Meeting notes -19th february

A devastated church in Roseau, Dominica.

I’m back safely after my trip to Dominica. Thank you for all your well wishes.

This weeks meeting started with a solemn intention, and then we focused on actions and working groups this week. There’s a lot going on. We met at the beacon this week as there were sound issues in the town hall venue.

Coach spaces still available for this Saturdays march

XR Stroud are going to London as a group on Saturday for the enough is enough march. We still have spaces left on our group coach for Stroud. It leaves Wallbridge at 9:30am and we should be back in Stroud at around 7pm. Please use this link to book your seat on the coach which costs £15.

Announcements

An outreach mobilisation plan is needed for the Stroud group. It’s a request from XR Southwest as they need our combined ideas for how to increase our local membership in February and March. As a result a mass mobilisation coordinator is needed for Stroud. Can you help with this role? Please contact us to let me know.

We’re also planning outreach actions as part of this. We’re doing rebel ringing (contacting new members) stalls in Stroud, and an outreach day in Nailsworth.

The Incinerator contract court days start in March. We’ve been asked to attend and support R4C. The first court day is on Monday 2nd March in Bristol. We’re going to try and organise some transport to encourage as many rebels from Stroud as possible to create a physical presence outside the court. We’ll have a more detailed announcement when transport is confirmed.

Stroud XR Samba are having a rehearsal on Friday to help prepare for London. It’s a perfect time for complete beginners to come along as we’ll be learning some new songs. Drums are also available to take to London as XR Stroud will be joining the rest of the UK Sambistas at the march. It’ll be a lot of fun. Our rehearsal is at Openhouse (near Star Anise) on Friday at 7pm to 9pm.

Nailsworth Earthday is on 28th March. This is a shared event for all our local green community groups. Volunteers are needed to help with event management, leafleting, speaking to the public and running stalls. Please contact us if you can do any of these roles.

There will be a funeral march and die in at Newent on 7th March. Forest of Dean XR are welcoming all XR Stroud and XR Gloucestershire members. Starting at approx 10:30am at Newent car park. More information to come.

Stroud is having two XR outreach stalls on 29th Feb and 14th March. These are likely to be in Merrywalks and possibly in the Stroud Farmers market. Both stalls will be run at 10am to 2pm, with some short deescalation training at 9am (which teaches you how to talk to the public, and particularly those who find what we do challenging).

There will also be a heading for extinction talk on 20th March at the Newent community school at 7:30pm. This will also be a Forest of Dean XR event, but all are welcome.

Save the date – 4th April as there will be a critical mass cycle ride in Cheltenham. Bring your bike for a slow and gentle take over of Cheltenham streets with bicycles. All are welcome to this gentle bike ride, but we also have leafleting and public support roles available if you prefer not to cycle. Please contact us if interested in these, otherwise just turn up with your bike.

There is NVDA training on Sunday 15th March for anyone that wants to train as a NVDA (Non Violent Direct Action) trainer. This will be Cirencester in the Cotswold sculpture park 2pm to 6pm.

Lastly, 7th March there is Finance Learn-In day for activists in Bristol. Free tickets are available for those who are interested here.

Working groups

We also had a really interesting group session on deescalation, and how to talk to members of the public with active listening. Then we shared objections that have been shouted at us at actions like;

  • What about the tube action?
  • Why don’t you get a job?
  • I’m just trying to get to work, why are you doing this?
  • We’re doing OK it’s China that needs to improve

Lastly we split into working groups for the following areas:

  • Fossil fuel divestment
  • Earth day Nailsworth
  • Market stalls

Please attend future meetings to find out more details about these areas.

regular meeting location change

Our next meeting (5th February) and all Wednesday meetings until further notice, will take place at:

THE OLD TOWN HALL, THE SHAMBLES, STROUD, GL5 1AP

The entrance is in the Shambles through the door with the words ‘Town Hall Office’ carved into the lintel.

The Hall is on the first floor of the building. However, there is a lift and so access is much less restricted than it had been in The Old Convent.

Please tell and message and post and tweet EVERYBODY you know of the change of location.

The main point of the meeting is to imagine ACTIONS and form WORKING GROUPS to further refine and plan them.

Feel the groundswell.

Come.

Meeting notes – 29th January

Sarah’s DNA talk

Spectrum of allies diagram

The majority of the meeting was used for Sarah Lunnon’s DNA training. This two hour workshop explored what makes us XR, what we do and how we operate.

