Newsletter 2019-06-25

A banner potato-printed with bees, trees, mushrooms, fish, and the Extinction Symbol, with  "Climate Emergency" written in the middle.
A beautiful banner by new XR Oxford affinity group the ‘Potato Printers’ (Warning: some potatoes were harmed in the process)

A heartfelt hello to new and old rebels alike! We hope you’re all basking in the long, post-Solstice days and lovely weather. At the same time, we hold in our minds those around the world for whom this hot period spells danger: from France, where climate protesters were tear-gassed in 33° heat, to Chennai, where the water has nearly run out. A sobering reminder of how important action – and solidarity – is.

For inspiration on working together for action, and a chance to build friendships with other rebels, come to our New Rebels Meeting this Wednesday! And never forget that action really does work in raising public awareness – a recent public survey shows that concern for the environment is at the highest level ever recorded.

Graph of survey results showing "the environment" is one of the three most important issues facing the country, with one peak of nearly 25% for the 2014 winter storms and flooding, and a second peak over 25% following XR's April rebellion.

Coming up

Wednesday 3 July, 7.15pm – New Rebels Meeting

Our next Working Group meetings

Tuesday 9 July, Venue TBC (almost certainly Brookes Headington Campus)
7-8pm – Casual meetup for rebels before the main meeting.
8-9pm – Working Groups meeting.

Wednesday 24 July, 7-9pm, Venue TBC

Upcoming Actions/Event

  • Monday 15 – Friday 19 July – Operation Mushroom large scale regional XR action – more details on XR Oxford’s involvement to come next week!
  • Saturday 13 July, 11am-2pm – Barclays Street Party (Cornmarket) to protest Barclays’ position as major fossil fuel and fracking investor.
  • Sunday 14 July – XR Banbury at People’s Park Centenary Please come say ‘Hi!’ at our stall or volunteer.
  • Monday 15 July, 7.30pm XR Oxford New Members Induction
  • Thursday 18 July, 7.30pm – XR Banbury Information/Induction Session + Action Planning, Quakers Friends Meeting House, Banbury, OX16 0AH
  • Monday 22 July, 6.30pm – Cherwell District Council Meeting, Bodicote House, Banbury, OX15 4AA. Cllr Mark Cherry will be submitting an emergency plan, please come show your support.
  • Friday 26 – Wednesday 31 July – Power Beyond Borders Mass Action Camp (organised by Reclaim the Power). Workshops, trainings, skillshares and talks in a secret South-East location. Also chances for direct action, one for refugees and one against new gas infrastructure. XR Oxford members will be attending, more details next week!
  • Throughout July – Heathrow Expansion Consultation Events – if you can’t make it in person to tell them why this is a terrible idea for the planet, fill in their online consultation
  • Also in July – FREE restorative evenings to help ground and settle the body and mind.

Keep an eye on our Events page or subscribe to it

XR rebels processing around Radcliffe Camera, some with sub-fusc, some with XR flags.

Leading the way for Oxford University

On Wednesday we processed together ahead of Encaenia (the University’s honorary degree ceremony), to ask Oxford Uni: ‘How honorary is gambling with the future of civilisation?’ Given that the University continues to invest in funds linked with fossil fuels at a time when 80% of explored reserves need to stay in the ground, we called on them to:

  • Invest only in funds which exclude the fossil fuel industry
  • Declare a climate emergency
  • Act as role models in tackling this global crisis, both in curricula design and daily life on campus

At a ceremony on the steps of the University’s Clarendon Building, we (as the ‘University of XR’) awarded honorary degrees to David Attenborough, Greta Thunberg, and the many activists in the Global South who fight (and in many cases, have lost their lives) for climate justice. Zuhura, honoring those in the Global South, said:

Right now, people in the Global South are at the forefront of climate and ecological breakdown. But they are fighting back, as they have done for generations. When in Europe we speak out, we can be pretty sure of our physical safety. Sadly, those challenging power in the Global South often cannot be so. This is even more reason to honour them.

Read Oxford Mail’s coverage of our action

Five people sat with a potato-printed banner.
A man and a woman using sewing machines.
Potato printing blocks, with patterns for a bee, tree, mushroom, fish, and the Extinction Symbol.

Welcome to New Affinity Groups!

We’ve been excited to watch a fair few new affinity groups forming recently – from a new West Oxford affinity group (contact Lucy to join) to one for Oxford Uni Staff (contact Emma or Sarah for details), and more elsewhere.

