Newsletter Switzerland, Sep 2020: Rise Up for Change !
(please transfer this newsletter to all your contacts who could be interested ! To sign-up to receive your own copy next time, write to firstname.lastname@example.org)
“The whole fucking thing’s fucked, and they say it’s ‘of concern’??”
…Do you also feel it?
You watch society around you, the media and the politicians, carrying on as usual, pausing sometimes just long enough to express a little “concern” on the climate and ecological emergency, or congratulate themselves for a small “step in the right direction”. And in the meanwhile the world burns, and every day that passes makes it harder to put it out. You feel like you’re living in a waking nightmare, yet, it is others who are asleep.
It’s not enough to just tell the truth. If we want to be heard, we need to act as if the truth is real.
The good news are: there are more and more of us. More people who are freaking the hell out, and seeing that our leaders are not working on getting us out of this mess. Ordinary people around the country are coming to realize that rebelling is not only their sacred right, it is their indispensable duty. Because we want to live. Because we want others to live.
This September will be a landmark. Civil disobedience is getting accepted as an appropriate response to our leaders’ criminal negligence. From September 20th to 25th in Bern, for the first time, Extinction Rebellion takes the streets along with Climate Strike, Collective Climate Justice, Collective Breakfree, Greenpeace and others, for a week of peaceful disruption. Read this newsletter to find out more, be inspired, get involved. The time is ripe, and the time is now.
We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. Join the Rebellion. Bring everyone.
See you on the streets, rebels!
Anaïs, Rodan and Sylvain, the newsletter beehive
Sabrina, Tina, Deeplina & Joe, translation team
You would like to see the work of your group featured in the next newsletter? Write to email@example.com
- Upcoming actions
- Post-September period
- Recent actions
- General news from the Swiss movement
- New from abroad - the UK in full rebellion
Rise up for Change
SEP 20-25 / BERN
We stand at a crossroads in human history. Faced with multiple global crises - coronavirus, racial injustice, economic inequality, climate and ecological devastation - we have never been more acutely aware of our vulnerability on a finite planet. That is why diverse movements are joining their efforts to bring about the change we need.
The government is failing to keep us safe. They have lost the legitimacy to carry on with business as usual. Regardless of expert warnings, they have postponed action for decades. Some politicians don’t shy away from deliberate misinformation in order to continue with a corrupt agenda that is killing us. Citizens from all walks of life are now withdrawing their consent, and getting ready to break the law.
- Between September 20th and 25th in Bern, we Rise Up for Change. This will be the last week of the autumn Parliamentary session. Through mass civil disobedience, alongside Climate Strike, Collectif Breakfree, Collective Climate Justice, Greenpeace and more, we will create disruption to try and force politicians to publicly discuss our common demands. Sign-up, get briefed on the 20th, and get in the way of business-as-usual with us!
- In parallel to the mass disobedience, satellite actions will insist on some of the dangers of the climate and ecological crisis, and put the spotlight on some sectors that are shamelessly benefiting from worsening the disaster. To name a few, you’ll see an action from Doctors for XR on the 21st (more below), an action targeting the agri-food industry on the 24th, and some events regarding the role of the financial sector in funding the crisis (more below).
- From Sunday 20th onward, a legal climate camp at the Schützenmatte will serve as our home base. Rebels will live there for the week, train for actions, but also welcome everyone who wants to meet and discuss, around various events and workshops (FR, DE. Spread the word, bring your friends to meet and support the rebels, or to rebel themselves!
We know that peaceful civil disobedience works. We are calling on everyone who is willing and able to stand with us in Bern. Nearly 5000 people are reading this newsletter. We know this comes late. But think if everyone was able to free only one day during that week, or get just one extra person to join. Ask your local group for flyers, tell people around you, use door-knocking to engage with your neighbours!
Resources: Crowdfunding / Rise up for Change’s website (FR, DE) / Everything about the mass disobedience action (FR, DE) / Sign-up forms / Live information on the Telegram info channel / Mobilization video (FR, DE)
Our planet is sick - Doctors for XR
SEP 21 / BERN
As health professionals, we support Extinction Rebellion’s civil disobedience to alert the population and put pressure on our government. Indeed, we have seen that our authorities can take threats to the health of the population seriously and act quickly, even to the detriment of the economy. But they do not take the climate emergency and the destruction of ecosystems seriously. The WHO has warned that “climate change is the greatest threat to global health in the 21st century.”
As health professionals, we are concerned about the health of our patients and the population at home and abroad. We have a duty to act and assist those at risk before it is too late.
#RogerWakeUp - Crédit Suisse and the financial sector
SEP 10, 17, 22 / $WI$$ BANK$
Collectif Breakfree inside Crédit Suisse, 2018 (Photo : Jean-François Marchand)
In January this year, in a landmark verdict, the Breakfree activists that played tennis inside Crédit Suisse banks to call attention on their dirty investments were acquitted and declared to have acted in a legitimate manner, considering the climate emergency]. While Crédit Suisse did not press charges further, the attorney general appealed from the judgement. The second trial will take place on September 22nd. Get ready for the rematch!
