people’s assembly – Feb 8th

Dear Rebels,

How did you feel about the Canning Town Tube action, in week two of last October’s Uprising?   Did it interfere with movement-building and sympathy-winning; or was a necessary disruption in the fight for change?  Or maybe a bit of both?  

Your view is urgently needed on how we – XR local, regional and national – can mix activities to best achieve our aims.  So please come and take part in our first local People’s Assembly, to voice your opinions and to contribute to forward XR strategy. 

The PA will be on Saturday 8 February; 1.30 for a prompt 2.00pm start at The Friends Meeting House, Dorking; conclusion by 4.15 guaranteed.  Short notice I know, but the request from XR central only came on Monday, with a 14 February deadline. 

So please do whatever you have to do to be there, and register your intention to attend by clicking here.  

XR has supplied us with a format for this Assembly, and helpfully condensed the variety of routes forward into three ‘Theories of Change’ (ToC).  To what extent are they complimentary, or competing?  And where can our energies and skills be directed most effectively?  That is what our first People’s Assembly is all about.  If you have time, you can read the ToC papers here, but we will recap on them at the Assembly anyway.  

Do come and join us on Saturday week.  It is important, but it will also be exciting.  So register now.

With Love and Rage – James
James Benn
People’s Assembly Working Group

P.S.  We may be able to organise a play area for small children; if you will be bringing them please note that when registering. 

P.P.S.  Details of final arrangements, and further joining instructions will be sent to all registrants. 

XR Dorking on the BBC

Claire Benn and Christopher Harwood, both members of Extinction Rebellion Dorking, were interviewed yesterday on the BBC Radio Sussex & Surrey Danny Pike show.

They gave their reaction to the inclusion of Extinction Rebellion on a South East Police list of terror organisations which was later described as “an error of judgement” and recalled.

Listen to interview (skip to 1hr 9mins)

Relevant links:

Extinction Rebellion: What do they want and is it realistic?

Can we transform the world in 12 years?

Crowdfunder now launched

Our Crowdfunder is now live.

The purpose is to raise funds to help anyone in need with legal fees they may incur on behalf of Extinction Rebellion.

Activism in the face of the climate and ecological emergency should be available to everyone regardless of financial situation.

We added arrestee stories to the front page too.

The page is at https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/extinction-rebellion-surrey-hills/ – please take a look.

Dorking residents join hundreds of Extinction Rebellion activists at City of London protests

Dorking residents were among hundreds of protestors from Extinction Rebellion who blocked roads in the City of London on Monday 14th October to highlight the financial sector’s complicity in accelerating climate breakdown.

The protests closely follow a warning from the Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, that corporations which fail to move towards zero-carbon emissions will be punished by investors.

Protestors gathered in the rain outside St Paul’s Cathedral before stepping into the road at 7am to block traffic at Bank junction. Police began making arrests shortly afterwards.

Demonstrators were joined by representatives from a variety of faith groups from the Christian, Jewish and Moslem communities.

Companies targeted by protestors included asset management fund Blackrock, which recent research has shown is one of three money managers – including Vanguard and State Street – that have a combined $300bn fossil fuel investment portfolio, built by using money from people’s private savings and pension contributions.

Climate activists glued themselves to Blackrock’s doors whilst others staged a mock dinner party with rolled up banknotes on their plates.

One placard raised outside the offices read: “When the last tree is dead, the last fish caught and the last river poisoned, you will realise that you cannot eat money.”

The Walkie Talkie Building on Fenchurch Street, which houses some of the UK’s largest insurers, was also targeted with protestors dressed as canaries, glued to the entrance.

Dorking resident David Crawford, 66, a retired engineer, attended the action with his son Guy Crawford, 31, a PHD student.

David said: “I came here today, to the heart of the UK’s financial centre, outside the Bank of England, to bring attention to the fact that the climate and ecological crisis is being funded to the tune of trillions of pounds by British-based companies profiting from ecological disaster and societal collapse around the globe.”

He added: “Major investment banks have provided $700 billion to the fossil fuel sector sice The paris Agreement in 2015. This is madness.”

Referring to the Governor of the Bank of England’s warning, local activist and youth worker Dom Rudd, 61, said:

“I think the corporates know the truth. They know that if they do not make changes they will go bankrupt. I have spoken to two or three bankers here today who say they have made risk assessments and know they have to change.

