Extinction Rebellion today: 8.45am John McDonnell; 11.30am Michael Gove; 4.30pm XR Families @ the Treasury

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NEW – What emergency? https://rebellion.earth/the-truth/the-emergency/  

  • ‘The fire alarm has gone off – now is the time to act’
  • Time for truth telling today with meetings for Extinction Rebellion with John McDonnell (8.45am, Portcullis House) and Michael Gove (11.30am DEFRA) to talk about the ecological and climate emergency
  • Also at 4.30pm members of Extinction Rebellion Families will be at the Treasury with their children, whose future hangs in the balance as a result of the decisions the Government makes now
  • Follows yesterday’s meeting with Sadiq Khan where he agreed to explore the idea of a Citizens’ Assembly – Extinction Rebellion’s third demand – by convening a meeting with academics, stakeholders and practitioners.
  • Comes after more than a thousand people were arrested on the streets of London during the International Rebellion in the last two weeks.

Today marks an important day for Extinction Rebellion with meetings with John McDonnell (8.45am at Portcullis House) and Michael Gove (11.30am at DEFRA) to discuss the movement’s three demands of the UK Government:

  • Tell the truth by declaring a climate and ecological emergency, working with other institutions to communicate the urgency for change.
  • Act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.
  • Create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice.

‘The fire alarm has gone off – now is the time to act’.

The shift in the public conversation over the last two weeks, during which time Extinction Rebellion has come to the fore with over 1,000 people being arrested to raise the alarm on the ecological and climate emergency, means our politicians’ legitimacy as leaders now rests on how they respond.

The visit of Greta Thunberg to the UK, who met first with Extinction Rebellion, then party leaders minus Theresa May – plus the landmark broadcast of David Attenborough’s ‘Climate Change – The Facts’, have also played pivotal roles in bringing awareness of this emergency.

Sarah Lunnon of Extinction Rebellion said “Today Extinction Rebellion is going into Westminster with the message ‘change is coming’ and those with power, any power, have the responsibility to recognise the awful truth of our collective failure. And to act so our future, and the future of the beautiful mass of life we share the world with is not catastrophic.”

Farhana Yamin of Extinction Rebellion said: “The UK has lost half of its biodiversity in the last 50 years. We need DEFRA to tell the truth regarding the Government response that is needed to tackle biodiversity loss and climate change. The Treasury, BEIS and Department of Education must step up and spell out actions now.”

These meetings come after representatives of Extinction Rebellion yesterday met with Sadiq Kahn. [1]

8.45am today – Meeting with John McDonnell, Portcullis House

At 8.45am today, Extinction Rebellion will meet with John McDonnell, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, after MPs from across the Labour party voiced their support for Extinction Rebellion’s aims. MPs Hilary Benn, Ed Miliband and Diane Abbott have been vocal in their support of Extinction Rebellion. Labour has this week declared that there is a climate emergency and Jeremy Corbyn is set to force a vote in parliament on the issue on Wednesday.

Representatives from Extinction Rebellion who will attend the meeting include:

  • Savannah Lovelock, 19, dance student, Extinction Rebellion Youth
  • Sarah Lunnon, 54, former Green party county councillor for Stroud and member of the the Political Strategy Team
  • Skeena Rathor, 42, Labour member of Stroud District Council and member of the Political Strategy Team

11.30am Meeting with Michael Gove, DEFRA

Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has invited Extinction Rebellion to meet with him at DEFRA. He will be joined by ministers from other departments, including the Treasury. This will be Michael Gove’s opportunity to show he’s ready to act on the climate and ecological emergency. The meeting will be filmed and released to the public.

Representatives of Extinction Rebellion include:

  • Felix Ottaway O’Mahony, 14, secondary school student and member of XR Youth
  • Sam Knights, 22, writer and recent graduate, member of the Political Strategy Team and the Media and Messaging Team
  • Clare Farrell, 36, Co-founder of Extinction Rebellion and lecturer on Sustainable Fashion, coordinator of the Art Team and sits on the Action Strategy Team
  • Rupert Read, 52, Professor of Environmental Philosophy and member of the Political Strategy Team
  • Farhana Yamin, 54, climate change lawyer and former lead author of the IPCC, coordinator of the Political Strategy Team and experienced UN negotiator.

