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Extinction Rebellion on Lambton Quay

Written By: - Date published: 7:10 am, October 7th, 2019 - 76 comments
Categories: climate change, Environment - Tags: , , ,

There was some suprisingly positive MSM coverage on the weekend leading into today’s Extinction Rebellion actions in Wellington. Extinction Rebellion NZ starts off an international week of climate rebellion designed to encourage governments to act in meaningful terms on the climate crisis.

From Stuff,

She was born on the brink of World War II and lived through the threat of communism then the violence of the Springbok apartheid protests.

But it is now, aged 80, that Mary Rose is putting her stake in the ground as one of the lead protesters, as climate action group Extinction Rebellion try to blockade part of Wellington on Monday.

“I have been listening to people talking about climate change for the past 25 years – people of vision and wisdom,” the great-grandmother and Quaker said.

“There is all this feeling helpless, what can we do.”

Police and local authorities on the face of it seem largely accepting of the intended disruption and are planning accordingly,

A police spokesperson said police were “aware of protest activity planned”, but for “operational reasons” would not provide details on staff resourcing.

Police intended to ensure safety and “uphold the law” while “recognising the lawful right to protest”.

XR spokesperson Dr Sea Rotmann wrote an explanation of XR NZ’s actions at the Spinoff,

Extinction Rebellion does not aim to provide a solution to climate change but to act as a fire alarm. We want to wake up the sleeping inhabitants of our burning home and to draw attention to the pyromaniacs (aka the fossil fuel industry) still busy setting rooms on fire. 

Just like the climate strikers, we want to mobilise others to join the rebellion for climate and environmental justice. A rebellion we know has been fought for centuries by generations before us with many different voices, especially those of indigenous activists, which we must listen to now. Too many of us did not listen soon enough, and we have spent too long hoping that these problems would just go away or that “someone” would fix it. We have been complacent, and now it is almost too late.

XR started in the UK a year ago with a series of non-violent direct actions that shut down important parts of central London and other UK cities in October and then again in April. Building on many other, longstanding climate action movements XR was instrumental in taking climate action to a new level. Coinciding with the release of an IPCC report that finally told the bald truth, the rise of Extinction Rebellion forced awareness of the seriousness of the emergency into the public consciousness.

Tortoise Media in the UK published a report last week on the April actions with a focus on who the protestors are and why their arrests are important.

The court waiting rooms fill up every Friday, but the authorities are only a fraction of the way through processing the 1,076 climate activists arrested during Extinction Rebellion’s April shutdown.

Those who plead guilty are given a chance to make a speech. On a swelteringly hot August afternoon, Tim Ponton, 68, a retired NHS specialist in prosthetics, stood up. “I feel desperate. I feel outraged that successive governments have failed to protect me and my family,” he told the court. 

There’s a cool interactive map not too far down the page that shows how the April actions played out over the fortnight and the London landscape.

For a week-and-a-half, XR’s rebels took control of five high-profile spaces in the capital: Oxford Circus, Marble Arch, Waterloo Bridge, Piccadilly Circus, and Parliament Square.

They held the sites in style. It took police five days to tow away a fuchsia pink boat named ‘Berta Cáceres’ after the murdered Honduran environmentalist. Activists had docked the boat, daubed with the words “tell the truth”, in the middle of Oxford Circus junction. As the mast was dismantled and the boat finally removed, the crowd chanted: “we have more boats.” Elsewhere, a half-pipe adorned with XR logos turned Waterloo Bridge into a temporary skate park.

Stretches of central London were essentially pedestrianised by blockades. More than 50 bus routes were diverted, affecting the journeys of half a million passengers. The West End shopping district lost an estimated £12 million in the first three days of the action, according to Jace Tyrell, who represents businesses in the area. Stores on Oxford Street, London’s flagship shopping district, reported falls in sales of up to 20 per cent. The police force deployed more than 10,000 officers to the streets of London – in an operation which cost more than £16 million and 243,000 hours of officer overtime. It was the largest police operation in modern British history.

