Welcome to Rebel Daily #5 – and what an eventful weekend it was! Ugly words from our prime minister provided a sharp contrast with our beautiful earth-defending actions.
Ever since we crossed the Murdoch media (for a single night!), the government has taken its repression to another level.
The intensity of policing and restrictions to civil liberties have left rebels feeling like they’re living in a dystopian novel. Food and water has been denied to HS2 rebels in trees for a second day running, in a truly shocking human rights abuse. Anyone trying to help the tree-protectors is getting arrested.
Police disbanded a socially-distanced democratic assembly in Trafalgar Square, threatening Covid fines at our masked faces until we left. ‘Assemblies’ of rebels are being hassled and it seems police now need only the flimsiest legal reason to move you on, in a Coronatime repeat of last October.
We can only speculate about where this order has come from, but it’s probably not from the officers on the street.
Indeed, with meetings in progress about whether XR should be legally reclassified as an ‘organised crime group’, we might imagine that orders come from the very top. The government itself outlines ‘organised crime’ as characterised by ‘violence or the threat of violence and by the use of bribery and corruption’. While there are plenty of legitimate reasons to criticise XR, this one really doesn’t seem to fit.
If the old ‘First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win’ is true, we appear to be transitioning from the ridicule stage into the fight.
As the powerful try to paint us in more aggressive shades, our commitment to nonviolence becomes more important than ever. If we remain calm and composed, their overblown reactions look all the more excessive. See this message from the Embedding Nonviolence team.
Don’t be fooled – this is one of our most dangerous operatives.
Stay safe, rebels, and be clear about your rights as a peaceful protestor – refresh your memory with this 2-minute video by Netpol.
We repeat: we will not be intimidated. Peaceful protest and the freedom to speak truth to power are hallmarks of a healthy democracy.
Our political elite can throw all the tantrums they want: the environmental crisis we face is not going away and neither are we.