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The warm up is over.
You know this crazy thing where thousands of people shut down a capital and don’t move until either their demands for a livable future are met, or they’re all locked up?
We’re going to do it.
It took the founders of the extinction rebellion 6 months to get a thousand people together to declare an open rebellion, in October 2018. Six months later, in April 2019, they were 10’000, and they blocked four central locations in London. They held for as long as it took, for their parliament to declare a climate and ecological emergency and get a citizens assembly going. Over a thousand were arrested, often several times in a row, over the course of two weeks.
And now, after two years of Extinction Rebellion in Switzerland, we’re finally going to do the same.
Thanks to the Birthing Strategy team, we understand the original strategy that allowed them to create this whirlwind, and all the critical methodological details that make all the difference. Thanks to the new Self-Organising Systems team, we finally have a robust, well-coordinated, and transparent national structure – ready to get cracking, and to welcome everyone interested in taking up a role in changing the world.
Thanks to all the rebels already on the ground and planning actions this year with their local and affinity groups, thanks to allied movements also ready to raise hell in their own ways, thanks to all the work everyone has done for the last 2 years, we even are in a better position than these wonderful lunatics were when they started off in the UK.
So this Autumn…
we shut down the largest city in the country.
Find out more, take two weeks off work, and get involved. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.
Anaïs, Rodan, Sylvain, the newsletter beehive
Cati, Mélanie, Niko, Paolo & Samuel, translation team
You would like to see the work of your group featured in the next newsletter ? Write to firstname.lastname@example.org
- 2021 Strategy: This autumn, we make history
- To change everything, we need everyone
- Inside the rebellion: a lot has changed in the past few months!
- Upcoming actions
- Motivating resources
- Action review
2021 Strategy:This autumn, we make history
Every month that passes brings new damage to the climate and ecosystems that support our existence on this planet. Swiss greenhouse gas emissions keep rising, and biodiversity targets keep being missed. By failing to act, the government is putting the population in grave danger. It is the population’s sacred right and indispensable duty to rebel.
Around mid-June, we will send the Federal Council an ultimatum. They will have until the end of September to tell the truth. The truth about the existential nature of the threat we are facing. The truth about the necessity to reach carbon neutrality within a few years to spare millions of lives. The truth about how politicians will be incapable of leading us through this colossal effort, but must instead be led by the people, gathered in Citizens Assemblies.
Sadly, it is quite possible the Federal Council do not heed our demands for a livable future…
In that case, with our hearts full of love and rage, we will have no other choice than to put our bodies on the line, and shut down the largest city of Switzerland, until they do.
Book two weeks off work, starting October 3rd.
We’re coming to Zürich.
To change everything, we need everyone.
What we do during the next 5 months will be decisive (no pressure, folks, but this is a little bit important).
The rebellion needs and welcomes everyone, which means you, too!
There are two main ways you can help grow the rebellion.
First, the national teams need volunteers to help organise the rebellion. Check out what roles are open and apply! Teams include Media & Social Media, Outreach & Integration, Finance & Fundraising, Legal, Regenerative Culture, Self-Organising System, Action Planning, Art & Material.
Second, your local community needs to be mobilised into joining that fight for their future! Whether there already exists a local XR branch or you’re alone in the area, read the Mass Mobilisation starter to find out how to get started with explosive community-organising, and don’t hesitate to reach out to email@example.com for support or tips.
The finance team is looking into ways to materially support the rebels that abandon other sources of income in order to organise the rebellion.
Overall, the rebellion needs your time much more than your money. But if you have none of the first, and some of the second, donations are also welcome!
Inside the rebellion: a lot has changed in the past few months!
Starting in October 2020 and over the course of several months, a 15-strong Strategy team from around the country has been busy researching the original strategy and methodology of the extinction rebellion in the UK, and what allowed them to shut down London 6 months after their declaration of rebellion, and about a year only after getting started.
The team released its strategy proposal in March, and discussed it with local groups through webinars. The proposal includes a timeline for 2021, but also a lot of insights about important framing and methodological details that are key to a successful rebellion. A good read for all rebels!
In parallel, some members of the team also kicked off the Mass Mobilisation pool, because so much of what they were learning pertained to that aspect. The pool specifically researched the techniques that led XR UK (and other movements they learnt from) to successfully move and mobilise tens of thousands of people – they were aiming for a MILLION (!!) rebels in 2020, before the pandemic cut their plans short. This research led the “MassMob” pool to release a mobilisation strategy document, and start touring the country giving mobilisation workshops.