In case it’s not clear, the objective here is to cause as much disruption to the state as possible until it changes. Affecting the consumer economy, sustained tying up of the courts and eating into the police budget, along with regular disruptions to the normal business of city life, are potent motivators for change. Key to XR’s strategy is the research that shows sustained actions from 3.5% of a nation’s population have never failed to effect radical change.

Ten days ago 3.5% of the NZ population took to the streets in the climate strike.

Extinction Rebellion have three key demands,

1. tell the truth about the climate and ecological emergencies
2. take real action now
3. create a citizens’ assembly

XR are not presenting a complex, detailed plan of what we should do. That’s for our governments. What XR are doing is pushing governments to do their job properly in regards to CC and ecology. They’re also saying that in that process we should shift to more participatory democracy rather than relying on simple representative democracy (which patently isn’t working and isn’t suitable to the task at hand given the timeframes).

Kia kaha XR in Wellington today.

Updated: Live coverage,

at Stuff

@ExtinctionNZ

 

 

76 comments on “Extinction Rebellion on Lambton Quay ”

  1. Sacha 1

    To pre-empt some long-winded beige badgering this time, let's just note that our crusader for the sensible and moderate takes this position:

    Extremist climate-change deniers propose doing nothing, and are not out in numbers disrupting, protesting or campaigning for anything but the status quo.
    Changing nothing is a risk, but changing a lot without knowing where that may lead is a much bigger risk.

    The very definition of fear-driven conservatism. And those three demands are "too vague", you hear. Gee, I wonder why young people have lost respect for their grey elders.

    • Sacha 1.1

      From the sidebar, I/S notes that different change movements use (gasp) different approaches.

      In the wake of last Friday's climate strike, Peter McKenzie had an article in The Spinoff about protest strategies. The school strike movement is "polite" and cooperates with those in power because that's its kaupapa – its led by schoolkids who understandably don't want to risk arrest.

      But there's more than one way to protest, and as the climate crisis bites, then continued government inaction is likely to push people towards more confrontational styles of protest.

      And on Monday, the same impolite protest tactics are coming to Wellington

  2. mpledger 2

    Beautiful singing at the protest. :->

  3. ieuan 3

    'push people towards more confrontational styles of protest.'

    And how long is the general public going to tolerate confrontational protest that starts to disrupt their everyday life? Because instead of actually convincing people that you are right you are just going to start to piss people off and they will stop listening to your message.

    • weka 3.1

      "And how long is the general public going to tolerate confrontational protest that starts to disrupt their everyday life?"

      We almost never have protest that disrupts the public's every day life.

      The point of ER is to raise awareness of the seriousness of CC including the timeframe for acting. That requires disruption. The research on the 3.5% principle shows that it works and that governments and the public come around to the needed change.

      • ieuan 3.1.1

        'We almost never have protest that disrupts the public's every day life.'

        Blocking roads is disrupting everyday life and shutting down airports is clearly part of the next stage for protests, that's going to be super popular.

        • weka 3.1.1.1

          Being popular isn't the initial goal, it's to raise awareness and to encourage the government to act.

          Criticism of ER for annoying people misses the point and strategy of the actions, and how they are carried out. eg ER do a lot of public messaging apologising to the general public for the disruption and explaining why it is necessary. On the ground they facilitate things as best they can to help anyone who needs to get through urgently.

          This isn't in your face, angry protest with no regard for the public. It's smart, well thought through, and known to work strategy that is *for the public.

          • OnceWasTim 3.1.1.1.1

            Unproductive activity @ weka (going forward), although I do appreciate your willingness to engage in a 'conversation' in this space. Euan …. oops the exceptional ieuan (with an I), is never going to get it if its comfyness is threatened.

            How very VERY dare it

      • Formerly Ross 3.1.2

        There was a protest in Lambton Quay only a week or so ago. So to say it hardly ever happens is nonsense. That’s twice in less than two weeks!