“And I think the big corporations can make those changes in a way that governments have failed to do so far because they can look at the long term. So, if we can bring these corporations onboard we can drive change.

“We need to change the system and the best way to do that is from within the system.”

He added: “None of us can hide away from the truth any longer. I did for 30 years but now I have grandchildren and I look at them and know this is going to hurt them and hurt all of us if we don’t act. We must act now.”

Notes to editors

About Extinction Rebellion

Extinction Rebellion came to public prominence in 2018, after a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found that immediate, deep cuts in carbon emissions and radical infrastructure changes are needed for even a 50–66% chance of avoiding catastrophic climate change.1 The group blocked bridges in London in late 2018, before a major protest action that lasted more than a week in April pushed climate change up the political agenda and persuaded Parliament to declare a Climate Emergency. However, there has been little Government action since then, and global carbon emissions and rates of ecosystem destruction have continued to rise unabated. Subsequent reports by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services2 and a key UN Science Advisory Group3 have confirmed that humanity is on track for an unprecedented global climate and ecological disaster.

Extinction Rebellion believes it is a citizen’s duty to rebel, using peaceful civil disobedience, when faced with criminal inactivity by their Government.

Extinction Rebellion’s key demands are:

  1. Government must tell the truth by declaring a climate and ecological emergency, working with other institutions to communicate the urgency for change.
  2. Government must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.
  3. Government must create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice.

What is a Citizen’s Assembly?

Citizens’ Assemblies involve informed, non-partisan deliberation by a representative set of citizens selected at random. Proponents believe that they help democracies to avoid the pressures of party politics and lobbying by powerful corporations and interests. An Extinction Rebellion spokesperson said “The climate and ecosystem emergency is too important to be left to party politics. A Citizens’ Assembly would help our country to identify fair, effective policies by means of decision processes that are representative and thoughtful. Our politicians should welcome this way of addressing the threat to everyone’s future without getting side-tracked by party politics and special interests.”

Get involved:

And while your time and energy are of most importance, if you are financially able to donate money, see our crowdfunder.

Dorking mother of five risks second arrest as she prepares to take part in latest wave of Extinction Rebellion protests

A Dorking mother of five arrested for taking part in an Extinction Rebellion blockade of Waterloo Bridge has pleaded not guilty at London Magistrates Court today on the grounds that she was trying to prevent “loss of life.”

Speaking outside the court Jakki Phillips, 51, insisted she will continue her fight to get the government to take action in the face of the climate emergency and will be attending the protests organised by environmental group Extinction Rebellion (XR) over the next fortnight.

Mrs Phillips, 51, was arrested in London whilst taking part in peaceful civil disobedience protests organised by XR in April this year. 

Her case is one of scores that have come to court this week just days before XR’s next wave of demonstrations in London which begin on 7 October.

XR’s latest action comes as public concern grows about the climate crisis which has prompted millions of people to take part in mass peaceful demonstrations around the world.

Mrs Phillips said that her arrest had not deterred her from returning to London next week to take part in the XR demonstrations which will take place at seven sites across the capital.

She said: “I am taking this action because the usual methods of campaigning have not worked.

“The inaction and failure of our government to take the necessary measures to tackle the climate and ecological breakdown means my children now face an uncertain future.

“From even before our children are born we do everything we can to protect them from harm. 

“As a mother I cannot simply stand aside and watch as their future is taken away from them. So I am standing up to do what I feel I can.  

“Climate and ecological breakdown affects us all. The scientific facts are clear. This is an emergency situation and we have to act now.”

Mrs Phillip’s husband Rob, 51, a construction industry executive, said his wife’s arrest had only emphasised the need to take action.

“Today I sat in a magistrates’ court and watched my law-abiding wife of 27 years plead not guilty to charges brought by the state for blocking a bridge. 

Charges that are intended to silence and frighten citizens from speaking out and raising the alarm against the indisputable scientific fact that our planet and all future generations are in mortal danger from human induced global warming.

Charges that are intended to keep the status quo and ensure business as usual. 

I can no longer sit idly by and watch the wanton disregard for our planet and all forms of life that live on it. 

I will be in London next week to rebel against this toxic system and highlight governments’ inaction whilst we still have a hope of saving our beautiful home.

ENDS.