New OX4 group ‘The Potato Printers’ (pictured above) found they share a love of craft and making…so got together this week to make an amazing banner and flags. (Warning: some potatoes were harmed in the process…) If you’re in a new affinity group, why not meet up for an XR ‘making’ session?

Where can I find more information?

Newsletter 2019-06-15

Climate protestors on a march, one holding a sign saying 'There is no "later"'.

Save the Dates! Two Local Actions, an Event for New Rebels, and an Evening with a Councillor…

Here’s an update on some exciting events coming up in the next month! Keep your diaries free – and spread the word…

  • Mon 24 June, 7.30pm – ‘Oxford Citizens’ Assembly and the journey to Zero Carbon’: XR meeting with Tom Hayes
  • Wednesday 26 June, 10.15am – Disruption of the Oxford Encaenia
  • Wednesday 26 June, 8-9pm – Working Groups Meeting. Come and get involved, volunteering for tasks in our Working Groups. JHB Lecture Theatre, Oxford Brookes Headington Campus
  • Wednesday 3 July – 7.15pm-9.45pm – Meeting for New Rebels
  • Saturday 13 July – 11am-2pm – Barclays Street Party (Cornmarket) to protest Barclays’ position as major fossil fuel and fracking investor

See the end of this newsletter for other events.

We welcome as many rebels (old and new) as possible. So come get involved!

‘Oxford Citizens’ Assembly and the journey to Zero Carbon’: XR meeting with Tom Hayes 

Mon 24 June, 7.30pm
Florence Park Community Centre, OX4 3NH
Sign up here

All XR Supporters are invited to an evening of discussion with Tom Hayes, Oxford City Council’s Cabinet member for a Zero Carbon City. This is a really important event, and we’d urge all XR members to attend. 

Get up to speed on plans for the Assembly, as well as the Council’s plans to reach Zero Carbon. Most importantly, find out some of the major challenges our City faces in achieving Zero Carbon, and how we can mobilise to support this goal.

Oxford is the first place in the UK to set up a Citizens’ Assembly to address the climate emergency – one of XR’s three central demands. As a result, Oxford XR have been invited to join the Advisory Group, tasked with making the Citizens’ Assembly a reality.

A photo of Oxford Encaenia, edited to add cave art -style figures of people and animals.

Join our Disruption at Oxford Encaenia

Wednesday 26th June 
Meeting 10.15am in city centre (meeting place TBC, join the Actions Google Group for further details)

XR Oxford are brewing plans to disrupt Oxford University’s Encaenia – the annual high-profile ceremony where the University awards honorary degrees and commemorates major donors. It also includes a procession through the town centre to the Sheldonian. Expect an ‘alternative’ XR procession – markedly different to the one the University will be planning.

Help plan this great action with us! Message Hazel at hazeldawe5@gmail.com to get involved in making it happen.

Why Encaenia?

To challenge the University’s continued financial links to the fossil fuel industry. Last year the Cherwell reported on offshore investments made by Oxford colleges (to the tune of nearly £150 million), including tens of millions in fund schemes linked to fossil fuels, arms and tobacco. This means that, albeit indirectly, the University supports the fossil fuel economy through its pension funds and other endowments. The 2017 Paradise Papers investigation by the Guardian gives more details on Oxford University’s links to the fossil fuel industry.

This action aims to support local groups already working hard in this area: Fossil Fuel Oxfordshire and Oxford Climate Justice Campaign, among others.

Read more on how fossil fuel divestment protects our climate future.

A multi-coloured collection of fabric patches and flags printed with the Extinction Symbol and XR logos.

Meeting for New Rebels

Wednesday 3rd July
7.15pm-9.45pm
St Clements Family Centre, OX1 1DA

This meeting is geared towards people who have recently joined XR Oxford, and want to:

  • meet other rebels, old and new
  • find out how to get more involved
  • develop affinity groups
  • and build our capacity for action

Find out more and register here

If you’re an ‘experienced’ rebel, please let us know if you can help facilitate the event, and with sharing your experience (however limited!): xroxfordregen@gmail.com

Photo of a Barclays building sign, edited to say "Street party at Barclays".

