Making Decisions in October - Extinction Rebellion UK

Making Decisions in October

During the October Rebellion, an effective decision-making system is vital to our success. We encourage sites to use these systems, however, as they are autonomous, it is up to them. This system is meant to be clear and structured. However, we do not want following the system to prevent people from getting shit done. Holding sites and participating in actions is the priority, and decision-making systems are there to serve that. None of the meetings are compulsory. Also, this system was designed by humans and is imperfect, but we believe it’s worth trying! If this seems like there’s a lot of information, don’t worry, there will be a facilitator at each site who can guide your site through the whole decision making process. Download the Telegram and follow this link to get on the Rebellion Broadcast – a channel for verified communication only. 

There are three levels to this system: Role Level, Site Level and Rebellion Level. 

Here is the comprehensive document (it’s long, make some tea first!). If you’re super busy, planning a rebellion perhaps, here are some videos explaining the whole system: 

Role Level

Decisions are made by people in clearly-defined roles such as a First Aider or Programming. People in roles with defined accountabilities have full authority to make decisions and take actions within that mandate. These people are responsible for seeking input from those with experience in the area or those affected by it. There will be many opportunities to take a role during the rebellion. Affinity Groups maintain the authority to decide whether to join an action or not. 


From amongst those with knowledge and experience, we suggest that the role should be held by someone whose demographic has traditionally been excluded from decision making. People whose demographic has been traditionally included in decision making are encouraged to think about whether they step back from a role, especially a delegate role. Stepping back from decision making roles is essential to allow for others, who normally wouldn’t, to step in. However, we encourage everyone to make up their own mind and do what is right for themselves and others in the movement. Priority is given to:

  • women
  • trans people
  • gender non-conforming people
  • people of colour
  • People with disabilities
  • people who are between the age of 14 and 30
  • people from working class backgrounds
  • people from migrant backgrounds 
  • people from diaspora communities

Site Level

Decisions made that affect the whole of the site will be made in a daily life cycle, starting with a Site Meeting in the morning and a People’s Assembly in the evening. The Site Meeting is made up of:

  • Rebel Council – rebels chosen by lottery to represent the whole site
  • Parent Group Coordinators – rebels speaking from roles that represent the site’s working group structure
  • People’s Assembly Coordinator – rebel representing the outcome of the People’s Assembly
  • Record Keeper – ensure that accurate minutes of meetings are taken and communicated to the appropriate people and via the appropriate channels
  • Facilitator – external facilitator trained in general and XR specific facilitation skills

In urgent situations, an emergency site meeting can be called with as many people from that group as possible (with a quorum of 3 including the police liaison). 

Site-to-site communication: We can also use site-wide Telegram channels to make quick emergency decisions. Join the Rebellion-wide broadcast channel here.

People’s assemblies are a way for the whole site to discuss issues collectively so that all voices are heard and valued equally and no one person or group is able to dominate the process. The outcomes of these will influence the daily site meeting. 

Rebellion Level

There will be two teams that make decisions which might affect the whole rebellion. These decisions are in the form of advice and requests to sites who maintain autonomy to make their final decision. Both teams include a delegate from each site.

  • The Pressure Building team:  October 7th, the action design RSO team will have worked out a schedule for big actions for each day of the rebellion. However, there may be a need to make strategic changes to that plan or put a lot of resources into a brilliant new action idea someone came up with. That’s why we need a Pressure Building Team (PBT). 
  • The Government Strategy team (GST): They are mandated to liaise between the movement and the government. The GLT decides the messaging strategy and who attends meetings with the government. They do NOT have the power to negotiate on behalf of the movement. 

KEY: Those who are politically active within XR, e.g., a member of a Local Group’s Political or Citizens’ Assembly team and they would like to be a sites delegate on the GST, should fill out this form by 18.00 Tuesday 2ND October. We recommend filling this role with 2 or 3 people per site. If there are many people interested they can be elected by using this process

Questions about the decision system:

Facilitating site meetings: (state your site) 

Facilitating people’s assemblies: Telegram group & Basecamp

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