Extinction Rebellion Launches #MoneyRebellion: Fighting for Life through Financial Disobedience
November 23, 2020 by Extinction Rebellion
- Extinction Rebellion’s Money Rebellion, drawing from the long history of demanding justice via financial disobedience, is a sustained campaign to expose the political economy’s complicity in the climate & ecological emergency 
- Money Rebellion repeats Extinction Rebellion’s demand for Citizens’ Assemblies to safeguard what people need over what corporations want
Today, Extinction Rebellion launches Money Rebellion,  a new campaign using financial disobedience to expose the UK’s suicidal economic and financial system. Over the coming months, citizens will be redistributing debt owed to unethical banks as ‘donations’ to support those on the frontlines of environmental ruin.
As well as traditional street protests, there are guides to help people move to ethical banks,  stickering groups defacing  unethical banks,  and coordinated digital campaigns  citizens can take part in from home. There is a growing group of small businesses who are pledging to divert a portion of their tax to invest in green, sustainable business models and initiatives.
Rod Hart, now retired from his East Anglian plumbing, heating, & electrical business, believes, “We need a healthy financial sector which balances growth and trade. Small businesses are trampled on, despite their role as the lifeblood of the economy. Taxes are being used to maintain a business-as-usual economy, plundering the planet and destroying the future for all. It’s time for small businesses to join together and recognise their potential in the push for positive change.”
The collective influence of the UK’s 5.9 million small businesses is vastly underrated, considering they comprised 99.3% of the total business population and 52% of private sector business turnover in 2019.  By continuing to fund climate destruction, our government  and banks  have demonstrated they cannot be trusted with our money, leaving monetary defiance as the only option. Even in the midst of a global pandemic, bailing out fossil fuel industries is a higher priority than protecting ordinary citizens. 
Last Wednesday, the Government released its inadequate  ‘10 Point Plan’ for their Green Industrial Revolution. The plan commits a dismal £4bn of additional money, which is less than 1/42nd of HS2 projected spending  and a sixth of the £24.1bn increase  in the four-year defence budget announced the very next day. This news brings the yearly defence budget to an average +£47.5bn/ year  until 2025, or nearly 12x new funds in the ‘10 Point Plan’. Clearly, the UK Government places little importance on the climate crisis, between proposing such a criminally negligent plan the same year it named Alok Sharma (Secretary of State for Business, Energy, & Industrial Strategy) President for COP26 , a UN climate conference the UK will host in 2021.
In light of this, Dr. Gail Bradbrook, Extinction Rebellion co-founder, said: “We need a grown-up conversation about why our political economy is killing life on earth. We want people from all walks of life to work with experts to redesign our economy through legally-binding assemblies. This economic system needs us to survive – but if it’s willing to trade our lives and planet in the name of short-term gain, then we don’t need it.
“We want an economy that grows health and well-being, not debt and carbon emissions. An economy that prepares and protects us from the climate crisis, not fuels it. An economy that shares resources instead of prioritising a few. An economy that lets all of us live.”
“There is nothing magical about reducing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. We just don’t have the political or economic will to do this,” Professor Stephan Harrison,  Professor of Climate and Environmental Change at University of Exeter, said recently. Money Rebellion aims to address this lack of political and economic will. (For the avoidance of doubt, quoting Prof Harrison does not imply his support of our campaign).
People can find out more about Money Rebellion here  and how they can get involved.
NOTES FOR EDITORS
-  Governments and firms in 28 countries sued over climate crisis – report (Guardian, 2019)
-  Money Rebellion (website)
-  FireYourFossilBank (website)
-  Sharklays Images, Credits to XR UK
-  Bankrolling Extinction – The banking sector’s role in the global biodiversity crisis (Portfolio Earth, 2020)
-  Digital Rebellion (website)
-  UK Spending 32 Times More On Fossil Fuels Than Renewables: New Report (Forbes, 2020)
-  Banking on Climate Change – Fossil Fuel Finance Report 2020 (Rainforest Action Network, 2020)
-  Not Back But Forward: What The Post-COVID-19 Economic Recovery Models Are Getting Wrong (Forbes, 2020)
-  PM’s climate vision: 10 steps forward, 10 steps back? (BBC, 2020)
-  HS2 ‘on track to cost taxpayer £170bn’ | News (The Times, 2020)
-  PM to announce largest military investment in 30 years (UK Gov Press Release, 2020)
-  UK announces military spending boost, AI and ‘Space Command’ initiatives (CNN, 2020)
- [14 ] Alok Sharma appointed president of Cop26 climate conference (Guardian, 2020)
-  Emergency on Planet Earth (Dr. Emily Grossman, XR Scientists, 2020)
-  Join Money Rebellion (website)
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.