XR America’s Vision of Mass Mobilization
WE ARE AT AN INTERSECTION OF GLOBAL CRISES.
Climate breakdown, Covid-19, racial injustice – all are symptoms of a toxic system that is driving us to extinction – a system built on economic inequality, extraction, the destruction of nature, and exploitation.
We cannot carry on like this. The system is killing us. The social contract between our government and its citizens – ordinary people like all of us – is broken. Enough is enough.
It’s time for a massive Rebellion of people from all walks of life, demanding a radical regeneration of our democracy. Power must be seized from the grasp of the greedy few and the politicians they pay for and given to the people. Only then can we replace this insanity with a system that values people over profit and ensures that all of us – Black, brown, or white, rural or urban, middle or working class, liberal or conservative, 10th-generation American or recent immigrant – have a decent chance for healthy and productive lives for ourselves and our children.
OUR REBELLION FOR LIFE WILL NOT BE EASY.
The powers that be are deeply invested in the status quo, and they will try to find any way they can to divide us. One of their favorite tactics is to use racial-fear messaging to distract us from how they are lining their pockets and consolidating their power. The enemy will not give up easily and will defame us, hoping we will grow exhausted and discouraged. They are likely to retaliate against our peaceful protests with brutality, targeting our brothers and sisters of color first and hardest.
The enemy will also celebrate if our Rebellion collapses into infighting, with certain factions attacking other Rebels because they are so convinced that theirs is the only right way. Ideals that are noble in and of themselves can become articles of faith to which everyone in a movement must profess allegiance without question or face public shaming, persecution, and expulsion. People within the climate movement – with whom we hope to collaborate – may attack us for believing Citizen’s Assemblies should chart our course to climate and ecological justice. Instead of recognizing this form of democracy will allow all voices to be heard, they erroneously claim that such a position means we don’t stand for justice at all.
FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION.
We will not – we cannot – let the people’s Rebellion for Life be crushed. We’re in a fight for our lives. If we don’t radically change the way we live on this planet within 10 years, we face the complete breakdown of its natural life-support systems. Any of us who live another 20 years will witness a massive acceleration of the devastation already unfolding in the form of global heating, unprecedented storms, floods, and fires, crop failures, water shortages, mass migration, pandemics, and violent conflict intensified by competition over scarce resources.
THE FIGHT TO PRIORITIZE LIFE OVER PROFIT
In order to remain united in this fight for our lives, we simultaneously stand up for one another and refuse to let our differences divide us. Sometimes it seems like we’re being attacked on so many fronts, we’ll never win: A lack of affordable health care, working people struggling just to get by while the 1% gets richer all the time, a prison-industrial complex that allows profit from mass incarceration, black and brown lives damaged or destroyed in disproportionate numbers by law enforcement and the criminal “justice” system, underinvestment in rural communities, including those of indigenous peoples, a widespread rollback of environmental regulations meant to protect the health of our children. Where does it end? And yet, if we look behind all of these ills, we find one thing: A system that readily sacrifices lives so the wealth and power of the few can continue to increase exponentially.
Our unity and power come from seeing all struggles for life and liberty as being part of the same fight: A fight to replace a soul-sucking, life-destroying system with one that prioritizes life over profit and gives our children the future they deserve. As long as we remain divided, each fighting our own battle, we will lack the numbers to compel our government to overhaul our democracy and implement the radical changes we need.
WHATEVER AFFECTS ONE AFFECTS ALL
Success in this Rebellion requires each Rebel practices both sacrifice and generosity. We must sacrifice some of our insistence on our personal opinions, agendas, and concerns in order to stay focused on our common goal of massive, radical system change. We must be generous in learning about the struggles of others and recognizing how their well-being is intimately connected to our own. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”
ARE YOU READY TO STAND UNITED?
Are you ready to do what it takes to make our Rebellion for Life successful? Are you sure? This is the biggest challenge humanity has ever faced. Are you willing to stand shoulder to shoulder with people you disagree with politically? Are you ready to stand with people of all races and ethnicities? Are you ready to respect the courage and sincerity of an NRA member who voted for Trump, who is showing up for civil disobedience for the first time because he has nightmares about his children’s future?
Will you be able to set aside your personal opinions in order to make space for your neighbors to join this fight for their lives, whether they’re Muslim, pagan, Jewish, Catholic, or evangelical Christian? Are you ready to stand on the frontlines with teachers, truckers, lawyers, meat-packers, ranchers, vegans, Democrats, Republicans, bikers, and hippies? Are you willing to treat your brothers and sisters in Rebellion with respect, regardless of whether they are transgendered, pro-life, still in high school, or over 80?
We hope so, because that’s what it’s going to take to bring about a transition to a just and life-sustaining system.