Global Newsletter #42: Gluttons for Change
August 23, 2020 by XR Newsletter
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Everyday we move closer and closer to a state of irreversible climate chaos, ridden with sickness, greed and desperation. Or – we can choose to move toward global societal change and a world we want to live in. The choice is ours. Don’t feed the system, feed the future.
Today we bring you exciting but incipient news of planned Rebellions all over the world. From Poland to Australia, through September and into early October, with more dates being added all the time. (Re)connect with your local group here.
This month we focus on actions across Asia and the Middle East. It’s heartening to see members of XR using their energy in collaboration with other movements and organizations to move towards a common goal.
In Turkey, rebels are working hard to support the protection of Mount Ida from a Canadian gold mine. While in Israel, rebels helped blockade parliament to raise awareness of anti-democratic laws. And in Taiwan, rebels marched to demand clean air and cut coal use.
We look to Helsinki where rebels have just finished a 12 day hunger strike. Also we cover the Indigenous Emergency action, highlighting the plight of Indigenous cultures across the world during these times of crisis and struggle.
With less than a week to go before the Rebellion begins in the UK, the energy is high and rebels are hard at work. Have you seen the awesome September Action Pack yet? Heard about the CEE bill? How about this great new animated video?
Finally, in our Must Read section we publish a selection of posts from the XR Global Blog. The Blog publishes weekly articles which shine a light on the threats that face us and the new tactics being used to fight the climate crisis.
As ever, be sure to browse our Unchained for a selection of all the excellent and juicy actions we couldn’t fit in these pages.
If you’d like to see previous newsletter issues, you can find them here.
This Rebellion needs your support. If you can’t give time, please consider giving money.
In Defence of Mountains
26 JUL | Istanbul, Turkey
Rebels from XR Turkey joined hundreds of protestors in Istanbul to condemn the violent arrest of environmental activists trying to reach Mount Ida to protect it from mining.
The mountain has been devastated by a Canadian gold mine which has raised hundreds of thousands of trees and used cyanide to extract the gold.
A coach-load of activists from Istanbul were blocked by police and then arrested, while activists in nearby Çanakkale had their press conference stormed by police for apparently breaching Covid-19 guidelines. Over 20 activists were fined and jailed overnight.
Police storm an Ekoloji Birliği (Union of Ecology) press conference in Çanakkale Photo: SÖZCÜ
Last year the mine was the site of huge protests, with thousands of activists and locals planting trees and demanding its closure. The government bowed to the pressure, and a few months later the mine’s permit was not renewed, though its infrastructure remains.
A small group of those protestors have stayed on the mountain ever since, using drones to check the gold mine doesn’t restart operations. Authorities have fined them for their ‘illegal accommodation’ to the tune of thousands of dollars – but the protestors remain. The arrested activists had intended to join them to mark the 1st anniversary of those original protests.
A recent report by TEMA, a Turkish environmental group, uncovered that 79% of Mount Ida has been licensed for mining by the government.
XR Turkey and members of Mount Ida solidarity groups have vowed to not let repression and detentions stop them from defending the mountain.
Israeli Rebels Blockade Parliament
21 JUL | Jerusalem, Israel
In Israel a group of brave rebels blocked one of 3 roads leading to the parliament, the Knesset, while the other 2 roads were simultaneously blocked by other movements.
In a remarkable display of non-violent civil disobedience, they physically blocked access to the Knesset to prevent an anti-democratic law from passing, which would reduce parliament’s power to supervise the government’s actions, using the Coronavirus pandemic as a cover. All roads were aggressively cleared by the police. One rebel was arrested.
Taiwan’s Clean Air Parade
8 AUG | Taichung, Taiwan
On Saturday 8 August, XR Taiwan rebels joined other environmental groups on the streets of Taichung City in central Taiwan, to call on the government to cut air pollution and coal use. The city is home to Taiwan’s largest coal-fired power plant.
