Extinction Rebellion UK position on COP26

PEOPLE HAVE THE POWER – NOT ‘WORLD LEADERS’

What an incredible few months it’s been. We rolled up our sleeves, put our bodies on the line, and made the Impossible Rebellion defy all expectations. We led with our hearts and danced on pink tables, making the climate and ecological emergency impossible to ignore. It was beautiful, unpredictable and incredibly powerful in ways that no one saw coming.

The Impossible Rebellion taught us about the power of people coming together for a shared cause, highlighting the UK Government’s blatant inaction on the emergency. While we block bridges to demand they stop investing in fossil fuels, the government continues to gaslight us by telling us to fly more to cut emissions, and wash our dishes differently. They’ve even signed up the Wombles to lead on their strategy of distract and delay! It’s an embarrassment and a disgrace. 

We cannot trust them to do what’s necessary at COP26. The Climate and Ecological Emergency is a Crime Against Humanity perpetrated by the rich and powerful, and the COP process is systematically corrupted by vested interests – national, corporate and financial.

GOING BEYOND COP

The truth is, we can not rely on COP. Nothing on the table in the run up to COP26 resembles a compassionate and functional response to the crisis, so why should we place any faith in the summit itself?

What we expect is catastrophic failure, which will be spun by the government as a success to an unsuspecting public. Both the governments represented and the NGOs will be promoting an atmosphere of optimism and possibility. Our role is to tell the truth, to expose both the failings and the falsehoods, to force leaders to confront the reality and the consequences of their failure and offer people a meaningful route to change through Citizens’ Assemblies.

Extinction Rebellion as a movement is capable of setting its own agenda and schedule. We’re not bound by the political calendar. Our theory of change has achieved most success when we act within our own timeline and when politicians and the media least expect it.

Therefore, Extinction Rebellion UK takes the following position:

  • Extinction Rebellion must not legitimise a process that has failed all of us for the past 25 years. Extinction Rebellion was set up with a clear focus: to push the UK Government to act swiftly on the CEE. There is a need for local, national and international action, but using civil resistance in the UK is our role in the climate movement landscape. Attending COP should be seen as an act of solidarity, we can pass the mic to our friends in the Global South, come together with the Movement of Movements, connect and build our community, but we must be ready for the real job in hand: mass civil resistance in 2022. 
  • For those who do choose to go, we will do so to accuse leaders of crimes against humanity, bringing a declaration that is based on telling the truth about legalised corruption and systemic failure. We will not go to demand, plead or hold onto expectations. 
  • We will support disruptive action in Glasgow as far as possible without over commiting on resources. We are assessing our strategic focus and planning for the most efficient and effective use of those resources.   
  • We will amplify the voices of those on the front lines. We will continue to stand in solidarity with communities of resistance across the global majority world. We will be offered many media opportunities during COP no matter what we do, so we have a responsibility to use those opportunities to support our global family to be heard. COP has a global focus, so we can platform our global movement of movements.   
  • We will go beyond COP. We will use the momentum from the Impossible Rebellion and COP26 to continue with mass outreach and mobilisation for Rebellion in 2022. This means going back into our communities now and building our local groups, getting trained and training others, knocking on doors and talking to people – why not continue holding your own Crisis Talks? Because power belongs to the people, not with the COP process. 

If you are going to COP, here’s how to find out what’s going on and get involved:

GLASGOW ACTIONS

If you’re already planning to go to Glasgow during COP26 then rebels are actively encouraged to consider how they will take disruptive decentralised actions and work collaboratively with XR Scotland – the host region, when planning actions. Read more about the plan here and their rebel agreement here, and join XR Scotland Telegram channel here for live updates.

XR COP GLOBAL ACTIONS

You don’t need to be in Glasgow to take action. XR COP Actions are inviting rebels everywhere around the world to take action in their local areas. Read how to get involved more on Mattermost here, and join the Global Actions Network Telegram channel for live updates.

CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY

XR UK invites rebels to ‘present’/fly-post charge sheets for ‘Crimes Against Humanit at local constituencies in a decentralised and creative way across the country from October 27th onwards. Keep updated on this action info and UK wide actions via the XRUK Telegram channel here.

REBELLION OF 11th HOUR

XR UK invites rebels to take part from home in the biggest ever Rebellion of One action every day at the eleventh hour (11am) during COP26 (1-12th Nov). Rebels around the world are invited to unite in sending a collective message to Global Governments. Click here to find out more about Global Ro11th Hour action.

‘UbuntuPachaVidya’ – Co-Liberation Series of #PlanetRepairs Festivities of Cultural Resistance

XR ISN invites rebels on November 10th to the Brixton night Vigil for Ken Saro-Wiwa and on

November 11th, Vane(Ghana)-Brixton/London/Glasgow(United Kingdom) to this ‘glocal’ Summit as an alternative #COP26 process and our own unifying peoples’ power to be the change. Find out more here

In 2022, when global governments show us once again they are not capable of tackling this crisis, many people will all be asking, “So, what do we do now?”

Our response to that will be mass nonviolent civil disobedience. Because it’s people who have the power – not World leaders. 

With Love & Rage,

Extinction Rebellion UK

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