It was an enlightening evening helping us all to understand how XR strategy is evolving around the same key goals, but with renewed focus.

One part of Sarah’s talk covered the pillars of power that holds up society and how we as a mass of people can topple monolithic power. We also started to look at where everyone in the country sits on a spectrum of support for us. By understanding the messages that will engage people who passively support us or passively oppose us we can swing their support towards us (see the image above).

The talk was an important renewal of why we’re doing what we do, for anyone that needs a refresher.

If you missed this session, there will be another on Saturday 8th Feb 2 to 4pm at Springhill Cohousing, Commonhouse, GL5 1TN. Please note there is no parking at this venue.

XR messaging & strategy 

Continuing the messaging theme. We also heard about how Marc Lopation, Skeena Rathor and Rupert Read have prepared a pamphlet called Rushing the ‘Emergency’ – story and vision for XR in 2020. You can view a copy of this and understand the latest progress on Strategy here.

Also I’ve added the latest XR Southwest newsletter to the website to give you some more context. 

Next weeks meeting

Don’t forget next weeks meeting will be for working groups, so come ready with those action ideas.

Announcements

  • Sophie has started working at The Beacon four days a week. She’s there to help with any activist events. She’s actively working on planning what we’d like to achieve as a community in 2020. There are over 200 activists group in Stroud, and she’s hoping to help them connect and work together better. The Beacon exists as a resource for us to use at activists. Please note Sophie generally works at the Beacon Monday to Thursdays during office hours. 

Now, dear rebels. I’m off to support my family in Dominica for a couple of weeks. Hopefully there will be someone who will help you with updates while I am gone, otherwise, I’ll see you in mid February. 

Feedback on the XR national 2020 Strategy process

Dear rebels, please take note of this information from XR Southwest, and complete the form they mention if you are able to.

Michelle


WE’VE COME A LONG WAY

Over the last year and a half, we have come together and created a truly beautiful and effective movement (we’re apparently the #1 influencer on climate and ecological issues). Each one of us has come together to form Extinction Rebellion. We’ve put our hearts and souls into it and we’ve become a part of it. At times it has been stressful, painful and exhausting. But it has also been extraordinary and deeply moving, and collectively, as part of the climate movement, we have brought the climate and ecological emergency into the public and global consciousness.

WE’RE IN A NEW PLACE

2020 is a vital year for action, with new challenges and threats, governments and allies on a backdrop of unnatural disasters at home and across the planet. The world has changed since we launched and we need to do the same; understanding this new context and developing our actions and outreach accordingly; revising our strategy for the best chance of success.

STRATEGY TEAM

As communicated on January 1st, we are in a strategy exploration phase. XR UK working groups and regional representation agreed to the formation of an agile team of experienced rebel strategists, including reps from across UK Working Groups and NARD (National and Regional Dev). They have been mandated to research and review data, speak with thought leaders, experts within and beyond the movement to create a suitably ambitious, evidence-based strategic direction for XR in 2020. The results of the rebellion poll have been fed into the process, and the People’s Demand is under review.

The strategic direction will be shared February and iteratively refined, reviewed and developed throughout the year.

HOW CAN I INPUT?

Click here for a survey to input your local group’s findings. The questions are strategy focussed; insights, learnings, contextual understanding. Please get together, discuss and submit ASAP. Answers will feed directly into the iterative strategy process, continuing in February and beyond.

EVERYTHING WE DO IS A MESSAGE

And this year our message needs to be louder and clearer and more powerful than ever before; to cut through the noise of the media bias, the climate deniers and public disconnect. Wherever we go from here, we need to be together, unified in our core message, in what may be the most important year in the history of civilisation.

ON GROWING AND LISTENING

As a movement that has been scaling incredibly fast we’ve experienced organisational bumps and structural difficulties that have at times felt frustrating and confusing. The concerns of many groups have been shared and deeply felt, particularly around the vital process of decentralisation. New teams and mandates have been necessary and new communication needs have been identified. We know we are still far from perfect, but we will continue to learn and grow together.

Meeting notes for 22nd January

Today’s meeting was a great overview of what we’ve accomplished as a group in the past year but also what we’re going to be doing in the next year. 

Our next meeting (29th January) will feature DNA training, focusing on what XR is, who we are and what that means for us as a local group. 

The meeting after that (5th February) will be a working group meeting so get ready with those big ideas. 

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