Heathrow Protest Youth

(UK) XR Youth and Extinction Rebellion: Forging a New Relationship

  • Agreed no Extinction Rebellion action at Heathrow Airport this September with drones

Extinction Rebellion UK’s recent strategy process was marked by a surprise occupation by XR Youth, with the support of the Extinction Rebellion Guardians team.

XR Youth demanded that young people be supported in co-creating a new and healthier way forward for the organism. XR Youth have been developing new ways of working and of organising actions, and proposed that their thinking needs to be at the heart of how Extinction Rebellion UK functions.

“We need to own the agism in the movement,” said Gail Bradbrook, 47, one of the co-founders of Extinction Rebellion. “We have left our young people to organise on their own by failing to address adult privilege within our organisational and decision-making structures. It’s time to change that and heal the division and hurts between us. It was a relief to name how harmful this separation has been for us all.” 

Heathrow

XR Youth also demanded that the proposed action at Heathrow Airport be dropped as they do not support an action at Heathrow at this time and in this way.  It was unanimously agreed that the process for attempting to decide to have an action at Heathrow had been divisive, poorly conducted, and left many people across Extinction Rebellion feeling unheard and exhausted.

Extinction Rebellion has therefore decided that the action will neither be condoned nor supported as designed. 

If an action with drones takes place at Heathrow it will be by an independent group outside Extinction Rebellion. 

It was agreed that Extinction Rebellion do need to include actions that are highly disruptive, in which some people are willing to take personal risks with their own liberty or well-being in order to highlight the severity of the crisis. Such actions will inevitably be controversial and there will be a variety of views on them. The new approaches from XR Youth will help guide Extinction Rebellion UK through these challenges in the future.

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