Every week I’ll be sharing what I read with you & please share with me what you are reading to inspire ✨each other and break out of our filter bubbles. What I’m reading 📖 this week: THIS IS NOT A DRILL // Want to know more? Read on!
You might have heard of Extinction Rebellion in the news? This climate activist movement has reached headlines ever since their first protest in the U.K on the 31st of October 2018 on Parliament Square in London. During which they announced a 'Declaration of Rebellion' against the UK Government.
Extinction Rebellion (XR) defines itself as:
"An international movement that uses non-violent civil disobedience in an attempt to halt mass extinction and minimise the risk of social collapse.”
As a trend researcher you need to keep an eye out for groups of people that stand up and start creating a movement from the bottom-up. XR is such a movement, and it’s worthwhile to take a closer look behind the scenes of this league of rebels to understand their motivations.
Check out a mood video of XR below:
In the book, ‘This is not a Drill’, XR explains why they rebel and how. Quite literally, this XR handbook is divided in two sections: one on ‘the why’ of the rebellion and one on ‘the how to’ organise the rebellions.
Why rebel in the first place?
“We, in alignment with our conscious and reasoning, declare ourselves in rebellion against our government and the corrupted, inept institutions that threaten our future.”
Who is behind XR?
It all began in a small English town with 15 people who had studied the way to achieve radical social change. Together this group decided to embark upon a long campaign of mass civil disobedience. The aim is ‘to transform the way we talk about the climate and ecological emergency and to force governments all over the world to act’.
This group of 15 has turned into a worldwide movement of concerned citizens in less than a year. XR is open to anyone who takes action in a non-violent way.
XR has 3 specific demands:
PART ONE: TELL THE TRUTH
In the first part of the book XR shares what they feel is the truth on climate crises via a multitude of perspectives. Short articles written by a diverse group of people, like academics, a former president of the Maldives, people from an Indian village, a firefighter, a media-theorist and a psychotherapist.
I’ve cherry picked some interesting quotes from the contributions by these people in the book:
// On people denying the facts of climate change and its consequences:
Any talk of prevention is actually a form of denial of what is really happening.
Jem Bendell, professor in sustainability leadership
// On why there should be a mass movement of civil disobedience:
Being human is not about individual survival or escape. It’s a team sport. Whatever future humans have; it will be together.
Douglas Rushkoff, media-theorist and author.
// On who should act on climate change:
Those who created these problems will try and make them yours to solve – don’t let them.
JS Rafaeli, journalist and author
Well, I can tell you, after you have read all the contributions you really feel something should change and action should be taken. But how?
part two: ACT NOW
The second part of the book is about just that. It’s written in the same way as the first part: contributions by various people on specific types of actions within the XR movement. In this part XR gets practical on topics like movement building, getting arrested, feeding rebels, creating roadblocks, creating protest signs and media strategy.
Here are some take-aways from this part of the book:
"Building a movement is quite different from building an organization, and our task as activists and organizers should be more akin to planting trees than giving orders"
_Danny Burns, professor in development studies & Dr. Cordula Reimann, peacebuilding expert
‘The key lesson about all structural political change is this: disruption works. Approximately 1 to 3 percent of the population is needed to rise up and bring down a regime.’
_Roger Hallam, co-founder XR
XR wants their protests to be inclusive and create safe spaces during protests, so kids and the elderly can also join. Watch this video of 82 year old Phil explaining why he became an XR rebel:
The book ends with showing visions on the impact if the radical social change might take effect. Stating that 'The earth is for all beings, today and tomorrow' and that the 'the future is going to be humble'.
It’s really interesting to read because it provides strategic and practical information. You can use it when you want to start a movement of your own, even for a whole other cause.
If you want to take action and join the XR movement, an international rebellion starts again on Monday October 7.