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Pete Lawrence - 20 Dec 2018
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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

  • Recent Activity
  • Upcoming Activity
  • Latest News and Data
  • Extreme Weather
  • Recommended Reading and Viewing
 
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

Recent Activity

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.

Nationwide Action on Climate Emergency:

England

Actions took place in towns and cities across England including; Brighton, Newbury, Exeter, Bedford, Halifax, TotnesTorpoint and DevonportSwindonBathCambridgeFromeNorwich, 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 meeting.

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 The 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.

On Saturday 17th November, 6,000 rebels occupied London’s five most central bridges to draw immediate attention to the dire climate crisis. Rebellion Day was the culmination of a week in which Extinction Rebels blocked the entrances to BEIS, unveiled a climate change banner over Westminster Bridgeand redecorated Downing Street and DEFRA. 

Rebellion Day received international media coverage. There were 85 arrests, the majority on Southwark and Lambeth bridges. Despite what was at times an assertive police presence, the people were not deterred. Thanks to the rebellion’s courage all five bridges were taken and held as planned, remaining in place for over five hours.

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.

 

CAN'T MAKE THE ACTION TOMORROW?

WANT TO HELP CAUSE SOME DISRUPTION?

We are going to jam the BBC phone lines (phone numbers below) all day with calls about the climate emergency until it sinks in! Let the operator that you think the BBC needs to do more to cover the climate emergency and read out our demands (below)

 

Pick up the phone and help us out

BBC Contacts

Complaints Form : https://ssl.bbc.co.uk/faqs/forms

Comments Phone Number: 03704 101060

Complaints: 03700 100 222

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.

XR 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.

 

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.

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, SydneyBallarat 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 ScotlandIreland and Wales. Roads were also flooded and trees uprooted in PlymouthDorchesteracross SussexCumbria 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 hailstormbrought 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.

Recommended:

Reading, Viewing and Listening

 
 
 

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.

Photo credit Terry Matthews
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)

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

Please contact us at extinctionrebellion@risingup.org.uk if you have any questions or want to be added/removed from the mailing list.

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