As a prelude to the trial, on September 10th and 17th, in eight Swiss cities, people are invited to write a “letter to Roger”, inviting him to take his responsibilities, and take it to a Credit Suisse branch office. An absolutely accidental side-effect might be that very long queues are formed in front of banks ;)
This is a peaceful and law-abiding action, suitable to all people. Check the cities where it’s taking place (more to be announced), and sign up by dropping a line to firstname.lastname@example.org. (Neuchâtel, and Lausanne have their own sign-up form).
In the meanwhile, Greenpeace has filed a formal protest against Switzerland’s financial regulators over their failure to impose climate policy rules (pssst! have you seen the monkeys?!). Please back it up by signing their petition! (FR, DE)
And if you would like to keep scoring points against the financial sector’s immoral practices, join the Rise up for Change action week in Bern on Sept. 20-25th… that’s all we can say!
Il faut sauver la Terre!
SEP 12 / GENEVA
The coordination team is looking forward to welcoming you on stage on September 12 at the Bains des Pâquis for a festive action prepared with love and rage! On the program: an epic IRL role-play staging the fight of The People to save The Earth against the Forces of The Status Quo, a wealth of enriching human contacts and workshops, and a fab opportunity for anyone who’s always dreamt of doing an action (almost) naked (as well as anyone who absolutely never did).
Most zones will have very little legal risk, and everything has been thought out to reach a large audience and prepare a great start to the school year.
But do not be fooled by the playful vibe of the action: this is serious business. We have clear political messages for the local government, a clear visual communication strategy, and clear goals in terms of momentum-building. Find out more about that and the program on the registration form. And please share the word around you, in real life and on social media!
GAME OVER for the Predators - Ecocidal multinationals and their lobbying power
NOV 13 / ROMANDIE & WORLD
In Switzerland, multinationals are no longer companies, they have become powers. Some enterprises, with their colonialist, predatory and speculative practices, make Switzerland a country with a monumental responsibility for what is happening in the world today, in terms of grave social issues as well as the destruction of biodiversity and climate (FR, DE).
If these companies are never held legally responsible for the consequences of their activities, it is because of their economic and political weight, and the complicity of our government. In our federal Bern, 90% of the thematic intergroups of our Parliament (Health Policy, Soft Mobility, etc.) are led by external lobbyists (FR, DE).
This is appalling, unacceptable and it is not at all democratic! No citizen of this country gives his or her voice to a politician so that he or she can use it for a system based on injustice and predation! This intense lobbying in Bern has serious social and ecological repercussions on the whole of our planet, this is unacceptable and cannot last any longer.
We will therefore stop the economic activity of our target, we will reveal their crimes (social and against ecosystems) to the general public, we will demonstrate the political weight they have in Bern (to the detriment of democracy) and we will say that once and for all; Game is over for the predators!
We are in an absolute emergency to stop this system and these protagonists, so save the date, sign up and share that form far and wide!
BREAKING NEWS FROM THE COORDINATION TEAM - The action, initially planned for September, has been postponed to November because it now is an international action, with local groups participating on 3 continents! Several very enthusiastic confirmations have come down during this weekend which forces us to revise our initial plans a bit. It is important to us to show that what is being decided on the sly by the multinationals in Switzerland has serious repercussions on biodiversity and social justice on a global scale.
As you see, September is going to be quite a ride! It is critical both for our own well-being, and for the escalation of the Rebellion, that rebels have a clear idea of how they want to recover and grow after stressful times. You can check out XR UK’s post-rebellion handbook for inspiration, and here are a few tips to take care of yourself, welcome newcomers whose rebel soul will have been stirred to a boil during this exciting month, and importantly - think Strategy!
September is going to be physically and emotionally exhausting for many of us. If now is not the time to remind you lot of some regenerative principles, we don’t know when is!
No-one can push on forever without any pause to replenish themselves. Having a regenerative culture means that after tiring times, we need to take care of restoring our energy, our emotional capital, our capacity for empathy, and un-fry our brains.
Actions should not burn us out, they should allow us to grow stronger than before. Let us not do to ourselves what we don’t want to do to Mother Earth: deplete ourselves beyond repair. Check out the ‘Regenerative action cycle’ to see if you know the five steps a rebel goes through before they’re fully ready to plan more trouble!
After the big actions, a lot of new rebels will be keen on joining us. We need to welcome them well. It can be difficult if everyone in your local group needs a little time off, so this needs preparation and openness.
- Have a plan for some welcoming events to direct new rebels to, and nominate welcomers.
- Be welcoming, friendly and honest about the situation.
- Meet them - We thrive on connection. Set up events, socials, welcome spaces and talks after the rebellion. Give new rebels a space to land!
- Get them connected - direct new rebels to your newsletter, Mattermost, Base, Signal, Telegram, whatever platform you use!
Take part in Birthing Our Strategy
Where do we go from here?
The Rebellion sure has grown in Switzerland, but faced with the scale and imminency of the threat, we need to ramp it up a whole bunch of notches.
For a year and a half, rebels around the country have experimented with all kinds of actions and techniques, learnt a lot, touched many people, changed the conversation about the legitimacy of disobeying the law when faced with an existential threat.