        As for any meaningful protest requiring disruption, I am not convinced. By all means disrupt the big emitters and the politicians. But that isn’t happening.

        • weka 3.1.2.1

          ER have blocked access to MBIE's building this morning. MBIE are the govt department who manages oil exporation in NZ. ER are on target re the big emitters and govt.

          Twice in two weeks when we've had more than 30 years to act on preventing climate change. Just a little perspective there 😉

          • Gosman 3.1.2.1.1

            I thought the government has already banned new oil exploration.

          • Roflcopter 3.1.2.1.2

            The part of MBIE which deals with oil is not in that building.

            • OnceWasTim 3.1.2.1.2.1

              Why am I not surprised you're that intimately familiar with MBIE. But never mind eh @ roflcopter – think of the productivity gains at MBIE today if the peons are able to work from home, out from under the clutches of their managers and spin doctors. Hopefully XR had the good sense to block the Maginnity Street car park entrance.

              On the downside, Astoria might take a hit

          • veutoviper 3.1.2.1.3

            "In case it’s not clear, the objective here is to cause as much disruption to the state as possible until it changes. Affecting the consumer economy, sustained tying up of the courts and eating into the police budget, along with regular disruptions to the normal business of city life, are potent motivators for change. "

            IIRC you live rurally in the Deep South of the SI. So to give this protest "a little perspective", from someone who lives and worked (in government) in Wellington CBD for many years, IMO this ER protest will be causing very little disruption to either "the big emitters or government" regardless of what you are seeing in the videos of the protests and/or onTV etc as:

            1. The Wellington offices of "the big emitters" and/or of the oil/energy companies actually undertaking exploration etc such as OMV are nowhere near the protest and are in different parts of the CBD – IF they even have offices in Wellington City.
            2. In respect of "government" as meaning executive/political Government, Stout Street and the protest are a little way from the Parliament precinct itself and the other locations housing MPs etc and so will not be disrupting these functions. Parliament is also currently in recess with most politicians away from Wellington.
            3. As Roflcopter says at 3.1.2.1.2 below, the divisions of MBIE that deal with energy/oil etc are not in the Stout Street building or in buildings close by, so are not affected by the protest. The only government Dept in Stout Street where the protest is taking place is MBIE (ie other parts unrelated to the energy industry etc) and while it will be disrupting these government employees and their work, the Stout Street building actually has a number of (controlled entry) back doors in other streets.
            4. Stout Street itself is effectively a small street off the main thoroughfare of Lambton Quay which means the protest will be disrupting very little traffic (foot or vehicle) on the main CBD streets/roads. In actual fact NZ Police are probably laughing about it as it is probably an "ideal" location from the point of view of containment and control.

            Quite bluntly, I don't think it will raise more than a 'meh' from many of Wellington's workers etc whether or not they are affected by the protest.

            • weka 3.1.2.1.3.1

              It's a rolling set of actions over the day. They're at the ANZ now, and afaik still have some intersections occupied.

              There are between 600 and 1,000 people on the streets of Wellington doing the first large scale XR action in NZ. Compare to the progress of the UK XR actions over the past year. This is about building a movement as much as what can be achieved by one action. Movement building is exactly on point with XR strategy. I expect there to be more people at the next one.

              The value in targeting the MBIE building is to focus attention on the govt's support for oil exploration and the problems with that. Locking out 1200 workers is not insignificant. I'm assuming that the value would be decreased if they're gone for the oil MBIE building, but it's true I don't know Wellington.

              Workers aren't the target, although I think there is value in having 1200 civil servants having their day disrupted, in terms of forcing conversation. It seems highly unlikely they will all go meh and not think about climate change today.

              MPs have televisions, radios and internet 😉 They don't have to be at work to see what is going on.

              • weka

                thing is, MPs, MBIE workers and managers, MSM, police, local councils, NZTA, Wellingtonians, tourists, all the people affected today have families and friends with children and grandchildren. This is why we will win. Because climate change affects everyone, but it affects the people we usually care most about (kids) the most.

