community Kitchen, Bettina Maidment for Plastic Free Hackney and Katie Hodgetts from the UK Youth Climate Coalition. Pastor Dave from Victory Outreach also spoke for his campaign, ‘Stop the Violence London’ to bring people out of a life involving gun and knife crime, and promote Non-Violence.

The aim of the day was to create an open and positive atmosphere of light hearted, non-violent action, with discussion centred around environmental issues. The community-building action saw activists interacting with passersby throughout the day, discussing the movement and the growing threat from climate change locally and across the globe.

Thank you to everyone who came along and helped make this day a success.

See video coverage here

 

Norwich

Monday 11th February XR Norwich shut down the Norfolk County Council budget meeting for 4 hours. The local XR group had previously asked both Norwich City and Norfolk County councils to declare a #ClimateEmergency. They also demanded the council drop its plans to spend £200m on building a carbon-guzzling road through a special area of conservation (SAC) with SSSIs and wildlife sites. The group had been juxtaposing and linking the two issues – you can’t declare a Climate Emergency and continue high-carbon, economic growth system, vanity projects.

Twenty-five Rebels entered the Council Chamber and stayed there until the police intervened: four were arrested for refusing to leave the chamber. The action was covered by both regional BBC and ITV, with Rupert Read appearing for a face to face interview  on the late evening BBC news.

This powerful action testifies to the continuing evolution of the movement around the country at a grassroots, local level.

 

Glue-ons in Stroud

Stroud Rebels followed Norwich’s lead on the 13th February, disrupting a Gloucestershire County Council budget meeting with singing and chanting in the public gallery: two Rebels glued themselves to their seats, demanding “the council’s budget acknowledges climate change.”

While the Rebels continued to call out the Council’s criminal negligence for failing to take any action in the face of impending climate and ecological collapse, the meeting was adjourned and the police called in.

The more we in XR are willing to take such actions holding local leaders to account, the more powerfully our message will hit home, forcing those in power to re-assess their priorities and put the climate where it belongs: at the top of the agenda.

Article here

 

Oxford Roadblock

Rebels in Oxford blocked a road earlier this month – then eloquently explained why with this article in the Oxford Times

 

Local contributions

 

Decentralisation is a central part of XR’s ethos, and this applies geographically too. 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, whatever the country, and if you’ve got a story to share, please email xr-newsletter@protonmail.com with ‘Story Contribution’ in the headline.

 

Upcoming Activity

 

Climate Truth for Schools – DfE, February 22nd

The National Curriculum is failing to inform young people about Climate Change, yet it is today’s schoolchildren who will be left holding the can. For this reason XR will be following up on the Youth Strike of 15 February by protesting at the Department for Education on Friday 22nd February. Please print and sign a copy of the letter with our demands, and if you have young children, stamp it with their hand prints and post it to Department for Education, 20 Great Smith St, Westminster, London, SW1P 3BT. Please share as widely as possible and tell your friends to share too. And join us on Friday 22nd (12pm at Old Palace Yard by Westminster Abbey and then on to the Dept for Education). Thank you. For more details and updates see our FB page: https://www.facebook.com/events/289249745087770/

 

The Blood of our Children: an Act of Civil Disobedience, March 9th  

Join our bloody but non-violent civil disobedience at a central London government location. The science is done. We are in a climate and ecological emergency. We’re on course to send our children to an early death likely to involve mental breakdown, starvation and war. There are no words to describe the horrors we risk if we do not make governments act immediately. Every parent, every adult, everyone has a responsibility and duty to take action. Even if that means breaking the law.

So whatever your age, beliefs, or background, Extinction Rebellion is calling for you to come and pour (artificial) blood on the ground outside a key government location. We’ll make the gravity of the crisis viscerally clear and show that we’re prepared to make the sacrifice of our own freedom by being arrested. This is now what’s required. We also wish to apologise to the next generation for our complicity in this the greatest of all crimes – to leave a legacy of hell. A future defined by the climate and ecological breakdown.

The event page is here. Say you are “going” or “interested” on this page and we will message you with a full briefing. Please share and spread the word. If you have any questions, email us at boocxr@gmail.com.

 

Spring Uprising – Festival – March 16th

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WINTER IS OVER, WAKE UP – THERE’S A REBELLION ON

LET’S GET TOGETHER, CELEBRATE XR, GET TRAINED, GET ORGANISED

AND HAVE A DAMN GOOD TIME DOING IT

So we are throwing a 3000-person Indoor XR festival!

Set to feature music, talks, political discussions, art workshops, trainings, and much much more – the Spring Uprising will be the perfect preparation for our coming Rebellion

See the website for details – and bookings!

Facebook event-page here

 

International Highlights

 

France

Not only was the weekend of 24th/25th January an important one for action in the US (see newsletter 12) but in France, in a day of action organised by various French environmental groups, more than 140,000 people took to the streets in no less than 120 cities. In Perpignan there were marches, assemblies, human chains, flashmobs, die-ins and non-violent actions.

In the Place de la République, Paris, 8500 people gathered for an ‘agora’ (public political meeting). Brest was the scene of a human chain, and Orleans of a die-in. In Lyon, 5000 people mobilized to denounce air pollution. In Dijon, 1200 people found themselves in front of the town hall hands painted in red to symbolize the climate emergency. Read more (in French) here.

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Canada

XR Canada are organising a Rebellion Week, to run from February 10 to 17, from Vancouver to New Brunswick. Organisers are urging rebels to join their local groups and organise their own actions (following, of course, the spirit of XR). There will be a die-in followed by road blockages in Halifax, Nova Scotia on Saturday 16th, and the Forest Protectors are on stand-by in Lockeporte for snap action against clear-cutting of the forest. Rebels can also join the women’s rally for missing and murdered women which traditionally takes place across Canada on Valentine’s Day, but are asked to carry out any actions at a different time to these rallies. For more details see https://www.facebook.com/events/237959086954537/

 

Australia

There will be a Melbourne Central Extinction Rebellion ‘Die In’ on 04 March, 2019 at 12:00 PM.This will be a peaceful demonstration at the Melbourne Central Shopping Centre.  We will assemble at the State Library for a briefing on the action, before proceeding across the road to carry out the action. The action will involve people symbolically ‘dying’ in the shopping centre. RSVP: https://actionnetwork.org/events/melbourne-central-die-in/ Share with your friends on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/376149109874462/

 

Announcements

 

March for Life

Still thinking of travel plans for April 15? How about walking?

The Extinction Rebellion March For Life will see XR branches setting off from all across the UK, joining up with other groups on the way, and arriving in London with minds full of the nature we seek to protect. This could be a once-in-a-lifetime experience: a chance to spend time outside, to get to know your fellow rebels before shutting down London together, and to receive extra training en route. It’ll also save money – and emissions – on coaches!

If you aren’t up to walking all the way to London, there are still loads of ways you can help: offering accommodation/facilities, food and drink, publicity, or logistical support, at your location or in London.

