Newsletter

Newsletter 2019-12-10 – Bringing colour to Black Friday, bringing action to Oxford Farming Conference

A Rebel standing in Oxford city centre with a blue XR "Vote Earth" flag.
Standing for what’s right

We’ve come so far…

…in just over a year! We’re planning a retrospective newsletter for the next edition to come out before Christmas. We’d love your contributions as short highlights and memories, and/or images. We can’t promise to include everything, but send your thoughts to xroxford@gmail.com, and upload any photos here​.

We’re also on the lookout for another rebel to join the friendly newsletter team, perhaps as a roaming reporter for events such as the farming conference. Help us expand what we can do and write about in 2020 – drop us an email if you’re interested! 

Also looking forward to next year, XR Oxford Training Group are planning training that meets the needs and priorities of Oxford rebels over the next few months. We’d love to hear your views. The survey will only take you a couple of minutes to complete and will be open until 17th December.

Contents:

  1. Upcoming Events
  2. Oxford Farming Conference – Local Action
  3. XR Theatre is coming to Oxford
  4. A message from the tower – banner drops
  5. Black Friday was full of colour…
  6. #Vote Earth at the Oxford Climate Hustings
  7. ​Citizens’ Assembly Report published

Monday 9th December, 5.30-7pm – XReads: ‘The Flawed Social Science behind XR’s Change Strategy’ by Nafeez Ahmed, East Oxford Community Centre

Tuesday 10th December, 7.30-9pm – Actions Group Meeting, East Oxford Community Centre

Thursday 12th December, 1.30-3 pm – XR Theatrics performance, Oxford

Monday 16th December, 7-9pm – Introduction to Extinction Rebellion, east Oxford

Tuesday 17th December, 6.30-8pm – New North Aston & Area Affinity Group – First Meeting

Wednesday 18th December, 7-10.30pm – XR Oxford Winter Feast & Jam, Florence Park Community Centre

Saturday 21st December, 2-4.30pm – Dances of Universal Peace, St Albans Church (every third Saturday of the month)

7th – 9th January – Local actions during the Oxford Farming Conference, Oxford

Saturday 11th January – XR DNA Training (Save the Date)

Please note that the Eco-Listening Space, usually held every Wednesday, is paused for December. Please contact laurie@livingwitness.org.uk if you would like to help with holding the space in 2020.

Oxford Farming Conference 7-9 January

Local actions for a sustainable food system

Tuesday 7- Thursday 9 January 2020 | Planning meeting 10 December

The Oxford Farming Conference in January is a high-profile annual gathering of key players in the agriculture and food sector: everyone from small-scale farmers to big agrochemical producers. Speakers come from a range of fields (excuse the pun!), including the National Farming Union, Powered Pasture, the Soil Association, DEFRA, Natural England and many more, with sponsors like Sainsbury’s, McDonalds, pesticide company Syngenta, and Barclays hosting a networking session. 

Agriculture at present, and farmers, are marginalised from the solutions to climate and ecological collapse. The thing that matters most for humankind is low on the global agenda. The simultaneous Oxford Real Farming Conference will provide one antidote by looking ahead to ask what the world really needs, and showing what can be done.

We are planning non-law-breaking publicity and outreach actions for each of the three days of the conference, to draw attention to the farming establishment’s potential role in a more sustainable future, plus a big callout for more land to be used for natural carbon capture. Contributions to the planning are welcome (come along to the planning meeting, or email Till) and affinity groups and individual rebels are encouraged to join in. 

Read the draft action plan

Rebels crisis carol singing in a London Underground station

XR Theatre is coming to Oxford

Thursday 12 December, 1.30-3pm – VOTING DAY | Full event details

Meet at the Carfax end of Cornmarket*

Forum Improvisation Theatre and Crisis Carol Singing are coming to Oxford! And they want you to join them! XR Theatrics brings the climate crisis centre stage by connecting the present day to the near-future realities predicted if urgent action is not taken. Will long queues for rations or water become the ‘new normal’? Will Fresh Air ‘Bars’ like the one just opened in Delhi become commonplace?

*Notes for XR Oxford participants

– Performances start off as “Invisible Theatre” so don’t be surprised if you can’t see anything when you arrive, and please keep XR logos discreet.

– Bring gas masks, if you happen to have one!

The XRO "Vote Earth" banner on the Oxford Castle mound, and Carfax Tower.

A message from the Tower

The amazing #VoteEarth banner got its third outing in less than two weeks on Saturday, appearing from Carfax Tower in central Oxford, and on Castle mound. A great way to keep the environment in voters’ minds as the election nears…well done to all rebels who took part.

Scenes from Oxford Westgate centre on Black Friday: The XRO "Vote Earth" banner drop, Rebels crisis carol singing, the Red Rebels Brigade.

Black Friday was full of colour…

Three consecutive events kept the XR message alive in the Westgate Centre amid the panic buying of Black Friday. The courageous and committed young people of Oxford showed us how creative and sustainable fashion can be; XR Oxford flash mob was in fine voice chanting and singing, flag-waving, leafleting and talking to shoppers; and then there were the stunning Red Rebels stopping members of the public in their tracks, leading to many long and interesting conversations with the public.

XR Youth Oxford raised awareness of the emissions and destructive environmental impacts of the fashion industry by making garments out of old clothes and putting on an alternative catwalk. Watch their inspiring video. About 60 singers from XR Oxford Glorious Rabble created a positive atmosphere enabling conversations with a wide variety of people. About 30 singers joined those who had rehearsed to sing familiar XR songs: The people have spoken; People gonna rise like water; Coal is not cool and coal don’t dig it, oil don’t drill it; Cut our carbon down to zero and finishing off with Power to the people. It sounded brilliant! The evening ended with a solemn procession by the Red Rebels.

