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Background and Aims

Campaign Overview

Our political system is broken. Democracy does not deliver power to the people. The majority of decisions made on the benches in the House of Commons or in MP’s chambers are dictated and determined by the holders of the wealth in our economic system.

From the Head of State to the civil service, the priority is to present a positive image of strength and union when the reality is our society is crumbling. From the cost of living to the difficulty of getting to see a doctor, from the state of social housing to our polluted rivers and degraded ecosystems, the unrepresentative, immoral and biased actions of our political system need addressing, particularly in the face of our changing climate.

Extinction Rebellion will demand a democratic upgrade in a location where multiple parts of our failing system intersect and where our message will powerfully resonate, holding our leaders to account for their apathy with regard to the worsening state of our environment. Together, we are going to target the pillars that aim to hold up the inequalities embedded in the system.

'Upgrade Decocracy' will be a weekend of activities and actions aimed at highlighting the need for change in the unbalanced, unrepresentative and unfair systems of government in this country.

Why Windsor?

King Charles clearly understands the plight of the planet and the urgent need for society to change course. As Prince of Wales he actively spoke out about climate change and environmental destruction. Now that he is King, he is expected to be less vocal about the emergency as it is seen as too “political” even though he spoke frankly at COP28 about the peril of our own survival due to climate and ecological collapse.

Our occupation at Windsor will not be targeting a person, it will target the system. A system where money and power is concentrated in the hands of a few. And where the influence of powerful business interests have corrupted our politics with their denial and delay, ensuring the obscene profits of oil and gas companies keep rolling in even while the planet burns.

Windsor Castle has been chosen as an embodiment of a broken and unjust system where our message will resonate powerfully. The general election has neither fixed our broken system nor addressed the urgent action needed to tackle the climate and nature emergency.”

Aristocrats, oligarchs and corporate interests have infected and distorted our politics and media for their own benefit and at our expense. Our politics is failing us from top to bottom. It’s time for a democratic upgrade. We demand better at all levels; from the head of state to local councils but our central demand is for a Citizens’ Assembly on Climate and Ecological Justice, which is needed more urgently now than ever before.

Windsor Castle is just a few miles from Runnymede where the Magna Carta was signed in 1215 instituting the right to trial by jury. It was the start of a fairer, more inclusive system, and Extinction Rebellion wants to carry the work that was started hundreds of years ago into the future by updating our democracy so that it meets the demands and needs of our world today.

“This is a call to revolution. The Earth is under threat. It cannot cope with all that we demand of it. It is losing its balance and we humans are causing this to happen.” – Prince Charles from the introduction to his book, Harmony.

Why "Upgrade Democracy”?

The purpose of XR UK’s mass occupation of his majesty’s lawns and gardens is to advance our Third Demand that The Government must create and be led by a Citizens’ Assembly on Climate and Ecological Justice.

Only the common sense of ordinary people will help us navigate the challenging decisions ahead and circumvent the influence of the lobbyists and corporate donors. Everyday people have the right to be included in making the decisions that affect their lives. We need to Upgrade Democracy and ensure this process involves learning, listening, collaborating, and making decisions together for the common good.

Read more about citizens’ assemblies here.