Newsletter 6: Institutional declarations and ‘Gloria’

Dear rebels,

2020 has arrived with a reality check: this is the decade that’s key to tackling the climate emergency. This past January has been marked by institutional declarations, and at the same time, by an unprecedented storm, Gloria, which has swallowed the Ebro Delta and damaged our coasts. This storm is the evidence that the decisions we take, as well as those we fail to take during these upcoming months, both at an individual level and collectively as societies, will be decisive in shaping our future. If we lose this fight, we will lose all fights. For this reason, it is so important that we are as rebels are increasingly willing to act urgently to defend climate justice. We’re beginning to count down to the 3rd International Rebellion that will take place this spring.

Below is a look at our activities during this past January.

Love and rage!

Rebelling Against Inaction: Australia Burns

Action in front of the Australian Consulate of Barcelona
Noelia Medina @noeliamedsa

January started with the worst possible news: after a heat wave and ensuing drought, Australia was on fire, worse than ever before. We ended up witnessing what the reports had been warning about: Australia is a region especially vulnerable to wildfires due to the climate emergency.

To denounce the inaction of the Australian government, as rebels from Barcelona, we participated in an internationally coordinated XR action against the Australian consulates and embassies of the world on January 10. The objective was to denounce the ecocide that the country has been subjected to, as well as to demand immediate measures, with special emphasis on adopting aboriginal know-how regarding the management of wilderness areas. Australia is one of the world’s primary fossil fuel exporters, but it appears that fires have not been enough to change the country’s priorities.

Civil Disobedience Against Fast Fashion

Rebel Labels against fast fashion
Mar Cervino @marcervinophoto

On the first weekend of winter sales, XR Barcelona held a direct action in some large shopping areas specialized in fast fashion to denounce the climate and ecological impact of this type of textile production. The rebels placed 300 labels on clothing items to raise consumer awareness regarding these impacts. XR has thus played its part with these 300 messages to bring much-needed awareness.

Barcelona City Council declares Climate Emergency

Climate Emergency institutional event at the Barcelona City Council – Àlex Garcia

After the Climate Movements Network ‘Xarxa de Moviments pel Clima’ -Climacció, Moviment per la Justícia Climàtica, Fridays For Future, Families For Future, and Extinction Rebellion Barcelona- joined forces to present a letter to the City Council of Barcelona with 7 concrete measures last 10th of July 2019, the City Council decided to create the Climate Emergency Table. During this process, which consisted in 18 discussion sessions where more than 200 organizations and 300 people participated, including Extinction Rebellion Barcelona, work was carried out so that the climate emergency declaration was accompanied by a plan of tangible measures. On January 15, the movements of the Network were invited to the institutional act of the declaration. Gemma Barricarte of Fridays For Future spoke on behalf of the Network. You can watch the video here.

Demanding Action from the Catalan Government: 11 Urgent Policies for Climate Action

Action in front on the occasion of the Catalan Summit on Climate (In)Action
Robin Pueyo @robinpueyo

On January 17, XR Barcelona joined friends from the Xarxa de Moviments pel Clima (Climacció, Fridays For Future, Families For Future, Moviment per la Justícia Climàtica, XR) for an action on the occasion of the Catalan Summit on Climate (In)Action, convened by the Government of Catalonia together with the Catalan business and institutional sector. The action was intended to draw attention to the fact that the Government failed to invite to the event the movements that have put the climate emergency on the political agenda. Furthermore, the Catalan government has been criticized for its lack of action since it declared climate emergency on May 14, 2019.

The Summit resulted in weak voluntary commitments proposed to companies. XR and the other movements remain critical of the government’s lack of political will to adopt effective measures.

Given this scenario, XR highlights the need to create citizen assemblies. The rest of the Xarxa movements have proposed 11 specific policies that, if adopted immediately, would allow for climate stabilization and effective environmental protection.

Davos Elites Want Us Asleep, but They Will Find Us Awake and Rebelling

Rebel hike for the World Economic Forum in Davos

Just as every year, the world’s financial elites gathered at the World Economic Forum in Davos to discuss how the state of the world affects their business and investment portfolios. This year, for the second time in a row, the climate emergency was well represented: not only because Greta Thunberg, Vanessa Nakate and other fellow activists from Fridays For Future were invited to the event, but especially because these elites found us at their doorstep in the form of various social movements. Furthermore, one of their own reports pointed out that most of today’s major global challenges are related to the climate emergency.

XR Barcelona also participated. Our companions joined an international march to demand that the global elites stop financing operations that destroy the Earth and violate human rights. Given their obsession to look out for their own interests, we have made it clear: A fair climate and ecological transition will require solutions proposed and directed by the community. They want us asleep, but they will find us awake and rebelling!

