Cop27 was meant to be the African Cop, but the needs of African people have been obstructed throughout. Loss and damage in vulnerable countries is now unignorable, but some developed countries here in Egypt have decided to ignore our suffering. Young people were not able to have their voice heard at Cop27 because of restrictions on protest, but our movement is growing and ordinary citizens in every country are starting to hold their governments accountable on the climate crisis.Vanessa Nakate
Despite progress on loss and damage, fossil fuel interests continued to hold massive influence over proceedings at COP27. XR Oxford was out in force to keep the spotlight on the polluters. We have also been out doorknocking in the rain and shine to grow our numbers ahead of The Big One in April.
Dates for your diary
- Saturday 26th November: Walk for Wildlife POSTPONED – sadly this will not be happening until next spring.
- Saturday 26th November, 2-8pm: XR Youth solidarity day (Ark-T, 242b Barns Rd, OX4 3RQ)
- Saturday 26th November, 11am-4pm: Oxford Indie Book fair, where we will have a stall (Wesley Memorial Hall, New Inn Hall Street, OX1 2DH)
- Tuesday 29th November: The Oil Machine film screening, with guest speakers (Phoenix Picturehouse)
- Kate Raworth – Author of Doughnut Economics
- Christian Silk – Ex Formula 1 engineer, now an MSc student at the Centre for Alternative Technology
- Chris Goodall – writer and gusiness person working on the energy transition
- Dr Rabhya Dewshi – Clinical psychologist and Extinction Rebellion activist
- Friday 2nd December, 7:30-9pm: All Rebels Meeting + Social (St Columba’s URC hall, Alfred Street, Oxford OX1 4EH)
- Saturday 3rd December, 10:30am-4:30pm: Green Fair (Oxford Town Hall)
The Green Fair on 3rd December is an Oxford institution and a great way for us to meet, talk to, and possibly sign up like-minded people. We have a stall booked where we’ll have some handmade XR merchandise, as well as information to give to browsers. And we need staff! If you can spare an hour or two to be on the stall, it would be tremendously appreciated if you could sign up for a shift on this rota.
Community Solidarity Day
XR Youth Oxford are holding a community solidarity day on Saturday 26th November, at Ark-T, 242b Barns Rd, OX4 3RQ (wheelchair accessible).
2-5PM Swap Our Clothes & Give Each Other Gifts
Bring any clothes in good condition, especially things like warm clothes for the winter and out-grown school uniform. Bring new or nearly new presents that people could give to their friends and family this winter. You can come bring something, take something, or both. Everything is free! We are looking for volunteers for the clothes and gift swap, as well as for prepping the meal. Email if you can help out.
6-8PM Fundraiser meal
The fundraiser meal will be served shortly after 6pm and will be vegan, halal, and gluten-free. Please sign up here so we can estimate numbers for the food! The funds will be for local striking workers who are suffering financial hardship because of their strike action. Please contact us if you need to inform us of any allergies. Please bring desserts to share with the ingredients listed!
Our outreachers have been doing an amazing job gathering contact details, but we need people to type up the paper forms. If you can spare an occasional hour to do some typing, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
All Rebels Meeting – FRIDAY 2nd December, 7:30PM
Venue: St Columba’s URC hall, Alfred Street, Oxford OX1 4EH
It’s been a while since we got all of XR Oxford together. This will be a meeting of two parts: first, a chance for rebels old and new to find out about the exciting plans for next year – the 100 Days project, and what we in Oxford can do towards it. And then it will be a social! We’ve worked really hard lately, and seen some fantastic results, with great actions and strong mobilisation work. Please join us to celebrate our progress and wind down a bit as we head into a winter pause. Bring food and drink to share – mince pies (vegan if possible) very welcome!
During the two weeks of our world leaders making expectedly disappointing climate commitments at COP27, Oxford was abuzz with targeted outrage. From the 6th November, Rebels spent their lunchtimes on Cornmarket St, defying the rain with eye-catching mood boards, and growing Extinction Rebellion Oxford’s numbers to 170. After two days of leafleting and sign ups, day three was led by XR Trades Unions and focused on connections between the climate and cost of living crises.
Then came the Global Day of Action on Climate Change, on Saturday 12th November. Demonstrations marched through cities worldwide, including 40 towns and cities in the UK alone. XR Oxford lead a song and samba event through the streets of Oxford, circling from Cornmarket St through to Broad St and the Radcliffe Camera. By the return to Cornmarket, a peak crowd of around 150 had joined in solidarity. Inspired by the captivating Samba chorus, Hazel Dawe is now organising an XR singers group; to be involved, reach out at Hazeldawe5@gmail.com.
Monday 14th November was the National Day of Barclays Actions which draws attention to Barclays’ appalling record of unsustainable investment as Europe’s largest fossil fuel funder. Mirroring efforts across the country, XR Oxford camped out front and inside the Barclays branch on Cornmarket St, armed with leaflets and defiant banners.
A short walk away was the Oxford City Council, whose accounts are held with Barclays, and who was next to be occupied. Filling the stairs of the Town Hall, XR Oxford delivered four powerful speeches (amplified by the foyer’s impressive acoustics) and demanded the council cease banking with Barclays. As no council official was prepared to meet, Clive Gillam delivered a letter to reception, compelling the council to respect the climate emergency they themselves declared three years prior. A request from a hall official that XR activists be removed by the police was meanwhile refused on the grounds that no obstruction was being caused.
Though rain dampened intended efforts on Tuesday 15th, spirits were high (and dry) by Friday with Nellie the White Elephant marching down Cornmarket Street. Affinity groups helped to vary our activities, with Wallingford XR, Geese, Canaries and the Meditators all leading different days.
Our actions attracted a lot of media coverage; interviews with BBC Radio Kent and That’s TV Oxfordshire, two articles in the Oxford Mail, and a lot of photography and video clips distributed via Facebook and Twitter.
Special thanks to the sign up team: April J, Jules, Sarah SB and Ingrid W and to the photographers Feng Ho and Suzanne Williams.
Story by Steve Dawe and April Jones
Project 3.5 visits Headington
On a scale of 1 to 5, where 5 is the most serious, how worried are you about the climate crisis?
So goes the first question in the script for Project 3.5 door knocking. The 3.5 campaign is based on a simple idea: to build a movement that’s too big for the government and the fossil fuel industry to ignore, and to do it one door at a time. The first step is to invite people to a talk at a local venue by calling on them at home and listening to their concerns and thoughts about the climate crisis. Over a week in late October and early November, an intrepid group from XR Oxford knocked on a grand total of 1698 doors in Headington and had nearly 600 conversations. Ringing a stranger’s door bell for the first time is daunting, but many people were happy to talk to us and it was a great way to step outside our bubble. Raising the profile of the climate crisis and starting a conversation is crucial if we’re going to reach our goal of 100,000 on the streets in April.
I met some interesting people along the way: a doctor concerned about the effect of climate on her patients and the NHS, someone from Pakistan whose family had been affected by the flooding, a young woman from Italy who had been affected by drought, and an elderly woman who feared for the future of her grandchildren. And the answer to that question – nearly everyone we spoke to said that they would rate the seriousness of the climate crisis as either a 4 or a 5. Most people felt that the government are not doing nearly enough to tackle the situation (1 or 2s) and many of them said that they agreed with XR’s aims but not necessarily with all of our tactics. We were delighted that 23 people attended the talk and many of them said they would join us on the streets in April.
Story by Emma Brooks
In love and rage,
The XR Oxford Crew