Photo: Su Chin-feng, Taipei Times
The protestors gathered in front of the city government’s municipal building before setting off on a march. The parade was led by Yeh Guang-perng, chairman of Air Clean Taiwan, and Mayor Lin Shih-hsien, who dressed as trees to highlight the climate and ecological emergency .
The Mayor declared a climate emergency for the first time in Taiwan. “This year is the most crucial time for people to choose a future of sustainability or extinction,” he told The Taipei Times.
The protestors urged the government to do the same, to promote green policies and shift to a net-zero carbon economy .
9 AUG | London, UK and Worldwide
The steps of Trafalgar Square turned red with fake blood, and the fountain neon green, as rebels declared an Indigenous Emergency in London. Banners displayed the motto ‘Genocide = Ecocide’, and people painted one hand red, one green, to highlight the plight of Indigenous Tribes in Brazil. Actions also took place in Spain, Portugal, Turkey, and the US. Five rebels were arrested.
706 indigenous people have died from Covid_19, with nearly double the mortality rate of the general Brazilian population. Indigenous tribes face a battle for their rights with Bolsanoro’s government. The Coalition of the Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (APIB) says “We denounce [the federal indigenous health service’s] lack of transparency and institutional racism and demand respect for our rights.”
Indigenous tribes’ first contact with foreign infectious diseases (including influenza) was during the European colonial invasion in the 15th century, which wiped out 92% of the indigenous population.
You can donate to APIB so they can buy food, medicine and hygiene materials.
Helsinki Hunger Strike
10-21 AUG | Helsinki, Finland
Rebels in the Finish capital have just ended their hunger strike after an impressive 12 days. They were calling on the Finnish government to step up stop delaying action on climate change.
In true XR style, the Kansalaistori camp – just outside the parliament – was a cheerful place full of colour, music and conversion. With many supportive passersby stopping to talk and learn about the CEE.
Despite the laudable claims of Finland’s centre-left government, the unfortunate truth is that over the past year there has been nothing but procrastination on the climate crisis. Finland continues to subsidise burning peat and domestic flights, and the state owned power company, Fortum, just opened a new coal power station in Germany.
Rebels said: ‘We have been inspired by the many people who have voiced their support, both privately and publicly. We are ending the hunger strike on our own terms, at a moment of our own choice. This is not a luxury that many people across the world enjoy. Realistic action will require uncomfortable changes to our lives, but if the alternative is catastrophic climate change, the choice should be clear. Our struggle continues.’
Who would have thought that we’d have too many actions for one newsletter? You amaze us, rebels. Keep it up! Please have a read of the full XR Unchained for more beautiful and courageous actions we couldn’t fit in this issue.
12 AUG | Tel Aviv, Israel
Disguised as pigs, rebels opened a desk at the entrance to the offices of the Psagot Investment House, Israel’s largest pension fund manager, and began eating money lustfully. Then a waitress came and poured goblets of the black stuff they so love to wallow in. They love it so much that they invest over a billion and a half shekels in it.
“Psagot Investment House… is behaving selfishly and gluttonously devouring the rest of the carbon budget that we all have left. This return is going to cost us blood.”
15 JUL | Boston, USA
Rebels staged a die-in outside the Federal Reserve building in Boston to demand our government end fossil fuel bailouts and invest in renewables! The boat they used to block traffic had written “Climate Emergency” on one side and “Just Transition” on the other.
10 AUG | Vistula River, Poland
It is the longest river in Poland. It is of great importance in every corner of the country. As children, we sang songs about her and listened to her legends. The Vistula, queen of Polish rivers, is drying up due to climate change and disastrous corporate and human actions.
On 10 August, in the light of the setting sun and by the symbolic statue of the Warsaw Mermaid, XR Warsaw and a broad range of animal, youth, and environmental activists witnessed the Vistula’s funeral.Discover XR Unchained
New Global Rebellion Dates
Upcoming | Worldwide
Time to get excited, rebels. The next waves of Rebellion are underway!