The Political Strategy team formed following the November phase of the UK Rebellion when we occupied five London bridges. They are mandated to lead negotiations with the Government and other political leaders.

4.30pm Extinction Rebellion Families at The Treasury – End fossil fuel subsidies to give our children a future

Following Extinction Rebellion’s glue-on action last week at the Treasury, Extinction Rebellion Families will be returning at 4.30pm on Tuesday 30th April with their children to show the Treasury whose future hangs in the balance as a result of its decisions.

They say: “As politicians start to meet Extinction Rebellion, this is a crucial moment for our voices to be heard. It is outrageous that despite the UK Government claiming to be a leader on climate change, it is still giving tax breaks worth billions of pounds to oil and gas companies.

“There are not enough people in government taking climate change and species extinction seriously. That is why we, as ordinary citizens, have decided to bring our children to Westminster after school to demand that our taxes are no longer used to help oil and gas companies extract more deadly fossil fuels. These subsidies reinforce a toxic web of fossil fuel infrastructure that keeps us addicted to oil and gas; an addiction which leads to 40,000 early deaths a year through air pollution, not to mention climate breakdown.

“Ministers repeatedly hold their hands up in horror about air pollution but take no responsibility for their role in reinforcing its causes.

“Our taxes should be used to create a healthy society for our children to grow up in. The Treasury should be investing our taxes in renewable energy, public transport and the short-term replacement of all diesel and petrol vehicles.”

Notes to editors

[1] https://rebellion.earth/2019/04/29/statement-following-todays-meeting-with-sadiq-khan%EF%BB%BF/

[2]  Currently the government supports fossil fuels with over £10 billion of taxpayers money, significantly more than the £7 billion spent on renewables. Despite the government’s pledges in the 2019 Spring Statement regarding “clean growth”, the UK still has the largest fossil fuel subsidies in the EU.

(UK has biggest fossil fuel subsidies in the EU, finds commission / The Guardian, 23 January 2019)

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jan/23/uk-has-biggest-fossil-fuel-subsidies-in-the-eu-finds-commission

[3] As part of its ongoing support to the fossil fuel sector the government has put in place a scheme to provide £24 billion for tax relief for oil and gas companies to remove wells, rigs and pipelines in the North Sea. This figure could increase significantly as companies may not meet the costs of decommissioning.

(Taxpayers likely to pay £24 billion for scrapping oil rigs / (Financial Times, 25 January 2019)

https://www.ft.com/content/8670e752-1fe7-11e9-b126-46fc3ad87c65

[4] Despite losing three court cases the UK government has failed to act on the causes of air pollution.

(Government loses clean air court case / BBC, 21 February 2018)

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-43141467

About Extinction Rebellion

Time has almost entirely run out to address the ecological crisis which is upon us, including the 6th mass species extinction and abrupt, runaway climate change. Societal collapse and mass death are seen as inevitable by scientists and other credible voices, with human extinction also a possibility, if rapid action is not taken.

Extinction Rebellion believes it is a citizen’s duty to rebel, using peaceful civil disobedience, when faced with criminal inactivity by their Government.

Extinction Rebellion’s key demands are:

  1. Government must tell the truth by declaring a climate and ecological emergency, working with other institutions to communicate the urgency for change.
  2. Government must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.
  3. Government must create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice.

Get involved

Get involved in Extinction Rebellion’s other events

UK website: https://rebellion.earth/

International website: https://xrebellion.org/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ExtinctionRebellion/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ExtinctionR hashtag #ExtinctionRebellion

Declaration of Rebellion: https://rebellion.earth/declaration/

About Rising Up!

Extinction Rebellion is an initiative of the Rising Up! network, which promotes a fundamental change of our political and economic system to one which maximises well-being and minimises harm. Change needs to be nurtured in a culture of reverence, gratitude and inclusion; whilst the tools of civil disobedience and direct action are used to express our collective power.

Website http://www.risingup.org.uk/;

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/RisingUpUK/;

Twitter https://twitter.com/RisingUpUK

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