Have you heard of Extinction Rebellion? In 8 weeks, this UK movement has spread to 27 countries.   Unprecedented numbers of people are calling on governments to get a move on and tackle the climate and ecological crisis.  They’re spurred on by the recent swathe of bad reports on the planet.

Humanity has just 12 years to halve carbon emissions and eliminate their use entirely by 2050, else the planet will heat to over 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels, with catastrophic implications.  If the current emissions trajectory continues, we will reach an unlivable 3+ degrees by 2100.  This will happen not to “future generations” but to our children now living, as well as many of us reading this.

Yet, we have the means to prevent this tragedy.  Addressing road-blocking crowds in London, George Monbiot summarised the key changes we need in energy, transport, diet, land-use, forests and economic structure etc.

NO government is making the urgent changes needed to swing this around – emissions and warming keep climbing, habitats & species vanishing, forests, farmland & water dwindling, seas dying and displaced peoples on the move. Nothing that climate activists have done so far has made those in power sit up & take notice to the level needed.

Many people are now committed to non-violent civil disobedience to pressure/mandate their governments to pull finger.  In UK Extinction Rebellion (XR) is staging continued road blockages, in Australia, thousands of school students held strikes in every state, and in New Zealand 11 centres now have an active XR group.

How does this differ from what groups like CANA, Greenpeace, 350 etc are doing? XR brings together the concerns that so many of us have been working on into a few simple, urgent and determined demands – that governments tell the truth about the crisis, that they use their power to put the country on an emergency footing and make the deep changes needed, and that we set up mechanisms to hold those in power accountable.

 XR does not cut across existing campaigns, it brings them together.   It gives them a deep urgency, it calls out courage and commitment from us. XR’s processes and kaupapa feel robust, pragmatic and workable. I‘ve felt profound relief to share with others my grief and rage about what’s happening, to ‘tell it like it is” in my climate conversations with others – and exciting to find how easy these conversations suddenly have become and how receptive so many people are.

XR is aiming for a global day of mass civil disobedience in mid April. Working towards that, XR groups are trying out smaller actions, gathering resources, reaching out to as many people and groups as possible to gain widespread support.

Join us, we need your skill and experience as someone already concerned and committed. This is an unprecedented opportunity to reach many more New Zealanders and to show Government that it has the mandate for the urgent and effective changes we need to swing round our headlong race to extinction.

Find out more

What XR’s about – the long vid (50 mins) and the short vid (George Monbiot’s speech – 5mins).

XRAotearoa/NZ – website & links to local groups

XRANZ Facebook group

Open Letter from 150 NZ academics calling for radical urgent action.

Extinction Rebellion & Rising Up (UK) Website & Facebook  & overview

What you can do

Spread the word and join with others

  • This 50min video is factual and moving – watch it with your mates or group.
  • Organise an Open Letter to Government – like the open letter above.  Open Letters signed by many members of groups like churches, unions, business, farmers, teachers, health workers, grandparents etc are public and build momentum.
  • Join your local group – look for it on Facebook. Direct action, outreach, training, art, feeding the troops, spreading XR stickers, doing presentations, admin etc –  it’s all needed!


XR’s kaupapa is one of non-violence, democratic participation and distributed power. The centre/core offers the resources & tools, logos and mates to work with – it’s up to YOU to explore what works for you and to join in!

Prepared by Torfrida Wainwright, active in CANA,350 Christchurch and Our Climate Declaration

Contact torfrida@snap.net.nz, ph 021 107 3937 or 03 382-0580 ir on facebook.