United Kingdom: Civil disobedience call for emergency plan of action

Extinction Rebellion is a non-violent civil disobedience movement – an “alliance of the willing” – in the UK which demands of its government that it declares a climate emergency, communicates the crisis to the public and goes zero carbon already by 2025.

The community organising under the name Extinction Rebellion took off in May 2018 with the following half year bringing 1,500 people together to 65 talks and face-to-face meetings in cafés and universities.

Before that, researchers and activists had formed the group Rising Up in November 2016.

“Our wildlife is dying, our children are under threat. We must act now. Governments around the world must tell the truth and start preparing. We can act. We can change the course of destruction that we are on but it will take everyone to rebel and rise up.”
Simon Bramwell, one of those arrested at Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on 12 November 2018 

During the week, Extinction Rebellion had a further 33 arrests.

Rebellion Day
Saturday 17 November 2018, Rebellion Day will be the climax of six consecutive days of disruptive, non-violent civil disobedience, which began on 12 November with an action at the Government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Extinction Rebellion will assemble in cities across the UK including in the “belly of the beast”, London, where they will occupy the city’s five major bridges, creating economic pressure where it will be felt the most.

“This corporate-sponsored government, whose pandering to fossil fuel billionaires and whose negligence in refusing to honestly acknowledge the ecological crisis has given us no other choice than to conscientiously rebel,” writes Extinction Rebellion on their Facebook page.











As the UN Secretary General Guterres recently stated: “We face a direct existential threat”. Failure is really not an option when “failure” means we could “annihilate intelligent life or permanently and drastically curtail its potential”. This is now a war for civilisation’s survival.

“The crucial mistake we tend to make in complicated issues like climate, is to fail on very basic risk assessment and management. We don’t know society definitely faces collapse, so we assume (or hope) it won’t and act accordingly. This is madness. If your doctor told you, “on balance I think your child will be dead in five years – I can’t be sure but the best medical science suggests a 90% likelihood. However, if you take these simple steps – steps that will be quite inconvenient and disruptive but totally doable – the likelihood of their death will fall to 5%.” What would you do? Wait for certainty? Which could only come when your child was on their death bed? Madness.”
~ Paul Gilding

» Paul Gilding – 16 November 2018:
The Extinction Rebellion – A Tipping Point for the Climate Emergency?

Ready to get arrested

Extinction Rebellion “calls on the UK government to reduce carbon emissions to establish a ‘citizens assembly’ to devise an emergency plan of action similar to that seen during the second world war.”

The group is planning a campaign of mass civil disobedience starting next month and promises it has hundreds of people – from teenagers to pensioners – ready to get arrested in an effort to draw attention to the unfolding climate emergency.

31 October 2018
Their first action is on 31 October 2018, when the Extinction Rebellion will be launched in London with support from George Monbiot, author from United Kingdom, and 15-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg from Sweden.

Monbiot proclaimed in an opinion piece in The Guardian on 18 October 2018:

“Our politicians, under the influence of big business, have failed us. As they take the planet to the brink, it’s time for disruptive, nonviolent disobedience.”

Letter of support
Extinction Rebellion is so far backed by almost 100 senior academics from across the UK, including the former archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams. In a letter to the Guardian they state:

“While our academic perspectives and expertise may differ, we are united on this one point: we will not tolerate the failure of this or any other government to take robust and emergency action in respect of the worsening ecological crisis. The science is clear, the facts are incontrovertible, and it is unconscionable to us that our children and grandchildren should have to bear the terrifying brunt of an unprecedented disaster of our own making.”

17 November 2018
There is a follow-up action on 17 November 2018 when hundreds of activists aim to bring parts of London to a halt and the rebellion begins – along with ‘marker’ events occurring around the world. After a period of movement building around the world, further actions are planned in April 2019, where the group will be calling for further international support.

Join in
» You can join the movement by signing its Pledge of Rebellion

More information
» Read more about the group and its activities on www.risingup.org.uk, on www.extinctionrebellion.org, and on www.rebellion.earth

Email: extinctionrebellion@risingup.org.uk

Social media
» @ExtinctionRebellion on Facebook

» @ExtinctionR on Twitter

» @ExtinctionRebellion on Instagram

Hashtags on Twitter
– where you are able to scroll through the latest tweets using this particular hashtag:

#ClimateEmergency   #ClimateBreakdown   #ClimateCrisis   #ExistentialThreat   #XR   #ExtinctionRebellion   #Rebellion   #WeDontHaveTime   #TheTimeHasCome   #ZeroCarbon2025

“Humans cannot continue to violate the fundamental laws of nature or of science with impunity.”
~ Extinction Rebellion

Media coverage

» The Guardian – 27 October 2018:
‘We have a duty to act’: hundreds ready to go to jail over climate crisis
“Rowan Williams backs call for mass civil disobedience ‘to bypass the government’s inaction and defend life itself’.”

» The Guardian – 27 October 2018:
Facts about our ecological crisis are incontrovertible. We must take action
“Humans cannot continue to violate the fundamental laws of nature or science with impunity, say 94 signatories including Dr Alison Green and Molly Scott Cato MEP.”

Protect life

“Our chance for change is narrow. The UN Secretary General gives it a year and a half for drastic change. The time to act is now. We are acting to protect life on this planet and rise from the wreckage of corrupted society. Our Government inaction makes them criminally complicit, so it is our right and our duty to follow our conscience and rebel through peaceful civil disobedience.”
~ Extinction Rebellion

210 million people have been displaced by climate related catastrophes since 2008, according to UNHCR. Male insect fertility halved by heatwaves.

“Single biggest way to have impact on climate change and other environmental crises is through collective pressure on policymakers to act in our interest rather than special interests.”
~ Michael E. Mann, American climate scientist

“This is not a hoax. It is not a theory. It is not a natural cycle of warming and cooling. It is a man-made catastrophe that demands a national effort unlike anything this country has seen since World War II.”
~ The Climate Mobilization