We have all had our moments chanting "What do we want.. Climate Action. When do we want it? Now" or "Stop, Stop, Stop Stop, Adani". Does protest work we say? What about Bob Brown, who might have single handedly lost the election?
Charging horses aside, have we stepped into some morass of self blame, side stepping the necessary analysis about whether or not the forces of coal and their political running mates might just have better handle on some kind of, a get go kind of social glue, instead of the less cheerful version, neo liberal at the centre, of a plethora of policies run out of a persona afflicted with the non-scrapable epithet of Shifty....
Time is running out. The truth is that we are heading for extinction - unless we U turn into a functional democracy where the cries of our children for climate justice are attended to forthwith. This is where Extinction Rebellion comes in.
Roger Hallam, theorist and co-founder of XR, has calculated a method to avoid our children starving to death from the inevitable breakdown of our biosphere caused by our inability to stop large corporates plundering our future for present greed.
The method involves civil resistance. Thousands much cause disruption in large centres (where the wealthy and powerful will have to take notice). You have to break the law.
It involves sacrifice. Getting arrested. Clogging up the court system.
Everything must be strictly non violent and polite. And go on day after day.
And finally it must be fun! (PS there are plenty of non-arrestable roles - RSVP to the Melbourne event this week, and check out the week's program here)
Extinction Rebellion is growing explosively. On the heels of 7 million in the streets, the International Week of Rebellion kicks off on Monday. There may be over fifty thousand arrests across the world. Pink boats are likely to clog up streets, and motorists subjected to cupcakes and notices of "please be patient for 5 minutes" as traffic gridlocks in city centres.
The Red Brigade will subject us to, well, red. The XR symbol, the sands of time running out, will flutter from our skies.
In London, this April, XR did well. A Climate Emergency was declared shortly after thousands of arrests in a city where walking and dancing had become the preferred mode of transport.
What will this October week bring us in Victoria? Red in our streets? Now that over 1000 jurisdictions including Melbourne have declared Climate Emergencies will we go for the grand prize, a Victorian CED?
XR bolts on political will, and opens space for solutions commensurate with the severity of the trajectory of the breakdown in our biosphere.
1) Tell the Truth
Yes watch the video
And if you are not convinced, try this Breakthrough report, quoting genuine leftists such as Lt Gen Campbell in his opening address to the 2016 Chief of Army's Exercise labelling climate change "the ultimate threat multiplier". Time is not on our side.
2) Hurry up then, with the solutions we have.
XR's second demand is for zero emissions at emergency speed, by 2025.
Two years ago XR was 25 people in meeting in a flat in Lambeth. Perovskite (eventually massively cheaper than silicone based PV) will be in commercial production by 2022. Oliver Yates is conjuring money to kickstart Australian green hydrogen; the coming seismic shift in liquid fuel self sufficiency should mean that any calls to go all the way with Donald J (suitably timed before Nov 3, 2020) would have less resonance than a similar catch cry did in June 1965.
3) Time for real democracy.
You know, the sort we used to have, where the public debated public policy, and communities shared and owned their own resources and worked together to get over problems like the Great Depression.
XR proposes citizens' assemblies, randomly selected to by truly representative, digesting the advice of experts and advising Government. These bodies are most unlikely to suggest large offshore payments for water rights to Ministers for the Environment, or more public money for new coal to the great delight of coal mine part owners who happen to be brothers of the Minister for Resources and Northern Queensland.
Where will you be this week?
Why not come on down to Base Camp at the Carlton Gardens for a spot of philosophy, or a turn at some XR block printing, ladling soup, family fun, or taking to the streets.
There will be regular workshops on essential skills like legal observing, police liaison, outreach and regenerative culture, re-imagining the world people centered and carbon pollution free.
And if you are determined to be arrested, then you will just have decide on your signature style!