The FAQs below should give you all the information you need to support the Rebellion in September. Whether you are a seasoned rebel or a first-timer, we invite everyone who is sick of the lies, injustice, inequality and harm, to join us.
BACKGROUND – WHEN, WHAT, WHY
- What do you want from the Government?
The purpose of this rebellion is to use nonviolent civil disobedience to peacefully blockade UK parliament until they promise that the first thing they’ll do when returning from recess is debate our 3 demands – for Truth, Action and Citizens Assemblies. Welsh Rebels will join us in Rebellion by causing disruption in Cardiff, with rebels in the North and Scotland formulating plans as we speak. We’ll be there for as long as it takes so take at least two weeks off work if you can. If it doesn’t work, we will build for another Rebellion in early 2021.
Find out more about Extinction Rebellion’s 3 Demands in the UK.
- Why now?
Because enough’s enough. There are countless reasons why people are fed up with our failed Government. They are actively working to prop up a system that is killing us, with people of colour disproportionately affected. They did not listen to expert advice and prepare for Covid-19, abandoning the vulnerable and prioritising the economy, resulting in tens of thousands of deaths. They are doing the same with the climate and ecological emergency and ignoring scientist warnings.
The Government, after promising a green recovery, are moving quickly to brush those promises under the carpet. Bailouts are going to destructive companies, not to a transition which would support people and the planet’s health. The Prime Minister recently began unveiling his coronavirus recovery plans for a ‘New Deal’ with a focus on growth, not on green. This comes after news that the Government’s own Committee on Climate Change are now warning them to prepare for a 4 degree world. That amount of warming could result in billions of deaths, with racially marginalised communities, and those in the Global South on the front line.
World powers know what is happening, and yet they continue with the destruction. If we accept 4 degrees of warming, that is to accept a genocide of Global South nations. The Government has no democratic mandate to use the COVID-19 financial stimulus to drive us to destruction.
Business-as-usual has gone on long enough, we must fight for a better, fairer, safer future.
- Why nonviolent civil disobedience?
- How did you make the decisions for this rebellion?
Find the extensive report from the Rebellion Weavers Team on decisions made here.
GETTING READY FOR REBELLION
- What are the best things to do to prepare beforehand?
To prepare for rebellion we recommend one essential talk and one essential training. If you’ve never joined one of our actions before then attend both of the following and you’ll be rebellion read:
- Our new 15 minute emergency rebellion talk [COMING SOON] – explaining why we’re fucked and everything you need to know about taking part in the Rebellion. Or, if you haven’t seen it before, our crucial ‘Heading For Extinction’ talk.
2. A Non Violent Direct Action Training (NVDA) – a 3 hour training on how to safely take part in civil disobedience including everything you need to know about getting arrested.
And if we’re going to make this Rebellion big enough to truly force the government to act then it is every rebels’ duty to become a mobiliser and get actively involved in growing the movement. Try out our easy 7 Mobilisation Methods or join a local group to get involved.
- How should I prepare my community for Rebellion?
Our helpful handbook shows you how to get rebels in your area excited about Rebellion again as we emerge from the pandemic, how to train others and mobilise in your community.
Read the We Want to Live Handbook
- I want to make stuff for the Rebellion, how do I do it?
We are a decentralised movement operating very much in the spirit of DIY.
Find banners, posters, leaflets and more for the Rebellion on our Art Group page.
All the artwork is free to use but do not use any of the artwork commercially, however well-meaning (even fundraising).
PRACTICALITIES & LOGISTICS
- Where will people stay?
The advice and regulations around Covid-19 may well change several times before September. We hope many people will be able to be hosted by other rebels while maintaining some appropriate physical distancing. It is up to people to look after themselves and be responsible for themselves if they do want to camp. We will be attempting to secure some sanctuary spaces and campsites.
- I’d like to come with others, how can I get in touch with my local group?
You can find your local group to connect with members of Extinction Rebellion who live near you.
SAFETY & COVID-19
- How are you going to keep people safe during Covid-19?
