On Friday 22nd March, Extinction Rebellion South Australia started the ball rolling, with our first action in Adelaide (our Southern group has already been leading the way with their actions). This was not an arrestable action, but a deeply symbolic one, explaining publicly why we exist, and what we intend to do. As such, it aimed to dramatise our position as a movement, and raise awareness by those who saw us in person, or through media about this event.
So what did we do?
We declared rebellion against our government – this is not something we do lightly. We did so in response to the ongoing crimes they are committing to our ecological systems, which are jeopardising all life on this planet. We believe we have no choice, with time running out to turn around this disaster. This happened at our first citizen’s assembly, which consisted of all current XR members in this state able to be physically present that day. The vote, by a show of hands, confirmed that those present were fully committed to our decision to rebel.
We also presented our demands to government, to the media, and to the state administration, as three key sources of power. We need and expect these institutions to understand and respond to these demands, but we do not expect this to happen quickly or easily. Fortunately there is another key source of power in our society – people power. Ordinary citizens may not realise the power that we have, if we act collectively. It has been shown time and time again, that when enough citizens actively refuse to cooperate with governments, then these institutions, however powerful, can no longer survive or continue their usual functions.
How many citizens does this need? It takes only 3-4% of the populace, surprisingly. I am sure most of us assume it would take many more. These committed rebels need to be able to gain the sympathetic support of many others, so that public opinion changes from ‘do nothing’ to ‘act with urgency to save all our lives’.
This is not a radical decision, we would argue, but an inevitable one. When our governments have failed us, and failed us yet again, in their inadequate response to climate change, ecological damage, and widespread extinction, then who would support them, whatever their opinions about politics? We hold governments of all types responsible for their inaction. Across the world we have seen many governments come and go with policies and actions inadequate to this crisis.
and on Friday we made that choice clear. From this point our campaign begins. As our numbers grow, so do our strength and determination. We draw courage from each other in our refusal to accept our own destruction willingly. We refuse to go quietly, when we have the power to help save ourselves and others from this calamity.
Join the rebellion! Wake up!
Yarrow, Media and Messaging, XRSA