 

Land Respite

The Land and Respite Working Group seeks more Open Homes hosts from around the country. We especially seek hosts along the routes of the planned marches to London beginning in March, and also clustered within a 30 mile radius of London, as more hosts will be required when more citizens join the marches towards London. Additionally we are building a ‘city support belt’ of land-based projects circling London which initially will serve the function of gathering, grounding and respite. These could include land squats as well as privately owned projects. Please get in touch if you know of such projects, especially to the north and west of the city. For Open Homes hosts and city support belt write to xr-landandrespite@protonmail.com

 

Talks and Trainings in your area

Looking to bring the Rebellion to your local area? Fill in this form, and we’ll provide you with all the resources you need!

 

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

 

Arts – print your own window posters!

Beautify your window and get your neighbours to rebel in April with this new window-poster! For best results, print on coloured paper.

 

Legal – expenses

Dear Local and Affinity Groups,

Ahead of actions please make sure that Rebels who might get arrested have enough personal finances to cover travel to court in the event that they are charged. You may wish to ensure these financial resources by fundraising as a group so that the ones who are putting themselves on the line can feel safe that their court travel costs are covered and will be able to defend themselves in court. Also, please keep in mind that if your Rebels are arrested away from your local area they will need to travel to where they were arrested at least 2-3 times to attend hearings and court dates.

Central XR Finances don’t pay for court travel costs. XR Legal Support has a small hardship fund for court travel costs. Please contact xr-legal@riseup.net.

 

Finance – correction

We need to correct an item in our last newsletter: XR at a UK national level does not make a commitment to pay for arrestee support because: a) local fundraising is a way to share our information and garner support, b) we are concerned that this cost could grow beyond what we can cope with, c) there are currently insufficient funds. We are investigating the possibility of a hardship fund. We can offer support to help groups get crowd fundraisers off the ground locally- they were written about here some time ago. In exceptional cases of financial hardship, XR Legal supports rebels to pay for their travel to court (xr-legal@riseup.net).

 

Extreme Weather

 

Bushfires in Tasmania

At least 173 hectares, or 2.5% of Tasmania’s world heritage forests have burnt in a crisis which has overwhelmed Tasmania’s firefighting capacity. Matthew Newtown travelled into the exclusion zone alongside the Tasmanian fire service. View his photographs here.  (Tasmanian Richard Flanagan has written a moving piece about these fires “Tasmania is burning. The climate disaster future has arrived while those in power laugh at us”.)

 

Thousands of homes flooded in Queensland

Yet another “one in one hundred years” event, as days of torrential rain has saturated Townsville and parts of north Queensland and over a thousand residents were evacuated. See the early reports from ABC here and the Guardian here. In the aftermath, hundreds of thousands of cows and other livestock have been found dead.

 

World’s Driest Desert Floods as Extreme Weather Hits Chile

‘Rains high up in the Andes mountains have led to torrents of water pouring into the Atacama desert below, sweeping away houses and roads. […] heavy rains devastated the country’s El Loa province. Flooding caused six deaths and destroyed nearly 100 homes […] The disasters are part of a pattern of increasingly extreme weather in the country’ – Bloomberg report

 

Latest News and Data

 

Plants and soil absorb less carbon dioxide under a warming climate

We all have an image of the Earth becoming more lush as carbon dioxide levels rise. However, worryingly, a study recently published in ‘Nature’ suggests the opposite. Researchers found that under a warming climate, rather than absorbing more greenhouse gas emissions, plants and soil may start absorbing less, accelerating the rate of change.

 

Cause of the ‘Little Ice Age’

 

A study by UCL scientists just published in Quaternary Science Reviews presents the case that the ‘Little Ice Age’ of the 16th century was in part caused by the mass killing (mostly by disease) of native Americans, leading to substantial forest regrowth and absorption of CO2. CO2 in the atmosphere declined by about 7-10ppm over the century, lowering temperatures globally around 0.15C. The article is “Earth system impacts of the European arrival and Great Dying in the Americas after 1492” by Koch, et al. (forthcoming in March, 2019); a popular (and free) rendition of the content is available via CNN.

Another remarkable example of this effect was the forest regrowth after the Mongol invasions of Asia and Eastern Europe in the 13th and 14th centuries which ‘stockpiled nearly 700 million tons of carbon absorbed from the atmosphere. This is equivalent to the world’s total annual demand for gasoline today.’

 

Insect Apocalypse

 

In case anyone has missed it, a recent study in Biological Conservation suggests insect populations are collapsing around the world. The rate of extinction is eight times faster than that of mammals, birds and reptiles, and could lead to an insect-free world within 100 years, leading to a nearly complete ecosystem collapse. The Guardian’s report gives a good overview. (On a tangential, but important, point, a new study has found evidence that an organic diet will quickly and substantially reduce the amount of pesticides in your body.)

 

Pressure on fast-food chains

 

Agricultural emissions, including those from meat and dairy, are on track to contribute around 70% of the total allowable greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 that would the keep rise in the world’s temperature under 2C this century.

In a letter to major fast-food chains, a coalition of investors are calling on the firms, which include McDonalds and KFC, to put in place clear requirements for suppliers of animal proteins to report and reduce their greenhouse gases and their freshwater impacts.

 

Will this lawsuit bring down ExxonMobil’s culture of climate deception?

This article written by the Union of Concerned Scientists highlights how for many years ExxonMobil has lied about its support for climate change denier groups. Not only that, but the company has been deceiving its investors, falsely assuring them that its oil and gas reserves would not become unusable for economic reasons. The New York Attorney General has now filed an important fraud lawsuit against the company.

 

A third of Himalayan icecap doomed

 

Campaigners call for transport overhaul to tackle pollution

In this article in The Guardian the campaign group Friends of the Earth has called for an increase in public transport investment in the UK to combat emissions from cars.


Gigantic Cavity in Antarctica Glacier Is a Product of Rapid Melting, Study Finds

‘The cavity is about two-thirds the area of Manhattan and nearly 1,000 feet tall, according to a study released Wednesday by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The hulking chamber is large enough to have contained about 14 billion tons of ice — most of which the researchers say melted in three years.’

Thousands of birds at risk as wetland is threatened by overexploitation

‘Doñana National Park, in Spain, is a crucial stopover point for thousands of migrating birds. However, over-intensive irrigation is threatening these valuable wetlands.’

Lemurs in Crisis: 105 Species Now Threatened with Extinction

‘At least 95 percent of Madagascar’s beloved primates are now at risk, conservationists warn.’

Campaigners accuse Redbridge Council of breaking promise to protect wildlife from lorry through road

‘Redbridge Council has backtracked on its pledge to save birds, badgers and other protected species from a road that threatens to tear through a woodland strip of Fairlop Waters Country Park, campaigners say.’

Endangered sharks being served up in British fish and chip shops, study reveals

‘Hammerhead sharks and dogfish were among the vulnerable varieties on offer in British outlets. Scientists found 90 per cent of products sold as huss, rock salmon and rock eel at chip shops were in fact the globally threatened spiny dogfish.’

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Dozens of hungry polar bears have found their way to a remote Russian island in search of food. The polar bears have been feeding off rubbish in a local dump and even walking in to houses, causing a state of emergency to be declared. Experts have been deployed to sedate and remove the bears. Shooting them is prohibited by law. Officials warn, however, that a cull may be necessary to ensure the safety of the local population, if attempts to remove the animals fail.

