Extinction Rebellion UK statement on events in Bristol yesterday
March 22, 2021 by Extinction Rebellion
The tensions of the past week around the Police, Crimes, Sentencing and Courts Bill have evoked a visceral response around the UK from a public who feel powerless. What we saw in Bristol yesterday was the effect of the Government overplaying its hand and attempting to outlaw the basic right to protest, threatening peaceful protestors with 10 year sentences at a time when we are faced with numerous intersecting crises.
We have to ask why this Bill was being rushed through so fast? Democracy means allowing time for the conversation about how the Police, Crimes, Sentencing and Courts Bill will impact on everyone’s future forever. This is a moment in history where we need some deliberation not distraction, giving some serious thought to how this Bill will impact our democracy. When the politics of 2021 will decide the fate of the human species, we must also ask why a government trying to maintain a just, democratic society and take proportionate action on climate change wouldn’t welcome effective protest movements?
Extinction Rebellion has a deep commitment to nonviolence. We use it as a means to reveal the true perpetrators of systemic violence that is waged against people every day the world over.
We would urge the UK Government to look at recent history in the United States. We’ve seen what happens when a Government, instead of facing up to the current crises confronting society, attempts to silence dissent and stoke a “culture war”. When a Government, instead of healing society, sets out to sow division, it cannot claim innocence when the result is violence.
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.