About Extinction Rebellion

Extinction Rebellion came to public prominence in 2018, after a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found that immediate, deep cuts in carbon emissions and radical infrastructure changes are needed for even a 50–66% chance of avoiding catastrophic climate change.1

The group blocked bridges in London in late 2018, before a major protest action that lasted more than a week in April pushed climate change up the political agenda and persuaded Parliament to declare a Climate Emergency.

However, there has been little Government action since then, and global carbon emissions and rates of ecosystem destruction have continued to rise unabated.

Subsequent reports by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services2 and a key UN Science Advisory Group3 have confirmed that humanity is on track for an unprecedented global climate and ecological disaster.

Extinction Rebellion believes it is a citizen’s duty to rebel, using peaceful civil disobedience, when faced with criminal inactivity by their Government.

Extinction Rebellion’s key demands are:

1. Government must tell the truth by declaring a climate and ecological emergency, working with other institutions to communicate the urgency for change.

2. Government must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.

3. Government must create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice.

What emergency? | Extinction Rebellion in Numbers |This Is Not A Drill: An Extinction Rebellion Handbook.

Get involved:

• In the UK, come to one of our events, or join the Rebellion Network and let us know how you can help out.
• Find your local group, or start a group where you are: in the UK or around the world.
• Check out the International XR website, with links to the French, German, Italian and UK websites.
• And while your time and energy are of most importance, if you are financially able to donate money, see our crowdfunder.

References

1 IPCC, Global Warming of 1.5ºC (Geneva, Switzerland: World Meteorological Organization, 2018). URL=https://www.ipcc.ch/sr15/

2 IPBES, Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (Bonn, Germany: IPBES secretariat, 2019). URL=https://www.ipbes.net/global-assessment-report-biodiversity-ecosystem-services

3 Science Advisory Group of the UN Climate Action Summit 2019, United In Science: High-level synthesis report of latest climate science information convened by the Science Advisory Group of the UN Climate Action Summit 2019 (World Meteorological Organization, 2019). URL=https://bit.ly/2nP0Cyf

Scores of Dorking residents to join thousands of protesters in London in ‘biggest ever’ act of non-violent civil disobedience

Unprecedented numbers of Dorking residents will travel to London to take part in what is expected to be the biggest non-violent civil disobedience protest in history.

The two week action, organised by environmental group Extinction Rebellion, will be staged across several sites in London.

The protestors are calling for urgent action to address the climate and ecosystem crisis facing humanity. 

Those protestors from Dorking will be based at Whitehall, where they will focus on Extinction Rebellion’s ‘third demand’ for the creation of a Citizens’ Assembly made up of randomly selected citizens with the power to take action to bring about the emissions reductions and ecosystem restoration, free from the pressures of party politics and powerful corporate lobbyists. 

Similar action is planned in cities worldwide as concern mounts about global inaction on climate change and ecological collapse.

Dorking resident Sarah Hayward, 42, mum of two and marketing consultant, said she felt compelled to take part in the London action because of her concern for her children’s future.

“If we do nothing, our current policies will see us reach somewhere between 3-4 degrees warming by the end of the century. 

“As things stand now, at just under 1.5 degrees, we’re seeing extreme heatwaves, droughts, floods and wild fires, so 3-4 degrees is utterly terrifying. 

She added: “I’m doing this so my children and all the younger generations don’t have to face starvation, thirst, war and conflict. And so they don’t have to make the impossible decision not to bring more children into the world.”

Local vicar Reverend Helen Burnett said that she valued the emphasis Extinction Rebellion places on the spiritual, as well as the physical impact of the climate emergency. 

She added: “I see people overwhelmed by grief for what we have lost, I see the poorest suffering the most and I see what happens when people feel impotent in the face of a sixth mass extinction.

“If I look to the gospels I see a pattern of non-violent resistance and a pattern of disruption of the status quo that is part and parcel of Jesus ministry. 

“Although it is scary, I know I must step out into the unknown on Monday morning but I know I will not be alone and that those with whom I stand are people of huge integrity and determination who are filled with love for humanity and for our beautiful planet.”

The Whitehall site will welcome activists from across the South-East, with many planning to camp in roads despite anticipated cold weather.

Many activists from Dorking have indicated a willingness to be arrested.Local environmental conservation specialist, John Blewitt said: “I am going to London on 7 October and I am willing to be arrested out of desperation at the lack of acknowledgement of the environmental crisis we are in.

