XR Podcast E2: non violence
April 14, 2019 by Jessica Townsend
Welcome to Episode Two on the issue of nonviolence: what it means as a political tool; how effective it is; and how Extinction Rebellion values nonviolence as a practice in itself.
WARNING – This episode contains some strong language.
This episode is presented by Dave Anderson and Jessica Townsend with interviews conducted by Marijn van de Geer and Jessica Townsend in the Extinction Rebellion offices.
The episode can be found here: https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/xr-podcast/episodes/2019-03-26T06_16_03-07_00
Or here on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/xr-podcast/id1456115700
We interviewed the following people to help explain what nonviolence means:
Roger Hallam – PhD researcher on effective radical campaign design at King’s College London, organic farmer and co-founder of Extinction Rebellion.
Clare Farrell – Street artist and fashion designer, Arts Coordinator and co-founder of Extinction Rebellion.
Skeena Rathor – Labour councillor for Central Stroud and active member of political and strategic working groups for Extinction Rebellion.
Roger begins by talking us through the political effectiveness of nonviolent direct action, its precedents and the scholarship around it.
If you are interested in hearing more from Roger on this subject, this film will be of interest: https://youtu.be/jSOlRNCO9L8 He references the work of Gene Sharp in particular (Gene Sharp: ‘From Dictatorship to Democracy’, 1993) which was influential in the Arab Spring, Iranian protests and Serbia.
The work of American political scientist Erica Chenoweth is referenced a few times in this episode by both Roger and Clare. As an introduction to her work there is an interesting TED talk here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJSehRlU34w and we also recommend reading ‘Why Civil Resistance Works The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict’ by Erica Chenoweth and Maria J. Stephanher (2012). We are hoping to have a special episode in which we interview Erica Chenoweth in greater depth about her work later in the year.
Clare discusses the way the art working group of XR ensures that our actions have many explicit and subliminal nonviolent messages. She goes on to consider if the nonviolent ethos of the movement makes it attractive to faith groups.
Finally Skeena Rathor looks at the nonviolent culture of XR in its day-to-day running. During every evening of the Rebellion starting on 15 April 2019 there will be Zoom meetings with Gayano Shaw offering emotional support for rebels in addition to the support from XR’s own Regenerative Culture Team’s support.
Research – Jessica Townsend, Marijn van de Geer
Presenters – Jessica Townsend, Dave Anderson
Producer – Elly Lazarides
Sound Engineer & Mixing – Dave Stitch