'All the children are our children. We can protect those closest to us only when we remember our love for those furthest away. This is an international rebellion, aligned with all peoples living with struggles to protect life on Earth. This is sacred.'
Gail Bradbrook, 2019
This is our darkest hour.
Humanity finds itself embroiled in an event unprecedented in its history. One which, unless immediately addressed, will catapult us further into the destruction of all we hold dear: this nation, its peoples, our ecosystems and the future of generations to come.
The science is clear:- we are in the sixth mass extinction event and we will face catastrophe if we do not act swiftly and robustly.
Biodiversity is being annihilated around the world. Our seas are poisoned, acidic and rising. Flooding and desertification will render vast tracts of land uninhabitable and lead to mass migration.
Our air is so toxic that the United Kingdom is breaking the law. It harms the unborn whilst causing tens of thousands to die. The breakdown of our climate has begun. There will be more wildfires, unpredictable super storms, increasing famine and untold drought as food supplies and fresh water disappear.
The ecological crises that are impacting upon this nation,
and indeed this planet and its wildlife can no longer be ignored, denied nor go unanswered by any beings of sound rational thought, ethical conscience, moral concern, or spiritual belief.
In accordance with these values, the virtues of truth and the weight of scientific evidence, we declare it our duty to act on behalf of the security and well-being of our children, our communities and the future of the planet itself.
We, in alignment with our consciences and our reasoning, declare ourselves in rebellion against our Government and the corrupted, inept institutions that threaten our future.
The wilful complicity displayed by our government has shattered meaningful democracy and cast aside the common interest in favour of short-term gain and private profits.
When Government and the law fail to provide any assurance of adequate protection, as well as security for its people's well-being and the nation's future, it becomes the right of its citizens to seek redress in order to restore dutiful democracy and to secure the solutions needed to avert catastrophe and protect the future.
It becomes not only our right, it becomes our sacred duty to rebel.
We hereby declare the bonds of the social contract to be null and void, which the government has rendered invalid by its continuing failure to act appropriately. We call upon every principled and peaceful citizen to rise with us.
We demand to be heard, to apply informed solutions to these ecological crises and to create a national assembly by which to initiate those solutions needed to change our present cataclysmic course.
We refuse to bequeath a dying planet to future generations by failing to act now.
We act in peace, with ferocious love of these lands in our hearts. We act on behalf of life.
Extinction Rebellion Declaration
31st October 2018
Following their declaration, Extinction Rebellion set out three demands...
1. Tell The Truth
Government must tell the truth by declaring a climate and ecological emergency, working with other institutions to communicate the urgency for change.
2. Act Now
Government must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.
3. Go Beyond Politics
Government must create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens Assembly on climate and ecological justice.
The BBC reported that ..
'Environment Secretary Michael Gove acknowledged there was a climate "emergency" but did not back Labour's demands to declare one'.
Despite Gove's party politicking the motion was approved without a vote.
Parliament declared a climate emergency. But the declaration was not supported by concrete proposals to reduce CO2 emissions or deal with the ecological crisis, so Extinction Rebellion returned to the streets in October.
Thousands of people, like these doctors, responded to Gove's lack of leadership by blocking and occupying roads, marching and rallying outside government buildings.
The scientific case for taking action is indisputable.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change. Regular IPCC reports are the basis for international action on Climate Change.
'The Synthesis Report (SYR) confirms that human influence on the climate system is clear and growing, with impacts observed across all continents and oceans. Many of the observed changes since the 1950s are unprecedented over decades to millennia. The IPCC is now 95 percent certain that humans are the main cause of current global warming. In addition, the SYR finds that the more human activities disrupt the climate, the greater the risks of severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems, and long-lasting changes in all components of the climate system'.
I witnessed this woman being unstuck from two friends and arrested. She was one of over 1600 people arrested during the October 2019 rebellion.
During the rebellion, I met many people like her, mature, law abiding citizens who had had enough. They were sickened by amoral corporations wrecking the planet and politicians who were happy to take their cash and look the other way. These people know it is time to act.
It's time to rebel.
'Extensive and detailed research by a very large number of scientists tells us incontestably that emissions from the burning of fossil fuels is the biggest cause of human induced climate change, and that this is on track to be very dangerous indeed for humans sometime this century - and no-one knows exactly when or how bad it might be. Since it takes a long time to slow down and then reverse the causes of climate change, action is needed decades in advance of severe symptoms'.
There Is No Planet B, p65
'Given where we are now, it's crucial that more people hear the simple facts loud and clear: that climate change presents huge risks; that our efforts to solve it so far haven't worked; and that there's a moral imperative to constrain unabated fossil fuel use on behalf of current and especially future generations. It's often assumed that the world isn't ready for this kind of message - that it's too negative or scary or confrontational. But reality needs facing head on and anyhow the truth may be more interesting and inspiring than the watered down version'.
The Burning Question, p170
Many people know that urgent action is required to mitigate the climate crisis. It's not negative, it is scary and it needs to be confronted. They don't see leadership from government who seem more interested in party loyalty than the environment. They see unrestrained corporate greed making things worse. They are, understandably, angry.
Extinction Rebellion has become a channel for this anger and for the grief that people feel in response to the damage to the Earth.
There is no planet B. There really isn't.
Chris Jerrey, 2020
This Is Not A Drill: An Extinction Rebellion Handbook
Edited by Clare Farrell, Alison Green, Sam Knights and William Skeaping. Penguin Random House, 2019
There Is No Planet B: A Handbook For The Make Or Break Year
Mike Berners-Lee. Cambridge University Press, 2019
The Burning Question: We can't burn half the world's oil, coal and gas. So how do we quit?
Mike Berners-Lee. Profile Books, 2013