“I am also willing to be arrested in the hope that people no longer see us as a fringe movement but something they all feel they can be a part of. 

“I believe many people are as concerned about the situation we are in but as yet have not been able to take a step. I want us to become so mainstream and accessible that the step becomes easy. 

“A year ago I never thought this would be remotely possible but, incredibly, I now think it is.”

Others are heading to London to help in other ways, such as providing food, holding placards, or simply adding numbers to the crowd, but are not planning to be arrested. 

Ben Kenward, one of the Whitehall site coordinators, said: “You don’t need to be part of Extinction Rebellion already to come along and make your voice heard, everyone and every contribution is welcome.”

Calling for a Citizens’ Assembly will be the central theme of the action in London over the next fortnight.

An Extinction Rebellion spokesperson added: “The climate and ecosystem emergency is too important to be left to party politics. A Citizens’ Assembly would help our country to identify fair, effective policies by means of decision processes that are representative and thoughtful. 

“Our politicians should welcome this way of addressing the threat to everyone’s future without getting side-tracked by party politics and special interests.”

About Extinction Rebellion

Extinction Rebellion came to public prominence in 2018, after a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found that immediate, deep cuts in carbon emissions and radical infrastructure changes are needed for even a 50–66% chance of avoiding catastrophic climate change.1 The group blocked bridges in London in late 2018, before a major protest action that lasted more than a week in April pushed climate change up the political agenda and persuaded Parliament to declare a Climate Emergency. However, there has been little Government action since then, and global carbon emissions and rates of ecosystem destruction have continued to rise unabated. Subsequent reports by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services2 and a key UN Science Advisory Group3 have confirmed that humanity is on track for an unprecedented global climate and ecological disaster.

Extinction Rebellion believes it is a citizen’s duty to rebel, using peaceful civil disobedience, when faced with criminal inactivity by their Government.

Extinction Rebellion’s key demands are:

1. Government must tell the truth by declaring a climate and ecological emergency, working with other institutions to communicate the urgency for change.

2. Government must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.

3. Government must create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice.

What emergency? | Extinction Rebellion in Numbers |This Is Not A Drill: An Extinction Rebellion Handbook.

Get involved:

• In the UK, come to one of our events, or join the Rebellion Network and let us know how you can help out.
• Find your local group, or start a group where you are: in the UK or around the world.
• Check out the International XR website, with links to the French, German, Italian and UK websites.
• And while your time and energy are of most importance, if you are financially able to donate money, see our crowdfunder.

References

1 IPCC, Global Warming of 1.5ºC (Geneva, Switzerland: World Meteorological Organization, 2018). URL=https://www.ipcc.ch/sr15/

2 IPBES, Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (Bonn, Germany: IPBES secretariat, 2019). URL=https://www.ipbes.net/global-assessment-report-biodiversity-ecosystem-services

3 Science Advisory Group of the UN Climate Action Summit 2019, United In Science: High-level synthesis report of latest climate science information convened by the Science Advisory Group of the UN Climate Action Summit 2019 (World Meteorological Organization, 2019). URL=https://bit.ly/2nP0Cyf

“I can no longer sit idly by”: Husband Reacts to Wife’s XR Court Appearance

In April, Dorking Extinction Rebellion member Jakki Phillips joined a blockade of Waterloo Bridge during peaceful civil disobedience protests to demand action on the climate crisis, and she was arrested.

Today Jakki was in court where she pleaded not guilty on the grounds that she was trying to prevent loss of life in the face of a climate emergency.

Here is what her husband Rob had to say:

“Today I sat in a magistrates court and watched my law abiding wife of 27 years plead not guilty to charges bought by the state for blocking a bridge.

Charges that are intended to silence and frighten citizens from speaking out and raising the alarm against the indisputable scientific fact that our planet and all future generations are in mortal danger from human induced global warming.

Charges that are intended to keep the status quo and ensure business as usual.

I can no longer sit idly by and watch the wanton disregard for our planet and all forms of life that live on it.

I will be in London next week to rebel against this toxic system and highlight governments inaction whilst we still have a hope of saving our beautiful home.”

International Rebellion starts next Monday October 7th https://rebellion.earth/event/international-rebellion-begins-7-october-2019/

Email xrdorking@gmail.com to find out more or join Dorking Extinction Rebellion in London. All welcome.