Our movement takes to the streets to make clear the seriousness of the climate crisis to the new government of the Generalitat.
We demand the creation of a citizens’ assembly to allow citizens to decide on how to make the transition to carbon neutrality in a socially just way.
During the first week of June, in preparation for World Environment Day, Extinction Rebellion Barcelona (XR Barcelona) is organizing various street actions.
Specifically, our movement wants to warn the new government of the Generalitat that civil society is attentive to the climate crisis so that the actions of the executive are in line with the emission reduction targets set by the European Union, and that they include a perspective of social justice and citizen participation.
The main demand is the creation of a Citizen’s Climate Assembly in Catalonia, as was done in France and the UK, to allow citizens to decide how to make the transition to carbon neutrality, but this time its conclusions will be binding on the government.
On the other hand, as communicated by the Xarxa de Moviments per la Justícia Climàtica (XJC) of which Extinction Rebellion Barcelona is a member, we denounce that Climate Action has been grouped in the same ministry as Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries. This grouping into a single department means that climate action is once again being diluted and relegated to the background, just as it was during the previous term of office in the Ministry of Territory. With XJC, we demand an eco-social vice-presidency, which really allows the climate crisis to be dealt with in a cross-cutting and prioritized way during the mandate (read the communiqué here).
The Catalan government declared a climate emergency in May 2019. Since then, we have not seen much progress. The Commission created in the Catalan Parliament on the Climate Emergency approved by a very large majority (93 votes in favour, 40 against and 1 abstention) asked the Catalan government to set up a Citizens’ Assembly. This was shortly before the elections of February 2021. The constitution of this assembly was not included in ERC’s electoral programme nor in the government agreements with CUP and Junts.
In addition, the Spanish government has announced the holding of a nationwide citizens’ assembly, in a virtual format, which does not at all meet the minimum requirements that would guarantee the effectiveness of the assembly. The proposal made by the government is much less courageous than that of France: it asks a totally ambiguous question to the participants, and the decisions of the assembly will be non-binding (see Extinction Rebellion’s position here).
It is for all these reasons that these days the Extinction Rebellion Barcelona movement will carry out a series of actions in Barcelona city, including non-violent civil disobedience, to demand the implementation of immediate measures to tackle the climate crisis, and the constitution of a Catalan Citizens’ Assembly binding to the government of the Generalitat, in case there is no commitment from the government in this regard.
The people in the citizens’ assembly will be chosen randomly and stratified among the population. The Assembly will be advised by experts and will have the capacity to set the direction of institutional policy through citizen pressure. You can find more information on its website, where this petition is supported by many other social organizations in the country.
CALENDAR for the week:
TUESDAY 1st June, 17:15-20h:
Popular Assembly Action: The demands of the movement will be worked on with debates between rebels, and with interventions by some invited experts, following the format of a popular assembly in the street.
WEDNESDAY 2nd June:
Action by Animal Rebellion: Nonviolent Direct Action to expose their stance – the fact that the Department of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries, Food and Natural Environment continues to ignore that Livestock and Fisheries are the main cause of greenhouse gas emissions, Global Warming and therefore what has brought us to a real Climate Emergency.
THURSDAY 3RD June
Give Us Democracy Action: We will demand the involvement of the political class so that they commit to making a citizens’ assembly a reality with a medium disruptive action.
FRIDAY 4th June, from noon onwards
The Biggest Action: Disruptive action, with an open call afterwards for a parallel rally with music to support the activists who will be doing the action.
Lastly, we would like to recall the demands of the international movement Extinction Rebellion:
- TELL THE TRUTH: Governments must tell the truth about the gravity of our situation, reverse all policies that are not in line with this position and work together with the media to convey the urgency of the transition, including the role of individuals, communities, businesses and organizations.
- ACT NOW: Governments, working together, must enact legally binding policies to halt biodiversity loss and to rapidly and drastically reduce carbon emissions, achieving net-zero within a few years.
- REAL AND FAIR DEMOCRACY: Necessarily, these demands require initiatives and mobilizations of similar size and scope to those enacted in wartime. However, we do not trust our governments to make the bold, rapid and long-term changes necessary to achieve this, and we do not intend to give more power to the political class. Instead, we propose to regenerate democracy, with citizens’ assemblies chosen at random to drive and oversee these changes so that they are made with social, climate and ecological justice.