 

Recommended Content

 

We have heard a lot about food insecurity in the UK relating to brexit and supply chains from Europe but climate change is a much bigger threat to our food supply system. This blog post from Wicked Leeks details a report and campaign from Climate Coalition regarding how climate change is impacting agriculture in the UK.

-Matthew L.

 

Another nail in the coffin of the fracking industry’s claim to be cleaner than coal: ‘New NASA Study Solves Climate Mystery, Confirms Methane Spike Tied to Oil and Gas’. Interestingly, they find that global fires and their corresponding emissions have been at a historic low, burning ‘roughly 12 percent less acreage during 2007 to 2014, compared to the prior roughly half-dozen years’, apparently due to more effective fire suppression. Meanwhile, methane emissions from the oil & gas industry have increased substantially, accounting for 68% of the 25 teragrams added to the atmosphere every year since 2006. This increase ‘correlates closely with the U.S. fracking boom […] Leaking and venting of unburned gas — which is mostly methane — makes natural gas even worse for the climate than coal.’ – Ian

 

A good talk & booklet by Jane Morton, bringing insights from her profession of clinical psychology to how we talk about climate change. She argues that public messaging should move on from only using dry, conservative scientific findings and not be afraid of tapping into emotional responses which have a deep, fundamental role to play in decision-making. Basically, we shouldn’t shy away from describing this as an emergency, articulating the fears many feel already by telling the full truth, and using this to spur collective political action. – Ian

 

Some signs of a gradual breakthrough in honest reporting: Why it’s time to panic about climate change – an honest report from The Scotsman, and This is a crisis: Facing up to the age of environmental breakdown – a paper published by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) – Jon

 

Five maps that reveal the world’s remaining wilderness – some excellent visuals here showing the global impacts of the dominant culture on wild ecosystems. By their reckoning ‘just 23% of the planet’s land surface (excluding Antarctica) and 13% of the ocean can now be classified as wilderness, representing nearly a 10% decline over the last 20 years.’ Furthermore: ‘Between 1993 and 2009, an area of terrestrial wilderness larger than India — a staggering 3.3 million square kilometres — was lost to human settlement, farming, mining and other pressures.’ For me it shows the importance not only of conserving the remaining areas and stopping further destruction, but also the huge scale of work needed to repair the damage that has been done and the challenges of reintegrating human beings into that rewilding effort. – Ian

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Regenerative Culture / Good News Stories

 

Baby tortoises spotted

After more than a century without a single baby tortoise sighting on the Galapagos island of Pinzón, a small group has been spotted. It is hoped that these youngsters may help to pull the critically endangered species back from the brink of extinction. More details here.

 

New Rewilding Project in Australia

Inspired by rewilding projects around the world, especially in the Yellowstone National Park, an ambitious project on the Yorke Peninsula in South Australia will attempt to restore a small pocket of Australia to its former ecological glory.

In total, about 27 of 29 mammal species are believed to have disappeared from the peninsula, including keystone species which help shape the ecosystem.

In Australia, the rewilding movement is steadily gaining momentum with groups like Rewilding Australia advocating for the reintroduction of Tasmanian devils to the mainland. Research suggests that introducing devils to the mainland could help knock cats and foxes off the top-predator pedestal in places where dingoes are culled or are in low numbers.

It is hoped that re-establishing ecosystem structures will be key to curbing Australia’s alarming extinction rate.

 

Pope Francis offered $1m charity donation to go vegan for Lent

This article in The Guardian details how the vegan campaign ‘Million Dollar Vegan’ has offered to donate money to charity if Pope Francis goes vegan for lent, the 40 day period leading up to Easter in which many christians practice fasting or abstain from types of food such as meat or sweets. The pope is known for his stance on climate change through statements such as:

“Climate change is a global problem with grave implications: environmental, social, economic [and] political,” he said in his 2015 encyclical. He also told the UN in the same year: “The ecological crisis, and the large-scale destruction of biodiversity, can threaten the very existence of the human species.”

 

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“Now is not the time for speaking politely, or focusing on what we can or cannot say: now is the time to speak clearly… You say nothing in life is black or white, but that is a lie – a very dangerous lie. Either we prevent 1.5° of warming, or we don’t.”

Greta Thunberg, speaking at Davos

 

Thank you for reading this, our 13th newsletter. We’re super excited about the coming months and what they might hold. We’re also excited to welcome a whole host of new members into the newsletter team. We’re looking forward to our new writers bringing with them some fresh changes in style, tone and format – keep an eye out for changes and improvements in the coming issues!

That said, the team is still far from full-capacity – if you’d like to get involved in helping put together future editions, join the newsletter hivemind by emailing xr-newsletter@protonmail.com.

Get in touch with the same address if you have any questions or queries.

 

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

 

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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).

Newsletter #12 – Spring is Coming!

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Web version here

Welcome to the 12th Extinction Rebellion newsletter!

January, and with it the process of root-growth and foundation-laying, is coming to an end. As we move into February we’re getting ready to start an exciting new chapter for XR which will see a return to high-profile public actions in the build-up to our International Rebellion in April.

The meta-strategy review process is set to conclude in the next few days and will inform plans for national weeks of action set to take place in late February and late March. In the meantime, rebels won’t be short of things to do. Street parties, event-swarming, and much more are coming up in February (see Upcoming Activity below), not to mention the many regional and solidarity actions which we haven’t even had the time to keep up with!

If you’d like to get involved with making it all happen please see our newly refurbished volunteers page for available roles or get in touch with your nearest XR group.

Check out what’s on near you with our full list of upcoming events, available to view on our website, rebellion.earth/events. If you’re new, or have not 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

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

 

Recent Activity

 

Strategy and Structure

After many meetings, a weekend-long feedback session in Stroud, more meetings, a national feedback-session in London, and plenty of online feedback, the Strategy Team is now just a few days away from announcing the overall XR Spring Strategy. Major action in April is guaranteed, but the final strategy document will address questions of what, how, when, and where, along with finer points of tone and nuance.

For more details on the strategy process please see the latest internal newsletter.

If you’re struggling to keep up with internal developments in XR you might be pleased to see that the Mandates Team has drawn a beautiful map of the various Working Groups and sub-groups.

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Edinburgh Rebellion Day

XR Scotland kicked off the Rebellion with a creative action on January 25th, otherwise known as Burns Day. Forty Rebels posed as tourists taking a tour of Holyrood, the devolved Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh, before occupying the debating Chamber for over an hour. Holding a symbolic Citizens Assembly in the Chamber, the group discussed the climate and ecological emergency and drew attention to the urgent need for a response from the Scottish Government which would be commensurate with the scale of the problem.

No arrests were made, instead the Rebels were peacefully escorted from the Chamber by police through a side entrance to the building where they were greeted by hundreds of supporters cheering and applauding the action.

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The Scottish Rebellion has now been organising for several weeks and the occupation of the chamber in Holyrood was an excellent kickoff to future peaceful and impactful action.

