Yesterday I wrote that silencing protest is crucial for establishing an authoritarian regime, as the current Republican party and administration are doing. As is suppressing media coverage of protests, or delegitimizing what reporting is done as ‘fake’ news.
Today we have proof of the suppression of media coverage of protests. Have you seen any stories in your news sources about the Extinction Rebellion and International Rebellion? I have not. Knowing the International Rebellion was to begin yesterday, I had to do an Internet search to find any news about that.
International Rebellion is here. And it’s bigger and more beautiful than we dared to imagine. This is what mass civil disobedience looks like.Rebel Daily 1: The Sun Rises on a New Wave of Rebellion by Extinction Rebellion, October 8, 2019
It’s happening. It can’t be ignored. It’s only growing stronger.
It’s a rebellion.
We’re back on the roads – with as much joy, fear, love and courage as ever. We’re shutting down cities – not because it’s fun (though it can be), but because it’s our last option for stopping this toxic system in its tracks. Our world is dying; to save it, we’ll need everyone – wherever and whoever you are – to do your bit.
And though we’re still somewhat short of the shared, global consciousness we need, we’re getting ever closer.
This International Rebellion which began on Monday is so vast it’s almost impossible to take it all in. Thousands of people flood 60 cities across the globe, with over 700 brave rebels arrested as they stand up for their right to life, and that’s just the start.
It’s not just a question of quantity. With every season that passes, we grow more organised, more unified, more creative, more courageous.
Just look at the 11 vibrant sites held around the centre of London, the choir of Amsterdam rebels, the blood poured on the bull statue in Wall Street in New York, the ambition of our banner-hangers, the Red Brigade arriving in Tel Aviv and Istanbul, underwater protest art in Mexico, the boats of every shape and size that we are so desperately trying to keep afloat.
We’re a movement unlike any other.
If you’d like to help, please check out our guide and learn more about XR.
This morning I’m thinking about what my friend Joshua Taflinger recently wrote:
What are you willing to do for your children? Your grandchildren? How far will you go?Joshua Taflinger
What is your truth when it comes to the edge?
Well it’s time to go to your edge, or else your children’s future is over!
Let this be the wake up to take action. In your life. In your community.
Now is all we have and our opportunity to make a difference is slipping by rapidly.
Quit thinking about the change you want to see and just be it! Today! NOW! Later is no longer an option….
Friday’s climate strike by students across the globe will have no more impact than the mass mobilizations by women following the election of Donald Trump or the hundreds of thousands of protesters who took to the streets to denounce the Iraq War. This does not mean these protests should not have taken place. They should have. But such demonstrations need to be grounded in the bitter reality that in the corridors of power we do not count. If we lived in a democracy, which we do not, our aspirations, rights and demands, especially the demand that we confront the climate emergency, would have an impact. We would be able to vote representatives into power in government to carry out change. We would be able to demand environmental justice from the courts. We would be able to divert resources to the elimination of carbon emissions.
The ruling elites and the corporations they serve are the principal obstacles to change. They cannot be reformed. And this means revolution, which is what Extinction Rebellion seeks in calling for an “international rebellion” on Oct. 7, when it will attempt to shut down city centers around the globe in acts of sustained, mass civil disobedience. Power has to be transferred into our hands. And since the elites won’t give up power willingly, we will have to take it through nonviolent action.Saving the Planet Means Overthrowing the Ruling Elites by Chris Hedges.
I believe we are now at a crossroads. We need to decide whether to  join activist groups like the Extinction Rebellion to try to force urgent political change, or  accept we are past the point where we can stop the unfolding environmental catastrophe and work on ways to create community and support each other during the collapse.
The evidence is in — even if we manage to avoid the worst applications of exponential technologies, we are at minimum already committed to an environmental catastrophe at a scale humans have never endured, and whose consequences we cannot fully fathom. The implications, for instance, of findings delivered by the International Panel on Climate Change are that, in order to avoid climate catastrophe we should already be achieving massive reductions in emissions today, and if we fail to make up for lost time by 2030, then we will have passed the point of no return. But we aren’t even in the realm of achieving this. Emissions are at record highs and continue to climb with no sign of meaningful abatement. Even complete compliance with the Paris Accords puts us on track for three degrees of global warming, by which time the thawing of tundra permafrost, disappearance of arctic ice and melting of the Greenland ice sheet are predicted to set in motion a series of self-reinforcing feedback loops that will see warming spiral well beyond our control. That’s only to speak of climate change alone, let alone the myriad of implications of the other ecological and socio-technological crises…
To take the world as you find it, to assume responsibility for that which you can, and to act as if what you do actually matters, is the mark of a mature adult.
My young children need me to be an adult. They are the reason I feel despair so profoundly. Yet they are also the reason I cannot wallow in it, acquiesce to it, or turn away from the horror. This is the reason I have sought to imagine another way, and to find and focus on that which I might do to usher that vision into existence, and to behave as if what I do really matters for their future. They are the reason I have directed my imagination to the multitude of paths only visible once I looked beyond the myths that have clouded much of my thinking. It is up to me show them a way beyond grief to a way of life truly worth living for, even if it isn’t the path I had expected to be showing them.Pontoon Archipelago or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Collapse. By James Allen, Medium, May 24, 2019
Many of my friends, even those who are environmental activists, don’t believe we are past the point of no return, and say it is not helpful to talk as if we were. I disagree.
James Allen’s essay above has received a lot of criticism. For a number of reasons I support the second choice, to work on building community and supporting each other through the collapse. Even if I’m wrong about it being too late, we desperately need to be building Beloved communities now. A darker reason for not trying to get governments and institutions to change is because I foresee them collapsing as environmental chaos unfolds, creating political, social and economic collapse.