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Newsletter 2019-08-14 – The October Rebellion: Five Ways to Get Ready

Nationwide Rebellion - Autumn 2019

Get ready for the next major rebellion!

The past few weeks have seen extreme weather events in the UK and across the globe, with the hottest July ever following the hottest June. In Siberia, a forest fire has consumed millions of acres of forest, while more than 800 people were rescued from a train near Mumbai, India, when a river burst its banks following torrential rain.

It’s clear that it’s time to act! In April we rose up. In October we will rise again – this time, across cities, countries and continents.  The next major rebellion will start in London on 7 October and will last until 19 October. The best thing you can do right now is let us know you’re coming, so that we can plan effectively.

Read on for ideas on how to get ready to join us! 

Coming up

Our next Working Group meeting: Tuesday 3 September

Individual working groups may still be meeting. If you’re interested in joining one, contact a working group coordinator.

Upcoming Actions/Events

The Extinction Symbol in a crop circle.
Even extraterrestrials support XR (taken at Womad Festival)

But first: a Finances Update

Hello! I’m Ella and I’m the treasurer for XR Oxford. We have our own Triodos Bank account, and we’ve got just over £700 to our name right now. Our money has all come from local donations, and our records are available for everyone to see here. If you have any questions, please give me a shout.

Have we got enough of it?

£700 is a tight budget given all the things we’ve got planned in the coming weeks: lots of training events, a big event at the Natural History Museum, and all the publicity for that event. We are counting on more donations coming in before the end of September, to fund our activities in October and beyond.

How can I help?

  • Our main costs are printing and venue hire. If you have access to cheap, sustainable printing, or cheap or free venues for meetings, please email me.
  • If you run a meeting, talk, or training, please try to collect contributions at the end of the meeting to cover the venue hire. If you make a collection, please email me and I’ll explain how to pay it to XR Oxford.
  • If you or anybody you know would like to make a contribution to XR Oxford, our bank details are here.

Big thanks to the many Oxford rebels who have donated funds, and to those who have paid their own money for venues, printing and kit for actions. Please don’t ever feel any pressure to spend or give your money. Your time and your energy are more precious than anything else.

Rebels blocking a street, holding a "Climate Emergency" banner.
Credit: Vladimir Morozov, Rebel Photographer

So…how do I prepare for a Rebellion?

1. Let us know you’re coming!

October Rebellion planning is in full swing, and this time regional groups will have more autonomy for action planning and design. XR Oxford is joining a regional planning session this weekend in Birmingham, and we need an estimate of numbers of Oxford Rebels expecting to join the Rebellion. So if you consider your primary group to be XR Oxford, please fill out this survey by end of the day on Thursday 15th August. This is completely anonymous, only for planning purposes, and does not commit you to anything. To avoid double counting, only fill it out if your primary group is Oxford.

Rebels sat blocking a street, with police standing nearby.

2. Consider joining an affinity group

An affinity group (AG) is a group of rebels who take action together and support each other, both in and out of actions. In Oxfordshire, they meet to leaflet together, take action locally, organise talks, or just set the world to rights over a drink. During a Rebellion, they can be invaluable friends and comrades. If you’re searching for someone to look out for you on a road block, or just to hold the other end of a banner, start building those friendships now!

There are AGs all over Oxford (North, East, South and West) and in surrounding towns, now including the North Cotswolds! There are groups for families and Oxford Uni staff, and a new group at Oxford University Press.

That sounds great, how do I join one?

Drop xroxford@gmail.com a line to find out if there’s a group near you which is open to new members. We can even help if you’d like to start one, there’ll be plenty who’d want to join! We’re especially looking for rebels to start new groups in East Oxford.

3. Get skilled up

Why not use this period before the Rebellion to build your confidence in disruptive action? Your ‘rebelling’ muscles build the more you act, and there’s no better way to do it than practicing with others. There’s non-violent direct action training, swarming and de-escalation practice (with a picnic for afterwards!), and a South East Regional Rebel Gathering in Brighton, with plenty of trainings and chances to connect, build, plan and celebrate. There are also excellent online trainings around too, including this session on non-violent communication, and a new online guide on staying smartphone safe during actions.

