This weekend a massive climate rebellion against the UK government begins

“London calling” sang Joe Strummer and ‘The Clash’*. In 2018 Mother Earth is calling. Are we finally listening? Some people are even prepared to get arrested for civil disobedience for the climate.

Their cause may also be ours. Or at least it may be our children’s. When they will be looking back at 2018 some of the people protesting in silence and peace may well be the Rosa Parks and the Mahatma Ghandis of the 21 century.

These people based their actions in a feeling of emergency to speed up climate action. The Extinction Rebellion in the UK is an example of such a movement. They are planing to take to the streats peacefully to create climate action in the United Kingdom. The activist of ‘XR’, as they sometime call themselves hope the world is watching and will take after their example.

The following is based on an interview with one of the people organising and taking part in their actions: Nils Agger.

Nils is originally from Sweden but since three years he has been residing in the valleys around Stroud in southwest England where he joined Extinction Rebellion and the RisingUp! network.

- “Here I found a bigger purpose than ever before in my 25-year old life and I have never felt more alive”, says Nils.

The RisingUp! network promotes a fundamental change of the political and economic system to one which maximises well-being and minimises harm. Change needs to be nurtured in a culture of reverence, gratitude and inclusion; whilst the tools of civil disobedience and direct action are used to express the collective power.

Screen dump from ‘XR’ https://www.facebook.com/ExtinctionRebellion/

October 31st the ‘XR’ will tell the world and UK leaders their manifest and demands, details to follow in the Facebook event. But expect they are likely to drive a hard bargain. Stay tuned for updates on their events!

XR are planning multiple events, see https://www.facebook.com/pg/ExtinctionRebellion/events/?ref=page_internal

What main message do you want to convey?

Nils: — The existential threat we are facing is an ecological breakdown; loss of habitats, extinction of species, deforestation, soil erosion and degradation which will have disastrous consequences for humanity and the rest of the planet. Three key talking points must be that we are facing an existential threat, not enough is being done to deal with it and a calling for reclaim of democracy.

We are facing an existential threat.

Not enough is being done to deal with it.

What is the transition plan?

Nils: — We want to use obedience to influence the political will for things to happen and a call for citizens assembly to deal with it.

There are plans, good proposals, good ideas and technique that are useful to deal with the crisis. We want to limit the crisis as much as we can but it´s up to a democratic citizens assembly briefed by experts, to decide what’s the best way.

What we would have liked to see is that the infrastructure of the government or the state is being directed by citizens assembly rather than the government but there is still a lot of things needed to be worked on and formulated.

Nils:- We are open to experimentation and reflection, trying to learn from successful methods of organising. Any individual or group can take actions in the spirit and name of RisingUp! without permission, if it fits the RisingUp! “DNA”. The DNA covers our vision for change, our
understanding of why change is needed, our decentralised structure, principles and values and our strategy and tactics.

Do you see RisingUp! as a better way of people power democracy than the democracy that is currently ruling or is this obedience a way of using your democracy power?

Nils:- A lot of major democratic thinkers have acknowledged that if governments fail to protect the security and life of the citizens, the citizens have the right to rebellion and do what it takes. We want to qualify citizens assembly of normal citizens selected by sortition as a fair way of making sure an equal representation happens. The assembly are getting briefed by experts and have the authority to implement a planet transition. Do we really want absolute power to be handled over to the government to solve the crisis? That’s why we reclaim democracy to the citizens assembly and we will have an improved version of democracy.

We are starting to realise the existential threat. Is getting together a way forward?

Nils:- People don’t realise it is an emergency until they see other people acting as if it is an emergency. If the house is burning and you are sitting down with a cup of tea, no one would believe it is an emergency. We say it is an existential threat and behave as if it is real to convince everyone and we try to have the local government acting as if the emergency is real as well.

Some of us sacrifice and are even willing to go to prison. People resonate with that in an emotional level. Then you have a social response to what they have to say. People are motivated by that kind of social responses. That’s one of the methods we are trying to work with.

Who is joining this rebellion and who do you like to engage more?

Nils:- At the moment we are based in the UK but we are trying to make the rebellion international. Just a few days ago we had a meeting with some people from the US.

We build a decentralized organisation. People can take part with the skills they have. The way of outreach we have been doing is talks. We have done around 50 talks around the country and we have done conferences online.

Severn Suzuki held her famous speech in front of the UN in Rio 1992. Not very much progress has been made from that day, looking at total emissions, the opposite could be said, what is different this time? Are your actions going to make any difference?

Severn Cullis-Suzuki at Rio Summit 1992

Nils: — It ‘s different because we have seen this going on for years and it hasn’t been dealt with.