 

Earthstrike

On January 15th Extinction Rebellion joined fellow campaigners in Parliament Square for the launch of Earth Strike, a new movement aligned with XR’s motives and methods. Earth Strike is calling for a globally coordinated international general strike to protest against every national government’s criminal failure on climate action. This also happened to be the day that the Members of Parliament were voting on Theresa May’s Brexit deal, so the square was already crowded with Brexiters and pro-E.U. supporters.

Extinction Rebellion members led an impromptu march of civil disobedience around Parliament Square, marching past parliament and blocking traffic. They chanted the words: “No Brexit on a dead planet! No E.U. on a dead planet!”, underscoring the irrelevance of the media-consuming Brexit saga in the face of the global climate emergency.

Reactions ranged from the completely bewildered to the highly supportive and proceedings concluded with spontaneous singing and dancing in Parliament Square.

See here for footage.

 

NVDA Training of Trainers – Germany

Three XR UK NVDA Trainers recently instructed fourteen budding Rebels in Germany. Having only started at the end of November in the wake of the London actions, XR Germany already has an impressive twenty-one groups set up across the country.

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The three-day training, co-hosted by Skills4Action, an organization which has trained activists in direct action for over ten years, hosted attendees from cities across Germany. Actions are already taking place on the February 3rd with plans being made for April 15th – International Rebellion Day.

 

We’re looking forward to working increasingly with XR groups in Germany and across the world. Sharing skills and building communities is how we will win.

 

Korean Coal Protest

On January 24th XR joined Korean civil society groups alongside other UK activists outside the Korean embassy in a show of solidarity against an expanding coal industry in East Asia.

The South Korean Government is one of the top coal power financiers in the world. Financial institutions controlled by the Korean Government are funding huge new coal plants in Vietnam and Indonesia. Despite the Paris Agreement, the objections made by local communities, and President Moon Jae-In’s promises, coal is thriving in Korea.

The protest lasted several hours, and gained coverage from various Korean news networks.

 

Other Actions:

Stroud:

A community group, including members from XR Stroud, are taking Gloucestershire County Council to court over the award of a £600m incinerator contract.

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XR Rebels blocked access to the incinerator early in the morning on January 11th. They also recently spoke up in a Stroud District Council budget meeting.

Cambridge:

Extinction Rebellion Cambridge confronted Cambridge University stating that it is time the University stops investing in and working with fossil fuel companies as well as the banks that fund them.

XR Groups around the country are continuing to hold weekly meetings, climate cafés, and talks on such subjects as ‘Heading for Extinction and What To Do About It.’ Find your local group and see how you can get involved!

 

Upcoming Activity

 

First Saturday Street Party – London, February 9th

 

Saturday, February 9th 2019

Time 11: 30am – 2.30pm

Gather at Dalston Kingsland Station at 11:30am

Extinction Rebellion is throwing a street party in Hackney on Saturday, February 9th, and we would love any Londoners to join us. It will be the first in a series of Saturday Street Parties which will give a platform to local groups to discuss environmental causes that affect their area.

Extinction Rebellion exists to directly address the government’s inaction in the face of global climate and ecological collapse. The day will be centred around addressing local issues within this broader narrative.

The week after the action we will hold one of our ‘Heading for Extinction and What To Do About It’ talks (Monday February 11th, at SET, Dalston Lane, London E8 3DF, time TBD) and will discuss the realities of climate breakdown and the impending sixth mass extinction event.

The Street Party itself will serve as a community-building exercise. We want to bring people together in an act of lighthearted, low-level civil disobedience, with a variety of musical performances interspersed with brief discussion of environmental issues.

Building strong and sustainable community groups will be the basis of this movement. Reaching out to local London communities is the priority of the Street Party and we will emulate the positive change we want to see through our actions.

Come join us in Hackney and help inspire the area to stand up for the environment.

See event page for details.

 

Bristol Saturday Street Party – February 14th

 

The week after the first of these Saturday Street Parties is slated to get going in London, XR Bristol will be hosting their first event to reclaim the streets of Bristol in a family-friendly atmosphere. The event will take place on Saturday, February 14th, starting at 1pm, and will be part of a wider day of action.

See the event page for details.

These actions will help set the stage for our International Rebellion in April, where thousands will occupy the streets. We hope to see many more participants in the build-up to the big day!

 

Disrupting Fashion Week – February 17th

 

The fashion industry is one of the most culturally influential industries in the world. It is also one of the most polluting and is deeply reliant on agriculture and petrochemical products. It applauds our unsustainable lifestyles and the toxic pace of our waste culture; we should no longer be impressed or enthralled by this.

Is fashion out of fashion? This “business-as-usual” industry is stuck in a tired routine. Couldn’t it be done better, with something other than consumption at its heart?

All cultures need to collectively wrap their heads around the crisis we are in and end business-as-usual. It is time to use the public influence of the fashion industry to build momentum towards this movement of civil disobedience and our International Week of Rebellion in April.

With service and love in our hearts we will disrupt Fashion Week. We will swarm the streets, slow down those racing between shows, and spread the message of Extinction Rebellion. Join us.

 

Youth Strike for Climate – February 15th

 

Youth engagement with the climate and ecological emergency is taking off around the world. In the last week we’ve seen 30,000 students across Europe protest by skipping school following the lead set by Greta Thunberg. In Berlin alone, 35,000 took to the streets to demand agricultural revolution.

Children and parents from across the UK will be joining this wave of protest on the February 15th with fourteen locations listed so far and more still to come. This is not an official XR event but we encourage anyone who cares about the future of our children to participate.

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International Week of Rebellion – April 15th

 

You know it’s coming – but do you know if you are? The International Rebellion beginning on April 15th has the potential to be a pivotal moment in world history – we’ll need as many people as possible to be present on the streets and helping to organise. Book time off work – ideally the whole week from the 15th – and share the event on Facebook to make sure that we can bring as many people as possible to participate in what could be humanity’s last and best chance to avert catastrophic damage to the planet.

 

International Highlights

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Without a doubt one of the biggest highlights from around the world this week was the beginning of the Rebellion in the United States.

On Saturday, January 26th, a large black banner emblazoned with the words ‘Climate Change = Mass Murder, Rebel for Life’ was draped over the famous golden statue of Prometheus at the Rockefeller Center Ice Rink. As dozens of people held signs aloft the rink was taken over with several Rebels staging a die-in in the shape of the Extinction Rebellion symbol.

Police had followed hundreds of protesters as they marched from Columbus Circle in New York to Rockefeller Plaza where Fifth Avenue was shut down for a period of at least twenty minutes. Nine were arrested and released five hours later.

This was a critical day of civil disobedience for this movement held with the aim of changing United States government policy on climate change. Leah Francis, an XR organiser in Portland, Oregon, told Rolling Stone, “We are all going to die, and we need to shout it from the rooftops.”

The message was indeed shouted from the rooftops of many American cities on Saturday. A banner with the same message as that in Rockefeller Center was lowered from a bridge in Los Angeles and demonstrations also took place in Washington D.C., Seattle, Chicago, the San Francisco Bay area, the Twin Cities, Philadelphia, Austin, Kentucky, and Denver.

For further coverage of the action see the article in Rolling Stone Magazine.

See more photos of actions across the USA here.

