XR Oxford Newsletter – July 2023

Climate change is out of control… If we persist in delaying key measures that are needed, I think we are moving into a catastrophic situation, as the last two records in temperature demonstrates

António Guterres, UN Secretary General

In the same week that global temperature records were shattered, the UK Government was revealed to be dropping its climate pledge. It has never been more important to step up the pressure on our failing leadership. If you haven’t taken action yet, or if you came to The Big One and want to find out about the next steps, come along to our Introduction to Extinction Rebellion Oxford on 19th July.

Dates for your diary

  • Saturday 15th July, 2pm: Stop Rosebank. Join us for a march to tell our government and Norwegian oil giant Equinor that we will not allow Rosebank to go ahead. Join on Signal for updates (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, 1 Victoria St, London, SW1H 0NE)
  • Monday 17th July, 12:30pm: Friends of the Earth protest against H1F1 road (County Hall)
  • Monday 17th July, 7:30-9pm: Geese Affinity Group meeting (South Oxford – email soxgeese@gmail.com for venue)
  • Wednesday 19th July, 7-9pm: Introduction to Extinction Rebellion Oxford (The Community Works, 21 Park End Street, OX1 1HU)
  • Thursday 20th July, 7:30-9pm: Headington Fringe affinity group meeting. (Headington – email headingtonfringecoordinator@gmail.com for venue)
  • Tuesday 25th July, 7:30-9pm: Rusty Bicycles Affinity Group meeting. (East Oxford – email xr-oxford-rustybicycles-coordinators@googlegroups.com for venue)
  • Wednesday 26th July, 6-7:30pm: My Extinction screening (Curzon Oxford)
  • Saturday 29th July, 11-1pm: Dirty Water themed stall/leafletting. Headington Fringe affinity group action: others welcome to join in (Headington Crossroads)
  • Saturday 5th August, 12-2pm: Dirty Water Wave 4 (Cornmarket, Oxford City Centre, then Port Meadow; banner drop 3pm Donnington Bridge; Swallows at Swinford Bridge, Eynsham)
  • Tuesday 8th August, 7:30-9pm: Climate Change public meeting: Dr Judy Webb will be speaking about the effects of Climate Change upon the Lye Valley This will be followed by the Friends of Lye Valley AGM. (Rear Hall, Bullingdon Community Centre in Peat Moors, Lye Valley, Headington)
  • Saturday 19th August, 12-2pm: Picket, music, leafletting, outreach (Barclays, Cornmarket)

News

Introduction to Extinction Rebellion Oxford

Are you curious about Extinction Rebellion, but not sure what its exact aims are, how it operates, or how you could fit in? Or are you involved already, but would like to know more about the movement’s background and principles, or how we work in Oxford?

Please come along to this no-strings-attached introductory session, bring your heart and mind, bring friends, and meet other people who care about Earth’s future.

Time: Wednesday 19th July, 7-9pm

Venue: The Community Works, 21 Park End Street OX1 1HU (entrance via Becket Street)

Please share this poster with your friends and encourage them to come along!

Dirty Water

Photo: Suzanne Williams

On Saturday the 1st of July, the Canaries held a banner drop on Rainbow Bridge, Port Meadow, calling for an end to sewage-dumping in our rivers. The protest coincided with the news that Thames Water is reportedly on the brink of collapse as it grapples with £14 billion of debt and a horrific environmental record – between 2017 and 2021, the firm was fined £31million for releasing effluent into our waterways. The Canaries held placards, handed out leaflets and chatted with passers-by. The reaction to the protest was overwhelmingly positive. The majority of people engaged with us and took leaflets, sharing our anger that the river is being used as a dumping ground, damaging the wildlife that depends on it and risking the health of the people that enjoy it.  A reporter and photographer from the Oxford Mail came along, BBC Oxford requested pictures of the banner drop and That’s TV Oxfordshire interviewed Megan Murray-Pepper the day before the protest.

The coverage in the newspaper version of the Oxford Mail included an additional paragraph, added by the editor, claiming that XR have been under fire for disrupting public events and holding up traffic. The editor was clearly conflating XR and JSO and we are in touch with the Oxford Mail journalist about this.  

My Extinction

On 30th June, the moving, funny, and motivating film My Extinction opened at Curzon Oxford. It was followed by a special panel Q&A hosted by Anthony Barnett from Open Democracy, featuring Layla Moran MP, Dr Patrick Kennedy-Williams from Climate Psychologists, and Dr Rabhya Dewshi, XR Activist and Clinical Psychologist. There was a lively discussion about the need for direct action, bringing people on board from all walks of life, and getting a Climate Emergency Centre for Oxford. There is one more screening of the film on 26th July – book tickets here.

Flofest in Florence Park

In June, Oxford rebels joined the summer celebrations at the Florence Park festival and spread the joy of art and nature with children and families of the neighborhood.

Setting up a market stall is always a collective effort, with volunteers from different affinity groups pitching in to put up the tent, interact with people passing by, and engaging them in art activities. The stall was super-popular, at time quite hectic with loads of kids lining up (and not lining up!) to have a go at block printing.

Suzanne Williams fondly remembers a little boy who visited the stall and says, “He came back and back again, determined to cover a shirt with an image from every block!”. While the children were busy art printing, chats were had with the parents, as rebels gave out leaflets and discussed what they felt about the climate crisis. This was a good opportunity for parents to interact with their children about climate and environmental issues too. Some felt that having conversations was quite difficult to juggle along with managing a busy arts table – the next market stall needs to have lots of volunteers to engage those who come by!

Coco, a local Oxford rebel, summarises the vibe of the day perfectly as they say, “Art is a very family-friendly and welcoming introduction to XR!”

In love and rage,

The XR Oxford Crew