                This is how change works. NZ is already at the threshold of the 3.5% of the population needed to effect real change, what we need now is actions that get more people involved. If XR NZ got 1,000 people on the streets today for direct action (rather than a march), that's fucking impressive.

                Added to that, this is a training exercise as much as anything. XR are working over many days this week, but the direct action is today only. What do you think they're doing for the rest of the time?

              • Oh how the principles of 'protest' have been lost over the past few decades since the neoliberal religion has become the raison d'etre.

                It's as much about publicity and symbolism (drawing attention to it all) as it is about disruption.

                If it was merely about disruption, XR could have simply 'outsourced' it all to me for a very handsome fee (plus GST).

                And I probably would have subcontracted it to a subcontractor whose mission it would have been to turn up with a couple of orange cones, a step ladder and a pair of hedge clippers whilst wearing an orange vest.

                Most likely the disruption would have gone unnoticed but by the time MBIE had contacted their service provider who'd contact their contractor, who in turn contacted their subcontractor, and then their subcontractor, it could have lasted a lot longer. Think of the symbolism of all that too. The contractor's subcontractor's subcontractor could probably have been able to claim they only had IELTS 6.0 and didn't understand the implications of it all whilst receiving the princely sum of $7 or 8 for putting it all right.

                Alternatively, the driver of a cherrypicker on P who's simply forgot to lower it when driving along the thoroughfare.

                There is a purpose to protest which isn't simply about disruption

                • Phil

                  It's as much about publicity and symbolism (drawing attention to it all) as it is about disruption.

                  You think there hasn't been sufficient attention given to Climate Change already, to 'draw attention' to it?

        • Climaction 3.1.2.2

          requires goal too, not just vague aspirations.

          Why not promote Boyan Slat and his work

          https://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/wilderness-resources/blogs/remember-kid-who-invented-way-clean-ocean-plastic-hes-back-and-its-happening

          Rather than demand a peoples assembly. ER is looking like a greenwashed version of the occupy movement.

          • weka 3.1.2.2.1

            they have really clear goals.

            • Sacha 3.1.2.2.1.1

              We must have missed the talking points circulating this morning.

              • weka

                lol. You'd think bullet pointing something in a post would make it easier to see even if it is a the bottom.

            • Climaction 3.1.2.2.1.2

              1. tell the truth about the climate and ecological emergencies

              – Being told all the time. No one is denying it and deniers are shunned. this is implying there is some world wide vast governmental deep state conspiracy against climate change news being reported as such. almost as if stuff didn't have a whole section dedicated to the promotion of the news from the viewpoint of that it's real and happening and needs to be reported as such.

              2. take real action now

              Like stop the other 249,000 people in wellington going about their day. I used to live in wellington. it's got one of the highest rates of public transport in the country. It's community are very waste averse and recycle what ever they can, whenever they can. Taking real action by not promoting the works of Boyan Slat et al when what appears to be being demanded is actually the forced redistribution of wealth.
              3. create a citizens’ assembly

              to do what? talk some more? like paris etc. 3 is almost a complete contradiction of 2 and will prevent real action on climate change while we listen to every small and single issue person have their say.

              • Sacha

                Please search 'citizens assembly' before you comment on it.

                • Climaction

                  if 5g comes up as a leading cause of climate change at all you owe me an ethically sourced flat white

                  • Sacha

                    Perhaps we can find an amenable civil servant to lie in front of a bulldozer on Bowen, take one for the team.

        • weka 3.1.2.3

          "By all means disrupt the big emitters and the politicians. But that isn’t happening"

          Oh yea of little faith 😀

  4. weka 4

    Media coverage: Live coverage links at bottom of post.

