Newsletter 2019-07-27

"This is not a single-generation job. It's humanity's job... Let's all join together, with your neighbours, co-workers, friends, family, and go out on to the streets to make your voices heard and make this a turning point in our history." - Greta Thunberg and 46 youth activists from the international school strike movement.

Unity across divides.

Since the news that Greta herself was the unlikely guest star on The 1975’s new album, we’ve been thinking a lot about the surprising power of collaboration.

Art dancing with science at our Museum EXtravaganza.

Adults standing alongside young people at the biggest global strike of the century.

And new support for our local arrestees, who – despite coming from many different age groups and walks of life – are united in the choice of putting climate justice before their freedom.
It’s clear that the more we can reach across divides, the more bonds will grow – and a healthier and stronger rebellion (and world) will come from it.

Coming up

Our next Working Group meeting: Tuesday 3 September

We’re taking a break from main working group meetings over August, but there’s still plenty to do, and individual working groups may still be meeting. If you’re interested in joining one, contact a working group coordinator.

Upcoming Actions/Events

Support our local arrestees

A new way to support our Oxford arrestees

With the Met now seeking to charge as many arrestees as possible from the April Rebellion, there’s been a growing need for a coordinated approach to legal costs. On Thursday, XR Legal Support launched a strategy to support local groups (like Oxford) in raising legal funds for charged rebels. We’re blown away by the generosity and love shown so far on our new crowdfunding page – thank you. But with legal fees potentially going into the thousands of pounds for each ‘Not Guilty’ plea, we still have a way to go.

Please do take a look, read some of our local arrestees’ testimonies, and show support in whatever way you can (even if it’s just sharing it with friends and family!)

Arts-Science Extravaganza Planning Meeting

Wednesday 31st July, 7 – 9.30 pm
Come bring and share food and social time together, as we plan the Art-Science EXtravaganza – our large-scale cross-disciplinary event on 28th September to drum up even more enthusiasm and participation in XR ahead of the next Autumn Rebellion.

We’ll generate and shape our ideas for performance actions, costumes, public engagement, community participation, workshops and talks, and just have fun!

Let us know you’re coming, and contact XROxfordArts@gmail.com if you have any queries or comments.

The people strike back. Global Climate Strike Friday 20 September

Unite for the Global Climate Strike

Friday 20th September

In May, Greta Thunberg and 46 youth climate activists called on us: “Young people have led the climate strikes. Now we need adults to join us too. We can’t stave off global heating by ourselves. Together, on 20th September, we can unleash mass resistance.”

This is our chance to stand in solidarity with the young generation. This September, across the world, millions of us will walk out of our workplaces and homes to join young climate strikers on the streets, and demand an end to the age of fossil fuels. The strike has a broad international coalition of support, including backing by the UK Student Climate Network (UKSCN), Extinction Rebellion and many unions.

Trade union activists up and down the country are building for action. But every rebel can join in – you don’t have to be involved in a union to take part.

What everyone can do:

Why we think XR should get fully behind the strike

A call-out from two local rebels

A large group of Oxford's school strikers, smiling and waving placards

“Young people find it hard to self advocate as we cannot vote and we cannot hold office, which means it’s up to the adults of the world to act on our behalf. If you do not act then you have failed us, but we’ll be the ones to pay the consequences.”
EJ, School Climate Striker (front left)

I was asking my friend Alison why so few people, including her, seem to be responding to the global climate movement. “Isn’t it obvious that it’s urgent?” I asked.

“We’re listening, but most people are so scared,” she said. “I’m just trying to get through the day without going mad.”

I felt a wave of sympathy, and my anger with the situation suddenly dropped away. It made sense. I have been worried, and avoiding doing anything significant for years. Instead I’ve felt paralyzed.

So when I joined the April Rebellion, I was so relieved to find there was something I could actually do, and there were others who were passionate and committed. I felt that at least if we were all going to die, we would do it together with some dignity – singing and dancing at the barricades.

That’s fine for me then – at nearly 60, with heart disease, maybe I can find a meaningful way to live the end of my life. But what I truly can’t bear is that the young generation has to face the collapse of both nature and society. As Gail Bradbrook (XR Co-Founder) said, “our children are fighting for their lives”. So when Greta says, “we need everyone. We are asking adults to join us”, I want us to listen. I want us to support her. I want the September 20th strike to be huge, and more importantly, from as wide a cross-section of society as possible.

Let’s show people who are afraid to join us that the climate protest is about more than XR, more than politics – it includes everyone, every age, every viewpoint. I want to stand alongside my wonderful Canary affinity group, and support the amazing school kids.

AND I want to be alongside other groups, people I might disagree with: Conservatives; Brexiteers; corporate profit-making capitalists; people who like Love Island.

I want us to park our differences to focus on the bigger threat. This will also help to address the attempts to ‘shoot the messenger’, which paint XR (inaccurately) as middle-class hippies. It’s harder to target so many and such diverse messengers.

Let’s have our own protest in October, sure, but more urgently let’s show solidarity and get behind Greta’s call for help. We ARE the people we’ve been waiting for.
Richard Lewis, XR Oxford

Regen Time

Five minutes of regenerative art, music, culture or practice to help you through the week

Since we’re on a Greta theme today…sit back and enjoy the powerful, brand new collaboration between Greta Thunberg and indie-pop band The 1975. You probably all know the words by now…but not with this lovely, ambient backdrop. At the same time, why not explore a fascinating new report by one of our Oxford Rebels, demonstrating how public support for Extinction Rebellion’s methods actually increased during the course of the April Rebellion?

Where can I find more information?

Tell us your stories!

This newsletter relies almost entirely on submissions from rebels doing exciting projects – if you have an exciting update or event you want to share, email us your story at xroxford@gmail.com with the subject ‘Newsletter’.