Red Rebel Brigade, amongst shoppers at the Westgate Centre.
“I thought the Westgate action was really good. People listened and it felt like it was very effective. The Red Rebels got a lot of attention and helped us.”
Arthur, 10 – pictured above, left


“It was great to interact with so many teens in the Westgate. The majority responding by filming and giggling, but they were definitely engaged. I suspect the giggling was more awkward in that they weren’t too sure how to respond to us. Some thought we looked scary or freaky but we certainly had their attention. In my working day I hear from young adults who don’t think they have a future, they are aware of the plight of animals and feel powerless. If one person was empowered into action to defend our climate by our night out then it’s a start.”

Jenny – Red Rebel at the Westgate Black Friday Action
Dozens of constituents listening to the panel at the climate crisis hustings.

#VoteEarth at the Climate Crisis Hustings

With the amazing ‘Vote Earth’ banner as a backdrop, last Thursday’s Oxford Climate Crisis Hustings succeeded in holding local candidates to account on climate. Over 80 people attended, with Lib Dem and Green candidates for Oxford East, and reps from Labour and the Conservatives. To paraphrase a few of the great questions: 

  • Why not cut government support for fossil fuels and put the money into renewables instead?
  • What are you going to do to stop people flying frequently? 
  • What do you think of the school strikes? 
  • Do candidates support a doubling of tree coverage in Oxfordshire by 2045? 
  • What do the candidates personally do to reduce their environmental impact? 

Broadly speaking, all the parties were very keen to promote their environmental credentials (no surprise there!). But some gave more credible answers than others. All in all, it was great to see such positive engagement, from public and politicians alike. Of course, what action it translates into remains to be seen…

This event was spearheaded by Extinction Rebellion Oxford, and co-hosted with Friends of the Earth Oxford, Parents for Future Oxford, Oxford Climate Policy Forum and Oxford Climate Society. Many thanks to all the local volunteers who made it happen.

Watch the full video of the event

Nick Chater presenting at the Oxford’s Citizens’ Assembly on Climate Change.

Citizens’ Assembly report published

Ipsos MORI, the independent facilitator of Oxford’s Citizens’ Assembly on Climate Change, have released their report on the Oxford Citizens’ Assembly, which can be read in full here

Headlines 

  • The majority of Assembly members felt that Oxford should aim to achieve ‘net zero’ before 2050 and should be a leader in tackling the climate crisis
  • Assembly Members were encouraged by what is already being done across Oxford to address climate change and meet the goal of becoming ‘net zero’
  • Enhanced biodiversity was central to the overall ‘net zero’ vision of Oxford with more cycling, walking, and public transport, and far fewer cars
  • The buildings sector should adopt improved building standards, widespread retrofitting, and more domestic and non-domestic energy needs being met by sustainable sources
  • Around one in four Assembly Members rejected the most ambitious visions of a future Oxford and they were also perturbed by the extent to which the burden of change was being placed on individuals
  • There was a sense that the Council needs to communicate a shared vision and strategy to reaching ‘net zero’ that shows the roles played by local and national government, businesses, and individuals
  • Assembly Members wanted more information about how to recycle correctly          
  • There was a demand for more education and information for the wider public in Oxford to help them understand what they can personally do to help

What happens next?

On 19th December, a report containing Oxford City Council’s initial response to the Assembly’s recommendations will be presented to the Cabinet, including the City Council’s proposals, which will feed into the 2020/21 budget.

In the New Year, the findings will feed in to the City Council’s upcoming Sustainability Strategy, including an Action Plan to determine how the City Council can play its part in tackling the climate emergency over the coming months and years.

As recommended by the Assembly, City Council will also look at its role in convening and engaging stakeholders and the wider public to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. One clear request from the Assembly was to produce educational material and information about how individuals can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and the City Council will now work up detailed plans to achieve this.

Emma, one of the participants in the Oxford Citizens’s Assembly, commented:

“Personally, being a member of the Citizens Assembly was a privilege. Hearing from so many experts in their field, having the opportunity to properly discuss issues with other residents of Oxford and listen to the range of responses and views was at times challenging, but also rewarding. I felt proud to be part of the process and at a time when politics can seem disappointing, the Citizens assembly gave me the chance to be heard and for all of us to feel we genuinely had a chance to make a difference.

“The report manages to capture the complexity of the topics we discussed and also how carefully we considered the scenarios presented. There was an understanding of how great the changes would be in our daily lives but I was heartened by the commitment of fellow citizens to make these changes in their lifestyles to achieve net zero. 

“I know the report stresses that we did not agree on a date to achieve it by, just that we wanted to be sooner than 2050 and for me, it seemed that we didn’t want to limit ourselves. For me personally, and plenty of others I talked to, there was a strong aspiration to try and achieve this as soon as we could and to start the process right now as the message that had been loud and clear was the time for action was now and every reduction, every change, every emission that was avoided would make a difference.”

Where can I find more information?

Newsletter 2019-11-21 – Twelve Days of Crisis

Twelve Days of Crisis

“Four calling birds”. Of all the gifts in ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’, this one might be the most needed in our current crisis. 

What could they be calling for? The truth? Justice? A future? 

If the birds are calling, we can too.

Whether it’s singing our lungs out on Black Friday, or calling on our politicians to do what’s right on the climate crisis – hustings are imminent for both East and West Oxford constituencies – we can all use our voice.

And volume works – we’ve spread the word about the climate so much this year that both ‘climate emergency’ and ‘climate strike’ have been named Word of the Year by the Oxford English Dictionary and Collins respectively. 

In the run-up to the election, how can we make that call louder?

