XR Oxford Newsletter – August 2022

After an eventful Summer Uprising targeting Barclays Bank, we’re preparing for the Festival of Resistance! Get prepared to occupy Hyde Park in September by reading all the details on our Oxford goes to the Festival of Resistance page.

Dates for your diary

  • Tuesday, 30th August, 6:30PM: Conscientious Protectors: A Story of Rebellion Against Extinction. Film screening of the untold story of XR. Get your tickets here! (Odeon George Street)
  • Sunday 4th September, 2:30-5:30PM Rebellion Preparation and NVDA training (Jericho Community Centre)
  • Friday, 9th September, 2:30PMKeep Campsfield Closed protest (Parliament Square, Oxford location TBA). XR Oxford condemns the plan to re-open Campsfield House. Many of the detainees are likely to be climate refugees.
  • Saturday, 10th September – Tuesday 13th September: Festival of Resistance (Hyde Park, London)
  • Wednesday, 14th September: Rebel Bus Tour arrives in Oxford – details coming soon. Outreach support will be very welcome.
  • Friday, 23rd September, 5-7PM: Rebel for Life: Love and Rage art exhibition opening night, followed by a day of talks and workshops on Saturday, 24 September (Old Fire Station). Exhibition continues until 15th October. Details below.
  • Saturdays + Wednesdays 24th September – 15th October: Market stall (Gloucester Green)
  • Friday 14th October: Disruptive action targeting government in London: we will join a coalition including trade unions, Just Stop Oil, and Greenpeace

Volunteers needed

  • ‘Rebel for Life’, the exhibition of XR art at the Old Fire Station 24th September-15th October, will be a wonderful display of XR’s creativity and passion; the supporting market stall we will be running on Wednesdays and Saturdays will be a fantastic opportunity for us to engage with the public. But we do need it to be staffed! Please sign up on this rota. More details below.
  • Roles available at the Festival of Resistance, ranging from stewarding, outreach, cooking, facilitating in the People’s Assembly, etc. Join the We are all crew Telegram channel and decide where you could help, even for an hour or two.

News

Summer Uprising

On July 19th, 2022 the UK recorded its hottest day with temperatures soaring above 40 degrees Celsius, causing fires around the country. Extinction Rebellion’s ‘Summer Uprising’ organized in the same month was a prescient warning against similar future catastrophic events in a warming planet. Working in the backdrop of Europe-wide heat waves and the issuance of the first ever red warning by the Met Office, Extinction Rebellion Oxford orchestrated a series of summer actions targeting Barclays.

Banks like Barclays have consistently turned a blind eye to their role in funding the climate crisis. Barclays is the biggest investor in fossil fuels, having invested in excess of 145 billion GBP since the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. Despite the bank’s claims of aligning their investments to meet net zero goals by 2050, their continued funding of new fossil fuel projects shows a clear lack of commitment. Its complete lack of interest in any potential climate action became further obvious when its shareholders rejected all possibility of divestments from fossil fuels earlier this year.

Summer Uprising actions in Oxford took place began on July 21st. Activists took to Cornmarket Street, outside the bank’s central branch in Oxford, to inform customers and passers by of the bank’s culpability in bringing about an unlivable future. Customers at the gate were also guided to explore other ethical and environmentally sustainable banking solutions

Two women covered in oil protesting Barclays Bank's investment in fossil fuels.

A week later, on 28th July, five local rebels staged a theatrical performance at the same location that depicted ordinary citizens being doused in dirty oil bankrolled by Barclays. The powerful narratives, striking visuals and songs piqued the interest of people in the busy shopping district and the message of Barclays’ role in funding the climate crisis was received by a large number of people. 

Extinction Rebellion protestors hold a banner showing Barclays Funds Climate Famine, Barclays Create Climate Refugees
A group of schoolchild sit in front.

On the 3rd of August, Extinction Rebellion Oxford targeted the bank for a third time. While several protestors distributed leaflets and spoke to passers-by outside, five women sat in the Cornmarket branch for several hours holding a banner saying: ‘Barclays funds climate famine, Barclays creates climate refugees’. Among the spectators were a large group of schoolchildren from Ecuador with their teacher who joined the women and, in perfect English, chanted: “Thank you for thinking about our future.”

Hardship fund

XR Oxford has a fund to help rebels with travel costs to London for September and October’s activities. You can claim £20 for each return trip you make to London. This is enough to cover a return ticket on the Oxford Tube. You can claim for up to 4 trips (a maximum of £80) across September and October 2022.

We can make payment by bank transfer, cash or Paypal. We will ask you to email a picture of your ticket or receipt. We can give you money before you travel, if you need it. This scheme is being operated on trust – please only ask for this money if you need it. We won’t ask for any proof of need.

If you’d like to use the travel fund, please talk to your affinity group coordinator, or email xroxfordedi@gmail.com. Sadly our fund is not unlimited, so if you need to use the fund, please check we’ve got money for you before you travel.

Support Fossil Free Oxfordshire Divestment Campaign

The Oxfordshire local government pension scheme, which provides pensions for over 66,000 public sector workers in the county, STILL has investments in fossil fuel companies including over £20m in Shell despite the county council having declared a Climate Emergency back in 2019. A long-running campaign to get the fund to divest has a real chance of finally achiveing its goal, with a motion coming to full council very soon (probably in mid-September. We’ve been asked to help by getting as many signatures as possible on their new petition ahead of the meeting on 13th September. Please sign and share the petition here.

Rebel for Life: Love and RagE Exhibition

An exhibition of XR art works made by Oxfordshire people – banners, flags, other protest props etc. will be taking place at The Old Fire Station, Gloucester Green, from 24th September – 15th October. We appreciate any members attending to talk to exhibition visitors. The opening event will be on Fri 23 September, 5 – 7pm in the upper gallery of the Old Fire Station, featuring a range of speakers.

Workshops

The workshops will take place on Saturday 24 September, in the Art Room. Tickets will be free, and booked through the OFS box office. If people wish to buy bags etc to print on, they can buy from XR on the day or bring own clothes/materials. The workshops and talks will be facilitated by XR, with a member of OFS staff present to assist.

10.00 – 12.00: Block printing workshop for children aged 5+. Three sessions, each of 40mins. Parents must remain with their children.

14.00 – 14.30: Talk (Be the Change) 30mins, for adults aged 14+

14.30 – 16.30: Linocut and block printing workshop for adults aged 14+. Two sessions, each of 1 hour.

18.00 – 18.30: Talk (Be the Change) 30mins, for adults aged 14+

Market stall

Featuring information, postcards, badges, bags and some drop-in creative activities, from 10am – 4pm on the following days:

Saturdays: 24th September, 1st and 8th October

Wednesdays: 28th September, 5th and 11th October

If you can help out by joining a rota to run the stall, please sign up on here. It would be great to have at least two people on the stall at all times, so please have a think about whether you’ll be available for a shift or two.

In love and rage,

The XR Oxford Crew