Do Or Die
DO OR DIE (Short Version)
Extinction Rebellion UK April 2021
This document is adapted for accessibility!
👈 Open the summary sidebar on the left for easy navigation, and for specific needs please also see the following versions:
🖖 BSL version (coming soon)
🏳 Welsh version (coming soon)
BACKGROUND AND INTRODUCTION
“It’s not, we’re going to be wiped out and nature will reclaim the world - we’re taking everything with us” — Josh, 13
For 4 months, 30+ rebels from around the UK spent 100+ hours on zoom discussing strategy, with workshops from over 30 internal and external advisors. We discussed everything from animal agriculture to zeroth demands.
|💚 XR London & South East
💚 XR East of England
💚 XR Midlands
💚 XR Cymru Wales
💚 XR North East and Cumbria
💚 XR Scotland
💚 XR South-West
💚 XR South-East
💚 XR North
💚 XR Internationalist Solidarity Network
|💚 UK Nonviolence
💚 UK Regenerative Circle
💚 XR Faith Voices
💚 Movement of Movements
💚 XR Youth
💚 UK Media and Messaging
💚 XR Working Class
💚 Justice Steering Group
💚 Disabled Rebels Network
💚 UK Strategic Finance Circle
💚 UK Actions Circle
We were selflessly supported by the Strategy Assembly Support Network. Thank you.
And thank you to local group rebels for staying rebellious in one tough lockdown 2020. You are the superheroes of this movement. we love you.
💖 LOVE LETTER TO THE MOVEMENT
This is especially for all those Bipoc Rebels who have left the movement. We thank you. We heard you. Hear you. And feel your absence. And to those still hanging on - we need you.
This letter was triggered by George Floyd's death but goes so much deeper. We are humans of colour, culture and identities regularly silenced. We are also known as Bipoc. We Bipoc people wrote a love letter to the movement and placed it at the top of the XR strategy for all to see. Putting us Bipoc first means we, XR, aren't falling for the trap of division used by the powerful to separate us.
No one should be left behind. Other oppressed groups are suffering right now - our disabled, youth, Lgbtq+ and working class rebels. They are not all spoken to directly in this letter but we want to say that your struggle is our struggle. We will work together. And we will strive together. Read all our Love Letter here.
Image: Two black rebels marching in the protests against Shell during the 2020 September Rebellion, both with fists raised in salute.
🙏 A THANK YOU LETTER TO THE MOVEMENT
Dearest Rebels, Interested People, Sceptics, anti-XR people, Trump,
We are Radical Love. Radical Inclusion. Radical Support. Radical Trust
Pssst. This strategy is imperfect. It’s inevitable! It was our first attempt at co-creating a strategy with 30+ strangers, with differing levels of experience. At this point, it’s good enough. And it’s just a document, it can change, just as XR UK evolves to truly embrace what we must do to succeed as a movement, in the face of ever-increasing dangerous oppressions and marginalisation.
Please receive it with love, it’s how it was made. The longer version is a raucous rebellious ride of ideas, deeper delves into movement analysis, strategic solutions, practical inspirations, just click here!
So, this is not just a strategy. It’s a reflection of who we are. XR UK is an amazing group of people, all ages and backgrounds* uniting against climate breakdown, racism, social injustice, disablism, oppression of gender, race, faith, sexuality and class, exploitation, extractivism and othering. Phew. It’s hard work! Take a moment...
We are all epic. All crew.
💔 2020 - A YEAR OF LOCKDOWN, LOSS AND LOVE
(AND SOME REBEL WELLY)
Covid-19 has been devastating. We all mourn the huge loss of life, despair at the failure of government, their criminal incompetence. We've seen how fragile societal systems are, and know the Climate and Ecological Crisis will destroy us.
The government’s version of Build Back Better is to bail out polluters and an inadequate 10 point plan. Greenwashing is rampant. Even the British Medical Journal described the government’s response to Covid-19 as Social Murder, and global warming increases pandemics.
But Covid-19 has shown us the government and media have tremendous power to radically inform and change the general public’s behaviour, and this can give us active hope.
Rebels - you are WONDERFUL!!!
Image: XR Birmingham ‘Spell it Out’ protest infront of Birmingham City Council
⚓️ WHY WE’RE FRAMING OUR STRATEGY WITH THE PRINCIPLES AND VALUES…
XR Principles and Values are what holds us together in this movement. They are our anchor, our foundation.