Contents:

  1. Upcoming Events
  2. #ElectionRebellion: How to take action
  3. All About Oxford’s Citizens’ Assembly
  4. Singing on Black Friday
  5. XR Muslims are looking for volunteers
  6. Local actions for a sustainable food system at the Oxford Farming Conference

Upcoming Events


Climate Crisis hustings

#ElectionRebellion: How to take action

Extinction Rebellion’s ‘12 Days of Crisis’ starts on 1 December and runs until election day. These elections will shift the UK’s future – let’s not let the climate crisis go ignored in voters’ decisions. But how?

1. Make your local climate hustings a big deal ✅

There are not one but two local climate-focused hustings coming up:

These have the potential to really bring climate issues to the forefront of local elections – but only if locals know they’re happening! Help by sharing the events on social media, to friends and family, and on local community boards.

Stuck for what to ask on the night? Help your potential MPs feel the heat of the climate crisis with one of these probing questions, curated by XR Oxford’s Advocacy team.

You can also volunteer to help out at either event by emailing: 

2. Tell voters the truth with this flyer toolkit ✅

Create your own Tell Voters The Truth Flyer with these handy templates and research sources, in order to put forward a neutral, comparative analysis of local candidates’ record on climate. 

The goal of these flyers is not to endorse any candidate or party, but to Tell Voters The Truth about local candidates campaigning to be their next MP, and their record on climate.

3. Join the Election Rebellion Telegram Chat ✅ 

Local groups will be creating their own actions, but there are also regional actions which re-unite the South East in beautiful Rebellion, shining a spotlight on the true crisis! 🧭🌍 

Don’t miss out on any regional actions – join the SE General Election Telegram chat.


People talking at a citizen's assembly.

All about Oxford’s Citizens’ Assembly

Tuesday 26th November, 7-10pm  | Please register

Roll up, roll up! Find out everything you could possibly want to know about Oxford’s own Citizens’ Assembly on Climate Change, which invited 50 Oxford residents to deliberate over potential ways forward on the climate emergency. Oxford is the first city in the UK to use this approach for climate change, so there is a lot we can learn and teach from the process.

This event will explain what happened, how it was planned, and what XR Oxford did, plus analysis and presentations from XR Oxford’s Citizens’ Assembly Project Team and Oxford Citizens Assembly Network.

Learn more about Citizens’ Assemblies and why they’re a key demand

Sing! On Black Friday

Singing on Black Friday

Friday 29th November, 5.30pm | Westgate Shopping Centre | Event

On the next Youth Strike day (and also Black Friday), XR Youth are planning a catwalk action in the afternoon (around 4pm), and afterwards at 5.30pm will be a singing flash mob, in the style of the Glorious Rabble

We need lots of people to sing, and also to chat to shoppers and hand out leaflets. And you don’t need to be a ‘singer’ – the songs/chants are very simple and easy to learn, and people will be on hand to teach them. Please keep an eye on the Facebook/website event for further details.

If you would like to help with outreach, please get in touch with Radha (radha@uwclub.net). Leaflets will be provided. Please bring XR flags if you have them. If you haven’t done this before, and would like to be paired with someone who has, just ask.

Please note this is about supporting the Youth Strike movement and also highlighting the problems of the fast fashion industry, not about blaming and shaming individual shoppers.


XR Muslims are looking for volunteers

XR Muslims are looking for those who identify as Muslims and who’d like to help with any of their ongoing projects, including:

  1. Developing a Heading for Extinction talk with additional material from Muslim faith traditions.
  2. Arranging Heading for Extinction talks in your local mosques (masjids) and Muslim community centres.
  3. Creating a welcome pack for Mosques and Muslim community centres to introduce Muslims to both their local XR groups and the XR (national level) Muslim group.
  4. Writing a report on Muslim community leaders’ perceptions of XR and attitudes towards climate change.
  5. Running social media campaigns – we would love to have creative people to help us design materials and messaging. 

To get involved please get in touch with us at: XR.Muslims@gmail.com or join our Whatsapp group.


Artwork with a stag beetle and leaves, in black and white.

Local actions for a sustainable food system

7-9 January 2020

Our next big local action (or set of actions) is on the horizon! The food industry has their annual Oxford Farming Conference in January, and we can take the opportunity to demand transformative changes for a just and sustainable food system.

There will be an action for each of the three days of the conference. You can find the action outline here – please share this widely in your network and affinity groups (AGs), as we’ll commence with detailed planning now and encourage every AG to participate.

This is a set of non-law-breaking publicity and outreach actions which are ideal to integrate new rebels.

If you want to be involved with the planning – whether as part of an AG or not – please reach out to Till (XROxfordActions@gmail.com) or check out the Action Working Group’s google thread.

Where can I find more information?

Newsletter 2019-11-08 – October is over. A new stage begins…

A collage of Rebels protesting
Rebels from all over Oxfordshire came together in the capital in defence of the planet – and even managed near-daily solidarity actions in Oxford too (see bottom row, centre)

October is Over. A new stage begins…

October, with all its fierce weather and our fiercer rage, is now just rolling clouds of memories of different shades.

We were moved; we were moved on. 

We rescued tents; we rescued each other.

We were banned; we were the samba band, always arriving just at the right time.

We were rebels on the streets; we were rebels from our kitchen tables.

We were the right choices. We were the wrong choices.

We are just over one year and one week old. We have a lot to learn, without the luxury of much time to do it in. This season will be one of restoration, reflection, learning and soul-searching. It doesn’t have to be a dark or accusatory process, however – in fact, it might just shine a light ahead. There are many events below, crucially the ‘Thinking Back and Looking Forward’ meeting, and plenty of regenerative sessions, to help us through this.

Wherever you were in this Rebellion, whatever you did, thank you. You are essential.