The difficulty of decision-making during the uncertain time of a global pandemic: We feel a duty to balance peoples’ safety in minimising mass gatherings with the urgent need to rebel and hold the UK Government to account on their inaction on the Climate and Ecological Emergency.
It is our priority to advise people of the risks before they take part to ensure safety where we can. We will provide safety guidelines, as we aim to do for all of our actions, about following public health advice. Currently, as lockdown lifts, we feel it is safe and of grave necessity to hold a Rebellion in our cities at this time. If for any reason the situation changes and there is a second wave of coronavirus, we will adapt to the situation and assess the best way forward when that time comes.
- What if we have a second wave of coronavirus?
Currently, as lockdown lifts, we feel it is safe and of grave necessity to hold a Rebellion in our cities at this time. If for any reason the situation changes and there is a second wave of coronavirus, we will adapt to the situation and assess the best way forward when that time comes.
- Will you be disrupting people trying to get to work?
Our actions have a key element of disruption which means there is always the possibility of disrupting the public. We have learnt from all our previous actions, however, and will aim to not disrupt ‘ordinary people’. Our focus will be on parliaments.
- Isn’t there more important stuff going on right now?
We recognise the current difficulties people are facing. The loss we have experienced due to the pandemic. The ongoing struggle for racial justice. The financial stress people are under, losing their jobs and being oppressed by high rents and rising prices. These are all factors of a failing Government and economic system. A Government that has shown time and time again it has its priorities all wrong. It is, right now, bailing out big businesses that are destructive and perpetuating inequality. There is a chance now to change everything and reprioritise a sustainable future. We are running out of time.
- We’re in the worst recession for decades, surely the Government has to prioritise the economy above all else?
Prioritisation of profit and perpetual growth is what has got us into this mess. The climate crisis, like covid, is taking people’s lives. What can be more important than the health of our fellow human beings, other species, and the health of our planet? If the recovery of the economy does not put the protection of people and the environment as its Number One priority now, then we’re giving up the best chance we have to change.
ARRESTS & THE POLICE
- Will I get arrested? (What risks are involved?)
The presence of all rebels is valued, no matter whether they get arrested or not. However, for those attending the Rebellion, it is essential to be informed about your legal rights before attending a protest.
The Rebellion is an act of civil disobedience that can lead to arrest.
Every rebel needs to take responsibility for informing themselves of the legal risks and their rights to protest before an action. And responsibility for their decision of whether they join an action or not.
Inform yourself by reading the legal information on our website and attending one of the Know Your Rights trainings found on the basecamp landing page. Being arrested can have a variety of consequences for you which very much depend on your individual circumstances.
- You’ve been criticised in the past for your relationship with the police. What are you doing about that?
Please see our recent statement on our police strategy here.
- How are you going to make this Rebellion more inclusive for marginalised groups?
As we prepare to mobilise people to take to the streets again, we want to make very clear that the only way to have a rebellion that challenges the systems on which the climate emergency thrives, is for that rebellion to prioritise anti-racism and solidarity with marginalised groups and all people striving for equality and justice. Some of the ways we are doing that are:
- Review all training workshops regularly for inclusivity, and speak explicitly of the great risks marginalised activists face when taking part in actions.
- Work to prioritise collaboration in the creation and performance of antiracism and solidarity actions and developing more actions that are accessible to everyone.
- To share the story of our XRUK Internationalist Solidarity Network led by Kofi Klu and Esther Stanford-Xosei work which has been quietly building since Autumn 2018 and is led by Global South colleagues.
- We will continue to encourage all XR activists to take part in at least one of the range of anti-oppression and decolonisation workshops currently run within the movement, as well as engaging with external resources.
- In January 2020 we released our updated Nonviolent Direct Action (NVDA) training of which one of the main sections is ‘Police, Oppression, and the Justice System’. Within that we reference the Decolonise and anti-oppression workshops.
- Over the past year we have continued to adapt our ‘Know Your Rights’ training, which covers how to engage with the police, acknowledging the disproportionate policing of marginalised groups and the role of white, able bodied privilege. This aims to create a safer protest environment by empowering all activists with the knowledge to understand the widespread discrimination within policing and to be aware of how to limit risk to themselves and others.