Our Ps & Vs need to be practiced daily, part of our everyday work and activism. It’s our collective responsibility - as we act with love and rage - to be our best versions of ourselves, and stay true to them. Oh, and say “Sorry” when we mess up!
2021: The Government are trying to stop us.
So, for the children, animals, biodiversity, the Majority World, all the Oppressed, we stand with our global family in sheer love and rage. And absolute defiance.
Image: A Bristol rebel leads the march from the Bank of England to Parliament
OUR 2021 STRATEGIC DO OR DIE GOALS
1. We have a shared vision of almighty change
We are part of a bigger world than the clique we may have become, and we are working alongside many other Movement of Movements to bring about climate and social justice. The whole planet is screwed. We can’t do this without being part of this Movement of Movements. Crikey, really it will take billions of us around the planet, and that sounds impossible. Isn’t XR all about the Impossible? Hell yeah.
XR UK will support rebels to protest in the face of this increasingly authoritarian government. We’ll support those able to take direct action, and create digital or remote options for radical inclusion. The Strategy Assembly held many individual visions but collectively we agreed this 2021-? strategy:
THE STRATEGY ASSEMBLY THREE GOALS
- Explode from lockdown with inspirational Non Violent Direct Action, from local actions to remote options to mass actions, demanding zero carbon by 2025. We won’t be intimidated by the government
- Each and every rebel to mobilise for actions escalating to COP26, with all actions designing in safer options for those not able to risk arrest
- We are part of a Movement of Movements, one global family, so to fight this toxic system we must prioritise working with all the oppressed and exploited, and groups protecting our planet’s biodiversity and habitat. Check out this nifty Movement of Movements Directory.
And we planned how to achieve them, or it’s all just a load of hot air! (Click here for XR UK’s Three Demands!).
**AND NEVER MIND THEORIES OF CHANGE, HERE’S THE \
STRATEGIES FOR CHANGE**
- Deliver UK-wide trainings and resources on Co-liberation - including anti-oppression and unconscious bias, and access and radical inclusion workshops to all Local Groups
- Prioritise the recruitment of Bipoc, working class, Lgbtq+, disabled and neurodiverse people to positions of power-fullness at all levels, providing wo-mentoring and financial support as much as possible
- Promote Community Engagement & Empowerment - further resource and support grassroots activism like Trust the People, Climate Emergency Centres, HS2, Silvertown Tunnel protest and Deep Water
- Female leadership. ’Nuff said.
2021 - THE VISION FOR ACTIONS
😠 Banking & Finance
😠 Fossil Fuels & Oil
😠 Trade & Industry
We have so much to humbly learn from our global family. Indigenous communities living in harmony with their land, in self-organising communities celebrating eldership and female power, fighting extractivism.
They’re the front line of planetary activism - join XR UK Internationalist Solidarity Network.
Image: Skeletons dressed in high-viz jackets, September Rebellion, 2020
**It’s A-COPalypse Now! **
COP26 is set to fail, 2050 is too late. So,** whether you’re planning to rebel in Glasgow, take part in digital mayhem, local actions and outreach or **mass protest, treat this year like it’s Do or Die for the planet. COP a load of this XR UK action.
XR Creative Circle works at the heart of XR’s actions: amplifying our messages through brilliant design and building creativity into actions; from Art Blockers and Paint The Streets to Protest Architecture, Sound & Music and Performance.
Creative groups are also drivers of mobilisation, community building and regenerative practice. Paint The Streets campaigns and creative actions kept many rebels going through lockdown!
The UK-wide Creative Circle sits within UK Actions. Graphic design (Art group) and Content Creators team (video, photography etc) circles sit within M&M. They work closely together.
**But if none of all this appeals, why not join **XRPetitions.com
Image: Money Rebellion. A pane of smashed glass at Barclays London Headquarters, with a sign stuck on “In case of emergency break glass”
2. We gotta welcome everyone and every part of everyone
We listened to disabled rebels tell us how disappointed they are with the movement, how their needs and rights are ignored on a regular basis throughout XR UK. We sincerely apologise to everyone who’s encountered disablism in the movement, or oppression in its many forms, and we ask that everyone reads this Inclusivity Resource Pack. We must recognise where we’ve failed - and continue to fail - disabled, D/deaf and neurodiverse rebels, Lgbtq+ and people with invisible conditions. We must treat everyone with dignity and respect. All needs must be met.
