Newsletter 2019-11-08 – October is over. A new stage begins…

A collage of Rebels protesting
Rebels from all over Oxfordshire came together in the capital in defence of the planet – and even managed near-daily solidarity actions in Oxford too (see bottom row, centre)

October is Over. A new stage begins…

October, with all its fierce weather and our fiercer rage, is now just rolling clouds of memories of different shades.

We were moved; we were moved on. 

We rescued tents; we rescued each other.

We were banned; we were the samba band, always arriving just at the right time.

We were rebels on the streets; we were rebels from our kitchen tables.

We were the right choices. We were the wrong choices.

We are just over one year and one week old. We have a lot to learn, without the luxury of much time to do it in. This season will be one of restoration, reflection, learning and soul-searching. It doesn’t have to be a dark or accusatory process, however – in fact, it might just shine a light ahead. There are many events below, crucially the ‘Thinking Back and Looking Forward’ meeting, and plenty of regenerative sessions, to help us through this.

Wherever you were in this Rebellion, whatever you did, thank you. You are essential.

Contents:

  1. Upcoming Actions/Events
  2. ‘Happy First Birthday! Thinking Back and Looking Forward’
  3. Find your affinity group
  4. Let’s make music!
  5. Were you arrested during the Rebellion?
  6. Make time for some regen

Upcoming Actions/Events

Monday 11th November, 7.30-9pm – Meeting for XR Swallows (West Oxford affinity group), West Oxford Community Centre

Tuesday 12th November, 6.30-9pm – Coordinators’ Meeting, venue TBC (please direct any topics to raise with your affinity or working group coordinator)

Wednesday 13th November, 8-9.30pm, ‘‘Coming Down to Earth’ – Restorative yoga, North Oxford

Thursday 14th November, 6.45-9.30pm – ‘Our First Birthday: Thinking Back and Looking Forward’, Oxford Deaf and Hard of Hearing Centre, OX1 1RL

Saturday 16th November, 2-4.30pm – Dances of Universal Peace, St Albans Church, OX4 3AU

Sunday 17th November, 3-6pm – Social for XR Oxford Swallows (West Oxford affinity group), Tap Social, OX2 0LX

Monday 18th November, 7.30-9pm – Actions Working Group meeting, venue TBC

Wednesday 20th November, 8.15-9.45pm‘Expanding Horizons’ – a Regenerative Evening, North Oxford

Friday 22nd November, 7.30-9.30pm ‘Finding, Building and Strengthening your Affinity Group’, Blackbird Leys  

Sunday 24th November, 10.30am-5 pm – ‘Finding the Love at the Wild Edge of Sorrow’ – a Regenerative workshop, Long Crendon

An Eco-Listening Space is also held every Wednesday from 6-7pm at the Oxford Quaker Meeting House, arrive 5.45pm for 6pm.

A banner, surrounded by candles, with the text "Freedom of Speech, Assembly, and Association are basic Rights!"
Not quite a birthday cake, but plenty of candles…

Happy First Birthday! Thinking Back and Looking Forward

14 November, 6.45-9.30 pm, Oxford Deaf and Hard of Hearing Centre

All are invited to an evening of reflection and looking ahead, an essential part of us learning and growing as an Oxford group.

In Part I, we will be looking at what XR Oxford has done this year, using the roses/thorns/buds template to review what has gone well, what has been difficult or challenging, and what we have learnt about how we need to develop in the coming period.

In Part II, we will work on a number of topics which have emerged as priorities:

  1. A fourth demand
  2. Power, privilege, diversity and inclusion
  3. Messaging
  4. Future actions – Targeting, creativity

Please note that the title and plan for this session (previously called The Big Debrief) have changed to respond to the needs identified in various discussions since the Rebellion, including the list of topics which people contributed to online and the issues that came up as priorities from the work done in the What’s Next? meeting on 30th October. 

Scientists for XR wearing lab coats, and marching with an XR banner.
Scientists for Extinction Rebellion. Photo by Francesca Harris.

Find your affinity group

‘Finding, Building and Strengthening your Affinity Group’

Friday 22nd November, 7.30-9.30pm

Do you have a passion or interest that you would like to use as part of XR? Would like to find others who share it to build a group?