    The Spinoff,

    If you are reading this when it’s published on Monday morning, I am currently locked to an Extinction Rebellion-branded car that is blocking a road in the centre of Wellington.

    https://thespinoff.co.nz/society/07-10-2019/today-for-the-first-time-in-my-life-im-being-a-troublemaker-this-is-why/

  5. weka 5

    XR NZ press release

    Extinction Rebellion is blocking the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) on Stout Street, Wellington.

    MBIE is New Zealand’s ministry for oil, gas and minerals.

    The blockade is the first of 60 disruptive events planned by Extinction Rebellion in cities around the world.

    Six people are attached with metal pipes to a pink car at the Lampton Quay end of Stout Street.

    The cars wheels have been removed to make it immovable.

    One person is attached to a three metre pink boat at the Balance Street end of Stout Street.

    Sixteen people are attached to each other surrounding the boat in a circle.

    MBIE and OMV

    • In April 2018, the New Zealand government banned the issuing of new offshore oil and gas licences. However, they didn’t revoke permits that were issued before the ban. In total, 14 offshore oil and gas exploration licences remain active in New Zealand.

    • OMV holds seven exploration permits, which allow them to search for new oil and gas in previously untouched areas of New Zealand’s ocean. These include the Taranaki Basin, the Great South Basin (off Otago) and the Pegasus Basin (off Wairarapa).

    • OMV is one of just a handful of companies that are controversially drilling for oil in the pristine Arctic.

    • OMV expect to begin exploratory drilling in Taranaki from November 2019.

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1910/S00058/extinction-rebellion-block-mbie.htm

  6. weka 6

  7. Formerly Ross 7

    A handful of protestors outside MBIE will no doubt have MPs and the big emitters trembling with fear. The protestors will be gone soon, and nothing will have changed (apart from a drop in productivity at MBIE). Meanwhile protests in Hong Kong began four months ago, are continuing and aren’t even about climate change.

  8. Phil 8

    If you really want to make a statement about how climate change will affect Wellingtonians, I reckon the most impactful thing you could do would be to protest *on* the northbound lanes of the urban motorway before 5pm rush hour starts.

    Choose the physically lowest point of the road (just south of the interchange?) and you're effectively simulating how rising sea levels will flood parts of the city and make it impossible for anyone to get home.

    • weka 8.1

      There's a balance to be had between raising awareness and just pissing people off. In the UK the initial road blocks were timed in short bursts In part to avoid the police, but also I think to acclimatise locals to what was going on and why it's important. I would guess in Wellington, the focus is on disrupting the government, getting good media coverage, and showing locals what's going on without putting them off.

      We will see what they have planned for later in the day, although they're meant to finish up at 5pm.

  9. weka 9

    The die in at the ANZ. Then the rising up.

    Posted by Extinction Rebellion Aotearoa New Zealand on Sunday, 6 October 2019

  10. weka 10

    Now at OMV

  11. weka 11

  12. Anne 12

    Thank-you weka for the updates.

    I look at those young people and they could easily be the young people of the 60s and 70s who passionately protested the proliferation of nuclear weapons throughout the world and the presumption of France to believe they were entitled to commit terrorism on our territory in the name of nuclear testing in our Pacific back-yard. We were just as committed and although I was not one of those who took to the waters of the Waitemata, I was with them in spirit. For our efforts many of us suffered at the hands of the state apparatus – some more than others depending on circumstances – and were treated like communist-inspired criminals.

    And we were proved right!

    Now the grandchildren of those protesters have risen up and are doing it all over again.

    And what's more they are right too!

  13. cleangreen 13

    smileyWe need to keep pressure on this Government to get moving on climate change now not sit around waiting for someone else.

    I remember the "ban the bomb" era when NZ stuck out on the world stage so why not now,

    when we consider with a future that will wind up resembling a nuclear war had been dropped on us all.

    Jacinda let's do this!!!!!!!

    Great effort today by the ER crew, (applaud all around for you all.) especially the 82 yr old lady. ra- ra.