More trainings are also planned for September – so keep an eye out!

A network of palm oil access roads on former orangutan habitat in Indonesia.
Credit: © Ulet Ifansasti / Greenpeace www.greenpeace.org.uk

4. Dig into the issues behind our actions

The unmissable This is not a Drill is perhaps the essential handbook on why we do what we do – why not join our online Chat forum, where a rebel book swap has just started up, and try to find a copy?

This September at our Extravaganza, we’ll be tackling another big global issue – unsustainable palm oil. Palm oil has infiltrated our lives: it’s in almost 50% of the food we eat, from chocolate, bread, and ice cream, to detergents, soap, shampoo…and it’s contributing to mass rainforest deforestation. Around 1.2 billion people and 30 million plant and animal species rely on tropical rainforests for survival. Since they absorb and store huge amounts of carbon, deforestation is stripping the planet of one of its vital Natural Climate Solutions.

Sustainable palm oil production is capable of regenerating rainforests – and it is happening. We’re working alongside the Sumatran Orangutan Society at the Extravaganza, who are helping to turn Oxford into a Sustainable Palm Oil City. We’ll also be drawing public attention to our world’s magnificent endangered species, through XR Oxford’s biggest ever performance action!

Email xroxfordarts@gmail.com to take part in the Extravaganza, especially our mass performance!

A bumblebee crawling across a blue flower.
A beautiful resting bee, spotted by local rebel Emma Brooks

5. Make time for some regen

Recognising your emotional needs is important at all stages of taking action, and exploring them beforehand can help you feel more prepared. You could watch this video exploring regenerative action, or join an ‘Eco-Listening Space’ at Oxford’s Quaker Meeting House on Fridays from 12.30 – 1.30pm. This is a space for Oxford Quakers and others to listen deeply to each other and share thoughts, as we engage with the climate and ecological crises. Whatever your interest or community, you are welcome. Let Laurie Michaelis know if you have any questions.

Where can I find more information?

Tell us your stories!

This newsletter relies almost entirely on submissions from rebels doing exciting projects – if you have an exciting update or event you want to share, email us your story at xroxford@gmail.com with the subject ‘Newsletter’.

Newsletter 2019-07-27

"This is not a single-generation job. It's humanity's job... Let's all join together, with your neighbours, co-workers, friends, family, and go out on to the streets to make your voices heard and make this a turning point in our history." - Greta Thunberg and 46 youth activists from the international school strike movement.

Unity across divides.

Since the news that Greta herself was the unlikely guest star on The 1975’s new album, we’ve been thinking a lot about the surprising power of collaboration.

Art dancing with science at our Museum EXtravaganza.

Adults standing alongside young people at the biggest global strike of the century.

And new support for our local arrestees, who – despite coming from many different age groups and walks of life – are united in the choice of putting climate justice before their freedom.
It’s clear that the more we can reach across divides, the more bonds will grow – and a healthier and stronger rebellion (and world) will come from it.

Coming up

Our next Working Group meeting: Tuesday 3 September

We’re taking a break from main working group meetings over August, but there’s still plenty to do, and individual working groups may still be meeting. If you’re interested in joining one, contact a working group coordinator.

Upcoming Actions/Events

Support our local arrestees

A new way to support our Oxford arrestees

With the Met now seeking to charge as many arrestees as possible from the April Rebellion, there’s been a growing need for a coordinated approach to legal costs. On Thursday, XR Legal Support launched a strategy to support local groups (like Oxford) in raising legal funds for charged rebels. We’re blown away by the generosity and love shown so far on our new crowdfunding page – thank you. But with legal fees potentially going into the thousands of pounds for each ‘Not Guilty’ plea, we still have a way to go.

Please do take a look, read some of our local arrestees’ testimonies, and show support in whatever way you can (even if it’s just sharing it with friends and family!)

Arts-Science Extravaganza Planning Meeting

Wednesday 31st July, 7 – 9.30 pm
Come bring and share food and social time together, as we plan the Art-Science EXtravaganza – our large-scale cross-disciplinary event on 28th September to drum up even more enthusiasm and participation in XR ahead of the next Autumn Rebellion.

