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Beyond XR Testimonial

Despair

XR meant I no longer looked at the news on my Twitter and Facebook feeds and felt despair. Being a part of XR meant I was actual doing something about it.

Everyone in XR seemed to be really trying to do things differently, to care about one another.

The creativity and the energy… the songs, the music…

The videos left me sobbing…

Standing on a street, blocking cars, in a desperate attempt for something to be done… felt so overwhelming… More tears…

And so, when I started to see some cracks in XR it was overwhelming…

The not following their own Principles & Values… the pain felt by XR Germany and so many others by what Roger said, what he wrote, how it was covered up…

It felt like a betrayal… And I thought XR was our last, best hope…

So what does this mean, if even XR is taking money from people who are part of the problem…

The lack of integrity was more than painful…

It was terrifying… To see so many people defending this… And I worry it’s because people are afraid….

Afraid that XR is the last, best hope…

And that we will all die if we let XR collapse…

But I have more hope than that…

I know that this is all bigger than XR, bigger than one organisation… or one movement…

This is about systems and individuals and community…

And other activists have been here before…

And there is so much to learn… and do…

I’ve read the thoughtful criticism of XR… from those with more experience than us… from those who have left XR…

I am listening and learning…

And I can see another way to build on what XR has created, but it doesn’t need to be through XR or with XR…

It’s about how governments will continue to fail us, no matter what demands we make upon them.

It’s about how capitalism has failed us all, on so many levels…

This is the toxic system of which XR speaks…

Challenging ourselves and our toxic system means making bigger sacrifices…

than just blocking a road or setting up festivals…

It means making friends with those struggling local to us.

It means using our power and privilege to change things on the ground for those most vulnerable…

Because isn’t that our fate, too? Don’t we know, deep in our bones, that much of this inevitable?

Would not a Citizens Assembly not determine that we must go back to our communities and dig and grow and learn new skills? Learn to adapt deeply to what is coming…

And wouldn’t it also determine that we must STOP the harm at the source?

Not everyone is willing to put their bodies in front of an oil rig, at a fracking site, at a mine…

But many of us in XR, of XR, have power and privilege to support those on the frontlines…

If those on the frontlines are successful, it means we will not have access to minerals or fossil fuels…

So how do we prepare for that? Mutual aid. Community building.

But this is scary and daunting for some of us.

So that’s why we start with an affinity group. Just a few people that are like us.

We learn about oppression and justice and what other activists are doing to build community along the lines of mutual aid…

At the same time, we go out, as an unbranded, non-recruiting affinity group, and join in the struggles for justice on the ground.

We become accomplices, aiding in the obtaining of food and shelter and safety for our fellow human beings…

This is now completely about keeping each other safe. Whether “we” are on the frontlines, or feeling the effects of a government that does not care about the most vulnerable,…

A system that promotes isolation and addiction…

We are what we need now… Especially with so many people feeling afraid in these days in the UK after 12th December…

If we are scared of what the future holds, if we have been drawn to the love and creativity and hope of Extinction Rebellion…

Let us redirect that energy away from a movement that sits elsewhere…

Let us stay where we are and build and love and create right here. And fight.

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