XR UK will prioritise the recruitment of disabled, D/deaf, neurodiverse rebels, people with invisible conditions, Bipoc, women, Lgbtq+ and working class people to positions of power-fullness within the movement. And upskill all rebels in access and inclusion workshops. NOW!
- XR Families ‘Feed-in for Future’ protest at the Bank of England
- A young child drawing alongside an XR flag
- Children from XR Muslims hang a mobile of paper boats from a tree
3. Eek, we set our Mission on what’s necessary, and practise Radical Inclusion
80% of rebels in an anonymous survey said they find outreach difficult and don’t enjoy it. Cue: grimace. Early 2020 saw the launch of a mass mobilisation project but when Covid-19 hit, it went belly up! Lockdown scuppered traditional outreach and whilst Digital Rebellion has been a great success, many of us have gone a bit zoomicide.
Local Groups will be asked to mobilise like their pants are on fire (never mind the house analogy!). Movement of Movements is a priority. LGs can access:
|Strategic Promises: (cont)
- Marvina Newton of United for Black Lives and XR’s Clare Farrell address the crowd at the Kill the Bill protests in London, April, 2021
- Animal Rebellion block a road using a slaughterhouse truck, September, 2020
- A protestor caries a handdrawn sign saying “Trans, Queer, Poor, Young, Old, All Black Lives Matter”
4. We sure as heck need a regenerative culture
Hmmm, for a movement with regenerative practices as a Principle, we’re not doing so peachy. As a movement, we’re still learning what it means to work in regenerative ways and some rebels are working awful hours suffering high levels of burnout and damaging their personal lives. PS, the planet is bleeped, so we need to centre the spirit sisters of regeneration - transformative adaptation and deep adaptation - in our regenerative practices.
Regenerative circle has a new rebel-focused mandate, full of vibrant wellbeing ideas to reboot regenerative practices through all working groups: from national to Local Group to community, faith and identity groups. Practically, XR UK can:
5. We absolutely have to openly challenge ourselves and our toxic culture
Does XR UK have a shelf life? 2020 was demoralizing for our lockdowned movement. How many big rebellions do we have left in us before rebels feel it’s time to try something else? But time is running OUT. Governments and industries couldn't care less they're Heading us for Extinction. WE DO. This year - for our movement and planet - it’s DO OR DIE. Here’s the Actions Calendar.
No holding back. Reach for the (north) stars!
Here’s our XRUK Campaigns. Those huggable targets, and all-important juicy tactics - digital disruption, creative high-jacking, obstructing vanity projects, iconic targets and psychological disruption, prefigurative actions.
Image: Protestors hold two signs written in Welsh: “Oh, World! I pledge myself to the world” (A play on the national anthem) and “The truth, standing against the end of the world”
This year, COP year:
- XR UK demands fossil fuel industries commit to a five-year transition to net zero by 2025. And COP must ban funding on all fossil fuel projects by 2025
- Feel the love, Knowsley and Broxbourne rebels and amazing uncelebrated support teams. So, join the continuing campaign against the Free the Press: London Uprising! June 26th/27th
- June 26th: National Demonstration - join XR & other movements in London; to present a list of demands to our failing state: https://fb.me/e/d3G0aihRh
- June 27th: Free the Press Carry that energy, momentum and solidarity forward joining the dots between corruption, inequality, racism, the CEE and the billionaire press. Time to disrupt the status quo!
- Join the Free The Press Telegram. Sign up on our Facebook Event
- June 11-13th G7 Rebellion Wave: Cornwall, UK and Global actions
- Earth Fast Camp begins 28th August (Global action) https://earthfast.info/
6. We really, really, really, must value reflection and learning
ew, it’s tough looking in the mirror. The Strategy Assembly was the mother of all magnifying mirrors - did we always practise radical inclusion? Did newer rebels feel as valued as long-standing members? Did we adapt working practices quickly when it started going wonky? Did we show love? These tensions exist through our movement. Then, do we apply critical thinking to each and every action and interaction? How do we even gauge success? When we fail to learn from our inevitable gaffes, we struggle to evolve as individuals and as a movement. Uh-oh.
We must all take Feedback and Learning more seriously, in our personal relationships and internal power structures:
Image: A silver haired woman sits on the road in Parliament Square, refusing to acknowledge the police kneeling on either side of her as they ask her to move.
