Environmental group to declare rebellion against UK Government

By agency reporter
October 29, 2018

The environmental group Extinction Rebellion is coordinating a nonviolent uprising against 'criminal inaction' by the British government on the climate emergency and ecological crisis. At 10 am on 31 October 2018, there will be a Declaration of Rebellion in Parliament Square in London, with a series of nonviolent disruptive actions planned, beginning on 12 November and leading to Rebellion Day on 17 November. 

Extinction Rebellion stated: “On October 31st we will, in accordance with our consciences, and with a clear duty to our children; our communities; this nation and planet; declare a non-violent rebellion on behalf of life itself and against our criminally negligent government. Our government's abject failure to protect citizens and the next generations from unimaginable suffering brought about by climate breakdown and social collapse is no longer tolerable.

“We cannot stand idly by and allow the ongoing destruction of all that we love. Our hearts break and we rage against this madness. We have both a right and duty to rebel in the face of this tyranny of idiocy, of this planned collective suicide. Join us.” 

The day will begin with a formal Declaration of Rebellion and speakers talking about the dire situation we face, as well as demonstrating practical ways forward. With more to be announced, speakers include:

  • George Monbiot - who recently advocated in The Guardian that a people’s rebellion is the only way to fight climate breakdown 
  • Greta Thunberg - the Swedish 15 year old who is breaking Swedish law through her School Strike For Climate, which sees her seated outside the Swedish Parliament refusing to go go to school 
  • Molly Scott Cato, Green MEP for the South West of England and Gibraltar.

Organisers say there will also be a short extinction ceremony, "honouring those who have died and those who will die as a result of the British government's criminal inaction". There will be a peaceful sit-in and a banner drop at a nearby location "to symbolise our defiance in the face of the prospect of extinction and our determination to resist." Some will take a nonviolent action which may lead to arrest.

The group’s key demands are:

  • The Government must admit the truth about the ecological emergency, reverse all policies inconsistent with addressing climate change, and work alongside the media to communicate with citizens
  • The Government must enact legally binding policy measures to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2025 and to reduce consumption levels
  • A national Citizen’s Assembly to oversee the changes, as part of creating a democracy fit for purpose.

Extinction Rebellion also stated: “If the government does not respond seriously to the our demands, civil disobedience will commence from 12th November. Now is the time because we are out of time. There is nothing left to lose. It is our right and our duty to follow our consciences and rebel.”

“We do not take the step of disrupting the lives of Londoners lightly, however given the inaction by successive Governments to respond to the climate crisis we face, we have to raise the alert”, Stuart Basden from Extinction Rebellion commented. “We feel deeply that if we come together as ordinary people and communities in the limited time we have available to affect change, we can face this crisis together. The first step is to ensure people are fully informed of the extreme gravity of the situation.”

Gail Bradbrook of Extinction Rebellion added: “The time to stand up for our world, the ecosystem in which we all live, has come. Supporters of Extinction Rebellion have held almost a hundred talks and workshops all around the country so far, with the aim of mobilising people to take part in civil disobedience actions to highlight our perilous plight.”

“We understand that this may lead to arrests and possible imprisonment. We are ready for that. It is a sacrifice we make with great consideration. It is clear that we need to have the courage to put authentic and real pressure on the Government to take action to solve the ecological crisis, otherwise what future do we have? Let alone our children or grandchildren. The IPCC fails us, our Government fails us, the NGOs have failed us. Business as usual is no longer an option.”

* Extinction Rebellion https://risingup.org.uk/XR/

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