Contents:

  1. Upcoming Actions/Events
  2. ‘Happy First Birthday! Thinking Back and Looking Forward’
  3. Find your affinity group
  4. Let’s make music!
  5. Were you arrested during the Rebellion?
  6. Make time for some regen

Upcoming Actions/Events

Monday 11th November, 7.30-9pm – Meeting for XR Swallows (West Oxford affinity group), West Oxford Community Centre

Tuesday 12th November, 6.30-9pm – Coordinators’ Meeting, venue TBC (please direct any topics to raise with your affinity or working group coordinator)

Wednesday 13th November, 8-9.30pm, ‘‘Coming Down to Earth’ – Restorative yoga, North Oxford

Thursday 14th November, 6.45-9.30pm – ‘Our First Birthday: Thinking Back and Looking Forward’, Oxford Deaf and Hard of Hearing Centre, OX1 1RL

Saturday 16th November, 2-4.30pm – Dances of Universal Peace, St Albans Church, OX4 3AU

Sunday 17th November, 3-6pm – Social for XR Oxford Swallows (West Oxford affinity group), Tap Social, OX2 0LX

Monday 18th November, 7.30-9pm – Actions Working Group meeting, venue TBC

Wednesday 20th November, 8.15-9.45pm‘Expanding Horizons’ – a Regenerative Evening, North Oxford

Friday 22nd November, 7.30-9.30pm ‘Finding, Building and Strengthening your Affinity Group’, Blackbird Leys  

Sunday 24th November, 10.30am-5 pm – ‘Finding the Love at the Wild Edge of Sorrow’ – a Regenerative workshop, Long Crendon

An Eco-Listening Space is also held every Wednesday from 6-7pm at the Oxford Quaker Meeting House, arrive 5.45pm for 6pm.

A banner, surrounded by candles, with the text "Freedom of Speech, Assembly, and Association are basic Rights!"
Not quite a birthday cake, but plenty of candles…

Happy First Birthday! Thinking Back and Looking Forward

14 November, 6.45-9.30 pm, Oxford Deaf and Hard of Hearing Centre

All are invited to an evening of reflection and looking ahead, an essential part of us learning and growing as an Oxford group.

In Part I, we will be looking at what XR Oxford has done this year, using the roses/thorns/buds template to review what has gone well, what has been difficult or challenging, and what we have learnt about how we need to develop in the coming period.

In Part II, we will work on a number of topics which have emerged as priorities:

  1. A fourth demand
  2. Power, privilege, diversity and inclusion
  3. Messaging
  4. Future actions – Targeting, creativity

Please note that the title and plan for this session (previously called The Big Debrief) have changed to respond to the needs identified in various discussions since the Rebellion, including the list of topics which people contributed to online and the issues that came up as priorities from the work done in the What’s Next? meeting on 30th October. 

Scientists for XR wearing lab coats, and marching with an XR banner.
Scientists for Extinction Rebellion. Photo by Francesca Harris.

Find your affinity group

‘Finding, Building and Strengthening your Affinity Group’

Friday 22nd November, 7.30-9.30pm

Do you have a passion or interest that you would like to use as part of XR? Would like to find others who share it to build a group?

Maybe you’re…

  • a crafter
  • a teacher
  • a scientist
  • part of a faith group
  • in an area without a local affinity group, or your local affinity group is full

We’re hosting a session on building and strengthening affinity groups within XR Oxford, as well as sharing advice and tips for emerging or existing affinity groups who are wondering how to grow or be more effective. Please email lucywalters185@gmail.com    if you have an idea for an affinity group that you’d like us to publicise before the meeting.

Oxford’s Affinity Groups

In XR Oxford we currently have around 15 affinity groups – some are based around locality (in different Oxford neighbourhoods), some around passions or practices (the Drummers, Meditators, and Red Rebel Brigade), and some are workplace or lifestyle-based e.g. our Oxford University Staff affinity group, or our Families group. They all aim to sustain a sense of community and support.

This meeting may be of particular interest if you:

  • Are interested in drumming
  • Live in Blackbird Leys, OX4 or Long Crendon and would like to be part of new groups there
Rebels singing
October Rebellion opening ceremony. Photo by Jethro Tanner.

Let’s make music!

We have a newly-formed group of XR Oxford Singers and Musicians! This will provide a forum for sharing ideas and making plans to bring music to local actions and events. Everyone’s welcome to join, no matter what your experience – all you need is enthusiasm and passion to let your voice be heard.

  • Please email xroxfordoutreach@gmail.com if you’d like to be added to the email mailing group.
  • If you’re interested in the drumming side of things, there’s also a new Oxford XR Drummers group! Email xroxforddrummers@gmail.com to get involved
Eight police officers carrying two Rebels under arrest
Photo by Ted Giles

Were you arrested during the Rebellion?

Oxford’s Arrestee Support Group invite arrestees from the October Rebellion to email xroxfordarresteesolidarity@gmail.com with details of your arrest. If you consent to us having your information, it would be useful to know:

  • your name; 
  • email and/or phone number; 
  • when and where you were arrested; 
  • and whether you were charged or released under investigation. 

There is of course no obligation to make contact. We will keep track of dates and charges in order to share information and offer support, and will arrange meetings for arrestees. This will be open to arrestees from Oxford and Oxfordshire, as well as those arrested during the April Rebellion (whether charged or not). We are also compiling resources for arrestees and their supporters.

Anyone from XR Oxford who was arrested in either October or April is also welcome to join our Oxford Arrestee Support Google Group. This is a group for sharing experiences and advice – please only share any personal details of your arrest that you would be happy with the wider group seeing.

The regenerative action cycle.

Make time for some regen

Getting back to ‘normal’ isn’t easy, and it’s natural to feel some post-Rebellion blues.

We all go through our own cycles of energy and emotions; one model which XR advocates is the Regenerative Action Cycle (pictured above). It is inspired through observation of natural cycles as well as teachings from many regenerative and indigenous cultures around the world. Following these cycles in our human activities can foster connection and regeneration within ourselves, within our communities, and in our relationship with the other-than-human communities we are part of.

