Newsletter 2019-10-05

A tableaux of Red Brigade Rebels in from of a dinosaur skeleton in Oxford's Natural History Museum

Hat’s off to everyone involved in the Art-Science Extravaganza at the Natural History Museum last weekend! It was an amazing, uplifting event with fantastic collaboration between the Natural History Museum, Extinction Rebellion Oxford and the Sumatran Orangutan Society. Thank you to everyone who planned, created, and joined in!

Now it’s time to rise up! Whether you are arrestable or not, whether you can join us in London for one day, one week, a fortnight or can offer support from home, we need everyone and every part of everyone. The sands are running through the hourglass and time is running out for our beautiful planet. We need to act now!

We need everyone who can to come to our site at Whitehall, where our key theme is ‘Beyond Politics’. Try to come as early as you can in the week – this critical site will be a focus of media and public attention, and we need as many people as possible in order to take it. Right in front of Downing Street, we’ll be highlighting how our democracy is failing to address the climate and ecological catastrophes. We want to propose the positive democratic alternative of a Citizens’ Assembly, where citizens will have the courage to propose the solutions where politicians have failed.

For a larger map of all the London sites, and what they’re standing for, see the October Rebellion page (see the map below for a preview).

One of the best ways to contribute is joining a team on our site – stewarding, photography, sustenance, the list goes on! There is a brilliant new website for exploring and choosing roles.

Map of protest sites around Whitehall, London.

A quick guide to getting ready!

There’s loads of general practical info in XR Oxford goes to the Rebellion, but here are some top tips:

  • Communication: Are you signed up to Telegram and XR Oxford Announcements emails?

    If not, now is the time to do it!
    Join these Telegram channels:
    1. Central “Rebellion Broadcast” (Rebellion-wide announcements)
    2. Whitehall site broadcast (just for our SE region Whitehall site)
    3. Oxfordshire action info” (for Oxfordshire rebels at the Rebellion)
      In Telegram, for privacy, go into privacy & security settings, make a username, and set the “Who can see my phone number?” to “Nobody”.
  • Know our Principles: All participants in the Rebellion are asked to follow the Rebel Agreement as a basis for trust:
    1. We show respect to everyone – to each other, the general public and to the government and police.
    2. We engage in no violence, physical or verbal, and carry no weapons.
    3. We hold ourselves accountable for our actions and do not hide from the legal consequences.
    4. We bring no alcohol or illegal drugs
    5. We take responsibility for ourselves; we are all crew.
      Rebels undertaking nonviolent direct action must abide by the Action Consensus
  • Be aware of your rights and the consequences of getting arrested: Attend NVDA training in Oxford or Wallingford, and read this. There will be NVDA training available in London too. This is a quick introduction to the law relating to protest. Print a bust card and bring it with you. Choose your emergency contact and let them know how you’re planning to participate.
  • Sign up for a role either in London or at home. We have so many jobs to sustain the Rebellion!
  • And before you go, make time to recharge your batteries and relax!
  • Affinity groups: If you don’t already have an affinity group or are travelling alone to London, join affinity group formation once a day at our Whitehall site – probably late morning.
  • Travel: the cheapest way to get to London from Oxford is by bus. Keep an eye out for other rebels at Gloucester Green Bus Station. There will be coaches from various cities organized by XR Central on 6 October or join the rebel cyclists.
  • Accommodation: Camping is strongly encouraged in order to hold sites overnight. Bring a pop-up tent, sleeping bag and lots of warm clothes. Here’s a handy kit list.
  • What to wear: it’s going to be cold and could be very wet. Make sure you have plenty of warm comfortable clothes. It’s been suggested that wearing everyday clothes will encourage the public perception that the Rebellion is made up of ‘ordinary’ people. Don’t bring too much in case we have to move, reusable is good, secondhand is good.. 
  • Food: Bring food for yourself and others!
  • List of toilets in Central London
  • Be creative: banners, placards, musical instruments, costumes, pot plants, songsheets, leaflets, facepaint, songsheets, loudhailer … The headline message for our site is Beyond Politics (Citizens’ Assemblies).