We’ll generate and shape our ideas for performance actions, costumes, public engagement, community participation, workshops and talks, and just have fun!

Let us know you’re coming, and contact XROxfordArts@gmail.com if you have any queries or comments.

The people strike back. Global Climate Strike Friday 20 September

Unite for the Global Climate Strike

Friday 20th September

In May, Greta Thunberg and 46 youth climate activists called on us: “Young people have led the climate strikes. Now we need adults to join us too. We can’t stave off global heating by ourselves. Together, on 20th September, we can unleash mass resistance.”

This is our chance to stand in solidarity with the young generation. This September, across the world, millions of us will walk out of our workplaces and homes to join young climate strikers on the streets, and demand an end to the age of fossil fuels. The strike has a broad international coalition of support, including backing by the UK Student Climate Network (UKSCN), Extinction Rebellion and many unions.

Trade union activists up and down the country are building for action. But every rebel can join in – you don’t have to be involved in a union to take part.

What everyone can do:

Why we think XR should get fully behind the strike

A call-out from two local rebels

A large group of Oxford's school strikers, smiling and waving placards

“Young people find it hard to self advocate as we cannot vote and we cannot hold office, which means it’s up to the adults of the world to act on our behalf. If you do not act then you have failed us, but we’ll be the ones to pay the consequences.”
EJ, School Climate Striker (front left)

I was asking my friend Alison why so few people, including her, seem to be responding to the global climate movement. “Isn’t it obvious that it’s urgent?” I asked.

“We’re listening, but most people are so scared,” she said. “I’m just trying to get through the day without going mad.”

I felt a wave of sympathy, and my anger with the situation suddenly dropped away. It made sense. I have been worried, and avoiding doing anything significant for years. Instead I’ve felt paralyzed.

So when I joined the April Rebellion, I was so relieved to find there was something I could actually do, and there were others who were passionate and committed. I felt that at least if we were all going to die, we would do it together with some dignity – singing and dancing at the barricades.

That’s fine for me then – at nearly 60, with heart disease, maybe I can find a meaningful way to live the end of my life. But what I truly can’t bear is that the young generation has to face the collapse of both nature and society. As Gail Bradbrook (XR Co-Founder) said, “our children are fighting for their lives”. So when Greta says, “we need everyone. We are asking adults to join us”, I want us to listen. I want us to support her. I want the September 20th strike to be huge, and more importantly, from as wide a cross-section of society as possible.

Let’s show people who are afraid to join us that the climate protest is about more than XR, more than politics – it includes everyone, every age, every viewpoint. I want to stand alongside my wonderful Canary affinity group, and support the amazing school kids.

AND I want to be alongside other groups, people I might disagree with: Conservatives; Brexiteers; corporate profit-making capitalists; people who like Love Island.

I want us to park our differences to focus on the bigger threat. This will also help to address the attempts to ‘shoot the messenger’, which paint XR (inaccurately) as middle-class hippies. It’s harder to target so many and such diverse messengers.

Let’s have our own protest in October, sure, but more urgently let’s show solidarity and get behind Greta’s call for help. We ARE the people we’ve been waiting for.
Richard Lewis, XR Oxford

Regen Time

Five minutes of regenerative art, music, culture or practice to help you through the week

Since we’re on a Greta theme today…sit back and enjoy the powerful, brand new collaboration between Greta Thunberg and indie-pop band The 1975. You probably all know the words by now…but not with this lovely, ambient backdrop. At the same time, why not explore a fascinating new report by one of our Oxford Rebels, demonstrating how public support for Extinction Rebellion’s methods actually increased during the course of the April Rebellion?

Where can I find more information?

Tell us your stories!

This newsletter relies almost entirely on submissions from rebels doing exciting projects – if you have an exciting update or event you want to share, email us your story at xroxford@gmail.com with the subject ‘Newsletter’.

Newsletter 2019-07-18

Oxford Rebels protesting in Barclays.
This is what democracy looks like.

The rebellion continues! 

