THE XRA SEVEN COMMITMENTS
1. MAKING FOUR DEMANDS OF LOCAL, STATE, AND FEDERAL GOVERNMENTS
1. TELL THE TRUTH
Governments must tell the truth by declaring a climate and ecological emergency, working with other institutions to communicate the urgency for change.
2. ACT NOW
Governments must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.
3. BE LED BY CITIZENS’ ASSEMBLIES
Governments must create and be led by the decisions of Citizens’ Assemblies on climate and ecological justice.
4. SECURE A LIVEABLE FUTURE FOR ALL
Governments must work for global net zero and planetary repair by 2030 on the basis of equity and mutual survival interest for all communities, countries and generations.
2. ACHIEVING OUR DEMANDS THROUGH STRATEGIC, NONVIOLENT, MASS CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE
XRA rejects relying on the strategies that have failed to avert climate catastrophe over the last 30 years, including emphasis on personal lifestyle changes and working for incremental improvements within our current political system. We believe the only effective means left to us is strategic, nonviolent, mass civil disobedience enacted according to the following four principles:
1. RESPECT: Our actions are nonviolent in messaging as well as physically. We aim to change our toxic system, not blame or shame individuals. Any damage that might be caused by our actions is carefully considered ahead of time and serves a greater purpose.
2. DISRUPTION: Actions are ineffectual if no one notices them. They must draw attention by disrupting business-as-usual, or through dramatic stunts that find their way into the consciousness and conversation of the public.
3. SACRIFICE: The greater the sacrifice on the part of those participating in actions – in terms of time, energy, enduring discomfort, or undertaking risk – the greater the impact the actions will have.
4. DILEMMA: After building our movement through smaller-scale actions, we aim to create a dilemma for the government through mass civil disobedience. This means the economic and/or political costs of tolerating the action becomes so great, the government is forced either to crack down on it, thus increasing sympathy for the movement, or to negotiate.
3. FIGHTING TO EMPOWER CITIZENS’ ASSEMBLIES
XRA’s sole purpose is mobilizing for mass nonviolent civil disobedience to achieve our Four Demands. We believe the best way forward is to empower Citizens’ Assemblies on climate, ecological, and social justice issues. Therefore, as XRA and in XRA spaces, we do not advocate for any particular solution. We stand for democracy and justice, but refrain from communicating in any way that suggests participation with XRA requires agreement with any particular lifestyle choice, ideology, legislation, political view, or other activist group.
4. UNITING AROUND OUR COMMON PURPOSE
We are facing the breakdown of our planet’s natural life-support systems and runaway global heating.
We love this world and the beings in it, and resolve to work together to save our families, our communities, our nations, and all people from suffering and destruction.
We welcome everyone in XRA spaces and refuse to let our differences divide us.
We will force our governments to act by mobilizing vast numbers of ordinary Americans – from all walks of life – to join us in the streets for mass nonviolent civil disobedience.
(This statement is read aloud before all XRA meetings and events)
5. BEHAVING WITH RESPECT TOWARD FELLOW REBELS
We commit to a culture of respect as we work together, in person or online.
We will communicate with mutual appreciation and kindness.
We will speak from our own experience without making assumptions about what is in the minds and hearts of others.
When we disagree, we will assume good will on the part of others, even though we all sometimes lack skillfulness or understanding.
When we point out harmful behaviors, we will refrain from cancelling people by shaming, attacking, gossiping, or dismissing them with negative labels.
We will only commit to tasks we can do, and will return those we have not been able to do.
We are a community united in our work, and everyone is valued. We are family.
(This statement is read aloud before all XRA meetings and events)
6. ABIDING BY EXTINCTION REBELLION’S TEN PRINCIPLES AND VALUES
Any person or group may act in the name of Extinction Rebellion as long as they abide by its ten Principles and Values:
1. WE HAVE A SHARED VISION OF CHANGE – Creating a world that is fit for the next 7 generations to live in.
2. WE SET OUR MISSION ON WHAT IS NECESSARY – Mobilizing 3.5% of the population to achieve system change – such as “momentum driven organizing.”
3. WE NEED A REGENERATIVE CULTURE – Which is healthy, resilient, and adaptable.
4. WE OPENLY CHALLENGE OURSELVES AND THIS TOXIC SYSTEM – Leaving our comfort zones to take action for change.
5. WE VALUE REFLECTING AND LEARNING – Following a cycle of action, reflection, learning, and planning for more action; learning from other movements and contexts as well as our own experiences.
6. WE WELCOME EVERYONE AND EVERY PART OF EVERYONE – Working actively to create welcoming, inclusive, and accessible spaces.
7. WE ACTIVELY WORK FOR SHARED AND ACCOUNTABLE POWER – Breaking down hierarchies of power for more equitable participation.
8. WE AVOID BLAMING AND SHAMING – We live in a toxic system, but no one individual is to blame.
9. WE ARE A NONVIOLENT NETWORK – Using nonviolent strategy and tactics as the most effective way to bring about change.
10. WE ARE BASED ON AUTONOMY AND DECENTRALIZATION – We collectively create the structures needed to challenge power.
7. ENGAGING IN AN INCLUSIVE VISION OF MASS MOBILIZATION
Our system is broken. Our government doesn’t work for us. We are engaging in a massive Rebellion of people from all walks of life to demand that the government convene and be led by Citizens Assemblies made up by everyday people who will consider and decide on how to address and adapt to the climate chaos we’re in. Only then can we remake our democracy and 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.
Success in this Rebellion requires that 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.”