Two Scenarios To Consider Before October 7th
1) We don’t succeed in Plan A
2) The police use intimidating and aggressive tactics
We’d like to suggest some exercises that might be really useful to practice in your next organising meeting.
– Read the following at your next meeting.
– Hold spaces in the meeting for people to express their fears and concerns and be supported by the community (you can use talking circles, paired listening or a hope and fear circle )
1) We Don’t Succeed in Plan A
So far we have been allowed to do what we want to do. The police and state perhaps underestimated us and were unprepared. It wouldn’t be at all surprising if that has changed. If we arrive on Monday and the police mass arrest 1000 people and we don’t get any structures put up and it is raining torrentially… there is no loss in that.
No matter what the state does:
– The climate and ecological emergency is still unfolding
– The government is still responding inadequately
We still have
– Our unity and numbers – Tens of thousands of people in London in Rebellion together!
– Our creativity (and mass action schedule)
– Our regenerative culture
– Our nonviolent discipline
This is all we need to be engaged in successful civil disobedience.
For reducing burnout and movement collapse, it is useful to not be attached to outcomes. Part of dilemma actions is that whichever way the police or state respond it can work in our movement’s favour.
Our role now is to sit in the uncertainty of what will unfold on Monday and get acquainted with that feeling.
– If things don’t go according to plan, let’s try not to get dispirited by that.
– Acknowledge those parts which are difficult: the frustration, the fear, the sense of loss.
– See if you can accept this new reality and let that acceptance give us the freedom and creativity to flow like water and reform into a new shape.
Let’s be adaptable, agile, creative and joyful whatever we are presented with. We are in this movement because we have accepted the reality of climate and ecological breakdown, with that comes the acceptance that the future will not be as we wanted it to be. It is from acceptance of that loss that we create a firm foundation for beautiful and creative responses to that situation.
2) Nonviolence and intimidating police tactics
We simply cannot know how the police will respond on Monday. They may use a variety of intimidation tactics in an attempt to scatter us for example mass arrests.
Escalation of tactics by the police and state is a sign that we are being heard and acknowledged as a significant force. “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win” originated with Mahatma Gandhi.
The outcomes of our movement will not be determined by how the police or state behave, but by how we choose to respond to them.
Our nonviolence is at the core of that response.**
In the face of a threat we are biologically designed to fight, flight or freeze. However the emergency we find ourselves in asks that we do none of these things. It asks that we sit with and acknowledge our fear and make deliberate and considered choices about how to act.
At such times you could:
– take a deep breath and ground yourself
– check in with how you are feeling and your intentions
– decide to calmly sit down or walk away to a calmer part of the action
Not everyone is intending to be arrested, for a variety of reasons, so it is important that we support those people to move to an area of lower risk. Remember: participating in an act of civil disobedience always involves some degree of risk of arrest.
No matter what happens – whether the police take us through a 5 step arrest process and gently lead us away, or if they run at us shouting, in militaristic formation our most empowered response is the same: calm, grounded and nonviolent.
Through empowered, active, absolute nonviolence we will be most able to confront the system and bring about change and perhaps to enable individuals (including us) to challenge their own actions and alter their behaviour.
**Nonviolence is the strategy chosen by XR , for our particular context.
Open letter to police, 25 Sept 2019Open-Letter-to-Police-25-Sept
Police Liaison Meeting at Lambeth Police HQ on 2nd Oct 2019 at 10am
Present: Police -Sgt Keith Leahy and Const Wayne Tebboth of the M06 Police Liaison Gateway Team who manage protest groups on behalf of and in direct communication with Gold/Silver Commanders.
XR – Paolo, Gabrielle, Paul, Peter, Angie.
Notes by ACZ
Content of meeting:
After introductions, Angie asked if they were aware of the 2 letters that XR Peace had sent to Asst. Commissioner Nick Ephgrave – they were not and said they would enquire about them.
XR outlined very openly the plans of XR and explained with maps where the 12 XR protest sites would be situated, how the protests would be completely nonviolent and that XR would respect the blue light emergency protocols that had been established in April. It was explained how concerned many people were about the climate and ecological emergency and that well-known religious, political and social leaders in society would be joining the protests.
XR also stressed the safety concerns, right to life and necessity for the protests to take place in order to persuade the Government to deal with changes necessary to stop climate chaos.
The police answered with ‘The whole plan is totally unacceptable. All legal recourse will be taken, people arrested and property seized’.
The police were not willing to discuss or compromise in any way to find a way forward for peaceful protest to be accommodated.
XR then asked about how any property seizure would be dealt with as there had been a great deal of confusion in April. The police agreed that it had been hard to know who had seized and kept the property – whether it was local councils or police – and said that this time it would be better organised.
After more questions from both sides it was clarified by the police that they saw the October Rebellion merely as a public order issue and were not looking any wider.