How we expect Rebels to behave
All Rebels who attend Actions are asked to follow our Rebel Agreement. This covers the basic principles of respect, non-violence, accountability, no drugs, and taking responsibility.
Following, and expecting each other to follow, the Rebel Agreement gives all Rebels a basis for trust in each other, and between Rebels and the public. We are here until the Government accedes to our three demands, so we need to be able to trust each other in the long term. And although we know that many people will disagree with what we do, we want them to be outraged by the reason we rebel, not by bad behaviour by some Rebels. Outrage directed at bad behaviour doesn't help our cause.
How we work and behave towards one another
Volunteers who work to help organise XR and to represent the movement are expected to follow our Ways of Working. This guide covers how we expect Rebels to act as individuals and within groups. This means not just how we talk but how we listen, and not just who we work with but how we include them.
As with the Rebel Agreement, the success of XR requires us to work together in common cause for a long time. This means that we have to agree how we will behave towards one another, including behaviour that is not acceptable and even sanctions for misbehaviour.
XR is also continually reviewing itself, and we're currently working on a new Code of Conduct that draws together some of these disparate agreements into a single clear Code. Once it's ready, we'll share it!
Working transparently, collaboratively and non-violently doesn't mean accepting harm from other Rebels.
XR is a deliberately flat and distributed organisation with little in the way of hierarchy or central control, and this can make it hard to impose discipline when individuals act in unhelpful or even harmful ways. However, our agreed Ways of Working does include ways that groups can deal with individuals who behave badly or even abusively. These sanctions include acknowledging the harm that's been done and putting agreements in place that prevent it happening again, but also include asking people to leave a meeting or excluding them from participating in a group.
We are not about punishing people but, if you are impeding the work of your team, you will probably be asked to direct your energies elsewhere. There have even been occasions when people have been asked to leave the movement if they have broken our Principles and Values repeatedly and show no sign of changing their ways. These cases are not common but we will act if it's needed.
On a smaller scale, there are more localised agreements that you will have made in order to work within specific teams. These include policies of a circle, group agreements and our Self-Organising System. All of these exist to help us work efficiently together and if these agreements are broken then a conflict-resolution process may be invoked. Remember that we hold a shared purpose within XR, but misunderstandings and our own egos can get between us and that goal, and so we try to hold such things lightly.
What if there's conflict?
XR has developing a range of materials to help teams deal with conflict. Conflict isn't, of itself, necessarily a bad thing when we're trying to expose deeply-held problems and find ways to solve them. But conflict can become harmful - and when harm is done, it needs resolving.
You may be asked to take part in a conflict-resolution process by your Local Group, or Region or Nationally depending on the scope of your roles. This may be because you've been a party to the conflict, or because you're outside it and may be able to help resolve it.
If you are part of a group with conflicts that they can't resolve easily, here are some resources that may be useful:
- Transformative Conflict team Tension shifting video (27mins)
- Conflict website
- or email email@example.com if you need the support of trained facilitators in conflict transformation.