The Regenerative Action Cycle invites us to:

  1. Take care of ourselves and connect with our anchors as we return home (Afternoon/Late Summer)
  2. Celebrate and share stories in small gatherings (Sunset/Autumn)
  3. Accept, debrief, feedback and honour the emotions raised by our actions (Dusk/End of Autumn)
  4. Rest, reflect and dream new visions (Midnight/Mid-Winter)
  5. With gratitude, come together again to develop new ideas and set new intentions (First Light/Beginning of Spring)

This then leads into the next steps for future actions:

  1. Creating teams, training for actions. (Sunrise/Mid Spring) 
  2. Practical Preparation, Pre Arrest prep etc (Mid Morning/Beginning of Summer) 
  3. The Action – (Midday/ Height of Summer) 

Below are some enriching local events which help put this regenerative culture into practice in our Autumn/end of Autumn phase…

  1. Dances of Universal PeaceSaturday 16th November, 2-4.30pm
  2. ‘Expanding Horizons’ – A regenerative evening for local rebelsWednesday 20 November, 8.15-9.45 pm, North Oxford
  3. ‘Finding the love at the wild edge of sorrow’  – an all-day regenerative workshopSunday 24th November, 10.30 am-5 pm, 20 minutes outside Oxford

Where can I find more information?

Newsletter 2019-10-05

A tableaux of Red Brigade Rebels in from of a dinosaur skeleton in Oxford's Natural History Museum

Hat’s off to everyone involved in the Art-Science Extravaganza at the Natural History Museum last weekend! It was an amazing, uplifting event with fantastic collaboration between the Natural History Museum, Extinction Rebellion Oxford and the Sumatran Orangutan Society. Thank you to everyone who planned, created, and joined in!

Now it’s time to rise up! Whether you are arrestable or not, whether you can join us in London for one day, one week, a fortnight or can offer support from home, we need everyone and every part of everyone. The sands are running through the hourglass and time is running out for our beautiful planet. We need to act now!

We need everyone who can to come to our site at Whitehall, where our key theme is ‘Beyond Politics’. Try to come as early as you can in the week – this critical site will be a focus of media and public attention, and we need as many people as possible in order to take it. Right in front of Downing Street, we’ll be highlighting how our democracy is failing to address the climate and ecological catastrophes. We want to propose the positive democratic alternative of a Citizens’ Assembly, where citizens will have the courage to propose the solutions where politicians have failed.

For a larger map of all the London sites, and what they’re standing for, see the October Rebellion page (see the map below for a preview).

One of the best ways to contribute is joining a team on our site – stewarding, photography, sustenance, the list goes on! There is a brilliant new website for exploring and choosing roles.

Map of protest sites around Whitehall, London.

A quick guide to getting ready!

There’s loads of general practical info in XR Oxford goes to the Rebellion, but here are some top tips:

  • Communication: Are you signed up to Telegram and XR Oxford Announcements emails?

    If not, now is the time to do it!
    Join these Telegram channels:
    1. Central “Rebellion Broadcast” (Rebellion-wide announcements)
    2. Whitehall site broadcast (just for our SE region Whitehall site)
    3. Oxfordshire action info” (for Oxfordshire rebels at the Rebellion)
      In Telegram, for privacy, go into privacy & security settings, make a username, and set the “Who can see my phone number?” to “Nobody”.
  • Know our Principles: All participants in the Rebellion are asked to follow the Rebel Agreement as a basis for trust:
    1. We show respect to everyone – to each other, the general public and to the government and police.
    2. We engage in no violence, physical or verbal, and carry no weapons.
    3. We hold ourselves accountable for our actions and do not hide from the legal consequences.
    4. We bring no alcohol or illegal drugs
    5. We take responsibility for ourselves; we are all crew.
      Rebels undertaking nonviolent direct action must abide by the Action Consensus
  • Be aware of your rights and the consequences of getting arrested: Attend NVDA training in Oxford or Wallingford, and read this. There will be NVDA training available in London too. This is a quick introduction to the law relating to protest. Print a bust card and bring it with you. Choose your emergency contact and let them know how you’re planning to participate.
  • Sign up for a role either in London or at home. We have so many jobs to sustain the Rebellion!
  • And before you go, make time to recharge your batteries and relax!
  • Affinity groups: If you don’t already have an affinity group or are travelling alone to London, join affinity group formation once a day at our Whitehall site – probably late morning.
  • Travel: the cheapest way to get to London from Oxford is by bus. Keep an eye out for other rebels at Gloucester Green Bus Station. There will be coaches from various cities organized by XR Central on 6 October or join the rebel cyclists.
  • Accommodation: Camping is strongly encouraged in order to hold sites overnight. Bring a pop-up tent, sleeping bag and lots of warm clothes. Here’s a handy kit list.
  • What to wear: it’s going to be cold and could be very wet. Make sure you have plenty of warm comfortable clothes. It’s been suggested that wearing everyday clothes will encourage the public perception that the Rebellion is made up of ‘ordinary’ people. Don’t bring too much in case we have to move, reusable is good, secondhand is good.. 
  • Food: Bring food for yourself and others!
  • List of toilets in Central London
  • Be creative: banners, placards, musical instruments, costumes, pot plants, songsheets, leaflets, facepaint, songsheets, loudhailer … The headline message for our site is Beyond Politics (Citizens’ Assemblies).

XR banners
Photo credit: Jane King.

Why Whitehall and what about Brexit?

