Hope dies, action begins

(Published in El Espectador of Colombia, South America. Adapted by XR blog)

October 31st, 2018, could be a historic day for future generations. In Parliament Square at the heart of London, a number of people will join the Declaration of Rebellion, an uprising against the extinction of life on the planet.

The British are the spearhead of this potential global revolution because it was on that European island that the Industrial Revolution was born and shaped the West as we see it today. For generations they have watched and withstood the deceptions of an increasingly predatory system, have suffered the neoliberal lies of development and progress, and therefore they precede us in conscience and fatigue, as the old wise people of the tribe. They are fed up and now have the undeniable certainty that if things continue as they are, the extinction of life on the planet could be a reality, terrifying and far too close. This has been stated by scientists, confirmed by the common sense of peasants, and witnessed by the unease of the world’s citizens who are awake, connected and worried.

So in the words of the Declaration, “We will, in accordance with our conscience and a clear duty to our children; our communities; this nation and planet; declare a non-violent rebellion on behalf of life itself and against our criminally negligent government.” These words resonate with the indignation of all peoples right now.

The Extinction Rebellion aspires to be an international movement calling for massive civil disobedience to enter a phase of war-time mobilization in response to the climate change disaster which many of us are already aware of and experiencing. The principles are those of true humanistic revolutions and the spirit is that of moving altruism, both contemporary and ancestral, inclusive and respectful, holding the efficient truth of felt emotions allied with the certainties of science and sound community civil action. Thus they proclaim, “Our hearts break and we rage against this madness. We have a right and duty to rebel in the face of this tyranny of idiocy – in the face of this planned collective suicide  … We cannot stand idly by and allow the ongoing destruction of all we love.”

It is easy to subscribe anywhere on the globe to the principles of this movement. With the exception of the loss of hope, which in my case hangs on the thin thread of a spiritual connection that prevents me from losing it, even if it is overshadowed at times, these principles are the ideals we would like to make real on the planet. I list some that ring true for me: the first is the certainty that extreme capitalism, besides creating inequality, is knowingly destroying the planet; a common vision of change – we need a healthy, resilient and adaptable culture; reflection and learning; welcoming everyone and every part of those individuals; mitigating institutional power in order to break hierarchies and encourage equal participation; creating a nonviolent network … and other idealistic values made real through courage and pragmatism.

And I also sign up to the belief that, “The time for denial is over; we know the truth about climate change and we know the truth about current biological annihilation. It’s time to act like that truth is real. What does living with this truth call us to do? Will you die knowing you did all you were able to?” Good luck to the rebels! We are here.

Ignacio Zuleta