It’s been a traumatic month for many of us, as the fires raging in the Amazon became a visceral symbol for the environmental destruction happening worldwide due to rapacious greed and corruption. It’s understandable to feel hopeless, but this month has also brought us reason to be hopeful. In the last four weeks, we have gathered on the streets of Barcelona in greater numbers than ever before – an undeniable sign that the rebellion is only growing stronger. So stay hopeful, rebels, because hope is just as important as love and rage in the fight to save our future.
Fridays for Future, together with XR Barcelona and a number of growing movements both large and small, international and local, are preparing for the Global Climate Strike: week of nonviolent direct action starting on September 20th and culminating in a labour strike in Barcelona on September 27th. Stay tuned for more information, and remember: it’s never been so important to stand up for what you believe in.
On October 7th, XR Barcelona will be travelling to Madrid to take part in the Second International Rebellion – and we need you! Together, in unison with rebels in major cities all over the world, we will use nonviolent civil disobedience to demand that our governments tell the truth about the climate and ecological crisis and act now to mitigate it.
XR Barcelona’s four liberated rebels have been working hard in collaboration with XR Madrid and XR International to provide transport, accommodation and training to all rebels travelling to Madrid. If you can’t attend or are apprehensive about taking an active role, don’t worry: there are a number of ways to support the rebellion. Find out more and sign up to take part and join the Facebook event.
And now, the news…
On August 23rd, XR Barcelona, Fridays For Future Barcelona and other grassroots collectives coordinated a mass protest outside the Brazilian Consulate in a collective outcry over the fires raging in the Amazon and the anti-environment, anti-indigenous policies of Jair Bolsonaro’s government. Together, hundreds of us blocked Avenida Diagonal for 10 minutes, and spent over an hour united outside the consulate. On the same day, we delivered a letter to the Brazilian Consul and Ambassador demanding justice for the people and wildlife of the Amazon, and warning of further disruptive action to come should our demands not be met by December 31st.
Further protests are planned for September 5th, on Carrer Mallorca 278 at 12:00, and Passeig de Gràcia 90 at 17:00.
On August 25th, XR Barcelona began a wave of action in the run up to the Second International Rebellion in Madrid. Dressed as sea creatures (with costumes and props kindly donated from the Festes de Gràcia by Carrers Llibertat, Perill, Jesús and Rovira), we started by flooding the Maritime Museum. Inside, we staged a performance and open die-in symbolizing the threat posed by rising sea levels and ocean pollution.
From now until October 7th, we’ll be rising up in different locations around Barcelona before we head to Madrid, and we are calling on all citizens to join us in demanding truth and action from our governments. We need you, so stay tuned to Instagram for more details, and see you in the floods!
On the last weekend of August, 45 rebels came together in Barcelona for the International XR Gathering. The rebels spent the weekend at Calafou, a post-capitalist eco-industrial colony surrounded by nature, where they took part in workshops and activities including permaculture, public speaking, self-organisation and self-expression among many others. More than just a chance to learn, the gathering was an opportunity to form bonds without borders and be inspired by each country’s plans for the future.
In the last month we have met regularly with Fridays For Future Barcelona and Climacció to prepare for the week of action from September 20-27th and the Climate Strike and protest on September 27th – our response to the call for a Global Climate Strike during the week of the UN Climate Summit in New York. Work groups have been created to continue the preparations, and in the coming days we will announce the actions and activities.
In parallel, a commission within the “Network for Climate Action” is working on a critique of the Climate Emergency Round Table – a participatory process initiated by Barcelona’s City Council – although the majority of the collectives have decided to participate in at least the first stages of the process. The first meeting of the round table will take place on September 26th during the week of climate action, and as a network we wish to a unified statement about our position. The “Network for Climate Action” currently includes: Climacció, Ecologistes en Acció, Fridays For Future, Families For Future, Plataforma Ciutadana Residu Zero, Xarxa Economia Solidària, Eixample Respira, Barris pel Clima, Greenpeace, Plataforma pel Qualitat del Aire, XR Barcelona, Abril bicis mil, 350 BCN and Aigua és Vida.
The Federation of Neighbourhood Associations of Barcelona, with whom we’ve been in contact since we participated in their training school, has published a press release in which they call for a socially and ecologically just response to the climate crisis and ask associations, entities and the general population to become engaged in solving it. The federation also states its intent to participate in the Climate Strike on September 27th.
As a decentralized movement, face-to-face communication is fundamental to Extinction Rebellion, and this month we launched our first mobile info point to communicate directly with our Barcelona neighbours. Set up in Gràcia’s Plaça Diamant and managed by two rebels, the info point provided information and flyers to interested passers by (several of whom had already heard about Extinction Rebellion)!
If you’d like to bring the mobile info point to your neighbourhood, get in contact with the Speaking Committee.
XR Barcelona’s Translation Committee has been busy translating key documents about the climate rebellion into Catalan, Spanish and English. Now you can read all about the philosophy of non-violent direct action, regenerative culture, arguments behind Extinction Rebellion’s methodology and more. Start reading today and get to know the movement inside out: http://tinyurl.com/xrbarcelona
This month, XR Barcelona was invited to give a talk at the Festa Major in Cardedeu. The talk was attended by 30-40 people, many of whom were highly engaged and keen to start mobilizing. We’re with you, Cardedeu!
That’s it for this month’s newsletter. All that’s left to say is thank you all for your perseverance, creativity and commitment to the cause.
See you on the streets.
Love and rage (and hope),