At this moment in British political history, with a divided country, it is essential that XR UK’s actions are focused primarily at Government rather than at Parliament. XR calls for MORE, for an upgraded democracy not less. XR UK will use every opportunity to draw our 3 Demands forcefully to Parliament’s attention, but UK XR Political Circle want to urge very strongly that our actions and words in Westminster in October target principally ‘Executive’ actions and Government departments that are stopping real action on the Climate and Environment Emergency.  Parliament declared a Climate and Environment Emergency after our Rebellion on 1st May. It is Government action that is now needed (as well as Parliament going further to legislate for nearer-term deadlines on biodiversity and on climate). We are engaging in NVDA to renew democracy in this country. A Citizen’s Assembly on Climate and Ecological Justice can usher in a new era of direct, deliberative democracy and address our democratic crisis. 

Extinction Rebellion’s strategy will focus on Government Departments to Demand they tell the truth about their plans for Ecological and Climate Breakdown. 

Messaging  for the Oxford site, given we hope to target Downing Street, will focus fully on our third demand, the Citizen’s Assembly. Key messages are: The current system needs help; Westminster cannot solve this crisis alone; Our electoral system isn’t coping with modern challenges.

Street Kitchen at Marble arch
Source: Sustenance Facebook.

Sustenance

The October Sustenance group are working hard to prepare for your arrival, but time is not on our side and our budget only stretches to 10p per Rebel per day – that includes power, equipment, food supplies, everything… We are expecting A LOT of Rebels, October Sustenance would LOVE to feed you all, but sadly this is just not possible. The kitchens will have to serve those that are the most in need – those who have travelled, those that are camping, those on actions, those that can’t afford to buy their food… The October Sustenance page has excellent ways to donate.

Identify cheap places to eat, share them with your group and sign up for places offering Rebel discounts.

Bring food, washable bowls, spoons and mugs to the rebellion. We have a wish list for a wide variety of items. Also needed for the training tent: yoga mats/carpet offcuts; folding camp chairs; umbrellas; bunting; battery powered lights.

We’re recruiting food collectors to collect free surplus food from all over London and the whole Rebellion needs SO many couriers! Or be a kitchen lead or kitchen crew .

Or sign up for another job (from event logistics to well-being), including roles for people who can’t make it to London. 

XRO at the Oxford Natural History Museum
Photo by Luis Cartaxo

Spread the Word!

You can send stories to your local press, adapt this template, find some quotes from local rebels, add a good picture and send it off to your local newspapers, radio and TV stations. The regional press working group needs more volunteers!

Talk to your friends, your family, your coworkers. Tell them why you’re rebelling and ask them to join you, if only for a day. Don’t forget to reshare any important updates you see to our Extinction Rebellion Oxford group via Facebook or Twitter.

XRO at the Oxford Natural History Museum
Photo by Luis Cartaxo

Arrestee Support

Help us build a strong support network in Oxford and surroundings for people arrested in the October Rebellion. There are hundreds of local police stations where rebels may be held, especially outside of London, we need people to be ready to support arrestees as they are released. They may have been held for 24 hours, be worried, hungry, thirsty, disorientated and tired. It may be 2pm or 2am and they may have run out of phone battery, and not know where they are. We’ve created 150 police station support groups and a map to allow you to click on a link that lets you join your local police station group/s. If you help, join as many local station groups as you can in relation to where you can offer support. This is a great way for people who cannot travel to London to be involved and is an essential link in the XR support chain.

XRO Extravaganza kids in masks.
Photo by Luis Cartaxo

 Let us take a moment, this moment, to consider why we are here. 

Let’s recall our love for the whole of humanity, in all corners of the world. 

Let’s remember our love for this beautiful planet that feeds, nourishes and sustains all life. 

Let’s recollect our sincere desire to protect all this, for now and for generations to come.

As we act today, may we find the courage to bring this sense of peace and appreciation to everyone we encounter, to every word we speak, and to every action we make. 

In this emergency. 

Together. 

Rooted in love. We are all we need.

Where can I find more information?

Newsletter 2019-09-21 – Legal Rights Special – plus a thank you to the strikers!

Oxford Youth Strike (and adult supporters) on Broad Street, with lots of banners and smiles.
Oxford comes together at the Global Climate Strike. Photo credit: Hugh Warwick.

Before we get onto the legal stuff…

Let’s take a moment to thank all the young people of Oxfordshire, and across the world, for yesterday.

  • For uniting voices of all ages.
  • For showing us a way forward, together.
  • For telling the plain, simple truths that someone we adults forget.

According to Oxford Youth Strikes, an estimated 5000-6000 came out in force in Oxford to join the millions around the world, and the march got so big that it closed its own loop. The same happened at the evening Families Bike Ride, where riders from every corner of the city encircled the whole Plain roundabout with the sound of cheering, singing and the dinging of bells

This is an impressive achievement, and we’re not done yet. We hope yesterday has emboldened you to keep up that pressure into October, where we will be taking it to the real seat of power: Westminster.

On our legal rights theme for this week, let’s also consider our privilege of being able to collect together on a sunny day, without fear of harm or serious legal repercussions. This touching photo of yesterday’s school strikers of Kabul, guarded by Afghan security forces, highlights just how easy we have it. May we applaud their courage.

Young women leading a Fridays for Future march in Afghanistan, with a soldier at the front of the group.

Know your rights…

“The only time that people know it is serious, is when people are prepared to sacrifice their liberty in defence of their beliefs.” George Monbiot, 31st October 2018, Declaration of Rebellion, London.

With less than three weeks until the Rebellion, it’s crucial that all rebels inform themselves about their rights as protesters and the possible consequences of arrest. Come along to a Legal Briefing + Q&A session in Oxford on 23 September or in Wantage on 26 September. These sessions will help you decide what actions to take at the October rebellion and beyond. Every part of every rebel is needed – we need people who are prepared to be arrested and plenty of people on the ground in many other roles. Read up on your rights and how to be prepared, even if you’re not planning on being arrested, or join the XR webinars to find out more about mass mobilisation, contemplating prison, and hunger strikes. There’s loads more general practical info in XR Oxford goes to the Rebellion.

