From The Ecologist: Extinction Rebellion, the activist group spearheading mass civil disobedience for climate action in the UK, has drawn people of all ages into their effort to draw attention to the unfolding climate emergency. Now, they are inspiring similar actions everywhere “from Auckland to Accra, Mexico City to Vancouver”, as the movement goes international.
Global rebellion: die, survive or thrive?
Farhana Yamin, The Ecologist
The rebels have three key demands: that the UK government tell the truth about the climate devastation by declaring an emergency and repeal of inconsistent laws; the enactment of new policies in line with climate science to get to net zero emissions by 2025; and the establishment of a citizen’s assembly to create a democracy fit for purpose which is capable of protecting people and nature. Extinction Rebellion have injected a new sense of energy and urgency into the climate movement, and thousands joined in non-violent actions by blocking London bridges and disrupting traffic at busy intersection.
‘You might call it visceral politics.’
Thomas Hornall, The Ecologist
The “truth of climate breakdown” filtering through to ordinary people is driving the effectiveness of Extinction Rebellion, one of its senior figures has said. Jamie Kelsey Fry, 54, said a steady drip of warnings in recent years has made citizens serious about taking direct action, with many of the group’s members first-time activists. The Extinction Rebellion (XR) spokesman told the Press Association: “You might call it visceral politics. It’s a visceral reaction. Either you stand up now and you’re on the right side of history or you’re not.
Rebel children, parents, grandparents
Edd Dracott, The Ecologist
A father who joined three generations of his family at a climate change protest has emphasised it is a “multi-generational issue”, adding that disruption in London “can wake us up” to it. Jeremy Williams, 38, joined Extinction Rebellion demonstrators with his parents, his wife and their young children. “We’ve basically had this generation from the ’50s and ’60s who, with new access to flying, driving and other services, had the best of everything and emissions shot up,” he told the Press Association.
A letter to London from an XR rebel
Katie Hodgetts, The Ecologist
If you’re a Londoner I’m sure you will bemoan the tube and road disruptions. I would too. But I implore you to step back and perhaps confront the difficult truth that there are greater apologies to be made. The aim of these protests are “to create moments in time when humanity stops and fully considers the extent of the harm we have done and are doing to life on earth”. Perhaps a little inconvenience is warranted?
The DNA of Extinction Rebellion
Graham Jones, The Ecologist
The DNA metaphor isn’t just for show, but points to the particular mode of action and growth. It’s like a new human body, which shares enough DNA with others to maintain coherence as a species, but from the moment of birth is effectively autonomous, acting of its own volition but cooperating. If done well, this allows for creativity and experimentation in the grassroots (including room to fail), whilst maintaining a consistent, unified movement.
The life of Extinction Rebellion
Graham Jones, The Ecologist
The central emotive framing device in XR’s Story is clearly extinction, an extremely vivid and emotive image. There’s the Challengeof climate change and the inaction of elites; the Choice to either wait around or take matters into your own hands; the possible Outcomes of extinction or survival. XR’s presentations are designed precisely to stir people’s emotions about impending extinction, alongside teaching them facts and figures about climate change, and making clear the necessity and urgency of each of us acting to bring about a different outcome.
System change and internationalism
Nathan Thanki, The Ecologist
Groups in the North will have to put meat on the bones of the system change slogan by articulating clear alternatives in order to truly step up to the plate and play their part in a resurgent, ecologically-minded global justice movement. They will simultaneously have to reconnect with their legacies of international solidarity and build the power of the collective rather than the cult of celebrity in order to leverage the power of the state to limit corporate power. They have to be more ambitious than they’ve ever been –and this means being more committed to justice, for everyone, than ever before.
EARLIER ON ECOLOGISE
Extinction Rebellion: The green movement making waves in the UK
A new group called Extinction Rebellion, has called for mass civil disobedience in the UK starting next month and promises it has hundreds of people – from teenagers to pensioners – ready to get arrested in an effort to draw attention to the unfolding climate emergency. The group is backed by almost 100 senior academics.