The last step to make the rebellion switch gears was to give it a structure and well-integrated and coordinated national working groups, focused on one goal: facilitating a rebellion so large and disruptive it brings the government to the table this very autumn. A Self-Organising Systems team formed and helped set this structure up, after making a national call in February to get an overview of all the work already being done around the country.
Now the national structure comprises eight main teams and many more subteams, organised around holacracy-inspired principles and a regenerative culture, following a Self-Organising System Constitution and common Ways of Working. The structure, mandates, roles, role holders, and minutes of every group are transparently available on a holaspirit page you are welcome to check.
Now that this structure has been set up, it’s ready to welcome everyone interested in contributing to national teams, or in organising mobilisation locally. Whether you can quit your job and work full time on the rebellion, or wish to make yourself available for small tasks here and there – we need everyone.
We can guarantee that organising an uprising to save life on Earth is the most epic thing you’ll be doing in 2021, and, be honest with yourself, how many things in life can top this? Let’s go, rebels. Together, we’ve got this.
Upcoming national actions
We hope to keep a rhythm of one national action a month until October, to build up pressure, reach out to more people, and open up the Overton window in the national discourse. Some actions are already planned in coalition with other collectives.
In the meanwhile, local actions of any scope have an important role to play in terms of talking to local communities, training the new rebels, strengthening the bonds of affinity groups, and experimenting with tactics that can be used in the October rebellion.
Ultimatum to the Federal Council || mid-June
After mid-June, there’ll be no coming back: we’ll be fully committed to a rebellion in Autumn! Unless, of course, the Federal Council decides to finally act as if the truth is real, aim for carbon neutrality in 2025, and convene a Citizens Assembly!
The ultimatum will be issued officially on that date, along with a small-scale but high sacrifice action, showing that rebels are both friendly and fearless.
The ultimatum will be accompanied by the publication of an open letter endorsing non-violent civil disobedience as a legitimate form of action in the face of the crisis we are in. Be ready in mid-June to spread that letter far and wide, the goal is to use it to gain as much public support as possible in the run up to October.
For maximum impact, the open letter will be already signed upon release by a selection of well-loved personalities from diverse backgrounds. Should you have any link to such ‘big shots’, please get in touch with media@xrebellion
Strike for Future || Everywhere || 21.05
21 May 2021 is general strike day. This is a Strike for the Future. XR Switzerland will participate, together with Climate strikers, unions, the Feminist Strike and NGOs.
At 11:59, all over Switzerland, strikers will sound the alarm on climate in the streets, at the workplace and in schools.
For the detailed programs, go to: https://strikeforfuture.ch/
If you go to the strike, tell everyone around you of the rebellion’s plans! We promise that telling people about shutting down the largest city of the country if our demands are not heard tends to get their attention…
Rise Up for Change is Back! || 28.7 - 11.8
The Swiss climate justice movement is particularly angry at the finance sector, which funds 20 times more emissions than what Switzerland itself commits in its own borders, while being opaque and mostly out of any democratic control, including our very own Swiss National Bank.
Two weeks of intensive civil disobedience actions are being planned by a coalition of movements, between July 28th and August 11th.
The campaign has been kicked off in April by the Climate Strikers committing a witty prank involving Banksy, and actions targeting the annual general meetings of two banks. In Zürich, some activists interrupted the assembly of Credit Suisse by sounding sirens and climbing on the roof of the building, while others welcomed the participants of the Swiss National Bank’s assembly with cocktails of fossil fuels.
More information will follow, but if you’re interested in joining working groups for this campaign, drop a line to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll put you in touch!
Game over for Predators || 18.06
Swiss multinationals, funded by Swiss banks, and encouraged by permissive Swiss laws, cause huge environmental and social damage all around the world. It is up to the people of Switzerland to stop that, as a duty to the rest of the world.
The result of the November 29th vote on the Responsible Business Initiative showed once again the power and determination of lobbies and big companies to continue making profit off destruction.
Game over for Predators is an international campaign, and is aiming for a real impact on predatory companies domiciled in Switzerland. The first Chapter on June 18th is co-organised by XR Lausanne and international groups.
Find more information on the sign-up form and forward it to as many people as possible, those displeased with the result of November 29th, the lifelong anti-multinational activists, your grand-mother, your uncle, your friends.