Upcoming Actions/Events

And on Fridays from 12.30 – 1.30 pm, there is a weekly ‘Eco-Listening Space’ to reflect on the climate emergency and any feelings that arise, Oxford Quaker Meeting House, 43 St Giles OX1 3LW

Rebels blocking a road, with police maintaining a cordon/safety perimeter.

Get your legal questions answered in person

Legal Briefing + Q&A – John Henry Brookes Lecture Theatre, Brookes University, and also King Alfred’s Head, Wantage

A detailed legal briefing with barrister John Briant of Reeds Solicitors and Chambers, in preparation for the October Rebellion. For rebels old and new and anyone interested in taking part. There will be plenty of time for Q&A!

The aim is to give you legal info to help you decide what actions to take at the Rebellion and beyond. It is essential that we each inform ourselves about the possible costs and other consequences of taking action – and this is a perfect chance to do it. If you do decide to take arrestable action, John will also give you practical tips about how to prepare for it.

If you decide not to take arrestable action, you’ll have the option to learn more about how you could support arrestees after the rebellion instead. Arrestee support is crucial, and we need folks who can support those arrested (more on this below!).

Rebels loft flags and placards with Police looking on.

Know your rights – online trainings

  • 23rd September, 7-9pm
  • Tuesday 1st October, 7-9pm
  • Saturday 5th October, 1-3pm

If you can’t make it to the in-person legal briefing, don’t worry! There are still several online Know Your Rights trainings before the Rebellion. Please remember that everyone should attend such a training and/or familiarise themselves with our legal resources before attending an action.

Why is this important?

Many rebels felt after April that their decision to get arrested was not an informed one – and they weren’t prepared for the consequences. It’s your responsibility to inform yourselves before attending an action – please encourage your affinity and local groups in doing the same. You can’t always plan an arrest – it can happen very quickly, so everyone should prepare themselves for this case, even if you don’t consider yourself an “arrestable”.

Know Your Rights trainings cover topics like…

  • What are your rights when dealing with the police?
  • What happens during a Stop and Search?
  • What happens during an arrest?
  • What are the possible consequences of an arrest or conviction?
  • What are rebels likely to be charged with?
  • What happens when you go to court?

To sign up, please first join the XR Oxford Announcements forum, and then visit this link. Joining Announcements will send you regular, important updates from XR Oxford, but if you’d rather just access the trainings and not get emails you can unsubscribe at any time. We have had to secure the training sign-up links due to the recent risk of trolls joining online XR meetings.

Police arresting a rebel.

Arrestee/Defendant Support in Oxford – we need your help!

Arrestees have been key to the success of XR. For our campaign of non-violent civil disobedience to work, we need to be disruptive, and this inevitably leads to arrests: the more the better in terms of media and public awareness. So far over 1100 people have been arrested, and this number is bound to grow, as a key part of a powerful and effective movement. So it is important that we value, respect and support arrestees. Many have stepped well out of their comfort zones in support of the movement’s aims, and some may feel a bit vulnerable.

Support can include all or some of these: 

  • Meeting Defendants – listening, and sharing thoughts.
  • Attending Defendants Group meetings, at roughly monthly intervals in Oxford. 
  • ‘Buddying’ arrestees through the ‘process’ of arrest and trial
  • Accompanying defendants to court, which can be immensely comforting in that potentially hostile-seeming environment.
  • If you have legal or literary skills, you may be able to assist those defendants who elect to self-represent to prepare their cases.
  • Being part of an arrestee support team at the October Rebellion. Following up who has been arrested, where they are being detained, informing their family/partner and meeting them when they are released.
  • Learning about legal aid, helping with legal aid applications, helping with fundraising to help defendants defray their legal expenses.

To get involved, please contact Peter King, and if possible come along to our Legal Briefing + Q&A on Monday, where there’ll be a session on arrestee support.

Where can I find more information?

Newsletter 2019-09-10 – ⏳ One month to go…⏳

Rebels sat in a circle on the grass of Oxord University Parks
Never too big a circle for everyone… (at our park session on swarming and de-escalation)

As we go into our last month before the October Rebellion, it couldn’t be more of a turbulent time in politics. If damage can be done in words rather than blows, then right now the Commons isn’t the place to look for XR’s non-violent principles… Politicians could learn a lot from Rupert Read and Roger Hallam (two co-founders of XR), who exemplified respectful, civil debate in Oxford last week, finding common ground despite their differences on some topics.

September is packed. Local rebels are working flat out to make sure everyone is as prepared for the London Rebellion as they can be. If you’re thinking of getting involved but haven’t yet, now’s your time. Don’t be afraid to come along to our big planning meeting or a social and say: ‘Hi, I’m looking for the Rebellion?’

Update on Meetings

To give them a bit more flexibility and less time pressure, Working Groups are now meeting at their own convenience (rather than all at once). If you’d like to find out when the next meeting of a group is (or how you can help out), get in touch with a coordinator. 

Upcoming Actions/Events

And on Fridays from 12.30 – 1.30 pm, there is a weekly ‘Eco-Listening Space’ to reflect on the climate emergency and any feelings that arise, Oxford Quaker Meeting House, 43 St Giles OX1 3LW

Rebels preparing food in a street kitchen
Feeding the Rebellion – photo by Gareth Morris

Four practical ways to help make the Rebellion happen

7th October – 19th October 2019

This rebellion is going to be huge – because time is running out. Leading scientists and public figures have estimated we have as little as 18 months to turn it around. The situation is urgent and we need to act now. ⏳ We will peacefully shut down all roads into Westminster in Central London and nonviolently disrupt the government until our leaders agree to take emergency action now. Other nonviolent actions will target corporations, ministries and infrastructure that maintain our toxic system.

So how can you help make it happen?

