ABOUT EXTINCTION REBELLION AMERICA
WHO WE ARE (THE BASICS)
Extinction Rebellion America (XRA) is part of the global, grassroots Extinction Rebellion movement.
We recruit and prepare large numbers of ordinary people to participate in – or support – nonviolent, creative, inspiring, disruptive civil disobedience actions. Civil disobedience means we choose some minor, peaceful, but impactful way to refuse to cooperate with our government, which has failed us when it comes to preventing the climate catastrophe and the total breakdown of natural systems.
Getting lots of people involved is what we call mass mobilization. For each person, the act of civil disobedience is small – usually just sitting in the street – but when we turn out in large numbers, we can have a massive impact!
Through mass mobilization, we increase our numbers until we can shut down centers of power or large parts of major cities. This puts economic and public pressure on local, state, and federal governments, until they’re finally compelled to make the changes we need to survive on this planet. We saw the scale of immediate change governments can bring about during World War II, and we’ve seen it again during the worldwide response to the Covid-19 pandemic. We refuse to believe it’s impossible for our governments to prevent complete climate catastrophe.
Once governments are forced to act, we demand they be led by the decisions of ordinary people, selected randomly and representatively from the population (like a jury). Such groups of people, given the information and tools they need to choose the best way forward, are called Citizen’s Assemblies.
XRA is a decentralized and apolitical network. This means there’s no central authority running everything, and we don’t endorse any particular ideology, political party or agenda, legislation, or solution. We believe the Citizen’s Assemblies have the best chance of getting us out of this mess.
We stay focused on our twin tasks of mass mobilization and civil disobedience, and trust other movements to continue with the work they do. We see ourselves as one part of a Movement of Movements composed of many different groups and campaigns, all aimed at creating a just and sustainable world for generations to come.
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. BEYOND POLITICS
Government must create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice.
4. ONE PEOPLE, ONE PLANET, ONE FUTURE
Government to 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.*
* The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says global decarbonization by 2050 would leave only a 50% chance of avoiding 1.5˚C warming. A 50% chance of avoiding disaster is not good enough and an emergency 10-year plan of global decarbonization and planetary repair is required. The international community must also begin a program of adaptation to the changing conditions that are to come. In order to deliver the emergency plan, high consuming countries will need to reach net zero by 2025 and support low consuming countries with finance and technology transfer.
OUR 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.
PURPOSE & RESPECT STATEMENTS
These Statements shall be read at the beginning of every XRA meeting, call, Zoom, event, and presentation.
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.
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.