One could say the movement has gone through its teenage phase now. Curious, bold, loud and mischievous - that, we certainly were. On the other hand, clarity of purpose, coordination and efficiency might not have been… our strongest points at all times.
It now is time to put together what we have learnt from our successes and our difficulties, take a step back, and come up with a strong, deliberate and coordinated plan to guide us into the next phase of the escalation.
Our movement has matured and we’re ready: please welcome the Birthing Strategy Working Group! Please have a look at its mandate and structure, as well as the two kinds of roles it’s recruiting rebels for.
This working group will be like a midwife, tasked to deliver the movement of its own strategic baby. Be one of the many parents by filling out this Strategic Consultation form! We suggest you have a very quick look at it right now, yes RIGHT NOW as you read this, and then pin it somewhere for later where you won’t forget it, put a reminder on your calendar, whatever works for you. This is so you give yourself time to think about it, talk about it, share it, before you come back to it and fill it up! The form will be open until the 15th of October. For any question, write to email@example.com
Dance like the world is ending
AUG 29 / LUGANO
(Photo: Corriere del Ticino)
XR Ticino organized their first action, with 50 rebels dancing like the world was ending. Wonder what this looks like? Watch a replay on the website of the Corriere del Ticino
AUG 15 / BIEL
(Photo: XR Biel)
XR Biel and some militants of the Women’s Strike occupied an H&M shop for an hour in the city center. Some bare-chest rebels, smeared with violet paint, chained themselves inside the shop. Outside, others got conversations started with passers by. And rich conversations they were: there is no shortage of evils associated with the fast-fashion industry, from exploitation to modern slavery, sexism, water shortages, pollution, consumerism… Want to know more? You can check out PublicEye’s excellent reporting on the sector: FR, DE.
The action received good media coverage and the rebels were particularly happy to see that, despite the complexity of the message embedded in the action, the background social and ecological problems were featured quite prominently in the reports (e.g here on Telebilingue).
For a crash course on the delightful practices of the fast-fashion and textile industry, as well as images of the brave and charismatic rebels who literally put their bodies on the line to protest ecological and social crimes, check out this 2 minute video of the action made by Adrien, of XR Biel!
General news from the Swiss movement
Animal Rebellion Lausanne
Animal Rebellion Lausanne has been created! Like XR Youth, Doctors for XR or Educators for XR, we are an independant local group acting in solidarity with XR, with the purpose to defend climate and animal justice. If you are motivated to join an antispecist group and to act for the rights of animals - humans and non-humans - hesitate no more and write to firstname.lastname@example.org
Christian Climate Action Switzerland
(Photo: Christian Climate Action Cymru)
Hi! We are a group of Christians supporting Extinction Rebellion and joining actions. You can find out more about us on our website or our Facebook page, sign up here for our newsletter, or write to us at email@example.com
For inspiration, check out what our brothers and sisters are up to in the UK during this autumn rebellion!
Upcoming talks and trainings
Your local group organizes regular conferences about the ecological and climate emergency, and what we propose to do about them. Keep an eye on their social media page or website to find the next one!
- Non-violent direct action training
- Neuchâtel, Saturday 12.09
- Lausanne, Sunday 13.09
- Basel, Friday 11.09, 18:30 - 22:00, Tram station Kannenfeldplatz. Sign-up with a short email to firstname.lastname@example.org or simply show up on the day!
- Bern, Saturday 12.09, 10:00 - ca. 14:00, Kirchgemeindehaus St. Marien, Wylerstrasse 26 (more info and sign-up on Telegram)
- Luzern, Sunday 13.09, 16.00 - 19:30. To sign up, please drop a line to email@example.com
- Zürich (organized by Climate Strike), Sunday 13.09, 16:00-19:30, Bahnhof Hardbrücke, above the ramp (info channel: t.me/Aktionstraining)
- Basel, Friday 18.09, 18:30 - 22:00, Tram station Kannenfeldplatz. Sign-up with a short email to firstname.lastname@example.org or simply show up on the day!
- Zürich, Saturday 19.09, 10:00 – 13:00, we meet at Landiwiese (in case of bad weather, at the new Holzpavillon). Please sign up by dropping a line to email@example.com
NEW FROM ABROAD - THE UK IN FULL REBELLION
Free the Truth action, XR-UK, Sept. 2020 (Photo: Keystone)
Critically, the UK are now in the middle of their second week of Rebellion and going strong, with escalating impact and repression! We can’t overstate the importance of what is happening there. These weeks will be shaping the conversation as well as the political and militant action in the UK and abroad. The attitude of the Swiss politicians, media and public towards us in the coming weeks will be influenced by that - so be ready!
We at the newsletter team are absolute groupies of the UK rebels and would love to be able to offer a proper digest and analysis of what is going on at the moment, but this here newsletter is already long enough and needs to reach your mailboxes asap…! So we’ll be back soon, with a special edition focused on the UK Rebellion ;)
As we enter this crucial phase in human history, our Rebellion will need money to make sure our message is heard. Anything you can give is appreciated.