Storm Gloria: the evidence drowns us

Images from the satellite Sentinel 1 that show the impact of the storm Gloria in the Ebro Delta

On January 21, the Spanish government also declared the climate emergency, accompanying it with 30 priority lines of action, five of which it promised to execute in the first 100 days of government. The declaration took place in the middle of the episodes of the storm Gloria, an unprecedented storm that has left the mark of the evidence of the climatic emergency on the Catalan coast, and specially, in the Ebro Delta. Extinction Rebellion and Fridays for Future, in the special program about the storm of the Catalan public TV, reminded citizens that this storm is not fortuitous, but that it is a consequence of rising temperatures, and that the time to act is now.

Fiestuki Rebellion

Concert during the Fiestuki Rebellion
Ariane @ariane.sta

On January 24, we organized our first Fiestuki Rebellion, aiming to raise funds, but above all to offer a space for the rebels to have fun, dance and laugh together. The party was held in Sala Taro in Barcelona and our activists participated by offering a Talent Show. Did you know that we not only have the best people for civil disobedience, but that each activist is a box of surprises full of talents?

Also, if we can’t dance, it’s not our revolution, so we also enjoyed concerts by Birch, Ominira, Full Nectar, The Krill Bill’s and tunes played by DJ Homeless. It was a success! So, we will have to repeat it, right? Many thanks to the rebels who organized this event for making us have such a good time!

Solidarity with Port la Nouvelle

A group of rebels from Barcelona traveled to France to participate in this action against the expansion of Port la Nouvelle on January 25. The occasion served to create a network of regional collaboration and invite the movements in southern France to come to Barcelona for the 3rd Rebellion.

Nonviolent Communication and Listening to the Ego in English

Nonviolent Communication workshop

XR Barcelona International organized a Nonviolent Communication workshop on January 26. It was a big success! We would like to thank the organizers, as well as everyone who participated!

Vegan Brunch Action in front of Hotel Sofia

On Wednesday, January 29, the companies Amics del País and La Vanguardia (a corporation with 198 years of history generating “spaces for dialogue”, vice chaired by the Conde de Godó) organized a lunch jointly with Agbar and Naturgy at Hotel Sofia Barcelona. The event, “Climate Emergency: An Opportunity”, consisted of a colloquium for Catalan elites to agree on climate emergency measures, together with the Councilor Damià Calvet.

These types of meetings and companies, and their business objectives, are responsible for the climate emergency. For this reason, we requested the creation of citizen assemblies and some rebels invited all citizens concerned about the climate emergency to participate in the “climate assembly” that was held in front of Hotel Sofia Barcelona, with a vegan potluck lunch.

In the end, the event had to be postponed to February 17, but the rebels held the assembly either way. Are we up for a repeat on the 17th?

Participation in the ‘Joves pel Clima’ Debate

Talk about Climate Change were XR Barcelona joined as a speaker

On January 23, XR participated in a round table with technicians from the provincial council Diputació de Barcelona. “Facing the Climate Challenge: Youth Movements and Environmental Education” was the agenda for the day. The youth table was shared by Ria from XR BCN, María from F4F, Xavier from the Reserva del Biosfera del Montseny and Joan the Instagrammer. Some of the issues that were addressed were: environmental education and youth activism, how we can work together; the role of social networks in dissemination; the keys to success for youth movements compared to the dissemination of scientific and environmental education; the gap between knowledge and the people, and the importance of communication; Greta’s role; individual actions and change in habits versus collective actions; and the synergy between environmental and feminist movements.

Creation of the ‘XR Jove’ Platform

Some rebels of XR Barcelona have decided to launch the youth platform XR Jove, with the aim of addressing this group, giving talks, etc. They are still in the process of defining what they want to do; would you like to join them? @xrjovesbarcelona

January in Numbers:

  • Talks: 9 (1 in English)
  • Welcome Meetings: 2 (one in Spanish and one in English)
  • Total Actions or Collaborations: 6
  • Workshops: 2 (NVC and Listening to the Ego, and Training Speakers for Talks)
  • Press Mentions: 11

Upcoming Activities:

  • February 12: Talk at Vila Universitària UAB 7pm
  • February 22: Welcome meeting in Spanish at Centre Cívic Can Felipa
  • February 22: Heading to Extinction (talk in English)
  • End of February: Action at the Mobile World Congress
  • February 28: Talk at Casal de Joves Palau Alòs 7:30pm
  • February 29: Round Table with OxfamIntermon at Casal Transformadors at 10am