We are not trying to distill hope in people even if there is no. It’s inevitable that 50% of the species in Africa are going to die. That is not a hopeful message. Even if we can make it be 49% it will still be worth it, the right thing to do. It’s pretty obvious what is right and wrong and we want to make it obvious for more people and be a platform for them to take a stand.

We are trying to do this as a service orientation but we can’t know what is about to happen and what is going to work.

How can people in the UK contact you?

Nils: — This is bigger than UK. If people in the UK and other countries are interested to see what’s going on, the most active is the Extinction Rebellion Facebook page.

Screen dump from protest by Screen dump from arrests of ‘XR’ activist. Photography: Extinction Rebel Instagram account
Screen dump from arrests of ‘XR’ activist. Photography: Extinction Rebel Instagram account

Facts about Nils Agger

Originally from the southernmost tip of Sweden but since a three years
back i have been residing in the valleys around Stroud in southwest
England. Here i found a bigger purpose than ever before in my 25-year
old life and i have never felt more alive

The RisingUp network promotes a fundamental change of our political and
economic system to one which maximises well-being and minimises harm. We
believe change needs to be nurtured in a culture of reverence, gratitude
and inclusion; whilst the tools of civil disobedience and direct action
are used to express our collective power.

We are open to experimentation and reflection, trying to learn from
successful methods of organising. Any individual or group can take
actions in the spirit and name of RisingUp without permission, if it
fits RisingUp “DNA”; this covers our vision for change, our
understanding of why change is needed, our decentralised structure,
principles and values and our strategy and tactics.

Facts about RisingUp!

  • 5000 people in a network across the UK

See their Facebook video featuring their action at the UK Greenpeace head office(!) here.

More of XR actions of civil disobedience here (Facebook).

The Guardian have covered the protest and work by the Extinction Rebellion, do read their articleThe Guardian view on environmental activism: new energy is welcome” (The Guardian, Editorial, Sunday 4 2018).

Written by: Carina Kindkvist


Facts about We Don’t Have Time

We Don’t Have Time are currently building the world’s largest social media network for climate action.
Together we can solve the climate crisis.
But we are running out of time.
Sign up for our newsletter at WeDontHaveTime.org.
Join the movement by reading our manifest, following the blog and taking action to battle climate change. Or simply just enjoy seeing our impact and reach develop here and here.

On Earth Day 2019 another We Don’t Have Time Climate Conference will air.
Get more videos and information about the 2018 conference here.
And please drop us a line if you want to forward your idea of a theme for a keynote, a speaker, panel member until then. See you April 22 2019!

Web site: www.wedonthavetime.org

* London Calling music video

London calling to the faraway towns
Now war is declared and battle come down
London calling to the underworld
Come out of the cupboard, you boys and girls
London calling, now don’t look to us
Phony Beatlemania has bitten the dust
London calling, see we ain’t got no swing
Except for the ring of that truncheon thing

The ice age is coming, the sun is zooming in
Meltdown expected, the wheat is growin’ thin
Engines stop running, but I have no fear
’Cause London is drowning, and I, I live by the river

London calling to the imitation zone
Forget it, brother, you can go it alone
London calling to the zombies of death
Quit holding out and draw another breath
London calling and I don’t want to shout
But when we were talking I saw you nodding out
London calling, see we ain’t got no high
Except for that one with the yellowy eye

The ice age is coming, the sun is zooming in
Engines stop running, the wheat is growin’ thin
A nuclear era, but I have no fear
’Cause London is drowning, and I, I live by the river

The ice age is coming, the sun is zooming in
Engines stop running, the wheat is growin’ thin
A nuclear era, but I have no fear
’Cause London is drowning, and I, I live by the river

Now get this

London calling, yes, I was there, too
And you know what they said? Well, some of it was true!
London calling at the top of the dial
And after all this, won’t you give me a smile?

I never felt so much alike alike alike

Songwriters: Joe Strummer / Mick Jones / Paul Simonon / Topper Headon

London Calling lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

We Don't Have Time

We Don't Have Time's goal is to create a social media platform for the future, focused on the biggest challenge of our times - the climate. Through our platform, millions of members will unite to put pressure on leaders , politicians and corporations to act for the climate.

We Don’t Have Time

Written by

We Don’t Have Time is a social network for climate action. Together we are the solution to the climate crisis.

We Don't Have Time

We Don't Have Time's goal is to create a social media platform for the future, focused on the biggest challenge of our times - the climate. Through our platform, millions of members will unite to put pressure on leaders , politicians and corporations to act for the climate.

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