Today was the last day of actions of this rebellion - before the pause. And we’ve reached new heights - of determination, of courage, but also of absurdity! Under political pressure, the police went into a frenzy to prevent any visible demonstration of the climate emergency in the city.
In this newsletter, we tell you about the day, the reasons that led to the decision to take a pause before coming back soon stronger, more organised and more disruptive!
With love, rage and incredible pride
Anaïs, Marie & Julian the night newsletter team, who feel so lucky to be doing this job! (even if multilingualism is hell and the website is a pain and we are very very sleepy 😉)
A forbidden symbol
Today was the last day of actions of this rebellion - before the break. Each passing day brought for the police an accumulation of ever more absurd and extreme orders, to nip in the bud any act of rebellion by peaceful citizens. A strategy not really effective against rebels… who came precisely to rebel ;)
On Wednesday, the police staged a pretty impressive kettle right in the middle of the central station, during a quiet briefing. On Thursday, we learned from the police liaison team that the prosecutor had requested a ban on the extinction symbol in the city (sorry, what?). Isolated people were stopped in the street far from any action and then taken into custody, simply for having flyers in their bags. Members of the arrestee support team were given 24-hour bans simply for sitting on a bench outside the police station!
Clearly, this police strategy has some merit - the situation was getting really difficult for all the brave people who wanted to support the rebellion but weren’t prepared to be arrested. This is one of the reasons why a pause was necessary.
But the problem for the authorities is that the arrestable rebels… don’t give a damn about being arrested.
That’s why for this last day of actions, rebels organised two actions showing the absolute absurdity of the situation.
At 3pm, the intersection between Uraniastrasse and Bahnhofstrasse became the scene of an “arrest parade”. In succession, groups of two burst into the crossing with banners, and calmly walked to the pedestrian crossings to sit down.
Given the sheer number of police officers stationed all around the city centre, the rebels scored sitting times ranging from 0 to 90 seconds, before being removed from the road for questioning and sent to the police station.
Member of the newsletter crew, starting her immersive reportage in the jails of Zurich
For good measure, the police then went out into the street to pick up our spokespeople, legal observers, police contacts, media activists, people wearing symbols of extinction and even passers-by. All of that to prevent ANY action on our part. All because we want to exercise a human and democratic right to protest because our government is sending us to our death.
If you want to get an idea of the scene, these videos in Nau are completely epic in their total lack of logic and proportionality - which was felt very strongly on the ground by passers-by and journalists alike.
The result of the parade: more than 15 people were arrested for walking for one minute on the Bahnhofstrasse with banners.
Die-in: “is this what the Federal council wants?”
Bad threat to public order being removed and taken into custody
At 4pm, another group of rebels met on the Rathausbrücke. They unfolded two banners saying: “Federal Council - tell the truth about the climate emergency” and “is this what you want?” before lying down on the ground in a die-in.
All of them were well aware that lying on the ground on the sidewalk and singing climate action songs was likely to be considered an unacceptable attack on the status quo, and followed by arrest.
We refer you once again to these videos in Nau! ;)
This guy won the rebellion. He did a die-in alone at the Paradeplatz, and according to our information, was quickly taken away by the police.
MEANWHILE, AT THE POLICE STATION…
The twenty or so rebels arrested today have all been released! However, there are still the 4 women who sat on the road on Thursday with placards. The arrestee support team will be waiting for these heroines until they are released.
IMPORTANT: NOTE FOR ARRESTED REBELS
The legal team has made you a report, and gives you important tips for the future in their great newsletter:
☀️ Tomorrow is the beginning of a break for the rebellion. We’d like to encourage the rebels to get some rest, regenerate, and then to mobilise in the coming weeks. To come back.
Send us your stories!
The newsletter team would love to be able to share your stories and anecdotes from the rebellion, or put a selection of them on the website! Send us your texts to firstname.lastname@example.org ! If writing is not your forte, we’ll be happy to help you find the right words.
Why a pause?
Nearly 200 rebels were arrested this week, putting immense pressure on the police and authorities, to the point that the rebellion and the extinction symbol was banned from the streets of Zurich.
200 arrests is what is needed to create a national debate on the urgency of the situation. Hundreds of newspaper pages were blackened to tell our story, almost 300 articles in the German-speaking part of Switzerland alone.
Expectations were completely exceeded. But the repression became so arbitrary that it was difficult for non-arrestable rebels to participate. How to make sure that the actions go well without being able to brief newcomers beforehand? That the rebels felt comfortable and safe, despite the risks they were running? That there was enough time to take care of each other? Instead, the coordination team preferred to announce a pause, to come back stronger in a few weeks.
The rebels have shown such courage, determination, calm and honesty. They have shown that there are people in this country who know how to find their courage when necessary. That they refuse to condemn the younger generation to a hell on earth.
In the space of a week, Extinction Rebellion has become a true civil resistance movement, ready to welcome the courage of many new people.
And after the pause
To announce a pause, yes. But not an end. For the rebellion will not be over until the rebels’ demands are granted.
From this week of rebellion, the movement is growing.
We have received a lot of testimonies from other people who have seen us act and are ready to join the rebellion, because they are honest and have the courage to stand for what is right. We have provoked the reaction of political figures, forcing them to take a stand on the urgency of the situation, and the need to find new democratic ways of dealing with this crisis. It is now time to pause, to reflect on what has worked, what has not worked so well, to learn from our mistakes, and to move on, to become stronger.
Au programme pour la suite
First of all, it is time to rest and regenerate. All those who have been involved in the rebellion are invited to a day of gathering and regeneration on Saturday 9 October from 11am at Friedhofstrasse, Weinigen. On the agenda: Canadian meal, emotional debriefing, empathy circle, t-shirt printing and music
And: after the rebellion, is before the rebellion!
Want to understand why we rebel? Come to this Heading for Extinction conference: Saturday 9.10.2021 (tomorrow) at 5pm in Zurich, informations and inscription here.
Do you want to face the coming actions with confidence and serenity? Are you curious to learn more about Extinction Rebellion’s strategy and methods?
Participate in a non-violent civil disobedience training: Saturday 9.10.2021 (tomorrow) from 10am to 4pm in Zurich, informations ici.
Let’s be honest, it would still be very cool if next time more people from Zurich joined the Romands, what do you think? ;-)
☀️ thank you for your courage. You are the ones the world was waiting for ☀️