Building Local Groups

Resources on starting up new Local Groups, organising in Local Groups and growing your groups.

What is a Local Group?

We organise in small, autonomous groups distributed around the world. 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, decentralised, and inclusive.

A Local Group (LG) is a group of people that gather to create an Extinction Rebellion community presence in a local area by building support and taking action towards XR’s three demands. In this way, they are similar to traditional forms of community organising. A crucial difference is that XR local groups decentralise into different Working Groups as much as possible.

Principle 10: WE ARE BASED ON AUTONOMY AND DECENTRALISATION.
We collectively create the structures we need to challenge power. Anyone who follows our core Principles and Values can take action in the name of Extinction Rebellion.

For everything you need to know to run or start a local group, see our Local Group Essentials Guide.

Starting a New Local Group

Anyone can take action in the name of Extinction Rebellion as long as they adhere to our Principles and Values. That means you can take action, and start new groups, without anyone’s permission!

For everything you need to know to run or start a local group, see our Local Group Essentials Guide.

Developing your local group

For everything you need to know to run or start a local group, see our Local Group Essentials Guide.

To contact your regional or national co-ordinator, go to the Organism web site, click on your region or nation, and click the Contact link.

Alternatively, the email addresses are on the Contact page on the main XR UK web site.

Certain groups can apply for an XR email address. See the page How to apply for a your-group@extinctionrebellion.uk email address.


This page was updated by the Local Group Development circle. Please contact localgroupsupport@protonmail.com if you have any questions or think something needs to be added.

How to find your people

First you’ll want to gather those that are sympathetic or interested in the Rebellion in your area

Check to see if there is already a group in your area by looking at this UK MAP OF LOCAL GROUPS. There may already be an email or social media account. Try to contact the existing rebels. If you have trouble doing this, next try the nation/region contacts listed on the map with the bigger XR logos.

Building stronger social ties with our neighbours and local communities is in and of itself a transformative process. It enables us to create new and long-lasting connections with people who live in our community, to collectively create a support network of caring and compassionate neighbours, who look after each other, and to develop a sense of belonging, which can overcome the social isolation that runs through much of modern society.

Making connections with others can also create a foundation from which we can work together to push for systemic change and to create a society that considers the needs of everyone. The way we organise and relate to our communities in this time of crisis could help to shift us towards a genuinely democratic society full of autonomous, empowered, resilient and supportive neighbourhoods and communities.

1. Create your Online Spaces

2. Bring People Together

Heading for Extinction Talk

The talk introducing the reality of the climate & ecological crisis, and the rationale and ethos behind the Extinction Rebellion movement. This is the XR talk and is recommended for everyone.

The Heading for Extinction talk aims to inform your local group members about the rationale behind XR, so that we are all on the same page. It is also a great tool to reach out to like-minded people in your community, those who may potenially join your group or be supportive from within their own community.

How to Host the Talk

NVDA Training

An essential training for all rebels. This training introduces Extinction Rebellion’s tactics of non-violent direct action and civil disobedience, with discussion of the rationale, legality and logistics of our actions. This training also includes practical lessons in de-escalation, talking to the police, and arrest advice.

The training is made of seminar style information with practical exercises and chances to ask lots of questions. Please note, this training is recommended regardless of whether you plan to be arrested, and is distinct from NVDA training given in other organisations and movements. This training is regularly updated and we recommend rebels attend more than one.

Regen 101 Workshop

Is a workshop designed by Australian Rebels which introduces people to the fundamentals of XR through a regenerative lens. It focuses on Self-Care, Intersectionality, Burnout Resilience and Action Care, and as a mobilisation tool it has been successfully used as a softer alternative to the NVDA training.

3. Promote your Event

Now you need to invite people to your events! There are many ways of letting people know that things are happening, check out some of the suggestions below.


This page was written by @Raenyah please contact me if you have any questions or think something needs to be added.

Local Group Outreach Support materials

If you are looking for ideas to inspire you to spring into action after lockdown with your Local Group then look no further! Here they are.
Based on the Google doc "Support materials for Spring Out of Lockdown". Joyous Springing to you!
Communities Support for Local Groups
Rebel Toolkit https://rebeltoolkit.extinctionrebellion.uk
T&T directory and events https://extinctionrebellion.uk/act-now/resources/talks-and-trainings/directory/
Rebellion Academy https://uk.rebellion.academy
Buddy programme https://documentcloud.adobe.com/link/review?uri=urn:aaid:scds:US:8b1a69c0-d1f9-41f9-b5e0-dc5826761a31
Local Group Support
Contact xrrebellionoutreach @ sign protonmail . com (take out the spaces to make the email)
Inclusivity and Accessibility resources https://docs.google.com/document/d/1kcSSfmrTOog64taDEfgYCXIfpMTqtyTob8d7277TLIg/edit
Visioning workshop https://docs.google.com/document/d/1glXRsihE90NcdhNLPnNORV2xNLF6cSEQf-BCyUbIfrQ/edit?usp=sharing
Outreach methods Outreach Methods Rebel Toolkit Page
Nifty ideas for outreach
Science banner Great Outreach Poster by Scientists for XR Rebel Toolkit Page
Online quiz http://crisisquiz.online/?s=l_ro1
Rousing XR promo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jhl-9UBRK4w&t=253s
COP26
XRCOP26 crew Click the link here for their live guide to support anyone planning actions in Glasgow
Join their Mattermost team "COP"
The Strategy working group meeting at 3PM UTC on Tuesdays. Click the link here
The Actions working group meets at 4pm UTC Thursdays Click the Link here (ask on Mattermost for the passcode)
And join the Mattermost COP Actions group: https://organise.earth/cop/channels/actions. Click the link here to join
Faith Bridge Camino to Cop pilgrimage Click to find Camino to Cop briefing pack link here
G7
To run your own G7 People’s Assembly and add your to the G7 week of PAs Website link here
Briefing pack http://www.tinyurl.com/G7ActionPack
G7 Action: Make the Wave Telegram Group Telegram group Link click here
Movement of Movements support
Coalition examples XR Cymru Wales Six principles Link Here
Midlands Deep Water
Deepwater mattermost Channel Link here
Deepwater Telegram Chat Link Here
Deepwater facebook Page link Here
Deepwater Website Link Here
Movement of Movements (MoM) Directory (brilliant resource!) MoM Directory Link Here
XR MoM XR Biodiversity and Sustainability Crews Link Here
Background materials XR Coalitions with other Movements Link Here