Street-party and disruptive action targeting Barclays bank for its fossil fuel investments

Saturday 13 July
11am-2pm
Cornmarket outside Barclays
Follow the event

Barclays is the #1 UK bank investing in fossil fuels, including toxic tar sands and fracking. They have ignored our previous petition to stop this, so we are now re-engaging in peaceful disruption of their activities. Join our street-party on pedestrianised Cornmarket Street (arrest risk: tiny) to reach out to the public about the climate and ecological crises, and our response. There will also be a disruptive event inside the bank (arrest risk: tiny or low, depending on whether you leave when asked). Music from the Rebel Folk Scratch Band at 11am (folk musicians welcome to spontaneously join), Rebel DJs later. Interested in the disruptive element? Contact jonathanleggett@protonmail.com .

XR rebels delivering a petition to Barclays staff.
Last time Oxford XR visited Barclays we brought a petition asking for divestment in fossil fuels. They haven’t listened so with regret we are escalating the disruption.

Other Events

Monday 17 June, 7.30 pm. ‘Heading for Extinction and What to Do About It’. Kings Head, Wantage.

Monday 17 June, 7:30 pm. Public debate about Ox-Cam Expressway, Oxford Town Hall (£7)

Wednesday 19 June, 7 pm. XR Oxford new members induction, The Venue@Cowley

Sunday 23 June, 3.30 – 5.30pm. XR Social gathering – Tea & cake, 32 Shelley Rd, Oxford OX4 3EB (Rabhya’s house). Bring yourself and something to share. No agenda except rest & relaxation.

Wednesday 26 June, 7-8pm. ‘XR Oxford Skillshare – Google Drive’. 

Wondering how the hell Google Drive works? Want to create, share and edit documents online? Just before next week’s main meeting, we’ll be running through some of our new Google Drive guide. Come to Oxford Brookes’ Cafe with your laptop or smartphone. No experience needed! Email lucywalters185@gmail.com if you plan on coming along.

Sunday 7 July. XR at Cowley Road Carnival. Get in touch with xroxfordarts@gmail.com to join our Carnival group!

Wednesday 10 July, 7 pm.. Induction and NVDA training, Wantage

Monday 15 July, 7.30pm. XR Oxford new members induction, Wesley Memorial Methodist Church

Plus don’t forget these FREE restorative evenings to help ground and settle the body and mind.

Keep an eye on our Events page or subscribe to it

A few things from Comms…

xroxfordcomms@gmail.com

We’re still looking for people to help out, especially if you have web design and/or SEO skills, plus volunteers to join a moderation team for the Google Groups. If you’re interested in online tools and helping information flow better, there are loads of options to help out. 

The new Chat list has been set up to help reduce traffic on the Discussion list. The discussion list should be used for focused emails directly about planning the work of XR Oxford, in most cases replying directly to the poster rather than replying-all. Please send us feedback/suggestions on the new system!

Where can I find more information?

Newsletter 2019-06-06

A crowd of XR rebels with Extinction Symbol flags at an assembly.

Hello again.

Sorry for the pause – we’ve been keeping busy here at XR Oxford…

Resting and recharging from the biggest Rebellion yet
Planning and discussing on ways forward together.
Bringing new rebels into the fold.

Admiring new groups springing up in Abingdon, Wallingford, Wantage, and West Oxon (including Charlbury and Witney).

Read on for more about what we’ve been up to, and how you can get involved.

Coming up

Our next meetings:

Other Events

Sunday 9 June, 10.00 am – ‘Supporting children in the face of climate change’. Florence Park Community Centre, Oxford

Sunday 9 June, 12pm – XR Oxford at Green Week’s Eid Extravaganza. Cheney School, Oxford.

Wednesday 12 June, 8 pm – Restorative evening. Jericho Community Association, Oxford. Email derekelliott@icloud.com for a place.

Monday 17 June, 7.30 pm. ‘Heading for Extinction and What to Do About It’. Kings Head, Wantage.

Monday 17 June, 7:30 pm Public debate about Ox-Cam Expressway, Oxford Town Hall (£7)

Wednesday 19 June, 7 pm. XR Oxford new members induction. Tbc – East Oxford

Keep an eye on our Events list or subscribe to it

News from our Working Groups and Projects

Admin and Outreach

xroxfordcoordinator@gmail.com
Lots of outreach is going on all around Oxfordshire – Wood Festival, Oddball Festival, and the Eid Extravaganza at Oxford Green Week. See our Roles document for admin/outreach opportunities (and all sorts of other jobs) you can get involved with.

Actions

xroxfordactions@gmail.com

  • A Framework for XR Actions has been drafted – for review and inspiration!
  • We’re piloting a decision-making tool around debating and voting for actions.