  14. Gareth Wilson 14

    1. tell the truth about the climate and ecological emergencies
    2. take real action now
    3. create a citizens’ assembly

    What happens if the citizens' assembly ends up disagreeing with Extinction Rebellion?

  15. SPC 15

    The only way is to bring the knuckle dragging nations into climate change action.

    If the Paris Accord nations required all imports to have an identifiable carbon footprint (carbon tax import tariff accordingly), then they can make it so. Only if those who lower their carbon footprint are advantaged in the market will change then happen.

  16. Molly 16

    Chris Hedges has an article about Extinction Rebellion on Truthdig: A Time to Rebel.

    A couple of quotes that give an idea of strategy:

    The group stresses what it calls a “pre-social-media age” strategy for organizing. It has created decentralized structures to make decisions and issue demands. It sends out teams to give talks in communities. It insists that people who participate in the actions of Rebellion Extinction undergo “nonviolent direct-action” training so they will not be provoked by the police or opposition groups.

    “Most of the recent mass mobilizations have been social-media-fueled,” Hallam said. “Consequently, they have been chaotic. They are extremely fast mobilizations. Social media’s a bit like heroin. It’s a high, but then it collapses, like we’ve seen. It becomes chaotic or violent. A lot of modern social movements put stuff on social media. It gets clogged up with trolls. There are lots of radical-left organizations arguing about different privileges. We’ve circumvented that and gone straight to the ‘common people,’ as you might say. We’ve held meetings in village town halls and city halls. We go around the country in a 19th-century sort of way, saying, ‘Hey guys. We’re all fucked. People are going to die if this isn’t sorted out.’ The second half of the talk is: There’s a way of dealing with this called mass civil disobedience.

    “For 30 years we’ve had one political metaphysic, reform,” he said. “You either reform or you are irrelevant. But now, we have two massive, exponentially increasing structural faults—the inequality problem and the climate problem. A lot of people—because of path dependency dynamics—have worked for 30 years in this lost-cause sort of space. They’re desperate for change. For 30 years, they’ve been putting their money on reform. The tragedy—and you can see this in the history of political struggle going back hundreds of years—is there’s a flip where the reformists lose control. They’re still living in the past world. The revolutionaries, who everyone thinks are ridiculously naive, suddenly come to the fore. It’s usually a quake. It’s not a gradualist thing. It’s a double tragedy because it’s a quake and the revolutionaries usually aren’t organized. I think that’s what’s happening now. It has very big implications for [resistance against] fascism. Unless you have a clearheaded mass mobilization on the left, which is connected with the working class, you’re not going to be able to stop the fascism.”

    • Molly 16.1

      Another quote from the article, about the ten working principles of XR UK:

      The group has 10 working principles that center on nonviolent resistance. These principles are:

      We have a shared vision of change: to create a world that is fit for generations to come.

      We set our mission on what is necessary, mobilizing 3.5% of the population to achieve system change – using ideas such as “momentum-driven organizing” to achieve this.

      We need a regenerative culture, creating one that is healthy, resilient and adaptable.

      We openly challenge ourselves and this toxic system, leaving our comfort zones to take action for change.

      We value reflecting and learning; as we follow a cycle of action, reflection, learning and planning for more action, we learn from other movements and contexts as well as our own experiences.

      We welcome everyone and every part of everyone, and work actively to create safer and more accessible spaces.

      We actively mitigate for power, breaking down hierarchies of power for more equitable participation.

      We avoid blaming and shaming; we live in a toxic system, but no one individual is to blame.

      We are a nonviolent network; using nonviolent strategies and tactics is the most effective way to bring about change.

      We are based on autonomy and decentralization, collectively creating the structures we need to challenge power.

      Anyone who follows these core principles and values can take action in the name of Extinction Rebellion.

    • weka 16.2

      wow, that is really good, thanks. I got a bit down last night seeing a number of lefties on twitter criticising XR NZ for blocking the intersection in Wellington and thus apparently sending the wrong message to bus users (e-buses!). Also, that the wrong MBIE building was targeted (but no analysis of why they chose the big building not the oil and gas one).

