Archive for November, 2018

How we can contribute to #ExtinctionRebellion

November 17, 2018

Dear friends,

In the Exodus story, the night before the children of Israel set off on their immense journey is one of wakefulness. Tomorrow is Nov 17th and I am unable to sleep.

At the Brazilian Embassy demo, roads all around were blocked and traffic diverted yet there was no attempt to communicate with all those inconvenienced, who had not the slightest idea what was happening. They knew nothing about the Rain Forest, the election of a Brazilian Fascist dictator, or even #ExtinctionRebellion.

Surely, we must do better.

Tomorrow, there will be disruption on a wide scale. Our first objective must be to make the Three Demands https://rebellion.earth/demands/ widely known.

But even this is certainly not enough. Each of us must do all we can to bring about the aims we ardently desire for the sake of humanity, life and future generations. Should we therefore ensure that we are arrested?

For many of us, this – at this time – is certainly not the best possible use of ourselves -our bodies, our minds, our hearts or our spirits.

We may even echo doubts about the whole campaign, well expressed here: https://peacenews.info/blog/9197/why-im-sceptical-about-extinction-rebellion-initiative-and-why-i-hope-im-wrong

But #ExtinctionRebellion is very clear that the purpose of the campaign is NOT that we should be arrested. Rather we should use our talents – our knowledge, experience, gifts – in the best possible way, collaborating to achieve the results we desire.

I am writing as a rabbi and my best contribution may be in writing and speaking, especially perhaps to the Jewish community, perhaps also as one representative of it. On Shabbat there will be an InterFaith gathering at the doors of Westminster Abbey at 4.00 pm, which I hope to join.

At this time I do not wish to be arrested, partly because I am sure it will not enable me to be ‘heard’ by the Jewish community, partly because ExtinctionRebellion, like Occupy before it and the Climate Camps before that, is heading for deliberate and inevitable confrontation with the State which the State will win and unless we counter-balance this in some way and most of all, prepare for it, there will be widespread disillusionment and disappointment.

There is much to do and little time to do it. We must act and think fast. Holacracy http://www.holacracy.org

the guiding principle of the campaign makes clear that there are no leaders but devolved responsibility.

It is up to us, as individuals and even more as self-organising groups, contributing to the success of the whole.

We agree about the urgent needs.

We need to develop many ways and opportunities to meet and work together, to clarify our ideas and achieve our urgent objectives. As Rob Hopkins of Transition writes:

https://www.robhopkins.net/2018/11/12/my-ipcc-take-away-imagine-take-action-repeat/

Jeffrey