  1. Come along to our important ‘October Rebellion: Information and Preparing for Action’ session. 
    An essential meeting if you want to find out how the Rebellion will work and what you can do to prepare! 
  2. Register for a role (however big or small). 
    Local groups will be taking more responsibility for making the Rebellion happen this time (with Oxford working as part of the South East). This is “we are all crew” on a grand scale. It’s also a great opportunity for people in Oxford who don’t yet have roles to take some more responsibility, in a manageable, time-limited way. This Rebellion needs everyone. If you think you have nothing to contribute, think again. Bring yourself, and that will be enough.
  3. Are you signed up to the Announcements email list?
    These are regular emails on more in-depth announcements for XR Oxford. If you’re looking for more information than this newsletter, this is the next step.
  4. Download Telegram, the primary messaging app for the Rebellion.
    More secure than Whatsapp, this is the primary way we’ll be communicating on the ground – so please download it now! More info to come on how we’ll be using Telegram and which groups to join.

Hardship Fund for the Rebellion

We are seeking applications and donations for a hardship fund for the October Rebellion. If money is an important factor hindering your full participation in October, you can apply for any of the following:

  1. A £15 travel grant.
  2. An £8 per attended day subsistence grant.
  3. For those who suffer loss of earnings due to their participation in October, a discretionary amount that will depend on: the extent of their involvement, the level of their hardship, the number of applications, and the money available in the fund.

Applications are to be made to the fund administrator, Tina, detailing level of need, and confirming that you live in Oxford or a nearby village, or have been active in Oxford Extinction Rebellion. The application deadline is Tuesday 17th September at 5pm.

Donations can also be made and are very gratefully received – you will be helping break down financial barriers so that as many rebels as possible can come to the streets of London.

Green, pink, and blue bandannas printed with birds, beetles, bees, and the Extinction Symbol.

Roll up and get one of these!

Art-Science EXtravaganza: Saturday 28 September

Wear a beautiful XR Oxford bandanna for our performance actions at the Art-Science EXtravaganza, showing how ecological breakdown is linked to climate breakdown – they go hand in glove. Email Jane to sign up (letting her know if you’re part of an affinity group or not).

Calling young rebels and School Strikers!

Calling young rebels! Take part in the Masked Intervention for the EXtravaganza. Wear a beautiful mask representing some of the species essential in the British countryside. Help us show the public that we won’t beat climate breakdown if we have driven our wildlife to extinction. Contact Jane to volunteer.

Rebels, dressed in red with white faces, standing with the tide rising up their legs, raising their fists in a salute.
The XR Red Brigade at St Ives, photo by GavanGoulder

Oxford’s own Red Brigade rises!

You may have seen XR Red Brigades before – you’ll never forget them if you have. Arresting, powerful and moving, their silent processions enact and embody the grief and rage felt towards our planet’s situation.

If you’ve heard the ripping of fabric around Oxford, or seen red scraps floating in the breeze, you’ll know that Oxford’s very own Red Rebel Brigade is rising! They are busy making costumes and rehearsing in preparation for October (and beyond!)… Irrespective of gender or age, all are welcome to join in whatever role suits you (makers, supporters, or to don the garb and have a go). You can join the Oxford Red Rebels Google group to keep in touch with upcoming plans and performances… or just watch out for the group in red…

Rebels playing dead, with a banner saying "200 species go extinct every day"
Die-ins – reflection in action. Photo by Terry Matthews.

Regenerative Culture Skillshare

Tuesday 10th September, 7.15-9.30pm, South Oxford Community Centre

These are testing times. With the call to action comes the call to engage with projections of the future, and evidence of climate tipping points. Our response starts with our inner climate, what we do with how we feel about climate change, and how that influences our activism.

We’re part of the social turning point, where we say business as usual is not an option. Whilst this means taking our care and concern to the streets, it also means a turning point in how we respond. We need to be grounded, connected, collaborative, compassionate and flexible. We need to develop ways of being – in ourselves, in our groups and with the wider world – to call forth this energy.

Learn and share practices, exercises and techniques to help you stay connected, grounded and strong together. Open to anyone in XR interested in learning and developing healthy regenerative culture.

If you can’t make the skillshare, explore regenerative culture exercises with this XR podcast by Joanna Macy, and take a look at the resources our Oxford XR Regen team have developed.

George Monbiot speaking to an audience of Rebels, Youth, and Trade Unionists, in a wood-panelled room in Oxford Town Hall.
Our public meeting to build for the Global Strike, with speakers including school strikers, trade unionists and journalist George Monbiot (pictured)

The Global Climate Strike Builds

Broad Street, Oxford, 11am-2pm

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. March and rally alongside Oxford Youth Strike. Come if you can, and invite everyone you can think of to the Facebook event, and follow Oxford Youth Strike for Climate for updates about the day itself. The youth organisers have asked for:

  1. More stewards!
  2. A gazebo
  3. A PA system.

If you can offer any of these, please get in touch with Jo Gill.

Rebel Talk: Climate Emergency Poems

Get writing for Rebel Talk! 

Poems for the Climate Emergency – Deadline now extended to 20th October

Rebel Talk, an XR Oxford project to create an anthology of poems from the movement by Spring 2020, has now passed TWO HUNDRED submissions, and counting! With the deadline now put back until 20 October, there’s plenty of time to make that three hundred…

Submission requirements:

  • One or two poems only
  • Up to 40 lines in length (including title)
  • As an attached file in Word (.doc) format, to: rebtalk@igy50.net

Watch ‘A Deliberate Rebellion’

With Oxford’s Citizens’ Assembly on the Climate Emergency launching on the 28th September,  there’s no better time to watch The Deliberate Rebellion, a short film that examines Extinction Rebellion’s demand for a national Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice, and why it’s so important.

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 2019-08-14 – 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?