XR change of tactics

March 2023 Forums General discussion XR change of tactics

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    Young Master Smeet

    We quit!

    So, they are building up to a mass action around Parliament on the 21st April. Doubtless, there will be secretly organised actions within the main body, but the aim is to get 100K people there:

    As we ring in the new year, we make a controversial resolution to temporarily shift away from public disruption as a primary tactic. We recognise and celebrate the power of disruption to raise the alarm and believe that constantly evolving tactics is a necessary approach. What’s needed now most is to disrupt the abuse of power and imbalance, to bring about a transition to a fair society that works together to end the fossil fuel era. Our politicians, addicted to greed and bloated on profits won’t do it without pressure.

    Whether they can get that 100K will be interesting. I suspect that they intend to sustain it will make it interesting:

    Surrounding the Houses of Parliament day after day in large numbers means we can leave the locks, glue and paint behind and instead demonstrate faith in a critical mass of people to create a moment that’s impossible to ignore.

    They’re aim is ‘building relationships’, but that seems to be about brining new groups of people into NVDA. Still, it’s an interesting turn, and they are now talking about attendances over arrest and trying to be more inclusive.

    I doubt project 3.5 is very far from being resurrected…


    Maybe they have decided to go for broke because they are convinced that the situation is getting worse and that the urgent thing now is to topple the government and replace it with a different regime that will take drastic, immediate measures to deal with climate change.

    I don’t know to what extent Roger Hallam is still one of the leaders of XR (maybe Just Stop Oil was just a front for them rather than the breakaway it appeared to be), though the police will. But here is how he set out, in his 2019 manifesto Common Sense in the 21st Century, subtitled “Only Nonviolent Rebellion Can Now Stop Climate Breakdown And Social Collapse”, how a non-violent “rebellion” could topple a government.

    “We must adopt the most successful model for regime change shown by the social scientific research – the civil resistance model. This involves mass participation civil disobedience: tens and hundreds of thousands of people blocking the centres of cities to demand change. There are a number of tactical options, but the main process is as follows:
    • The people conduct mass mobilisation – thousands need to take part.
    • They amass in a capital city where the elites in business, government and the media are located.
    • They break the law – they cross the Rubicon. Examples include blocking the roads and transport systems.
    • They maintain a strictly nonviolent discipline even, and especially, under conditions of state repression.
    • They focus on the government, not intermediate targets – government is the institution that make the rules of society and has the monopoly of coercion to enforce them.
    • They continue their action day after day – one-day actions, however big, rarely impose the necessary economic cost to bring the authorities to the table.
    • The actions can have a fun atmosphere– most people respond to what is cultural and celebratory rather than political and solemn.
    After one or two weeks following this plan, historical records show that a regime is highly likely to collapse or is forced to enact major structural change.”

    The 21 April is the beginning of the weekend of our Annual Conference, so we will be there to witness the inevitable failure of this crackpot strategy.


    It appears that Just Stop Oil are going to continue their self-indulgent, irritating and counter-productive tactics — counter-productive because most people are already convinced that something needs to be done about climate change, so they are not even raising consciousness about the issue. In fact, as they believe that a way-out can be found without getting rid of the market system they are themselves contributing to the confusion about what needs to be done.


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