      Critiques that might have made some kind of sense if they'd been done in the context of ER strategy, but people seemed to think this was about optics and being careful to not piss off the public if you want to get support. I was disappointed in what looked like a relative dearth of understanding about strategy from otherwise politically smart people. I could be wrong, maybe they are all reading the strategy and philosophy too, but it didn't come across like that.

      (there was also some strong criticism from Māori, which is a different kete. Still sorting out my thinking on this).

      • Molly 16.2.1

        Agree with the dismissal of criticism that comes from an optics based perspective.

        Don't use Twitter, but interesting that there has been some criticism from some Māori. But not unexpected, given the diversity of opinion on this topic in all demographics, including Māori and Pakeha .

        However, the working principles given above, align with many Māori protests. Non-violence alongside non-compliance.

        During a recent assignment, one of the topics was comparing Māori efforts towards conservation against what is considered more mainstream conservation groups. It is interesting to see that despite aligned outcomes, most conservation groups work in isolation or parallel to Māori efforts in the same areas. And even if there are partnerships or acknowledgement, the dominant partner was often the non-Māori player.

        I did have a look in particular at climate change initiatives from Māori at the time, but the only particular organisation I could find, was not viewing the situation in its entirety, and like many others who are comfortable in the status quo, was almost welcoming the opportunities – read as "business strategies" that may result from transitional changes.

        There is a Māori Climate Change Commission, Commissioner: Donna Awatere Huata. However, there doesn't seem to be either much detail or activity online. So, I don't know how that is going.

        What are the criticisms from Māori being expressed – and who is expressing them?

        • weka 16.2.1.1

          There's critique of XR for being white-led. Also for not working with or acknowledging the climate activism of Māori. And that their tactics may be damaging to what Māori are doing. So yes, the dominant partner, or not even in partnership, same as it ever was really. There are Māori in XR NZ too, so diverse views of course.

          Kera O'Regan is good to follow. https://twitter.com/KeraSauR/status/1181330600491307008

          I just started following Haylee Koroi. This tweet has got me thinking more deeply https://twitter.com/HayleeKoroi/status/1181104206758834176

          There's been a fair bit of criticism in the UK from PoC about XR there. My own view is that it's about time white middle class Brits threw themselves on the gears of the machine, so I'm holding two contradictory views about XR at the moment without a clear sense of how that will be resolved. I hope to write a post on this.

          • weka 16.2.1.1.1

            btw, if you set up a twitter account, even if you don't tweet it will be easier to read twitter threads that people link.

            • Molly 16.2.1.1.1.1

              I have a strong conviction that climate change and climate justice must be considered and resolved as a single issue.

              Naomi Klein has a chapter in her book, This Changes Everything that specifically speaks about the environmental movement having existed in parallel or isolation to indigenous movements in Canada and the United States.

              In particular she speaks of the Standing Rock protests, which have become inclusive protests as non-indigenous activists have joined in. I can't find a quote specifically about this online, but did find this one from a Nation article written shortly after Trumps election:

              But this isn’t just about Trump voters and the stories they may have told themselves. We have arrived at this dangerous moment also because of the stories about “the other” told on the progressive side of the political spectrum. Like the one that holds that when we fight against war and climate change and economic inequality, it will benefit black people and Indigenous people the most because they are most victimized by the current system.

              That doesn’t work either. There is too long and too painful a track record of left movements for economic justice leaving workers of color, Indigenous people, and women’s labor out in the cold.

              To build a truly inclusive movement, there needs to be a truly inclusive vision that starts with and is led by the most brutalized and excluded. Rinaldo Walcott, a great Canadian writer and intellectual, issued a challenge a couple months ago to white liberals and leftists. He wrote:

              Black people are dying in our cities, crossing oceans, in resource wars not of our making…. Indeed, it is obvious that Black peoples’ lives are disposable in a way and fashion that is radically different from other groups globally.