XR banners
Photo credit: Jane King.

Why Whitehall and what about Brexit?

At this moment in British political history, with a divided country, it is essential that XR UK’s actions are focused primarily at Government rather than at Parliament. XR calls for MORE, for an upgraded democracy not less. XR UK will use every opportunity to draw our 3 Demands forcefully to Parliament’s attention, but UK XR Political Circle want to urge very strongly that our actions and words in Westminster in October target principally ‘Executive’ actions and Government departments that are stopping real action on the Climate and Environment Emergency.  Parliament declared a Climate and Environment Emergency after our Rebellion on 1st May. It is Government action that is now needed (as well as Parliament going further to legislate for nearer-term deadlines on biodiversity and on climate). We are engaging in NVDA to renew democracy in this country. A Citizen’s Assembly on Climate and Ecological Justice can usher in a new era of direct, deliberative democracy and address our democratic crisis. 

Extinction Rebellion’s strategy will focus on Government Departments to Demand they tell the truth about their plans for Ecological and Climate Breakdown. 

Messaging  for the Oxford site, given we hope to target Downing Street, will focus fully on our third demand, the Citizen’s Assembly. Key messages are: The current system needs help; Westminster cannot solve this crisis alone; Our electoral system isn’t coping with modern challenges.

Street Kitchen at Marble arch
Source: Sustenance Facebook.


The October Sustenance group are working hard to prepare for your arrival, but time is not on our side and our budget only stretches to 10p per Rebel per day – that includes power, equipment, food supplies, everything… We are expecting A LOT of Rebels, October Sustenance would LOVE to feed you all, but sadly this is just not possible. The kitchens will have to serve those that are the most in need – those who have travelled, those that are camping, those on actions, those that can’t afford to buy their food… The October Sustenance page has excellent ways to donate.

Identify cheap places to eat, share them with your group and sign up for places offering Rebel discounts.

Bring food, washable bowls, spoons and mugs to the rebellion. We have a wish list for a wide variety of items. Also needed for the training tent: yoga mats/carpet offcuts; folding camp chairs; umbrellas; bunting; battery powered lights.

We’re recruiting food collectors to collect free surplus food from all over London and the whole Rebellion needs SO many couriers! Or be a kitchen lead or kitchen crew .

Or sign up for another job (from event logistics to well-being), including roles for people who can’t make it to London. 

XRO at the Oxford Natural History Museum
Photo by Luis Cartaxo

Spread the Word!

You can send stories to your local press, adapt this template, find some quotes from local rebels, add a good picture and send it off to your local newspapers, radio and TV stations. The regional press working group needs more volunteers!

Talk to your friends, your family, your coworkers. Tell them why you’re rebelling and ask them to join you, if only for a day. Don’t forget to reshare any important updates you see to our Extinction Rebellion Oxford group via Facebook or Twitter.

XRO at the Oxford Natural History Museum
Photo by Luis Cartaxo

Arrestee Support

Help us build a strong support network in Oxford and surroundings for people arrested in the October Rebellion. There are hundreds of local police stations where rebels may be held, especially outside of London, we need people to be ready to support arrestees as they are released. They may have been held for 24 hours, be worried, hungry, thirsty, disorientated and tired. It may be 2pm or 2am and they may have run out of phone battery, and not know where they are. We’ve created 150 police station support groups and a map to allow you to click on a link that lets you join your local police station group/s. If you help, join as many local station groups as you can in relation to where you can offer support. This is a great way for people who cannot travel to London to be involved and is an essential link in the XR support chain.

XRO Extravaganza kids in masks.
Photo by Luis Cartaxo

 Let us take a moment, this moment, to consider why we are here. 

Let’s recall our love for the whole of humanity, in all corners of the world. 

Let’s remember our love for this beautiful planet that feeds, nourishes and sustains all life. 

Let’s recollect our sincere desire to protect all this, for now and for generations to come.

As we act today, may we find the courage to bring this sense of peace and appreciation to everyone we encounter, to every word we speak, and to every action we make. 

In this emergency. 


Rooted in love. We are all we need.

Where can I find more information?