XR Oxford Newsletter – September 2023

Any further weakening of the government’s climate policies is a complete betrayal of people living in poverty – both in the UK and abroad – who are most vulnerable to climate change. The government needs to put long-term interests ahead of short-term politics and that means a fast and fair move towards renewable energy.

Lyndsay Walsh, Oxfam’s climate change policy adviser

We are appalled, if not entirely surprised, at the latest climate policy announcements from the UK Government. With an election looming next year and manifestos on their way, it has never been more important to put pressure on all political parties and make it clear that the British public will not accept climate wrecking policies.

Dates for your diary

  • Friday 22nd & Saturday 23rd September: Drinkable Rivers Thames Walk reaches Oxford
  • Saturday 23rd September, 11am-2pm: Didcot RWE Outreach (Outside Cornerstone Arts Centre, Didcot, OX11 7NE)
  • Sunday 24th September, 1-4pm: Kiddical Mass bike ride (Broad Street)
  • Thursday 28th September, 8am-2pm: Restore Nature Now (DEFRA, London)
  • Thursday 28th September, 7:30pm: Finite: The Climate of Change screening (King Alfred Community Centre, Didcot, OX11 7NU)
  • Saturday 30th September, 10am-12pm: Headington outreach, focussing on Shell (Headington Crossroads)
  • Saturday 30th September: South East Rising – day of connecting and learning as we Unite To Survive. (Brighton)
  • ​Thursday 12th October, 12pm​: Cancel the Debt – theatrical and inclusive action by coalition including Debt for Climate​ and Extinction Rebellion (Bank of England, London)​
  • Saturday 14th – Friday 20th October: Oily Money Out – training 14th-16th, actions 17th-19th (London)
  • Tuesday 21st November, 7-9pm: Introduction to Extinction Rebellion Workshop (The Community Works, 21 Park End Street, OX1 1HU)

Get Active

South East Rising

There’s still time to get your ticket for the South East Rising event in Brighton on the 30th! If you’re planning on going, we’ll be using this Telegram group for Oxfordshire rebels to find each other and travel together.

Oily Money Out

In October the annual conference will be held in London where the biggest names in the fossil fuel industry come together for the oil and money summit. XR SE are calling on all rebels and partner groups to join us in a day of disruptive action on 17th October starting at 8AM, as we unite in numbers and come together in solidarity and do not move. If you want to be involved in any of a variety of roles, please email xroxfordactions@gmail.com.

Digital Actions

Save our Ancient Woodlands: Britain’s oldest living residents are under threat. They have been with us for hundreds of years but their rights are not recognised. Thousands of ancient trees are being destroyed as part of development projects. It’s time to stand up for them. Enough is enough. Sign this petition to tell the government to give ancient woodlands absolute protection.

Open Letter to Vice Chancellors: support students in climate action. In response to Gillian Keegan’s shameful letter to Vice Chancellors attempting to silence climate protest on campus, sign this counterpoint letter urging them to support climate action.


Global Fight to End Fossil Fuels

This September, as the world leaders gather in New York for the UN General Assembly and the Climate Ambition Summit, thousands around the world are marching in solidarity in the global fight to end fossil fuels. Numerous organisations have joined the action with over 700 marches in more than 60 countries bringing together more than 600,000 participants. On 16th of September, members of XR Oxford marched to the parliament with rebels from around the country to demand urgent action on fossil fuels. The march had several key demands:

  • No new fossil fuel projects
  • Rapid, just and equitable phase out of current infrastructure through global collaboration, via a Fossil Fuel Proliferation Treaty
  • Drastic scaling up of financial and technology transfers to ensure renewable energy access
  • Stop to greenwashing
  • Holding polluters responsible for their damage to the environment
  • End fossil fuel corporate capture of climate talks

As the UK government rows back on its climate pledges, there is an ever growing sense of urgency to hold the polluters and their powerful backers in the government to account for their irresponsible actions.

Meanwhile in Oxford, we combined two powerful actions. A group of us gave out leaflets and talked to passers by in Cornmarket using posters from Chris Packham’s latest campaign, No New Oil. This campaign sends a warning to present and would-be political leaders that we won’t vote for new oil and gas. As the politicians gather this autumn for the party conferences, their manifestos for the next general election will be high on the agenda, so now is a great time to send this message. Check out the brilliant posters for this campaign, you can download and print them and display one in your window (or we have plenty available if you don’t have a printer!). You can also write to your MP telling them that your vote depends on their party’s policy on climate.

Photo: Feng Ho

At 2.30 pm, a group of mothers from Oxford, joined many Mothers’ Rebellion groups across the world, from Colombia to India and from Australia to Canada, by sitting in a circle in the middle of Cornmarket. These demonstrations will continue in many other countries during the week from 15 to 23 September. Many mothers and grandmothers in Cornmarket held placards with the names of their children and grandchildren to draw attention to the threat of climate breakdown to future generations.  Mothers’ Rebellion message is that we refuse to look away, that we refuse to give up and that we will do everything we can for the lives and future of our children.

Of Walking on Thin Ice

After the Mothers’ Rebellion, members of XR Oxford attended a special film screening of “Of Walking On Thin Ice” at the Phoenix Picturehouse. This documentary charts the incredible 500 mile pilgrimage from London to Glasgow for the COP26 conference in 2001. Recorded on celluloid, it has a dreamlike, meditative atmosphere, and many of the attendees said they were moved to tears. Afterwards, there was a panel hosted by Rabhya Dewshi from XR Oxford, with the film-maker Benjamin Wigley, and two of the walkers featured in the film. The film and the panellists gave us a strong message about the transformative power of acting together, building bonds with each other and the communities we work in. Even after the panel had ended, we continued the deep conversation on a walk across Port Meadow.

Look out for more Green Screen events at the Phoenix in the future.

Pilgrimage for the Planet

Earlier this month, Christian Climate Action undertook 15 pilgrimages across the country. In Oxford, 21 pilgrims (including 3 children) were welcomed and blessed by the clergy at Blackfriars Priory, followed by a special short service of prayers for Creation and Climate Justice arranged by Rev. Philippa White at Christchurch Cathedral, and a final blessing and commitment to action from Rev. Rachel Cross at St Frideswide Church, Botley Rd. An interview with Helen Elwes went out early on Sunday from BBC Oxford Radio (listen here at 1:20:00). Hopefully this will become an annual event!