The September 2020 Rebellion is now over. But the work doesn’t stop here. Rebellion is a part of everything we do, and it’s vital we all carry on. Please visit the UK Rebellion 2020 page for what to do next.
BACKGROUND – WHEN, WHAT, WHY
- What do you want from the Government?
The purpose of this rebellion is to use nonviolent civil disobedience to peacefully stop MPs from entering UK parliament until they promise until they back the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill and prepare for crisis with a National Citizens’ Assembly. Rebels will also join us in disruption of Cardiff and Manchester. These rebellions are open to all! 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.
- What’s the plan? – London, Parliament
On Day 1 rebels are invited to sit in the road and at Parliament entrances, remain overnight to hold the space, to remind the government we’re watching them. MPs are invited to join rebels in the road and speak with them about why they must act now and back the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill. We will sit outside until they act. We will stay overnight if necessary.
On Day 2, we’ll be sure to “welcome” the Prime Minister when he arrives for Prime Minister’s Questions, followed by an escalation of pressure building actions as the week progresses.
There will be a People’s Assembly on Tuesday 1st September at 6pm, to decide together how to escalate our plans and stop MPs from entering Parliament. If politicians won’t take this crisis seriously then we must prevent them from causing more harm. We will disrupt the entrances to Parliament and stop MPs from continuing to pass policy that’s killing us until they agree to set up a National Citizens’ Assembly with real influence in Westminster.
- What’s the plan? – Cardiff & Manchester
Rebels from Bristol, Wales and the South West of England are coming together in Cardiff on the 1st Sept to say: ‘The Future Starts Now!’ On the first day there will be a Declaration of Rebellion and a March for our Future, followed by a focus on the intersecting global crises and the impact the climate crisis is having across Wales, with a Rising Tide Action at the Senedd and in Cardiff Bay. See below for some of the actions and for more info please read the Cardiff Plan document, put together by the Bristol, South West & Wales Weavers, including strategy, aims and more messaging information for the rebellion in Cardiff.
Tue 1 Sep – March for our Future & Declare Rebellion! // Location TBC – The Future Starts Now!
Wed 2 Sep – Rising Tide // The Senedd & Cardiff Bay – Prepare For Crisis
Thu 3 Sep – Media Actions: Alternative Broadcast with Film Strike for Climate // BBC – Tell the Truth
Fri 4 Sep – Build a Better World: Peoples’ Assemblies // Location TBC – Build a Better World
Sat 5 Sep – Movement of Movements March // Location TBC – Everyone Together
Following the bank holiday weekend of outreaching actions from local groups and affinity groups, including banner drops, flyposting, stencilling and standing in solidarity with social justice movements. we will concentrate our energy in Manchester on the 1st September where we will take and hold space in the centre of the city, meeting at St Peter’s Square 9am. We will be calling on Barclays, Greater Manchester Pension Fund and more to divest from fossil fuels and providing a platform to other movements, organisations and individuals to share their struggles with us; so we can better understand how all our battles are really part of the same fight and how we can better fight together. For more information and advice for Local Group support in the North see this document.
- 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 – 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?
We will support as many rebels as we can in the 3 major cities to be hosted by a fellow rebel. Please fill in this form to host or be hosted in Manchester, Cardiff or London. We recognise it is more difficult to open our homes during Covid-19. We are looking to secure sanctuary spaces and a campsite at one of the central London parks, but cannot guarantee rebels’ safety from arrest or oversee belongings left unattended. It is up to you whether you want to camp or be present at actions overnight but we ask rebels to be responsible for themselves and their belongings.
- 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.
- How can I take part from home?
Take action from home! We are well aware that during Covid-19 a lot of people will not be able to join us on the streets in major cities. There are ways to rebel from home that will help push the government to act. Digital Rebellion will target key institutions of power during September to keep the pressure on while we rebel on the ground. As long as you have internet connection or a phone, you can take part! This is a safe and inclusive way to get involved. Get involved on the Digital Rebellion website where we are currently demanding 10 Downing Street ends fossil fuel investment overseas. The page will be updated with targets to build more pressure in the next few weeks!
SPEAK TO YOUR MP
As rebels take the CEE Bill to parliament and peacefully disrupt in cities, we need every MP to hear about the CEE Bill. MPs have a responsibility to listen to their constituents, so contact yours here and ask them to support the bill. You can write to them, go and sit outside their office, request a meeting, ask them to forward the Bill to relevant Government departments, whatever it takes!
HS2 Rebellion will join the rebellion in September to hold a series of actions in London, Manchester, and along the HS2 line. Join the HS2 Rebellion Telegram Broadcast and sign up for roles during the rebellion here or Take action online.
Important dates for your HS2 Rebellion diaries:
Sept 4th: National Day of NVDA to stop HS2