We always apologise for the disruption we cause and we do not want to cause distress to individuals. But we are forced to stop “business as usual” and we are calling for rapid and massive changes to avert climate catastrophe.
We would prefer not to stand in the cold and rain or remain for long periods locked to a car or glued to a road in discomfort. We would prefer not to risk arrest or have to support others who are willing to make that sacrifice. However, what has been relied upon before – all the letters, petitions, marches and other traditional forms of campaigning – have failed almost entirely. Some of our members have been campaigning for over fifty years and have come to see XR’s approach as the only one left. We also stand on the shoulders of amazing indigenous people, environmental groups, charities, scientists, writers and celebrities but they have all been ignored.
Studies of existing social research have discovered that the only way to bring about dramatic changes in society has been through mass participation nonviolent direct action.
Nonviolent Direct Action (NVDA) is a strategy involving organising ourselves into groups prepared to put our bodies in direct contact with or to directly oppose forces that we can see are destructive or causing harm. NVDA strategies as we know them now developed out of the nonviolent campaigns to end British rule of India, most commonly associated with Gandhi, and in the struggle for Civil Rights in the US in the 50s and 60s, most commonly associated with Dr Martin Luther King.
If you would like to know more about NVDA and how we maintain the discipline of peacefulness during protests, please come along to our next NVDA training which will be announced on our events page. We always clean up after our protests and we always ban alcohol and drug misuse.
Christiana Figueres, the woman who led the negotiations for the Paris Agreement has called for civil disobedience to force institutions to respond to the climate crisis. Read Former UN Climate Chief Calls For Civil Disobedience