 

Announcements

 

Fundraising

The fundraising team is thrilled to present our new crowdfunder for the International Week of Rebellion commencing April 15th.

We would also like to share this introduction to fundraising as a local group.

The fundraising team has ambitious targets to support the forthcoming rebellious events and activities. We need any helpers who can seek out and contact potential donors and can manage our ongoing relationships and partnerships. Please contact xr.fundraising@gmail.com if you can spare some time and tenacity!

 

How to show your support for XR defendants at their trials

Central to XR non-violent direct action campaigns is the willingness shown by some of those involved to face arrest, criminal charges, court hearings, fines, and possible imprisonment.

The legal process is therefore very much a part of XR’s campaigning and many of our defendants are willing to use their hearings in court as a way of publicising the reasons why they decided to act as they did. They may, for instance, issue a ‘defence statement’ for publication, give interviews, etc.

Other XR activists can get involved. Court hearings often start at 9:30 am but may continue for the entirety of a day. One way of demonstrating support for our defendants on the day of their trial is to be outside of the courthouse together between 9:00 and 9:30 am. It is also sometimes possible for supporters to attend the public gallery during the trial proceedings.

We will soon be publishing lists of those trial dates and the times during which the defendants have given their consent for this to happen.

At present we have, that we know of, defendants in Bristol, London, and Manchester. Any defendants with trial dates in other parts of the country, please get in touch. If you are a defendant and would like us to help organise support and publicity on the day of your trial, please contact: xr-legal@riseup.net

 

XR Blog

XR Blog is always looking for more content. We would love to hear from you, including, but not limited to, diaries from XR actions, science-based pieces on ecological breakdown, political pieces on citizens’ assemblies, or analyses of the toxic mainstream media. XR Blog is a democratic platform for all ‘voices of the rebellion’ – and that means you! We are happy to receive submissions from experienced and inexperienced writers alike.

Additionally we are excited to announce some regular features, new for 2019. Firstly, we have ‘Affinity Group Stories‘ – we would like to hear about the journeys of affinity groups, beginning with their formation, through training and action, all the way to arrest, detention, and trial. We would love accounts from people of diverse backgrounds within AG’s. Please write in with your AG Stories.

Secondly, there is the ‘Children of XR‘ feature – we are already in touch with some great young people who have spoken at XR events and have engaged in campaigns related to XR. This feature will be a regular bundle of news from young people around the world who are based in XR and related movements, particularly the Strike on Fridays movement associated with Greta Thunberg.

Our third feature is ‘The Rise of the Right‘, tracking the relationship between ecological breakdown and resource scarcity with the rise of right-wing populist governments around the world.

Fourth, we are thrilled to announce our ‘XR Write-A-Long‘ feature, which will be an ongoing fiction piece written by all of you! Details to follow soon.

Finally, we have listened to many people in XR who would like to explore and strengthen the ten principles and values which have led us so well already. In response, we will soon be running a regular feature around the P&V, starting with Number One, which is: ‘We have a shared vision of change‘. Send all submissions and enquiries to xrblog@protonmail.com (mailto:xrblog@protonmail.com)

 

International support team – volunteers needed

The more localised the Rebellion is the more powerful it will become. In the International Support Team there is a focus on supporting national groups and their rebellious activities in order to be as effective as possible. At this stage of the Rebellion there is a lot of work to be done in assisting with the formation of new groups and supporting the national initiators as they recruit more group members and establish themselves as a viable national group. Please contact vejde@riseup.net if you think you can help.

 

XR Festivals


Thank you all so much for the enthusiastic response to our call for festival contacts. We requested these contacts to enable the XR Festivals Team to maximise our impact at festivals over the summer. We are still trying to open doors at a few key festivals and are again requesting your help. If any Rebel has contacts within the following festivals then we’d love to hear from you so that we can start the dialogue:

Wood, Love Saves the Day, Field Day, OceanFest,  BeatHerder, Blue Dot, WOMAD, Boardmasters, Beautiful Days & Vegan Camp-out

Please email us at XR Festivals at xrfestivals@gmail.com – many thanks in advance.

A little further down the line we will also be looking for Rebels to help us deliver our movement-building work at these and several other festivals. More information to come soon.

 

Local declarations of climate emergency

Across the globe Extinction Rebellion groups are persuading civic authorities to declare a State of Climate Emergency. Visit https://www.cedamia.org/global/ to find resources which will inspire you to get your local town or county council involved in this action. A critical mass of declared councils will put irresistible pressure on central governments.

 

Extreme Weather

Extreme weather hit 60 million people in 2018, no part of the world spared (UN News).

Melting Arctic ice is now pouring 14,000 tons of water per second into the ocean, scientists find

Heavy snow brings chaos and death to Austria and Germany

Greenland’s ice melting faster than scientists previously thought – study

Cuba: Three dead, 174 injured in Havana tornado

It could be warmer above the Arctic Circle than in Chicago by Wednesday this week. [And: How frigid polar vortex blasts are connected to global warming.]

‘Code Red’ – Australia is experiencing such high temperatures that bats are dropping from the trees.

Menindee fish kill: another mass death on Darling River ‘worse than last time’: Australian Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young calls for a Royal Commission over water management in the Murray-Darling basin, as the mass fish kills pile up (twitter: https://twitter.com/sarahinthesen8/status/1090025384828055557). Hanson-Young claims that the mass deaths are the result of water mismanagement and global warming-induced drought.

2018 was ‘the 4th warmest year on record,’ according to the World Meteorological Office’s report, ‘State of the Global Climate in 2018’. Furthermore, ‘the past four years – 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 – are also the four warmest years in the series.’

 

Latest News and Data

 

Greenpeace and Amnesty International unite in push for greater civil disobedience. This is a landmark conference in which two of the world’s largest non-governmental organizations have joined together in the fight against climate and ecological collapse. Also significantly, Extinction Rebellion is cited as one of the motivators for these two organisations to call for an increase in civil disobedience to push for the systemic change we need.

Founders of plastic waste alliance ‘investing billions in new plants’

Nottingham aims to be first carbon neutral city in the UK

Scotland could be net-zero for greenhouse gas emissions by 2045, according to a new report.

Gina Hanrahan, of WWF Scotland said, “It’s crucial MSPs, who are about to start debating the new Climate Change Bill, confront the challenge head on and join the growing number of progressive nations by setting an iconic net-zero target and speeding up the policy action needed to end our climate change emissions once and for all.”

California’s most famous butterfly nearing death spiral

The debate is over: The oceans are in hot, hot water – ‘the oceans are warming 40 percent faster than many scientists had previously estimated.’

Is this a farewell for the Indus dolphin? – ‘The Sindh government [in Pakistan] is planning a pre-feasibility study regarding straightening 180km of the Indus riverbed, falling between Guddu barrage downstream and Sukkur barrage upstream.’

Dahr Jamail’s latest Climate Disruption Dispatch: ‘We Are Destroying Our Life Support System’ – all of the latest horror stories plus an unexpectedly beautiful correspondence with Stan Rushworth near the bottom.

 

Recommended content

 

The Transformative Power of Climate Truth: Ecological Awakening in the Trump Age, by Margaret Klein Salamon, Founder and Director of The Climate Mobilization.