Thank you to all you bright, blazing rebels who made our Barclays Action shine – over 100 of you! It was made fabulously rebellious with an artwork installation, including a brilliant piece by Karine Groves with a devilish little Barclays oil can pouring ‘oil’ over the planet. We kept up the party atmosphere both inside and outside the bank, with music, singing and outreach, and left a tree of handwritten messages calling for divestment.

Our rebellion doesn’t stop there, as the Summer Uprising is in full swing (or sail!) across the UK. It’s not too late to join us for the final push tomorrow, as we march from the XR camp to join the last Youth Strike before the holidays in Parliament Square!

Save the date for the next HUGE Rebellion, kicking off on 7 October. We’ll need everyone at the (peaceful) barricades to ensure this makes an even more earth-shattering impact than April. So what are you waiting for? Book the time off now!

Coming up

Our next Working Group meetings

Tuesday 24 July, JHB building, Brookes Headington Campus

7-8 pm Casual meet-up for rebels before the main meeting in the Cafe, new rebels welcome

8-9 pm Working Groups meeting, JHB Lecture Theatre

PLEASE NOTE: After this the next centralised meeting will be Tuesday 3 September

Upcoming Actions/Events

Plus, check out this very cool event going on in Banbury

  • Tuesday 23 July, 7.00 pm – ‘XR Time is Now’ talk by Sarah Lunnon from XR Central

Keep an eye on our Calendar or subscribe to updates

Ink and watercolour sketch of the XR blue boat and crowd outside the Royal Courts of Justice
Many thanks to Imogen Foxell for this lovely image outside the Royal Courts of Justice on Monday.

It’s not too late to join the Summer Uprising!

LAST DAY – Friday 19 July, Parliament Square

We won’t stop rising until the waters do too – and it’s once again time to show this to the world! We’re in London this week showing the Government that now they have told the truth (or at least claimed to), they must now act as if the truth is real, and ACT NOW!

It’s never too late to come down, and the final day will be a big one alongside the Youth Strike, so join us!

The full programme of the summer uprising.

And if you didn’t need any more convincing, look at all these focused, happy, slightly sunburned faces…

A collage of people at the summer uprising.
Ink prints of several different beetles

Calling all little monsters!

Saturday 28 September 2019

ALL DAY Actions, Talks and Performances

XR Youth members are busy making masks for September’s Arts-Science Extravaganza. They’ll be taking on roles of endangered British species, explaining to the public why they’re vital for humans. Like some of the dung beetles, our beautiful British scarabs that help make soil – without them we’d be up to our armpits in animal dung! We’re also starting to make costumes for the performance actions outside the museum. Check out our Working Document for full details.

Children of all ages (1-90+) are welcome to get stuck in! Email the Arts Working Group to get involved.

XR Oxford Queers Group

The XR Oxford Queers community group is getting off the ground – come join us!

Comms are working on a full code of conduct for XR Oxford online spaces, but in the meantime we’ll just say that we don’t expect it to become necessary, but if it does we will be enforcing the “don’t be a jerk” rule on this list, and won’t hesitate to ban people if we need to. Also, it really should go without saying, but this is 100% inclusive of all genders, and any sort of trans exclusionary posting is one of the things that will get you swiftly banned!

Where can I find more information?

Newsletter 2019-07-07

A view from the air of people forming a giant Extinction Symbol at Glastonbury festival 2019.
XR and Greenpeace standing together at Glastonbury

It’s the Summer to rise up!

Get packing and start counting the days – no, it’s not a holiday, it’s our Summer Uprising in London, starting next Monday! Read on for transport details from Oxford.

But before that, join us at our family-friendly street party action at Barclays next Saturday!

While we’ve all been enjoying the sunshine, some busy bees (Dave and Brie) in Comms have made us a beautiful new website. Go admire it, and of course please let us know what you think.

