Newsletter 2019-09-10 – ⏳ One month to go…⏳

Rebels sat in a circle on the grass of Oxord University Parks
Never too big a circle for everyone… (at our park session on swarming and de-escalation)

As we go into our last month before the October Rebellion, it couldn’t be more of a turbulent time in politics. If damage can be done in words rather than blows, then right now the Commons isn’t the place to look for XR’s non-violent principles… Politicians could learn a lot from Rupert Read and Roger Hallam (two co-founders of XR), who exemplified respectful, civil debate in Oxford last week, finding common ground despite their differences on some topics.

September is packed. Local rebels are working flat out to make sure everyone is as prepared for the London Rebellion as they can be. If you’re thinking of getting involved but haven’t yet, now’s your time. Don’t be afraid to come along to our big planning meeting or a social and say: ‘Hi, I’m looking for the Rebellion?’

Update on Meetings

To give them a bit more flexibility and less time pressure, Working Groups are now meeting at their own convenience (rather than all at once). If you’d like to find out when the next meeting of a group is (or how you can help out), get in touch with a coordinator. 

Upcoming Actions/Events

And on Fridays from 12.30 – 1.30 pm, there is a weekly ‘Eco-Listening Space’ to reflect on the climate emergency and any feelings that arise, Oxford Quaker Meeting House, 43 St Giles OX1 3LW

Rebels preparing food in a street kitchen
Feeding the Rebellion – photo by Gareth Morris

Four practical ways to help make the Rebellion happen

7th October – 19th October 2019

This rebellion is going to be huge – because time is running out. Leading scientists and public figures have estimated we have as little as 18 months to turn it around. The situation is urgent and we need to act now. ⏳ We will peacefully shut down all roads into Westminster in Central London and nonviolently disrupt the government until our leaders agree to take emergency action now. Other nonviolent actions will target corporations, ministries and infrastructure that maintain our toxic system.

So how can you help make it happen?

  1. Come along to our important ‘October Rebellion: Information and Preparing for Action’ session. 
    An essential meeting if you want to find out how the Rebellion will work and what you can do to prepare! 
  2. Register for a role (however big or small). 
    Local groups will be taking more responsibility for making the Rebellion happen this time (with Oxford working as part of the South East). This is “we are all crew” on a grand scale. It’s also a great opportunity for people in Oxford who don’t yet have roles to take some more responsibility, in a manageable, time-limited way. This Rebellion needs everyone. If you think you have nothing to contribute, think again. Bring yourself, and that will be enough.
  3. Are you signed up to the Announcements email list?
    These are regular emails on more in-depth announcements for XR Oxford. If you’re looking for more information than this newsletter, this is the next step.
  4. Download Telegram, the primary messaging app for the Rebellion.
    More secure than Whatsapp, this is the primary way we’ll be communicating on the ground – so please download it now! More info to come on how we’ll be using Telegram and which groups to join.

Hardship Fund for the Rebellion

We are seeking applications and donations for a hardship fund for the October Rebellion. If money is an important factor hindering your full participation in October, you can apply for any of the following:

  1. A £15 travel grant.
  2. An £8 per attended day subsistence grant.
  3. For those who suffer loss of earnings due to their participation in October, a discretionary amount that will depend on: the extent of their involvement, the level of their hardship, the number of applications, and the money available in the fund.

Applications are to be made to the fund administrator, Tina, detailing level of need, and confirming that you live in Oxford or a nearby village, or have been active in Oxford Extinction Rebellion. The application deadline is Tuesday 17th September at 5pm.

Donations can also be made and are very gratefully received – you will be helping break down financial barriers so that as many rebels as possible can come to the streets of London.

Green, pink, and blue bandannas printed with birds, beetles, bees, and the Extinction Symbol.

Roll up and get one of these!

Art-Science EXtravaganza: Saturday 28 September

Wear a beautiful XR Oxford bandanna for our performance actions at the Art-Science EXtravaganza, showing how ecological breakdown is linked to climate breakdown – they go hand in glove. Email Jane to sign up (letting her know if you’re part of an affinity group or not).

Calling young rebels and School Strikers!

Calling young rebels! Take part in the Masked Intervention for the EXtravaganza. Wear a beautiful mask representing some of the species essential in the British countryside. Help us show the public that we won’t beat climate breakdown if we have driven our wildlife to extinction. Contact Jane to volunteer.

Rebels, dressed in red with white faces, standing with the tide rising up their legs, raising their fists in a salute.
The XR Red Brigade at St Ives, photo by GavanGoulder

Oxford’s own Red Brigade rises!

You may have seen XR Red Brigades before – you’ll never forget them if you have. Arresting, powerful and moving, their silent processions enact and embody the grief and rage felt towards our planet’s situation.

If you’ve heard the ripping of fabric around Oxford, or seen red scraps floating in the breeze, you’ll know that Oxford’s very own Red Rebel Brigade is rising! They are busy making costumes and rehearsing in preparation for October (and beyond!)… Irrespective of gender or age, all are welcome to join in whatever role suits you (makers, supporters, or to don the garb and have a go). You can join the Oxford Red Rebels Google group to keep in touch with upcoming plans and performances… or just watch out for the group in red…

Rebels playing dead, with a banner saying "200 species go extinct every day"
Die-ins – reflection in action. Photo by Terry Matthews.

Regenerative Culture Skillshare

Tuesday 10th September, 7.15-9.30pm, South Oxford Community Centre

These are testing times. With the call to action comes the call to engage with projections of the future, and evidence of climate tipping points. Our response starts with our inner climate, what we do with how we feel about climate change, and how that influences our activism.

We’re part of the social turning point, where we say business as usual is not an option. Whilst this means taking our care and concern to the streets, it also means a turning point in how we respond. We need to be grounded, connected, collaborative, compassionate and flexible. We need to develop ways of being – in ourselves, in our groups and with the wider world – to call forth this energy.

Learn and share practices, exercises and techniques to help you stay connected, grounded and strong together. Open to anyone in XR interested in learning and developing healthy regenerative culture.

If you can’t make the skillshare, explore regenerative culture exercises with this XR podcast by Joanna Macy, and take a look at the resources our Oxford XR Regen team have developed.

George Monbiot speaking to an audience of Rebels, Youth, and Trade Unionists, in a wood-panelled room in Oxford Town Hall.
Our public meeting to build for the Global Strike, with speakers including school strikers, trade unionists and journalist George Monbiot (pictured)

The Global Climate Strike Builds

Broad Street, Oxford, 11am-2pm

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. March and rally alongside Oxford Youth Strike. Come if you can, and invite everyone you can think of to the Facebook event, and follow Oxford Youth Strike for Climate for updates about the day itself. The youth organisers have asked for:

  1. More stewards!
  2. A gazebo
  3. A PA system.

If you can offer any of these, please get in touch with Jo Gill.

Rebel Talk: Climate Emergency Poems

Get writing for Rebel Talk! 

Poems for the Climate Emergency – Deadline now extended to 20th October

Rebel Talk, an XR Oxford project to create an anthology of poems from the movement by Spring 2020, has now passed TWO HUNDRED submissions, and counting! With the deadline now put back until 20 October, there’s plenty of time to make that three hundred…

Submission requirements:

  • One or two poems only
  • Up to 40 lines in length (including title)
  • As an attached file in Word (.doc) format, to: rebtalk@igy50.net

Watch ‘A Deliberate Rebellion’

With Oxford’s Citizens’ Assembly on the Climate Emergency launching on the 28th September,  there’s no better time to watch The Deliberate Rebellion, a short film that examines Extinction Rebellion’s demand for a national Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice, and why it’s so important.

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’.