Specific non-violent direct actions – get in touch if you’re interested in any!

  • We want a few larger actions in the next 8 weeks, with an accessible non-violent direct action (NVDA) component for new members
  • Another disruptive Barclays street party is being planned!
  • Disrupting the Oxford Encaenia to push for divestment is being discussed – possibly with an alternative procession
A woman helping a young girl peel back a woodblock from a T-shirt, revealing the butterfly it printed.
Woodblock printing at Wood Festival

Arts

xroxfordarts@gmail.com
We had a great time at Wood Festival printing up clothing with beautiful woodblocks loaned by XR Central. We’re in the process of making our own, so that we can support actions and hold printing events in Oxford. Masses of flag and badge printing has been going on. Badges are now in several shops around Oxford, collecting donations.

We’ve been invited to join the Cowley Road Carnival on July 7th. Get in touch to join our Carnival group!

We’re compiling a directory of creative people, so we can create events & actions that include all kinds of artists – dancers, singers, designers, crafters and more. If any one has a skill to contribute, please let us know…

The Citizens’ Assembly Project Team

xroxfordadvocacy@gmail.com

Our own Zuhura Plummer will be representing Oxford XR on the Advisory Group for Oxford City Council’s fantastic new Citizens’ Assembly on Climate Change! The Group will be independent of the Council, tasked with governance and oversight for the creation, structure and operation of the Assembly. Unfamiliar with how Citizens’ Assemblies work? Here’s an excellent XR podcast.

Oxford City Councillor Tom Hayes will meet Oxford XR on Monday 24th June at 7:30 pm – watch out for further details. Everyone welcome. The meeting will be an opportunity for us to influence the Council’s plans to reach carbon zero.

Communications

xroxfordcomms@gmail.com

We’re recruiting! Interested in helping Oxford rebels have good access to information they need? Are you (maybe) a bit techie? We have lots of ways to help: promoting events, maintaining the website, keeping on top of Google Drive, online security, and more! Remote participation is very welcome, so if you find it difficult to get to meetings, this group could be for you.

We’ve been busy creating a plan for discussion channels, and generic emails for all of our Working Groups (listed on our website).

Need help getting to grips with any of our tools? Whether it’s Google Drive, mailing lists, email accounts, or anything else, please let us know.

A crowd of XR rebels at an assembly in a city park.

Diversity and Inclusion

xroxfordinclusion@gmail.com

A new working group focusing on diversity and inclusion has been formed! Watch this space for more details – and please get involved.

Museum Relations Project Team

xroxford@gmail.com

A few weeks ago we met with the Natural History Museum, to discuss collaborating to raise awareness around climate and ecological breakdown. We’ll be meeting them again on 11 June to suggest a “Heading for extinction” talk, and a die-in at the Museum to include public outreach and an art piece. Interested in giving the talk or joining the team?

Regenerative Culture (Regen)

xroxfordregen@gmail.com
We help fellow rebels do our activism in a way that respects ourselves and each other, and brings about the culture we’d like to see. Upcoming work includes:

  • helping Affinity Groups promote healthy group culture and prevent burnout
  • arrestee support
  • workshops and sessions to help deal with the emotional impact of climate change

Upcoming restorative events

FREE restorative evenings to help ground and settle the body and mind.

Structure/Process Project Team

The structure/process project team used their first meeting to review and discuss the feedback gathered in the rebel assembly and online consultation process. They’ve also begun learning about the XR Self Organising System (SOS), defining the questions to address in their proposal for the structure of XR Oxford, and engaging with the UK SOS working group.

An ink and watercolour illustration of an XR induction, with experienced rebels discussing the agenda and XR demands with newcomers.
A beautiful illustration of our 22nd May induction, by new rebel Imogen Foxell

Training

xroxfordtraining@gmail.com
About 220 people have attended inductions so far! The next sessions will be 19 June and 15 July.

Non-Violent Direct Action (NVDA) Training

We hope to deliver more NVDA training soon, pending training for trainers from XR Central, following the revision of the NVDA training manual. Meanwhile we’ll carry on with the earlier version, beginning with a session in Wantage in July.

Other Trainings

We’re investigating how and when more Legal Observer training will be possible. Two of the team are soon to be trained as Meeting Facilitation trainers, and we hope will be teaching this hugely valuable skill very soon!

We’d love to have more people in the team so please get in touch.

Where can I find more information?