XR UK Newsletter November 2021
COP26 Time to Act
120 world leaders and 2,000 delegates have assembled for the 13-day UN-sponsored event in Glasgow. They will dine on a largely plant-based Scottish diet but accommodation may be hard to find. There are reports that some flats are being let for up to ÂŁ36,000 per week. There will be plenty of XR and other activists in Glasgow. Most of these will be sleeping on peopleâs floors or even camping. The message they will be sending to COP delegates will be clear and simple. The talking has to stop, now is the time for action, and that action must be radical and irreversible.
The timely UN report last month has raised the stakes. Current plans to cut CO2 emissions, even if fully implemented, fall far short of the level required to meet the targets set by the 2015 Paris agreement. Instead, we are on track to reach 2.7 degrees above pre-industrial levels, far above the level needed to stave off climate disaster.
Will all the talk and fine speeches lead us anywhere? The omens are not good. Our own PM (a self-confessed late convert from climate denial) will attempt to lead by example while at the same time opening new oil fields and coal mines, cutting taxes on internal flights, freezing road fuel duty and planning to convert a paltry 0.02% of domestic gas boilers to heat pumps.
In fact the summit may well turn out to be a farce. Witness the Japanese decision to fly an empty Boeing 777 6,000 miles to check out airport arrangements in Glasgow. Whatâs wrong with TripAdvisor? And the autumn rains have come again, delegates are stranded on trains as trees have blown down onto lines and power cables. The advice from train companies has been to drive or fly to Glasgow!
Throughout COP, in Glasgow and around the world, XR will use peaceful, creative protests and non-violent civil disobedience to make our demands. We will sing and dance and lock arms against despair and remind the world there is so much worth rebelling for. We accuse world leaders of failure, and with a daring vision of hope, we imagine the impossible. Join in! If you canât go to Glasgow, join your local group who may well be planning actions in solidarity
Love and Rage,
The UK Newsletter Team
Nov 2021 | Glasgow
FĂ ilte gu Alba! Welcome to Scotland!
XR Scotland are looking forward to welcoming rebels from across the globe to Glasgow for the COP26 summit. Plans to provide hospitality, logistical support, legal info, wellbeing, and ceilidhs to members of the XR family from the UK and scores of other nations are well advanced. By the time this Newsletter goes out, there will already have been a host of actions and events. But to give just a flavour of what is planned for the rest of the month: on 3 Nov there is a Greenwash March in the City centre; on 6 Nov a Global Day of Action (Justice March) and a performance by the Fashion Action Dance Troop (not to be missed) on Glasgow Green; and from 8-10 Nov the Peopleâs Summit at Adelaideâs. Full details of all events can be found here.
Breaking news (Monday) is that XR have discovered a recent high court injunction banning the blockading of roads does not apply in Scotland and that protestors who have been charged with offences may get a blank canvas in Scotland as police forces âdonât always communicate with each otherâ. A Police Scotland spokesperson said the injunction did not apply in Scotland, and it was suggested police will only make arrests âif they need toâ for fear of being âoverwhelmedâ. Over 10,000 police officers have been drafted in to form a protective âring of steelâ around the city but Myke Hall, XRâs Scottish spokesperson, has said that ministers should be âvery worriedâ about the disruption they plan to cause to the event.
Travelling to COP?
COP TV Livestream
If you are staying home keep up with all the latest news on COP26.TV a daily livestream featuring activists from around the globe and actions and news from Glasgow.
If you would like to financially support the activities and rebels in Glasgow, then you can donate to the main UK fundraiser.
COP 26 Solidarity Actions
Nov 2021 | UK & Worldwide
From a protest on top of Fawley oil refinery drum to a banner drop on the A96 in Scotland, solidarity and outreach activities are taking place across the whole of the UK and worldwide.
Fawley in Hampshire is the largest refinery site in the UK and produces almost one-fifth of the fuel used on the UKâs roads.
The XR protesters blockading the site included sailor Laura Baldwin and gold medal-winning canoeist Etienne Stott. Other XR protesters scaled two 50ft (15m) oil tanks on the site.
Speaking from the pink boat earlier, Laura, who competed in the 2004 Athens Games, said: âExxon, which are part of the Esso group, are planning to expand their oil exploration â these companies are still putting profits ahead of people. The government are just not acting on it â they are just not taking it seriously it seemsâ.
London 2012 Olympic champion Etienne said: âWe need our government to rein in these rogue companies as a matter of urgency and show to the world ahead of COP26 that the UK is prepared to take a genuine leadership positionâ.
Extensive coverage of worldwide events can be found in our Global Newsletter, the next edition is due out next week. If you donât already, subscribe here.
Camino to COP
OCT 30 | Glasgow
Weâve been covering this mega march for the last few issues and it was great to see that on Saturday, day 56 of the walk, the pilgrims finally arrived in Glasgow. They were joined there by four other marches:
To celebrate their achievement, the Pilgrims will be doing a performance in the Green Zone at COP! âWalk the Talk to Talk the Walkâ will be happening this Wednesday 3rd at 5pm â tickets are sold out but here is the livestream link so you can watch from your sofa.
News and announcements
Support the Tufton 3
In September 2020, Clare Farrell, Jessica Townsend and Rupert Read spray-chalked the word âLiesâ onto the exterior of the building in Tufton Street, home of climate deniers The Global Warming Policy Foundation (now renamed Net Zero Watch). They poured fake blood down the steps. On October 28 they were found guilty of criminal damage. Each received a six-month conditional discharge and were ordered to pay a reduced court cost of ÂŁ100 as well as a reduced compensation cost of ÂŁ100.
Delivering their unusual sentence â the minimal permissible â the panel of three magistrates at City of London Magistrates Court praised the trio for their âopenness and honestyâ.
The must-watch BBC drama âThe Trickâ exposed the birth of the GWPF in 2009 from the point of view of a scientist who was unlucky enough to get enmeshed in their campaign to discredit the science of global warming. Today itâs clear that groups like the GWPF are still very active in the run-up to COP26.
In this podcast, presenter Jessica Townsend and Tom Hardy from the Media Tell The Truth group look at the launch of the GWPF back in 2009 and find that their tactics were clear from the beginning: bending the truth, using connections in right-wing media, and raising doubts on every aspect of moving forward with the race to decarbonise. They talk to Richard Black, a long-time BBC environment correspondent, and the author of âDenied: The Rise and Fall of Climate Contrarianismâ.
The link to the podcast is here: https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/xr-podcast
Science Museum London
XRâs campaign continues against the duplicity of the Trustees of the London Science Museum in signing a deal with fossil fuel conglomerate Adani Group. Future actions at the museum are being planned.
Insulate Britain: Be Impossible, Demand the Realistic
This groupâs outstanding success in highlighting the scandal of Britainâs decrepit housing stock can hardly have escaped anyoneâs notice. IB is not part of XR even though many of its supporters are active in both movements. XR has recently drafted a statement clarifying our support for their highly disruptive actions.
To read the statement in full go here.
The UK newsletter needs you!
The UK newsletter and podcast teams are in search of new, passionate writers and radio/podcast producers to join us! Are you keen to tell rebellion stories and help grow the movement? Do you keep an eye on the news and what is and isnât being said? Then please get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our regular UK Newsletter aims to be representative of the whole UK movement and its local and regional groups. So, send in your news, feedback and comments. You can email us or join our channel on Mattermost: UK Emails and Newsletter Requests. Remember the Newsletter is scheduled monthly, usually the first Monday. The deadline for copy is the Friday preceding.