7. We actively mitigate power (sssshhh, we got rid of the ‘for’!)
nee-nah, nee-nah, nee-nah! XR UK is slipping into a patriarchal way of working, with process stifling voices and creativity, creating unhealthy workloads that often fall on the women. Bureaucracy is replacing common sense. We passively aggressively discuss internal power without working on how to empower everyone. Sod that. Let’s fix this. We need Co-liberation to set all our magnificence free. Come on, we have toxic societal structures to defeat!
Female leaderful-ness is the future, creating healthy and nurturing work practices, with Bipoc and women from marginalised spaces at the helm. End of.
Image: Tensegrity structures block the Broxbourne printing press, synced with sister actions in Knowsley, Merseyside and Motherwell, North Lanarkshire
8. We avoid blaming and shaming (even though it’s ohhh sooooo tempting)
after a year of stressful lock-down, tensions are a-plenty, movement-wide. Many of us hate conflict but it’s clear leaving issues to fester only escalates them. So, internally we need to embrace nonviolent communication and use intervention techniques early. These same skills will help us emotionally and publicly deal with what we often feel is pure evil - government, powerful individuals and destructive corporations. And the 'opposition' Labour party is losing its edge, so we must remain strong and constructive in our opposition. We have a secret weapon. Love.
not only are we facing protest oppression - Rest in Peace, Sarah, we’re also women rising up against gender-violence. Then, there’s systemic racism, modern slavery and post-Covid anti-green recovery. But we'll maintain our nonviolence, swot up on deescalation skills and seek help when needed. We’ll just swear our heads off in private 😉.
Image: The ‘Justice Now’ march, including Cardiff and Valleys Black Lives Matter, Justice for Palestine, Stand up for Racism and XR Cymru, XR Bristol and XR South West, September 2020
9. We are a nonviolent network, hell yeah!
we’re living under state violence - 130,000 people - mostly disabled and chronically sick - have died due to Austerity since 2010, and the government is using Covid to silence dissent against climate and social injustice. Changes to the law can not stop us. We will still rise up. Being nonviolent is our movement’s backbone and heartbeat, yet many rebels don’t know about the rich UK history of nonviolent protest. And with rebels being asked to fully explore MoMs outreach, nonviolence training may inspire others to be brave enough to rise up, together.
|Strategic Promises: Deliver nonviolent workshops and support materials to all LGs, provide training in nonviolent communication, Movement of Movements relationship building, increase the delivery of NVDA training, and develop alternative versions for different groups of people, like Bipoc, faith groups, families...|
- XR Youth locked on, blocking Clifton Suspension Bridge, Bristol
- A sign saying: “Sorry for the inconvenience, we’re trying to save the world”
- Rebels slow walking in front of a tanker lorry at Horse Hill oil extraction site
10. We are based on autonomy and decentralisation
|Reality check: agh, XR UK needs money to survive, that’s just the reality - in 2020, Voluntary Living Expenses were cut across the movement. To recruit people from marginalised groups, XR UK needs to boost its bank balance, and also decentralise more funds to UK-wide groups. We just don’t have enough volunteers in nation and region coordinating groups or national level, so welcoming people into these spaces with great support is vital (roles from 2 hours a week!).
Many Local Group rebels still feel central working groups are inaccessible and they don’t necessarily feel heard, or have great access to resources or centralised help if needed. Every rebel must believe in their full power, and have clearer pathways to achieve it. 2021 will be hard for protest, we’ll all need each other to reach our fullest potential.
|Strategic Promises: Izzy whizzy let’s get busy!
Cooey. If you’re able to make a regular donation, please do so HERE.
THANK YOU SOOOOO MUCH 😍
- Money Rebellion: Gail Bradbrook smashes the glass door at Barclays, Stroud
- Money Rebellion: A woman wearing green & purple colours of the suffragettes is handcuffed outside of Barclays HQ in London
- A rebel in a wheelchair raises a fist in salute at ‘Justice Now’ march outside the Home Office building in Cardiff
RESOURCES AND COOL STUFF
The Love and Rage Library - we’ve collated some of our fave inspirations for you, feel the power!
Glorious Glossary - for all the groups/resources in this strategy, and the long version, tuck in. Yum
Want to contact someone in XR? Hop on mattermost - easy, friendly training here!
What do the kids and young people think? Grab a tissue
And how’s about a rouser to end the strategy?!
👉🏾 Extinction Rebellion: Our Story
⧫ As ever, we remember and celebrate the life and work of POLLY HIGGINS, female warrior, 1958-2019. FIGHT ECOCIDE https://www.stopecocide.earth
yep, we’re not that diverse, 2021 is the year we walk the walk!