“I’ve just read this essay and found it to be illuminating and inspirational in the face of so much depressing news. As a practising yogini I was interested to see that Salamon refers to Gandhi, who ‘pioneered the strategy called ‘Satyagraha’ or ‘truth force,’ which carries intimations of love and inner strength.’” – Marian

 

This Could Be The Biggest Scandal Of The Climate Change Era” (article)

In this opinion piece in the Huffington Post, Sandrine Dixson-Declève and Anders Wijkman point the finger of blame at politicians and economists – the former for their delays and constant wrangling, and the latter for failing to acknowledge the severity of climate change – for the situation we now find ourselves in.

 

Redacted Tonight interview: ‘Rebelling Against Human Extinction’ (video) with Rory Varrato – lots of great analysis and discussion of the XR movement and the potential for bringing it to the US.

 

In Facing Mass Extinction, We Must Allow Ourselves to Grieve (article/chapter)

An excerpt from Dahr Jamail’s recent book, The End of Ice: Bearing Witness and Finding Meaning in the Path of Climate Disruption. A powerful urge to bear witness to the destruction of the planet as if we were attending to the deep sickness of a loved one; another writer giving up on hope and looking instead to grief and the necessity of action, regardless of the likelihood of success.

 

Climate Catastrophe: The Case for Societal Transformation, The Case for Rebellion‘ (Live lecture, Norwich)

Those who were moved or intrigued by last week’s recommendation of Rupert’s, ‘This civilisation is finished, so what is to be done?’ may be interested in a live lecture, in which Read presents a vision beyond the limited hopes of the Paris Agreement, presenting practical responses and inciting courage in us all. The lecture will be followed by a Q&A.

 

Regenerative Culture/ Good News Stories

Bonding and bridging in London’s poorest borough – George Monbiot writes on how the foundation Every One Every Day has improved the social life for residents in Barking and Dagenham by opening shops on the high streets for people to use as social hubs and “maker spaces”. From working kitchens and sharing tools to creches and chicken schools these spaces give locals hope for future generations.

With the help of 200 volunteers St. Nick’s has been transformed from a landfill site into a nature reserve in the centre of York. The site is now used as a base from which projects and services are run to help the residents of York move towards a sustainable future. The project is now looking to recruit more volunteers.

A court in the Hague has upheld a historic ruling, ordering the Dutch government to accelerate carbon emissions cuts. This ruling will “put the wind in the sails of a raft of similar cases being planned around the world.”

Above and below the Great Australian Bight – a photo essay

Stephen Moss writes in The Guardian about the organisation A Focus on Nature (AFoN), whose mission is: “to connect, support and inspire young people across the UK with an interest in nature and conservation, and provide a voice for the youth conservation movement.”

Investors urge KFC, McDonald’s and Burger King to cut emissions

Germany is set to close all 84 coal-fired power plants and will rely primarily on renewable energy! Coal plants account for 40% of Germany’s electricity; over the next 19 years, Germany will be switching to renewable energy, which will provide between 65% and 80% of the country’s power by 2040.

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“Each of my 3 middle school years were the 3 hottest years ever recorded on our planet.” – Jeremy Clark

 

Thank you for reading this, our 12th newsletter. We’re super excited about the coming months and what they might hold. We’re also excited to welcome a whole host of new members into the newsletter team. We’re looking forward to our new writers bringing with them some fresh changes in style, tone and format – keep an eye out for changes and improvements in the coming issues!

That said, the team is still far from full-capacity – if you’d like to get involved in helping put together future editions, join the newsletter hivemind by emailing xr-newsletter@protonmail.com.

Get in touch with the same address if you have any questions or queries.

 

This newsletter was written collaboratively by a hivemind of 9 rebels.

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As our eagle-eyed readers will have noticed in Announcements, we’re now raising funds with a brand new Fundrazr. The mechanism may be new but the facts remains the same; if we’re going to achieve our aims in April, we’ll need money to pay for arrestee support, transport and accommodation for protests, art materials, banners, fliers, personal expenses, etc. The scale of the Rebellion could be limited by the amount of money available.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Contents

 

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

Recent Activity

Action at Global Coal Resources Annual General Meeting

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rebel starts the Year as we mean to go on

 

 

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

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

With Love and Rage, the fight goes on.

 

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

First Court dates for November arrestees

 

 

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

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

 

Upcoming Activity

Preparing for 2019 – XR UK Strategy Meet Up

19th – 20th January

Register here

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Register here

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

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

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

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

Supported by XR

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

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

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

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

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

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

For updates, see the event here

 

International Rebellion Week – April 2019

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

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

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

We will not disappear.

We will not die off.

We will not give in.

Stay tuned for more information

See Event Page here

Announcements

Volunteering, Land Support, Festivals and Space

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

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

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

The Newsletter needs you!

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

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

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

Regen announcement: Land Support Base and Open Homes

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

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

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

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

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

 

How you can help:

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

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

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

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

We look forward to hearing from you!

XR Festivals

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

XR SPACE SEARCH

We’re looking for an XR community space!

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

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

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

Latest News and Data

 

Extreme Weather

 

Recommended Content

 

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

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

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

Are we heading for Another Mass Extinction

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

Painted As The Activist Elite: XR and Elitism

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

XR Newsletter Archive #10: All I want for XRmas is <2°

 

Welcome to the 10th Extinction Rebellion Newsletter!

So far, over 160 brave rebels have been arrested for taking non violent direct action. The rebellion is continuing to take root and self-organise all over the world. Find your local XR group on the map, here.

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

  • Activity Since Last Newsletter
  • Upcoming Activity
  • Extreme Weather
  • Latest News and Data
  • Recommended

Extinction Rebellion Bhopal, India.

“Let’s put climate change aside. Do you really think we can have a future on this planet after cutting down all the trees and filling the oceans with plastic? “

-Lee Camp

Activity Since Last Newsletter

Regional Rebellion Day

Saturday 15th December – as Storm Deirdre battered the country, Extinction Rebels staged peaceful actions across the regions to raise the alarm on the ecological crisis, while pressuring local councils to; declare a Climate Emergency, go carbon neutral by 2025 and create Citizens’ Assemblies to facilitate this change. A map of all the towns and cities who have already declared climate emergency is being compiled, here.

UK Extinction Rebels Take Nationwide Action on Climate Emergency

England

Actions took place in towns and cities across England including; Brighton, Newbury, Exeter, Bedford, Halifax, Totnes, Torpoint and Devonport, Swindon, Bath, Cambridge, Frome, Norwich, Truro and Preston New Road, where there was a solidarity visit to the anti-fracking protest camp, the day after an action in St Peter’s Square, Manchester.

Some of the highlights included:

Bristol

More than 250 rebels in Bristol sang subversive carols and gave speeches before marching on the city council. Some stopped on the way to chalk-spray the DEFRA building, and a tree was planted on the lawn outside the mayor’s office. Describing this tree as “the gift of life”, rebels urged the Mayor to implement strong measures after the City Council declared a climate emergency last month.

Tom Daldon, 19 from Bristol said: “This is the greatest challenge of my generation. We will continue to act together, we will not behave until we are listened to.”