We’ll update you with further details as soon as we have them, but for now here is a quick rundown of upcoming events all over the world. Wherever you are, whoever you are, get involved.
25 August: XR Argentina
27 August: XR Sweden
1 September: XR UK
5 September: XR Poland
7 September: XR New York City
18 September: XR Netherlands
20 September: XR Switzerland
21 September: XR Norway
26 September: XR Austria
1 October : XR Finland
UK. The Rebellion Returns
From 1 SEP | London, Cardiff, Manchester. UK
XR Africa News
The Troublemaker is an independent production about Extinction Rebellion directed by documentary filmmaker Sasha Snow. Sasha is offering a free screening for a limited time from Tuesday 25 August at 0900 UTC. Keep your eye on social media for the link.
The film follows the personal awakenings of two people as they accept the reality of climate and ecological breakdown and decide to do something about it.
The first is Roger Hallam, praised and vilified by many both inside and outside of Extinction Rebellion. From organic farmer to social science theorist and one-time co-founder of XR, Hallam recently stepped away from any formal role in XR to form his own political party.
The other protagonist is Sylvia Dell, retired mother of 4 from South Devon, UK. Through Sylvia, we get a glimpse of how ecological activism can play out in the life of an apparently ‘ordinary’, law-abiding citizen.
Global Finance Team. Volunteers Needed!
Join the team that keeps the lights on in the Extinction Rebellion Global Support movement! We’re looking for help with: raising funds, designing grant rounds to XR groups, data gathering and communications, and report writing.
Background in finance not necessary but you need to be numerate. Understanding of the Global South context is highly desirable. Get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org
Join XR Global Support
Want to support XR groups around the world?
Global Support is a support body for XR groups, facilitating the flow of resources and material between groups and offering support in the form of trainings, funding, and more.
Groups with open roles include: Media & Messaging, Arts, Tech, SOS, Finance and Fundraising, Participative Democracy, Partnerships, Systems Development, Trainings
Fill in this form or get in touch: XRIntemail@example.com.
Global Social Media. Volunteers Needed!
The Global Support Social Media Team are looking for volunteers to help grow XR’s impact all over the world and amplify the diverse voices of our beautiful movement. We are looking for enthusiastic people to join our dynamic team and harness the power of social media to change the world for the better.
If you have previous social media experience or think that you’ve got what it takes to create eye-catching content, we’d love you to hear from you! Get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org
XR Global Youtube Recruiting!
Can you help us find the best XR video content and help diversify the stories that we share? Join our YouTube team as a Global Content Hunter!
And if you have experience of managing big accounts, a good understanding of metrics and can help grow our YouTube channel… maybe you could go for the Coordinator role!
Read more details about roles needed here and contact us at: XRglobalvideo@protonmail.com
Check out the latest from XR Podcast. This week’s podcast focuses on the new book ‘Who Killed Berta Caceres’ by Nina Lakhani which is a compelling thriller-like read based on the murder of the brave indigenous Berta. She died fighting the development of a dam using World Bank funding in her region in Honduras.
Read it here.
Latest News from Rebellion.global
The blog at the XR Global website focuses on the facts about the crisis as they are. You don’t have to be an expert to read them – but by reading them, you might just be on your way to becoming an expert.
Climate change and COVID-19 are linked. And if we don’t work quickly, this pandemic is just a warm-up for something worse. Great art from XR Comic Science helps break it down and make it accessible to even your least environmentally-minded friends and family.
In places that went under lockdown due to COVID-19, reduced emissions led to fewer premature births, asthma attacks and other health issues. How can we continue the reduced emissions without the horror of a global disaster?
Activists are fighting for Lake Erie through a unique legal means: by getting legal standing for the lake, just like humans have legal standing. It’s not as farfetched as it seems. Dive into the arguments activists are making and learn about the environmentalists on three continents that have done the same with varying degrees of success.
Thank you for reading!
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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.