Politicians, QCs, economists, writers, artists, actors, musicians, comedians, business owners and even an Olympic Gold medalist condemn Government failure and pledge support for Extinction Rebellion.
September 13, 2020 by Extinction Rebellion
More than one hundred cultural and political leaders have signed a letter condemning multiple Government failures and pledging support for the aims and successes of Extinction Rebellion.
Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, Dr Rowan Williams, Sir Mark Rylance, Sir Anthony Gormley, Stephen Fry, Jolyon Maugham QC, Dr Jason Hickel, Caroline Lucas MP, Cornelia Parker OBE, Chris Packham OBE, Mackenzie Crook, Massive Attack, Frankie Boyle, Juliet Stevenson, Maxine Peake, Jeanette Winsterson, Dame Vivienne Westwood, Daisy Lowe, Dr Pam Hogg, Jaime Winstone, Lily Cole and Ecotricity founder Dale Vince OBE
More than a third of the signatories are publishers and writers – including Dame Marina Warner, Dame Carmen Callil, Deborah Levy and Meg Rosoff.
The letter pushes back against the idea that Extinction Rebellion has lost support following their recent action at newspaper printing presses – a narrative that has been strongly pursued by the mainstream media and specifically the Murdoch owned press. It says:
“Extinction Rebellion has helped push the Government’s failure to act on the climate and ecological emergency into the public eye. Whether or not we agree with their tactics or their targets, by blocking printing presses and delaying newspaper distribution, they have connected the dots of a broken system.”
The letter also follows threats by the Government to reclassify Extinction Rebellion as a criminal organisation, a move which would make it much more difficult for members to protest or speak out. In a week where Government ministers have suggested Extinction Rebellion actions have been an ‘attack on free speech’, many see calls to criminalise the organisation as a sinister hypocritical move:
“Extinction Rebellion are not organised criminals. They should not be the targets of vitriol and anti-democratic posturing. They’re just a group of people who are holding the powerful to account”, the letter states.
Nuala Gathercole Lam, a spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion said:
“We’re really grateful to these people whose public profile means that they have more to risk than most in speaking out and showing us support. Over the past week we’ve seen personal attacks on our furniture, fabricated stories about divisions within our movement, attempts to paint us as ISIS supporters and fascists and efforts to get our funders to disown us and other activists to denounce us. With this letter a number of people who are very widely respected have re-centred the story on what matters most – the urgent need for climate and ecological action. We hope that their example might remind us all that we’re in this together – no matter who we work for or what our lives have been up until now. We’re living in a world on fire and we need to come together so that we can hold the most powerful to account. We’re truly humbled by these people’s courage – it means so much to us right now.”
Notes to editors
ABOUT EXTINCTION REBELLION
Time has almost entirely run out to address the ecological crisis which is upon us, including the 6th mass species extinction, global pollution, and increasingly rapid climate change. If urgent and radical action isn’t taken, we’re heading towards 4˚C warming, and the societal collapse and mass loss of life that that implies. The younger generation, racially marginalised communities and the Global South are on the front-line. No-one will escape the devastating impacts.
Extinction Rebellion believes it is a citizen’s duty to rebel, using peaceful civil disobedience, when faced with criminal inactivity by their Government.
Extinction Rebellion’s key demands are:
- Government must tell the truth by declaring a climate and ecological emergency, working with other institutions to communicate the urgency for change.
- Government must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.
- Government must create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice.
- In the UK, come to one of our events, join the Rebellion Network and let us know how you can help out.
- Start a group where you are: in the UK or around the world.
- Find your local group.
- Check out the International XR website, with links to the French, German, Italian and UK websites.
- And while your time and energy are of most importance, if you are financially able to donate money, see our crowdfunder.
About Rising Up!
Extinction Rebellion emerged from the Rising Up! network, which promotes a fundamental change of our political and economic system to one which maximises well-being and minimises harm. Change needs to be nurtured in a culture of reverence, gratitude and inclusion while the tools of civil disobedience and direct action are used to express our collective power.