              It is from this stark reality of marginalization that I want to propose that any new policy actions in the North American context ought to pass what I will call the Black test. The Black test is simple: it demands that any policy meet the requirement of ameliorating the dire conditions of Black peoples’ lives… When a policy does not meet this test, then it is a failed policy, from the first instance of its proposal.

              • Molly

                Reading the tweets, there seems to be justified criticism of the greater impact on those who cannot afford alternative options, especially in respect to transport etc. Also, agree about the appropriation of ill-used Te Reo, in a misguided attempt to Māori wash, XR NZ's protests. The failure to listen and obliviousness is apparent in that exchange.

                I recall reading about the Montgomery bus boycotts, where organisers arranged alternative transport modes for those participating. Something to consider for XR if disruption and civil disobedience tactics are affecting less-powerful demographics more than others.

                • Molly

                  … not "those participating" should be "those impacted". Some of the volunteers who were participating were specifically allocated to provide transport to move commuters. The impact on the bus company was financial, the impact on commuters was lessened as much as practicable.

                  • weka

                    that would be reasonable if this was an ongoing action targeting buses, but it was a one off and buses weren't the target. That surprised me about the criticism. I get the issue where poorer people are affected and hope XR look at that, but most of the debate I saw was about people confused that XR were disrupting public transport and/or electric buses, because aren't they the solution to climate change? Stopping PT ebuses for an hour doesn't affect the good that PT does re CC. It was an odd argument. Some were saying it was about optics and messaging, but again this seems a poor understanding of what XR are doing. This isn't a climate strike.

                    • Molly

                      …." but most of the debate I saw was about people confused that XR were disrupting public transport and/or electric buses, because aren't they the solution to climate change? "

                      OK. I'm guessing this kind of redirection of message comes from people who are comfortable with going off-topic for the enjoyment they get out of discussing in the abstract, or intentional for those who are deniers, or just don't want to make any changes. This may need to have a standard response drafted, so that time is not wasted on irrelevancies.

                      I also don't know how movements will go with inclusion in NZ. Like you, I hope we will manage better than we have in the past.

                    • weka []

                      some of the people were solid lefties. I was surprised.

                      Btw, here’s a thread about keeping transit routes around hospitals open, and XR having info on change bus routes

                • weka

                  "Like the one that holds that when we fight against war and climate change and economic inequality, it will benefit black people and Indigenous people the most because they are most victimized by the current system."

                  Yep. So over left wing men using women like this too. Trump is better than Clinton because Trump won't bomb women in the middle east who are the most poor/marginalised (US women are all privileged by comparison). Stupid stuff.

                  Re XR, now that there is an existing movement, and with such momentum, I'm more inclined to see it as an opportunity for, in NZ, Pākehā activists to upskill on how to work with Māori. The response in that twitter thread wasn't great, hard to think we are still so bad at this.

                  Re the UK movement, I think there is value in white middle class people leading this particular movement, but the issues of class and ethnicity still need to be addressed. Maybe it's about how XR share power with other movements?

                  In NZ it's different I think, because if at base it's all about the land/nature then really Pākehā should be centering rebellion power with Māori. I'm not sure how to do this, and there are some points being made that I don't fully understand yet (eg how XR here might be harming Māori climate action. I can see in the UK the potential for the state to go more authoritarian and that this will harm PoC more than white XRers. Not sure if that's the issue in NZ).

                  I will try and put up some posts here, but I'm feeling a bit glum by how much ground got lost in the past 18 months at TS and it feels very low diversity atm.

          • Molly 16.2.1.1.2

            Coincidentally, looking at something else a five minute video came up for Haylee Koroi on the Step Up for Tāmaki website, where she talks about her perspective on climate change.

  17. marty mars 17

    Heroes one and all. The beginning is now and these actions will escalate imo. The mood has changed – the bullshit is unacceptable – it will be very uncomfortable for us all, but change has started for real and the wheels are coming off… imo.

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