WATCH: Welcome to the Rebellion
On 31st October 2018, Extinction Rebellion UK assembled on Parliament Square in London to announce a Declaration of Rebellion against the UK Government. They were expecting a couple of hundred people. Instead, 1500 came to participate in peaceful civil disobedience. In the subsequent two years, Extinction Rebellion has staged three major weeks of action, resulting in thousands of arrests, and in the UK government being the first in the world to declare and climate and ecological emergency. The actions generated huge national and international publicity and, as news spread, Extinction Rebellion’s ideas connected with tens of thousands of people around the world in scores of countries. The XR project was resonating with a deeply felt need for community, solidarity, and the withdrawal of our consent from supremacist systems of opression driving the climate and ecological crisis. Extinction Rebellion groups began springing up all around the world. XR made it to Vancouver and is now growing roots.
At the core of Extinction Rebellion’s philosophy is nonviolent civil disobedience. We promote civil disobedience and rebellion because we think it’s necessary — we’re asking people to find their courage and to collectively do what is necessary to bring about change.
We aren’t focused on traditional systems like petitions or writing to our MPs, we’re more likely to take risks (e.g. arrest / jail time). We don’t want or need everyone to get arrested — for some this is not a good idea — but we do want everyone involved to support civil disobedience as a tool. We are promoting mass “above the ground” civil disobedience — in full public view. This means economic disruption to shake the current political system and civil disruption to raise awareness. We are deeply sorry for any inconvenience that this causes.
We have made some decisions about security and our interactions with the police. We’ve made a strategic decision to communicate with the police about what we are doing when we believe that is more likely to enable things to go well (which we can’t always be sure of). Except for the case where a small group is trying to do a specific action that needs the element of surprise, we generally don’t try to be secure in our communications about plans. We expect that we have been infiltrated by those without our best interests at heart and suggest people bear this in mind.
We are about political change, not personal change (though we welcome the latter).
We are completely nonviolent, our actions are done in full public view and we take responsibility for them.
We organize in small groups. These groups are connected in a complex web that is constantly evolving as we grow and learn. We are working to build a movement that is participatory, decentralized, and inclusive. The structure aims to empower anybody to act as part of XR, so long as they agree to follow our ten core principles (see below). You can read our Self-Organising System Agreement for more information. We are seeking a balance between being able to act quickly in response to fast-changing situations and being able to integrate the collective wisdom of all perspectives when needed.
Our Principles and Values
All are welcome who want to adhere to our principles and values.
We have a shared vision of change. Creating a world that is fit for generations to come.
We set our mission on what is necessary. Mobilising 3.5% of the population to achieve system change - using ideas such as “Momentum-driven organizing” to achieve this.
We need a regenerative culture. Creating a culture which is healthy, resilient and adaptable.
We openly challenge ourselves and our toxic system. Leaving our comfort zones to take action for change.
We value reflecting and learning. Following a cycle of action, reflection, learning, and planning for more action. Learning from other movements and contexts as well as our own experiences.
We welcome everyone and every part of everyone. Working actively to create safer and more accessible spaces.
We actively mitigate for power. Breaking down hierarchies of power for more equitable participation.
We avoid blaming and shaming. We live in a toxic system, but no one individual is to blame.
We are a non-violent network. Using non-violent strategy and tactics as the most effective way to bring about change.
We are based on autonomy and decentralization. We collectively create the structures we need to challenge power. Anyone who follows these core principles and values can take action in the name of Extinction Rebellion.