Newsletter 2019-08-14 – The October Rebellion: Five Ways to Get Ready

Nationwide Rebellion - Autumn 2019

Get ready for the next major rebellion!

The past few weeks have seen extreme weather events in the UK and across the globe, with the hottest July ever following the hottest June. In Siberia, a forest fire has consumed millions of acres of forest, while more than 800 people were rescued from a train near Mumbai, India, when a river burst its banks following torrential rain.

It’s clear that it’s time to act! In April we rose up. In October we will rise again – this time, across cities, countries and continents.  The next major rebellion will start in London on 7 October and will last until 19 October. The best thing you can do right now is let us know you’re coming, so that we can plan effectively.

Read on for ideas on how to get ready to join us! 

Coming up

Our next Working Group meeting: Tuesday 3 September

Individual working groups may still be meeting. If you’re interested in joining one, contact a working group coordinator.

Upcoming Actions/Events

The Extinction Symbol in a crop circle.
Even extraterrestrials support XR (taken at Womad Festival)

But first: a Finances Update

Hello! I’m Ella and I’m the treasurer for XR Oxford. We have our own Triodos Bank account, and we’ve got just over £700 to our name right now. Our money has all come from local donations, and our records are available for everyone to see here. If you have any questions, please give me a shout.

Have we got enough of it?

£700 is a tight budget given all the things we’ve got planned in the coming weeks: lots of training events, a big event at the Natural History Museum, and all the publicity for that event. We are counting on more donations coming in before the end of September, to fund our activities in October and beyond.

How can I help?

  • Our main costs are printing and venue hire. If you have access to cheap, sustainable printing, or cheap or free venues for meetings, please email me.
  • If you run a meeting, talk, or training, please try to collect contributions at the end of the meeting to cover the venue hire. If you make a collection, please email me and I’ll explain how to pay it to XR Oxford.
  • If you or anybody you know would like to make a contribution to XR Oxford, our bank details are here.

Big thanks to the many Oxford rebels who have donated funds, and to those who have paid their own money for venues, printing and kit for actions. Please don’t ever feel any pressure to spend or give your money. Your time and your energy are more precious than anything else.

Rebels blocking a street, holding a "Climate Emergency" banner.
Credit: Vladimir Morozov, Rebel Photographer

So…how do I prepare for a Rebellion?

1. Let us know you’re coming!

October Rebellion planning is in full swing, and this time regional groups will have more autonomy for action planning and design. XR Oxford is joining a regional planning session this weekend in Birmingham, and we need an estimate of numbers of Oxford Rebels expecting to join the Rebellion. So if you consider your primary group to be XR Oxford, please fill out this survey by end of the day on Thursday 15th August. This is completely anonymous, only for planning purposes, and does not commit you to anything. To avoid double counting, only fill it out if your primary group is Oxford.

Rebels sat blocking a street, with police standing nearby.

2. Consider joining an affinity group

An affinity group (AG) is a group of rebels who take action together and support each other, both in and out of actions. In Oxfordshire, they meet to leaflet together, take action locally, organise talks, or just set the world to rights over a drink. During a Rebellion, they can be invaluable friends and comrades. If you’re searching for someone to look out for you on a road block, or just to hold the other end of a banner, start building those friendships now!

There are AGs all over Oxford (North, East, South and West) and in surrounding towns, now including the North Cotswolds! There are groups for families and Oxford Uni staff, and a new group at Oxford University Press.

That sounds great, how do I join one?

Drop a line to find out if there’s a group near you which is open to new members. We can even help if you’d like to start one, there’ll be plenty who’d want to join! We’re especially looking for rebels to start new groups in East Oxford.

3. Get skilled up

Why not use this period before the Rebellion to build your confidence in disruptive action? Your ‘rebelling’ muscles build the more you act, and there’s no better way to do it than practicing with others. There’s non-violent direct action training, swarming and de-escalation practice (with a picnic for afterwards!), and a South East Regional Rebel Gathering in Brighton, with plenty of trainings and chances to connect, build, plan and celebrate. There are also excellent online trainings around too, including this session on non-violent communication, and a new online guide on staying smartphone safe during actions.

More trainings are also planned for September – so keep an eye out!

A network of palm oil access roads on former orangutan habitat in Indonesia.
Credit: © Ulet Ifansasti / Greenpeace

4. Dig into the issues behind our actions

The unmissable This is not a Drill is perhaps the essential handbook on why we do what we do – why not join our online Chat forum, where a rebel book swap has just started up, and try to find a copy?

This September at our Extravaganza, we’ll be tackling another big global issue – unsustainable palm oil. Palm oil has infiltrated our lives: it’s in almost 50% of the food we eat, from chocolate, bread, and ice cream, to detergents, soap, shampoo…and it’s contributing to mass rainforest deforestation. Around 1.2 billion people and 30 million plant and animal species rely on tropical rainforests for survival. Since they absorb and store huge amounts of carbon, deforestation is stripping the planet of one of its vital Natural Climate Solutions.

Sustainable palm oil production is capable of regenerating rainforests – and it is happening. We’re working alongside the Sumatran Orangutan Society at the Extravaganza, who are helping to turn Oxford into a Sustainable Palm Oil City. We’ll also be drawing public attention to our world’s magnificent endangered species, through XR Oxford’s biggest ever performance action!

Email to take part in the Extravaganza, especially our mass performance!

A bumblebee crawling across a blue flower.
A beautiful resting bee, spotted by local rebel Emma Brooks

5. Make time for some regen

Recognising your emotional needs is important at all stages of taking action, and exploring them beforehand can help you feel more prepared. You could watch this video exploring regenerative action, or join an ‘Eco-Listening Space’ at Oxford’s Quaker Meeting House on Fridays from 12.30 – 1.30pm. This is a space for Oxford Quakers and others to listen deeply to each other and share thoughts, as we engage with the climate and ecological crises. Whatever your interest or community, you are welcome. Let Laurie Michaelis know if you have any questions.

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 with the subject ‘Newsletter’.