Eight people were willingly arrested, allegedly for chalk spraying, including Bristol University’s Professor Colin Davis who said, “it felt good to be doing something”.

Cambridge

With a few hundred people in attendance, starting at the Grafton Centre, Angela from Extinction Rebellion Cambridge stated: “We’re holding a die-in at two shopping centres, alongside three coffins, representing the current victims of climate change, the non-human victims of the ongoing mega-extinction, and the future victims still to come”.

 

“We’re soon to march on the city council, where we will demand that they take serious measures against the climate crisis.”

Alison Green, Pro Vice-Chancellor of Arden University said: “Cambridge rages against the dying of the light. A few hundred people have turned out here in Cambridge to support the event. Lots of upbeat and powerful speeches. I’ve just done mine and people are gathering around listening with interest – in spite of the cold!

Totnes and Newton Abbot

120 rebels spread across Totnes and Newton Abbot. Dr Larch Maxey, 46, explained, “we’ve just had some beautiful singing from our choir, who’ve been singing alternative carols written by local XR members. There are 40 of us here in Totnes, and we’ve sent many more of our members to support Newton Abbot in its first XR event, where 80 people have gathered to sing and protest.

Brighton

In Brighton, where the Council also declared a climate emergency this week, Claudia from Extinction Rebellion said: “We have 12 years to make a difference – the government must declare a climate emergency now. We have 10 people singing at the Royal Pavilion ice rink and another 30 people making Extinction Rebellion snapped logo wreaths.”

“Demonstrators are going to adapt “Give peace a chance” to “Give [life] a chance”. They are also going to make a lot of noise by banging and bashing instruments for 12 minutes to represent the 12 years we have left before we go above 1.5 degree warming.”

Scotland

 

Glasgow

100 people gathered in Glasgow. Anna, 24, said “We’re meeting to rally and sing subversive carols at the Buchanan Street steps, and we’ll be giving away trees to members of the public, after which we’re planning some thought-provoking disruption based around today’s Christmas shopping”.

Actions were also scheduled for Inverness and Dundee, while XR activists in Fort William held their first meetings.

Wales

Actions took place in Carmarthen and Cardiff, while the Llandudno event was postponed due to storm Deirdre.

 

The same day, over 100 people showed up for Extinction Rebellion Nederlands’ Kick-Off Workshop in Hague.

Actions Debrief – December 15th

As the regions rebelled, around fifty rebels gathered in London to hold a debrief on the broader themes and developments within XR since Rebellion Day.

With the help of five excellent facilitators trained in Processwork, the room periodically split up into smaller discussion groups before reconvening for general discussion. There were also physical exercises – in which participants came together to create human sculptures – and breaks for silent reflection.

Though much was covered, the major themes of discussion were: ongoing efforts towards decentralisation, and how this might best be effected; similar questions about transparency (with frustrations voiced about insufficient progress in this area, and sympathetic responses citing the lack of time and resources to adapt as quickly as asked for); integration: how best to welcome new rebels into participation with XR; and the identification of a tension between a will to act quickly and preserve radical momentum, set against the desire to slow down and practice the mindful regeneration which we hope the movement is prefiguring for society.

None of these discussions had simple or immediate answers; but perhaps the basis of a solution can be found in the very process which raised the questions, and the sincere engagement and discussion which characterised the day’s event. The mood was supportive but serious, with people voicing genuine concerns as well as heartwarming personal experiences, and a consistent emphasis placed on listening and democracy. The day ended with food, music, dancing, and a celebration of how far XR has already come; we’re looking forward to similar events in the new year!

 

For more information on the development of XR moving forwards, please see our Extinction Regeneration Document.

XR at COP 24

Extinction Rebels visited Katowice in Poland for the 24th annual UN conference on climate change, COP24. We did not go to engage with the political process, which we already know to be flawed but instead to build international links of solidarity, to put forward the case for non-violent civil disobedience, and to move the conference towards an emergency framing of the climate crisis. Whilst there, we gave talks, went on marches, held meetings, organised protests, and hosted press conferences. We also disrupted a speech by Claire Perry and held our own government to account over their destructive policies. We saw President Nasheed of the Maldives wearing our symbol on the conference floor and calling for “everybody to rise up”. Indeed, over the course of the fortnight, more and more insiders grew more and more impatient and, behind the scenes, rebels from all walks of life joined the movement. We returned from COP24 strengthened in our resolve to take XR global.

The decision making of the political elite was predictably weak and reductive. In the face of their shortcomings, we find strength in our diverse, growing, and urgent movement.

Farhana Yamin – Veteran climate negotiator and adviser to small island states, said; “We pay tribute to activists, students, civil society and the leaders of vulnerable countries who are rising up all over the world demanding more. We need now to work together to build an emergency coalition focused squarely on tackling climate devastation.”

Check out; the hashtag, #DispatchFromCOP24 for more reports from Katowice. This interview with Democracy now, this street rally with XR presence and Greta Thunberg’s devastating speech to the UN plenary.

Politicians discussing our future.

-Isaac Cordal

XR at the London Assembly – December 6th

On December 6th, the Greater London Assembly deliberated a motion by Caroline Russell (Green Party) that urged the Mayor “to declare a Climate Emergency, supported by specific emergency plans with the actions needed to make London carbon neutral by 2030”. The motion followed successful precedents set by councils in Bristol, Stroud, Totnes, Frome, Trafford and soon to be followed by Monmouth and Brighton (keep up to date here).

Extinction Rebels were on site bright and early to welcome assembly members as they arrived for the plenary. Our presence outside City Hall was highlighted by Caroline Russell. In her summing up, she told the Assembly that “protesters are demonstrating … they’re just exasperated that we’re not taking these risks seriously”. The motion passed with minor amendments and early in December, Mayor Sadiq Khan declared a climate emergency, announced measures to protect people from the effects of climate change, and accused central government of “dragging its feet” on these issues.

Upcoming Activity

21st December – RECLAIM THE BBC

 

The BBC belongs to the people and retains its duty to present to the people the unbiased facts about the things that affect our lives. They have been remiss in this duty. The Climate Crisis is catastrophically affecting people all over the world. It is the issue of our time and the BBC’s reporting should reflect that.

On the 21st December, XR will be demanding a new age of information: the BBC must lead in mobilising the nation against the greatest threat of our times. It must be a source of integrity in the face of climate emergency, as it was during WW2, when our lives were at stake, as they are now. Then, the BBC sounded a rallying cry for unity in the face of annihilation and it must do so again. We have time to affect the climate situation, but it won’t work without the media. The BBC belongs to the people, so let us remind its staff of that fact.

The XR London will take action at BBC HQ, Portland Place, London, while rebels will also be gathering at regional BBC outlets in Manchester, Bristol, Sheffield, Cambridge, Birmingham, Glasgow, Truro, and hopefully even more than this. There will also be in action outside the BBC in Berlin!

Organise in your local and regional groups, go to your local BBC offices with clear messaging about your demands. This will be our first action at the BBC. We’re disrupting production for a day, to highlight these vital issues, not to cause distress or offend BBC staff. So, we suggest sitting, lying down, singing, organising speakers and talking with BBC staff and the public about our message, all non-violently of course. The mission of the day is to educate and highlight with beauty, clarity and love, not to alienate or offend.

