Newsletter February 2022
February 07, 2022 by Extinction Rebellion
Last month’s Newsletter featured a review of the year but this month we are unashamedly looking forward. The new XR Strategy has been unveiled across the movement’s platforms and toured the UK with Zoom calls and well attended face-to-face meetings. The response has been amazing: rebels fired up to build the movement and get ready for the first rebellion of the year beginning on 9th April. To emphasise the importance of local actions in building our support we’ve included a couple of regional reports. We intend to make these a regular feature of future newsletters – so keep sending in your news. We have some important announcements and exciting opportunities, including training programmes for new and existing rebels. And don’t miss our link to the Global Newsletter out later this week. XR has become a truly world-wide phenomenon.
UK Strategy Tour
January saw the launch of the XR UK 2022 strategy. Online events and face-to-face meetings (at last!) have given an opportunity for the team to expand on the aims and objectives of the strategy and the means by which they will be delivered. Across the regions, from Wales to the East Midlands, from Brighton to Inverness, the response has been amazing. Zoom events have been heavily oversubscribed, with repeat events needed in some locations.
The key aims of the Strategy, which have been widely welcomed, are to massively grow the movement ready for putting thousands of people on the streets in April. And there will be a clearer focus around a key demand: to end the fossil economy. Throughout the year we will put even more energy, enthusiasm and creativity into telling our story and the reasons for our work. We will build more effective networks to support our rebels through challenging times ahead. And we will never forget that we are part of a wider national and international, fully inclusive community.
Read the strategy in full here.
The next UK Rebellion starts at 10:00 Saturday 9 April in Hyde Park, London. Be there!
Three is the magic number | Halifax, Yorkshire
At the end of January Calderdale XR, Green New Deal and Friends of the Earth marched to Halifax Town Hall to mark the third anniversary of the Council’s Climate Emergency Declaration.
With a nod to Marvel’s Spiderman movie, currently being filmed in the town, they sent a message that 3 is the magic number and it’s time for the council to become superheroes and take responsibility for addressing this emergency.
Ten demands were banged onto the Council’s door, accompanied by ten loud samba band drum rings echoing out over the town.
The message to the Council was made clear: ‘The climate emergency is the biggest crisis humanity has ever faced, way bigger than Covid. Every level of government has to wake up and act like their words mean something. Floods, fires and food shortages won’t wait for drawn-out bureaucracy and procedures’.
Landing Crew | Exeter, Devon
The UK Parliament has declared a Climate Emergency in the face of rising global temperatures caused by greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuels, but plans for airport expansion are continuing a zero tax subsidy on aviation fuel. A group of XR people who have styled themselves as Landing Crew highlighted this dangerous contradiction to Christmas shoppers in Exeter High Street, handing out leaflets to passers-by, asking them to contact their MP to express their concern at the situation and to consider taking a flight-free year and signing up to www.flight-free.co.uk.
Artist and Landing Crew creator Anne-Marie said ‘If we want to reduce our carbon footprint, flying less or not at all is one of the easiest and best ways of doing it. We can discover new destinations and ways to travel. We all need to take action on climate change and, if lots of us act together, real change happens’.
News and announcements
The UK Rebel Pathway team behind the Foundation Programme is proud to be supporting the new XR strategy by welcoming new rebels and giving them a sound understanding of the principles and practices of XR.
The Foundation Programme (FP) is for everyone, new and existing, and aims to guide rebels around the technologies and practices of XR. Graduates should be able to return to their local groups with a more comprehensive understanding of the movement and inspire their fellow team members to join up too. The FP team is supportive and motivational, facilitating students to study at their own pace whilst encouraging valuable personal connections with fellow students. At the end of the course, the team encourages graduates to look for a role at regional, national or UK level within XR and individually supports them to find their best-matched team. The programme gives a thorough grounding in who we are, how we work and how to get involved through a mix of live Zoom sessions, videos and e-learning. It covers XR strategy and structure, NVDA, facilitation skills, communication tools and the Regenerative Culture, amongst many other topics.
The FP first launched in May 2021 and since then it has run seven times with over 500 people signing up: feedback from graduates has been overwhelmingly positive. The course has helped to spread the XR message across the world, attracting students from diverse locations such as Brazil, the US, the Azores and most parts of Europe.
The course runs monthly and lasts for four weeks. Students can choose the Full Programme (24 hrs @ 6 hrs per week) or the Light Programme (4-8 hrs @ 1-2 hrs per week) depending on how much time they have available.
Although the programme is aimed primarily at those new to XR, all rebels are very welcome to sign up and take modules that are of interest.
Recruiting now: Rebellion Academy
If you are already active in XR but want to learn more about how XR works and how to contribute more, then check out the Rebellion Academy.
