LET”S GET SERIOUS - THE PARTY IS OVER

'As I listened to climate scientist Peter Walker’s devastating analysis of COP 25 in which he made it utterly clear that we are accelerating headlong towards total cataclysm ; as I thought back to Roger Hallam’s fire and brimstone talks about the collapse of civilisation ; as I thought about Greta’s fury at our leaders’ complete lack of recognition of the scale of our predicament; as I then thought about the daily stories of climate catastrophes across the world ; as I thought of the Amazon on fire and Sydney in an apocalyptic haze ; as I thought about the incalculably horrendous scale of the ecocide that we humans are inflicting on our planet ,I realised that, as a Movement , even Extinction Rebellion is in a state of partial denial .
The party is over . It was fun , it was vitally important but it’s over - the days of pink boats and samba bands and yoga in Trafalgar Square and people meekly blocking roads waiting to be arrested are SO inappropriate to the level of the emergency we face , that not only are they no longer helping our cause , but they are reinforcing public opinion that everything is actually OK. We are actually complicit in helping to create a global Bystander Effect : because our behaviour is so normal , so ‘civilised’, so quaint , the public don’t have to begin to engage with the horror which we Extinction Rebellion members have to face on a daily basis - they find it all too easy to dismiss us as a bunch of well-meaning cranks and our statements as hardly worthy of consideration.
Time is running out- we say it , but mostly we don’t act as if it really is . The house is on fire and we are still playing in the bedroom . What we have to do right now is to totally transform our messaging . This really is a fucking emergency . The time for talking has ended . We have to become the prophets of doom - we don’t want the job , but we have no other choice . This is a fucking emergency. We have to make people uncomfortable , we have to make them shit their pants .We have to wake them up in the night from their nightmares and make them realise that their waking lives will soon be nightmares, and that for many across the world they already are .
I’m not saying we should abandon our values , far from it ( though I think tearing down a few statues wouldn’t go amiss )- they are the sort of values which will have to underpin the new world we have to create - BUT we’ve got to stop pussy-footing around people for fear of upsetting them, we’ve got to stop shielding people from the truth - even children have to be made aware in no uncertain terms where we adults are leading them unless we act right now.
Of course behind closed doors we need to find ways of regenerating , of avoiding becoming demoralised , even of having fun - but in public we need to find ways to act out the horror and destruction which lie ahead - and we have to carry on doing it until people finally get the message - that we’re telling the truth and that unless they wake the fuck up right now , we’re all fucked .
We are Extinction Rebellion . We have to rebel against extinction . Let’s drop the XR shorthand , lest we forget who we are . It was fear, not a search for a better social life , which made me join Extinction Rebellion - I read the IPCC 2108 report . As it happens , I’ve found that the rebellion is full of wonderful people , who have become essential to my wellbeing in the light of what we have to face together . Community is what helps me face my fear . But fear had to come first , not community .
Let’s not hold a party for the end of the world . Let’s not let it happen. Let’s get serious.'

Grant Stewart Extinction Rebellion Elder
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