In the meantime, feel free to flood the BBC’s feedback inbox, if you’re of a mind to: https://ssl.bbc.co.uk/faqs/forms

 

For useful information, see our press release.

More information on suggested messaging, here

If you can’t find the answer to your question from these documents, or from your local network, then please email: extinctionrebellion@risingup.org.uk for support with this action.

Upcoming Activity

USA Plans National Day of Action

26th January, 2019

The UK’s Regional Day of Rebellion came as Extinction Rebellion New York held its first meeting in preparation for a National Day of Action in the USA, on 26th January, 2019. This will feature as a key part of the build up towards International Extinction Rebellion Week, which will start on the 15th April 2019, worldwide.

15th April, International Rebellion Week

In November, we planted the seeds of the rebellion in London. From those seeds we need a forest. The task ahead is monumental, and we must build strength to rise to the challenge. Through the winter, our roots have grown and spread throughout the UK and overseas.

We will not disappear. We will not die off. We will not give in.

Come the spring, regenerated, prepared, and ready, the rebellion’s first leaves will break through the soil and into the light. On April 15th we are calling for a global week of rebellion, with independent XR groups taking to the streets all over the world to demand decisive action on climate change and ecological collapse.

More details to come in due time. For more information about our regeneration period and upcoming plans, please see the regeneration update on our website.

Join the national media network – a message from the media team

Hi Rebels,

We are in the process of setting up a network to connect Media & Messaging working groups across XR. There will be regular calls and a sharing group, where people can discuss media, messaging ideas and content.

If you would like to be involved, please liaise with your local group and put forward a Media & Messaging rep. Send their name and email to pressxr@risingup.com. We’ll be in touch with more details.

Extreme Weather

December 5th – 5 people were rescued from cars trapped by flooding in Carmarthenshire.

December 7th More flooding hit south and west Wales, closing roads and flooding homes. A man died after his car crashed on the M4.

December 10th – Winter snowstorm Diego killed at least three people in N Carolina, left hundreds of thousands without power for days, and stranded hundreds of motorists in their cars.

December 11th – Localised flooding caused widespread traffic disruption across B.C.’s South Coast.

December 13th – Flash Flooding killed at least 13 people in Vietnam. 12,000 hectares of crops were destroyed and 160,000 animals were killed.

More flash flooding trapped 100 motorists on the Hume freeway, Victoria. Floods hit Melbourne, Sydney, Ballarat and across Australia’s East Coast as Tropical Cyclone Owen approached.

In the US, streets were closed by flooding in Charlestown.

December 14th – Heavy rain collapsed an embankment, flooding a housing complex in Bekasi, Jakarta.

December 15th Storm Deirdre brought heavy snow, ‘freezing rain’ and gales to the UK, causing widespread disruption, road closures and left thousands without power across Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Roads were also flooded and trees uprooted in Plymouth, Dorchester, across Sussex, Cumbria where 9000 people were left without power and Devon & Cornwall where flooding temporarily closed the Eden project. The storm caused multiple car accidents around the country including 4 people who were hospitalised in a serious collision near Moffat.

A Sun City resort in Johannesburg SA was evacuated after a severe hailstorm brought flash flooding

In the US, flooding closed roads across Fairfax county, Maryland, Virginia as rainfall in the DC area broke a 100 year record

Antalya Province in Turkey was flooded after heavy rain, stranding motorists and pedestrians.

December 16th -. A woman was rescued after driving into flood water in Florence, SC, where the water is 3ft high and still rising.

At least one person was killed after being swept away by flash floods which swept away cars in Queensland, Australia, as a second front of severe weather followed in the wake of Cyclone Owen. A crocodile warning was issued after the large reptiles were spotted in the floodwaters.

Parts of Semenyhi, Malaysia were struck by flash floods.

December 17th – Almost 50% less rainfall during the northeast monsoon has led to drought affecting at least 120 out of the 176 talukas in Karnataka, India.

The Met office issued another yellow warning for severe rain and possible flooding in the UK. Roads flooded across Cornwall. Fire crews were called to multiple homes flooded across Sussex.

Severe weather slammed the East and West coasts of the US, causing high waves and flooding.

December 18th – Extreme weather toppled 6 lorries on a P&O ferry between Scotland and Northern Ireland and ran a Russian cargo ship aground off the coast of Cornwall. 6000 homes without power in Ireland, where roads were flooded and trees uprooted. The river Ardle burst its banks in Perthshire, causing major flooding which closed a school and left roads impassable.

A teenager was found dead two days after being swept away by flashflooding in Cha-uat district, Thailand.

The mild inconvenience of the rebellion’s disruptions is as nothing compared to the unbridled fury of mother nature. Our thoughts are with all the victims of these catastrophes and their loved ones. These disasters are happening more frequently and getting worse. We are out of time.

Latest News and Data

 

75-80% chance of El Niño in next three months: World Meteorological Organisation

Severe drought in southeast Alaska, ordinarily one of the wettest locations in the US.

The list of extreme weather caused by human-driven climate change grows.

Insurance claims linked to global warming are set to surpass $15 billion this year.

The Arctic Ocean has lost 95% of it’s oldest ice.

There has been a 50% Hike of Record-Dry Months in Africa’s Sahel.

India cancels plans for huge coal power stations as solar energy prices hit record low.

The Stansted 15 have been convicted under anti-terrorism laws.

Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell has pledged to support oil and gas.

Hungarians rally against slave law.

Greta Thunberg’s full speech in front of the UN plenary at COP24.

Trump’s Energy Advisor Runs Away When Questioned By Democracy Now! At COP24.

Fracking halted in Lancashire (again) after largest earthquake so far.

Two more arrests at Colne Valley after a #StopHS2 activist locked on to a bulldozer.

6th Gilets Jaunes have been killed in France.

Suggested:

Reading/Watching/Listening

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

Photo credit Terry Matthews

As we come to the end of the year, we’d like to give a massive thanks to everyone reading this for all your support; it’s been an amazing, exhilarating few months so far and we’re only just getting started. We wish you a regenerative Christmas period, and we look forward to making 2019 go down in history as the Year of Rebellion!

Love and Rage,

The XR Newsletter Hivemind

This newsletter was written by a hivemind of 7 rebels.

We leave you with with a festive poem contributed by Jonathan Fishwick:

Christmas is coming

The Planet’s feeling ill

So many species dying

a killing field they fill

For people who are sleeping

your World is facing hell

The devil’s planned a party

he’s invited you as well !

Christmas is coming

Extinction’s on the way

But hope can always find a voice

and have the final say

The wind of change is blowing

Rebellion’s in the air

The XR drum is beating loud

a call to those who care

Christmas is coming

We’re called to do what’s right

to open up our grieving hearts

then stand and make a fight

The masses they are rising

non-violence is their cry

to smash the walls of greed and hate

with love their alibi

Christmas is nothing

It’s meaningless and cold

to a planet that is dying

a billion years evolved

So let us take this moment

to honour in our hearts

what moves us to rebellion

till death us all do part