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Showing posts from October, 2019

On whiteness and Extinction Rebellion

This is the tweet that encapsulated for many what is wrong with Extinction Rebellion. Someone who was arrested sent flowers to Brixton Police Station, where they had been held, and then released. And someone pointed out that this is a station where black men have died in the cells . But this lovely, we presume white, person was treated well enough at the police station to make them send flowers. I must admit I didn't know about deaths in Brixton Police station. The fact I don't live in London is probably not a good enough reason for this. If I'm brutally honest, I could imagine being the type of person who sent those flowers. I would have been totally ignorant of the wider issues around this. A lot of people I respect are very on board with Extinction Rebellion. A lot of people I respect are very heavily critical of Extinction Rebellion. So I'm writing this, not because I particularly think I have a clever analysis of all this, but because I think it's a press

Why non-violent civil disobedience?

Inevitably there is always a lot of debate about the tactics of Extinction Rebellion. Of course as people concerned about the climate crisis this isn't what we want to be talking about - we want to be talking about the climate crisis and the government's inaction. We want to tell the truth about the mess we're in and for the government to start acting on the emergency. But it is also important to be as clear as possible about the tactics and the reason for them. I think it's important for both members of Extinction Rebellion and for the general public to be as clear as possible about why we do what we do. Non-violent action must be rooted in a spiritual/moral foundation. It is based on the idea that there is right and there is wrong and it is the moral duty of everyone to do right and not to do wrong. Non-violent action is based on the idea that there is a covenant between the citizen and the state, that both have certain rights and responsibilities to each ot

More reflections from my time with Extinction Rebellion in London

I'm back in Cardiff now after a few days with Extinction Rebellion in London . It's all still ongoing, and I find myself with much to think about. In many ways I was really only dipping my toe in this kind of thing. I took part in the Cardiff action in the summer , but this was the first time I had gone to London for an Extinction Rebellion protest. I was apprehensive but I feel much more comfortable doing this kind of thing now. What I'd like to say to anyone curious it that it's totally possible to just turn up, have a look around, be as involved as you want to be. You don't have to be prepared to get arrested, you can just be there. Thousands of people were there, but in some ways I was disappointed by the numbers. It would be a lot more effective if there were like 100,000 people there - the kinds of numbers for a football match. At those numbers the police couldn't do much, the streets couldn't be taken back. People wouldn't have to do a

Dispatch from London International Rebellion

I’m writing this from London on Day 4 of the International Rebellion in October 2019. This is the second major action in London this year from Extinction Rebellion. I haven’t clearly thought out my thoughts so I don’t really know what I’m about to write. I might try to write something clearer later. I suppose I want to start by saying why I’m here. I suppose I’m here primarily because I’m scared. I’m shit scared and the reality of what’s going on in the world is something that I’m constantly grappling with. It’s a year since the IPCC report came out saying we have 12 (now 11) years to avoid disaster. Governments still aren’t acting. I’m scared. There’s a real threat to human civilisation as we know it. And for the most part we’re actively ignoring it. The chant from the youth strikes (though shouted with youthful enthusiasm) still fills me with utter horror: “You’ll die of old age. We will die of climate change.” That’s what our children are saying directly to our faces. T