- Mobilisation seminar with Roger Hallam. Roger is a co-founder of the extinction rebellion, and the brain behind a lot of the practical details that made the mobilisation so explosive in the UK. He answered the invitation of XR Switzerland, and told us how they got thousands of ordinary people to break the law, and thousands more to help them!
- Rebellion-planning seminar with Joel Joel was coordinator of the UK Action team that paralysed London in April 2019 and October 2019. He came to tell us how they pulled it off. Get some water nearby before watching because we guarantee this will set you on fire!!
- Facilitating XR meetings (EN). We are here to get shit done. And shit gets done by well-organised groups with efficient meetings! This 2h workshop will teach you the basics. Write to email@example.com from the Self-Organising System team, to express your interest in attending a training in French, German or Italian.
The videos don’t have subtitles in German nor Italian yet… Would you like to offer your help for subtitles and translations? Write to Anaïs firstname.lastname@example.org
Find inspiration for your next actions! Your actions are not there? Help the newsletter team keep on top of things by sending them content. email@example.com
Rebellion of One || Everywhere || May 8th
Rebellion of One is a new tactic: a one-person roadblock… many times over. On May 8th, 30 brave people in 8 cities across Switzerland sat down in the road, alone, in front of traffic. They wore a sandwich board with a simple and emotive message. They remain sitting in the road until they choose to move, or are moved. Each rebel was supported by a team, mixed in with the crowd. Alone, but together.
Rebels’ experiences on the ground varied. A few faced very hostile drivers or particularly zealous police officers - but most also received support, gratitude and encouragement from by-standers, and one was even offered a ride home by perplexed police officers not quite sure how to get rid of the nuisance in a kind way!
Check out more in the special issue of the international newsletter, with accounts of the Rebellion of One from Switzerland, Poland, Sweden and Israel!
Scientist Rebellion || March 25-28th
The Scientist Rebellion project emerged 6 months ago in the UK, out of the belief that for the public to appreciate the urgency of the climatecrisis, scientists must behave in a way proportional to the emergency.
During the first international wave of action in March, about 30 academics joined in from ETH, UNIL and UNIGE. They hijacked their own classes and seminars to talk about the climate and ecological emergencies and the history of civil disobedience, they went on hunger strikes in solidarity with people already suffering, and they defied their own institutions by publicly pasting alarming scientific papers on their walls.
Shortly after, 300 academics from the University of Lausanne signed a letter of support to the ZAD de la Colline.
Next wave of actions will take place at the end of June. Are you part of the scientific community? Let’s make the next wave 10 times bigger! Sign up on https://scientistrebellion.com/ and give the rebellious scientists some love on twitter, Facebook or Instagram! More on the global XR newsletter !
No Way, Norway! || Zürich || March 4th
“The person who will shut down Norwegian oil production has not yet been born”, proudly boasts the Norwegian prime minister, meting out crippling fines to non-violent climate activists.
Answering the call of Norwegian rebels for global solidarity on March 4th, XR Zürich went to protest in front of the embassy, drawing out the ambassador to deliver a letter protesting the complicit role of governments in the climate and ecological emergencies.
Howey on hunger strike || Lausanne || April 18-28th
Howey Ou is an 18-year old Chinese climate activist and founder of XR China, who arrived in Switzerland a few months ago. She was among the brave people evicted from the ZAD de la Colline. As a result, she is now sentenced to a 2-month period in jail. If your draw has not dropped yet, wait for this: to protest against the injustice of it all, she went on a 10-day hunger strike, camping day and night, rain or shine, on the Place de la Palud in Lausanne.
Her health is good and she got support from local rebels. But the political attention has been shockingly sparse. Send your support to Howey and amplify her posts on social media: Instagram, twitter or Facebook
From Zürich to the Jura, fleets of empty white prams have been travelling around city centers lately. Inside, messages about the climate and ecological emergency. Surprisingly, this action is getting a lot of media attention from the local press!
Rebels in court!
Many trials have been happening in the last few weeks, in Switzerland and abroad. There are a lot of fascinating and important things to tell about them, but our very small content team does not have yet the capacity to do so - if you’d like to write a special piece about recent climate trials, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org !
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.
The Rebellion also needs all of us. You can give some of your time in so many different ways! Visit your local group, start your own, or contact the newsletter team for any question at email@example.com