Rebel Assemblies - East of England

East of England experience, during the pandemic, 2020.

What is a Rebel Assembly?

We want to create a spafe space for rebels to have conversations around the difficult topics in XR, to engage with our contradictions and support each other through them. We also want to ensure that Rebels in the East of England have direct contact to the Regional structures and to eachother.

Why a Rebel Assembly?

We use the term ‘Rebel Assembly’ rather than Peoples Assembly because they are designed for Rebels, rather than a wider participation. They are not open to the public. They provide a space within which Rebels can consider issues relevant to them, and not be distracted or diluted by arguments with opponents, doubters or zoom-bombers.

The Rebel Assemblies Group

Our Working Group

We set up a small group, by putting the call out generally AND pro-actively contacting each Rebel in the region who had been on a Peoples Assembly training or been in touch with XRUK Peoples Assembly Working Group to show interest. This group meet fortnightly for an hour to coordinate and develop the programme. The Coordinator sat in the regional Anchor Circle, and others attended weekly meetings for all LG coordinators in the region, to help maintain connectivity.

Mandate

(As found in our Working Group Mandate)

  1. To provide decision-takers in EoE Regional Circles with input from Rebels within the region.
  2. To provide Rebels with easier access to the issues and personnel in EoE Regional circles
  3. To enable Rebels across the region to build greater connection with each other.
  4. To support Rebels in engaging more with issues facing XR, and to encourage shared thinking.

Hlding the Space

The Basic Structure

  1. Welcomes - zoom host or facilitator welcomes each person and checks their sound/video are working properly
  2. Check-ins - small breakout groups for 5 minutes in which Rebels are encouraged to introduce who they are, and how they are feeling
  3. Introduction to the Assembly - the three pillars of Peoples Assemblies: Inclusivity, Active Listening & Trust in the Process.
  4. Introduction to the theme/question - how this assembly arose, what the question is, what will happen with any notes
  5. ‘Testimony’ - if appropriate. Brief statements by one or two Rebels pertinent to the question
  6. Breakout Groups - 35 minute consideration of the question in groups of about six; asked to keep notes on a shared google doc
  7. Feedback Session - hearing highlights or key points from each group
  8. Checkouts – very brief, sometimes single word, sentence, or statement by each Rebel.

Facilitation

We had a handful of experienced facilitators, and some of those contacted at formation of the working Group did not join the group, but have shared the workload of actually facilitating.

We usually have one person as Zoom host, arranging breakout rooms, etc; one person compiling notes; and two sharing the facilitation role. The team for an Assembly typically checks into the zoom call 15 minutes early, and stays on 15 minutes after for immediate de-briefing.

Planning the Session

We draft a Plan for each meeting which includes an outline of timings and a script for facilitators.

7.15pm Team assemble on zoom
7.30pm Arrivals & welcome
Check-ins - small breakout groups 4 people 5 mins
7.40pm Introduction to Assembly
7.45pm Introduction to question
7.55pm Breakout groups
8.30pm Integration session
8.50pm Check-outs
9.00pm Team de-brief

Make a Script for your Assembly, making clear when things need to happen and who is speaking when. Here is a template to help.

Getting it Out There

Frequency

We hold an Assembly each month, for 1.5 hours on a Thursday evening.

Publicising

We created a Facebook event, co-hosted by EoE and various Local group Facebook pages; announced it on Mattermost EoE Town Square, and included it in an email sent to all Rebels in the region on AN list (several groups use Mailchimp, so we depended on them including it in their own emails).

Logistics

Somebody schedules a meeting on one of our regional, county or local zoom accounts (and remembers to log in and open the call in time) No room bookings, no refreshments, no leaflets and posters, no locking up and returning keys.

Registration

As well as a precaution against zoom bombers, registration allows us to get emails of those attending, and also ask which group they attend. Used Facebook event-registration once.

We have now shifted to an Action Netwark event registration (which automatically sends email with zoom invite, and can be programmed to do more!)

The Question

This is the crucial bit – the biggest part of the Working Group’s work is choosing a topic and refining the question.

The question needs to be:.

Here are our question/s we've put to Assemblies so far:

Integration with processes outside the Assemblies

  1. We trust that those Working Groups/Circles that would most benefit from a particular assembly’s output will ensure they have somebody attend the Assembly.
  2. We file all notes on the XR Cloud for access by Rebels, including numbers attending and groups represented.
  3. We have thought of airing an issue in the week prior to an Assembly and starting discussion beforehand on a Mmost Channel, and/or follow-up thoughts likewise, but haven’t actually got around to this yet.

This page was written by @Cliff from the East of England Rebel Assemblies Working Group. Please contact me on Mattermost if you have any questions.