This online learning platform is full of training programmes for you to work through in your own time. A one-minute video shows you how to login and navigate through Rebellion Academy: https://youtu.be/1URyizXW3is
There are a huge range of training options for different rebels and roles, from Regen to NVDA to press releases. This one minute video shows you how to complete a course: https://youtu.be/iSahHMNDr5o .
XR Deep Water: Flooding is sh*t! Literally!
Feb 17 | Online 19:00 – 21:00
We’ve all seen the recent news about sewage discharges… The UK Government is supporting water companies with the practice of discharging into our oceans and rivers. So what can YOU do in your community to make sure your local watercourses and seas are clean and safe? Join XR Deep Water for presentations by speakers and a gathering in the style of a People’s Assembly to share thoughts and ideas on how to take the Flooding is Sh*t! campaign forward. Register here.
Want to know more about XR Deep Water? Click here. #ActNow Signup!
Campaign: Better without Barclays
Barclays is Europe’s biggest funder of the fossil fuel industry: lending £4 billion for new fossil fuels projects in 2021. HMRC banks with Barclays, meaning your taxes are used to finance the climate crisis. Join us in taking a month of action against Barclays.
Midlands Actions Circle has created an Action Pack for rebels across the UK, full of ideas to get involved at home and on the streets. Subscribe here to access it:
While they profit, the world burns. We’re much Better Without Barclays!
Find out more about the campaign here.
XR Podcast is recruiting
Are you a sound designer, editor or pod producer with about ten hours a month to help address the climate, ecological, economic and political crises we are all suffering under? XR Podcast are looking to reboot the team for 2022. In the past we have had some fantastic creative professionals. Our last podcast had nearly 20K downloads. We’ve had some great interviewees, including Jascon Hickel, Joanna Macy, Kate Raworth, Margaret Atwood, Jonathan Franzen, George Monbiot, Kevin Anderson and even Michael Gove.
So if you feel you have anything to offer the team or know someone who might, please email the team on firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re particularly interested in underrepresented groups and we can provide training for presenters with promise.
XR Survey report: Barriers to engagement
Following on from the Post Rebellion Survey that was reported in the December newsletter, XR’s research team has published a new survey looking in more detail at actual and potential barriers to people’s engagement with XR. The outcomes of this exciting, academic quality research should enable those involved in taking out XR’s message and building the movement to reflect on XR’s reach, impact and relatability to different sorts of people. Are we merely preaching to the converted or reaching diverse groups in the community and inspiring people to begin to engage in environmental activism? The methodology and outcomes of the survey are summarised in the presentation that accompanies the survey report, and can be found here.
If you have skills and enthusiasm that could help with conducting the feedback and research work within XR, then you can contact them at Feedbacklearningxr@gmail.com.
XR Global Newsletter
The February Global Newsletter is out Friday 11th and focuses on the Global Coastline Rebellion, an amazing day of action that involved multiple movements across 19 countries. Oil spills have already devastated a series of Global South coastlines this year, and rebels all over the world rose like water to protect their oceans and tell the oil corporations to go. We also have reports on the Kill The Bill campaign in the UK and the murder of climate activists in Colombia. Subscribe now by hitting the link here.
Exposing climate denial: DeSmog
This weekly newsletter is an essential read to keep up to date with the world of climate science and denial. This week they expose the Sun newspaper (surprise, surprise!) for uncritically reporting a misleading climate ‘poll’ by the anti-fuel duty group FairFuelUK. Claiming to have found ‘overwhelming support’ for a referendum on the UK’s net-zero target, the report failed to mention that the survey had been conducted among its own supporters and among members of motoring and motorcycle pressure groups and that even the group’s founder himself had accepted that the questions were a ‘little loaded’. Other stories featured by DeSmog include an exposure of the way Big Oil uses the PR industry to transform the way we think about the environment and how, despite its net-zero promise, Exxon has just opened a vast new plastics complex in Texas.
If you haven’t already, you can sign up to DeSmog here.
Bringing It Home | On-line
Take part in a year long journey into nature-connected community building. The hosts, Peter Cow and Sky Maria Buitenhuis, describe the programme as: ‘An on-line yearlong immersive programme where we use the 8 Shields model to teach how we can create a regenerative future for all beings by re-learning indigenous ways of being in connection with ourselves, each other and all of the Earth, and embodying these connections in how we design our systems’.
We featured this programme last year and there was a lot of interest from XR people. This year’s programme starts in March, with introductory evening group calls on either 16 February or 2 March. You can find out more here.
The UK newsletter needs you!
Our regular UK Newsletter aims to be representative of the whole movement and its local and regional groups. So, please send in your news, feedback and comments.
You can email us at XR-UKNewsletter@protonmail.com or join our channel on Mattermost: UK Emails and Newsletter Requests. The UK Newsletter normally comes out on the first Monday of the month, so the deadline for news, announcements and stories is the end of the preceding week.
Love and Rage,
The UK Newsletter Editing Team