Coming up

Our next Working Group meetings

Tuesday 9 July, JHB building, Brookes Headington Campus

7-8 pm Casual meet-up for rebels before the main meeting in the Cafe, new rebels welcome

8-9 pm Working Groups meeting, JHB Lecture Theatre

Wednesday 24 July, 7-9pm, Venue TBC

Upcoming Actions/Events

Keep an eye on our Calendar or subscribe to updates

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

Barclays Street Party and Disruptive Action

Saturday 13th July, 11-2pm

Cornmarket Street, Oxford

Barclays is the #1 UK bank investing in fossil fuels, including toxic tar sands and fracking. XR Oxford’s requests for this to end have been ignored, so we’re back with a disruptive street party, reaching out to the public on Barclays’ fossil-fuel funding record. Expect a party atmosphere, activities for families, music from the Rebel Folk Scratch Band, and more! This disruptive action has minimal arrest risk. Everyone welcome!

If you’re a member of a family and want to join the XR Oxford Families Group (many of whom will be going along), get in touch with Jon Kennedy.

Act Now. Summer Uprising from July 15.

Come to Project Mushroom // Summer Uprising!

Monday 15th July – Friday 19th July

Five rebellions, five cities, five days. XR Oxford goes back to London for a week of disruption, love and (rumour has it) familiar aquatic objects… In the spring we occupied central London – a week later, Parliament declared a climate emergency. Yet the Government is acting with neither the seriousness nor urgency required for climate justice. Instead they make weak commitments, encourage ecologically damaging projects and tax sustainable alternatives. 

So we return. Expect non-violent civil disobedience, family-friendly spaces, love and music! We will be camping in a second location to the main protests. 

Don’t forget to…

We’ll be meeting on Monday 15th July, 9am at Gloucester Green Bus Station to get the Oxford Tube – join us! Sign up to our travel event.

Rebels and other activists discussing the planned Oxford City Council Citizen's Assmbly.

Oxford’s Citizens’ Assembly moves forward

The Citizens’ Assembly (CA) Project Team recently held an evening with Councillor Tom Hayes and around 70 rebels, to discuss how Oxford can become carbon-neutral, and current plans for Oxford’s CA. XR have a short time (three meetings) to influence how the Assembly will be held, through a seat on its Advisory Panel. We plan to emphasise the importance of:

  • participants’ understanding and processing of climate change
  • time to connect with why climate breakdown is important: nature, future generations and justice.

Find out more

Zuhura (XR’s Rep on the Advisory Panel) has some short videos on the Oxford CA; you can also read the summary of last week’s meeting.

An Art-Science Extravaganza at Oxford's Museum of Natural History.

XR Extravaganza at the Museum

Saturday 28 September 2019

ALL DAY Actions, Talks and Performances

Join us for an extravaganza at Oxford University’s Museum of Natural History (OUNHM), with mass actions and talks taking local public awareness of the climate crisis to a new level.

Expect…

  • A huge multimedia performance action led by musicians and dancers, about ecological breakdown caused by the palm oil industry
  • Young people in costume representing endangered species
  • Ecological scientists engaging with the public on biodiversity loss and extinction
  • ‘Heading for Extinction’ Talks throughout the day
  • Films and Art-Science Workshops

We are collaborating with OUNHM for this event, so there is no arrest risk for this action.

Sign up to be a part of our amazing performances and volunteer team on the day!

26th-31st July - Power Beyond Borders.

‘Power Beyond Borders’ Mass Action Camp

Friday 26th July – Wednesday 31st July, Secret location in SE England

Reclaim the Power is taking action this summer against the new gas-fired power stations fuelling the climate crisis, and training up to take action on the UK’s Hostile Environment for migrants. Join us at Power Beyond Borders, a mass action camp in a secret location within reach of London. It’ll have informative and inspiring talks, trainings on climate, and direct action! 

This isn’t an XR action, but XR Oxford members will be going – it’s a fantastic opportunity to develop your skills for action, and learn about how all struggles are interlinked. Together we can fight for migrant justice as well as climate justice.

Reclaim the Power will help those wanting to go with transport options (minibus or car-share, depending on interest). Sign up to register your interest for travel here.

A Call for Poems!

Rebel Talk is a climate poetry project endorsed by XR Oxford’s Arts Working Group. We’re calling for poems in any form or language, responding to the climate emergency. To submit a maximum of two poems, </= 40 lines inc title, or to ask for more information, please email: rebtalk@igy50.net by 15 September. Please attach your poem/s in .DOC format, and spread the word!

Where can I find more information?

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?