Maybe you’re…

  • a crafter
  • a teacher
  • a scientist
  • part of a faith group
  • in an area without a local affinity group, or your local affinity group is full

We’re hosting a session on building and strengthening affinity groups within XR Oxford, as well as sharing advice and tips for emerging or existing affinity groups who are wondering how to grow or be more effective. Please email lucywalters185@gmail.com    if you have an idea for an affinity group that you’d like us to publicise before the meeting.

Oxford’s Affinity Groups

In XR Oxford we currently have around 15 affinity groups – some are based around locality (in different Oxford neighbourhoods), some around passions or practices (the Drummers, Meditators, and Red Rebel Brigade), and some are workplace or lifestyle-based e.g. our Oxford University Staff affinity group, or our Families group. They all aim to sustain a sense of community and support.

This meeting may be of particular interest if you:

  • Are interested in drumming
  • Live in Blackbird Leys, OX4 or Long Crendon and would like to be part of new groups there
Rebels singing
October Rebellion opening ceremony. Photo by Jethro Tanner.

Let’s make music!

We have a newly-formed group of XR Oxford Singers and Musicians! This will provide a forum for sharing ideas and making plans to bring music to local actions and events. Everyone’s welcome to join, no matter what your experience – all you need is enthusiasm and passion to let your voice be heard.

  • Please email xroxfordoutreach@gmail.com if you’d like to be added to the email mailing group.
  • If you’re interested in the drumming side of things, there’s also a new Oxford XR Drummers group! Email xroxforddrummers@gmail.com to get involved
Eight police officers carrying two Rebels under arrest
Photo by Ted Giles

Were you arrested during the Rebellion?

Oxford’s Arrestee Support Group invite arrestees from the October Rebellion to email xroxfordarresteesolidarity@gmail.com with details of your arrest. If you consent to us having your information, it would be useful to know:

  • your name; 
  • email and/or phone number; 
  • when and where you were arrested; 
  • and whether you were charged or released under investigation. 

There is of course no obligation to make contact. We will keep track of dates and charges in order to share information and offer support, and will arrange meetings for arrestees. This will be open to arrestees from Oxford and Oxfordshire, as well as those arrested during the April Rebellion (whether charged or not). We are also compiling resources for arrestees and their supporters.

Anyone from XR Oxford who was arrested in either October or April is also welcome to join our Oxford Arrestee Support Google Group. This is a group for sharing experiences and advice – please only share any personal details of your arrest that you would be happy with the wider group seeing.

The regenerative action cycle.

Make time for some regen

Getting back to ‘normal’ isn’t easy, and it’s natural to feel some post-Rebellion blues.

We all go through our own cycles of energy and emotions; one model which XR advocates is the Regenerative Action Cycle (pictured above). It is inspired through observation of natural cycles as well as teachings from many regenerative and indigenous cultures around the world. Following these cycles in our human activities can foster connection and regeneration within ourselves, within our communities, and in our relationship with the other-than-human communities we are part of.

The Regenerative Action Cycle invites us to:

  1. Take care of ourselves and connect with our anchors as we return home (Afternoon/Late Summer)
  2. Celebrate and share stories in small gatherings (Sunset/Autumn)
  3. Accept, debrief, feedback and honour the emotions raised by our actions (Dusk/End of Autumn)
  4. Rest, reflect and dream new visions (Midnight/Mid-Winter)
  5. With gratitude, come together again to develop new ideas and set new intentions (First Light/Beginning of Spring)

This then leads into the next steps for future actions:

  1. Creating teams, training for actions. (Sunrise/Mid Spring) 
  2. Practical Preparation, Pre Arrest prep etc (Mid Morning/Beginning of Summer) 
  3. The Action – (Midday/ Height of Summer) 

Below are some enriching local events which help put this regenerative culture into practice in our Autumn/end of Autumn phase…

  1. Dances of Universal PeaceSaturday 16th November, 2-4.30pm
  2. ‘Expanding Horizons’ – A regenerative evening for local rebelsWednesday 20 November, 8.15-9.45 pm, North Oxford
  3. ‘Finding the love at the wild edge of sorrow’  – an all-day regenerative workshopSunday 24th November, 10.30 am-5 pm, 20 minutes outside Oxford

Where can I find more information?