2nd Progress Update: Restorative Process Regarding Roger Hallam’s Comments on The Holocaust

The restorative process for bringing accountability to Roger Hallam’s recent comments in Die Zeit and Der Spiegel concerning the Holocaust is ongoing and this is a progress update in the spirit of transparency and accountability.

RESTORATIVE PROCESS

At this stage, we are trying to create the possibility and pre-conditions for a Restorative Process to take place. The next step of the Restorative Process is a meeting to be held on ​Sunday 15 December​.

It will be an in-person meeting, bringing together 11 people who are directly involved or affected by this issue. Participants will include representatives from XR Germany, International Support Team (IST), Media & Messaging XR UK, and Guardianship & Visioning XR UK. The involvement of representatives from these groups is to enable this process to address a wide spectrum of concerns in a tight timescale. This includes core issues concerned with our 7th and 10th Principles & Values:​ ‘We actively mitigate for power’​ and​ ‘We value autonomy and decentralisation’​. The dialogue will be independently held and facilitated by Lawrence Kershan, a highly experienced independent restorative facilitator who is working with the Extinction Rebellion (XR) UK project team to establish the procedure.

The intended outcome of this meeting is for participants to come to an agreement on how they will seek to repair any harm, to which they will be accountable to implement. The decisions made during this process are important for the future of the movement and we want to get this right. In order to take into account the many differences of opinion on the course of actions, we ask for your patience and trust at this time.

The facilitation team will have 3-4 days to write up these agreements and the result will be submitted to participants for review and to check that they reflect the outcomes of the dialogue. Subsequently, an online meeting for participants will then be held to ensure final consent of all parties as we take this forward.

These outcomes will then be accepted into a wider process stewarded by Guardianship & Visioning, International Support Team and Transformative Conflict & Justice Systems XR UK to ensure that the agreements are sufficiently far reaching and that any structural or procedural changes are implemented. This part of the process will provide opportunity for wider engagement with all groups who may not have been represented in the first stage of this process, making space for them to provide feedback and contribute towards the design of any future process that may be necessary.

As an interim measure, Roger Hallam has agreed to pause all media appearances, both in representation of XR and in a personal capacity, at least until the 16th of December, subject to any further agreements resulting from this process.

TIMESCALES

A decision was taken to carry out this first stage of the process as soon as possible, so that the Movement is made aware that affected parties will get to speak and be heard and that a clear, rigorous and credible process to address this issue is already underway as we enter the holiday season.

As such, we have a narrow window of time to gather relevant people together in person. For confidentiality and safety reasons the meeting on Sunday will not be filmed although, as long as all parties agree, the Project Team will produce a note of the process and outcomes/agreements reached.

Whilst acknowledging that due to time constraints and complexity, it won’t necessarily be a perfect process, we endeavour to make all decisions, and the reasons behind them, as clear and transparent as possible.

GUIDING PRINCIPLES

Guiding key principles for this process are:

  1. To create conditions which enable representatives of those most impacted to feel safeenough to participate freely.
  2. Restorative processes usually start with those closest to the actual incident itself andthen work outwards from there.

PROCESS UPDATE ZOOM CALL ON 13TH DEC

“Process Update” Zoom calls are being arranged for rebels to have any questions answered and a general level of understanding and trust to be established between persons/circles impacted and the Project Team.

INTERNATIONAL IMPACT FEEDBACK ZOOM CALLS ON 14TH DEC

“Impact Feedback” calls are set up for national teams​ ​to share the impact in their countries, as well as feedback around this conflict.

CONTINUATION OF RESTORATIVE PROCESS

To emphasise, the process on the 15th is not the completion of the Restorative Process, but only the completion of the first dialogue stage.

The outcomes, agreements, feedback and learning from this will inform a second wider process that will involve many more circles and persons impacted by these events (Impact Feedback Circles).

If you or your circle would like to be heard as part of this second stage of the process, please complete ​this form​ with some basic details and someone in the Project Team will be in touch.

XR UK PROJECT TEAM

A cross-collaboration ‘Project Team’ across different XR UK circles has been established, with representatives from XR UK’s Transformative Conflict & Justice Systems (previously Conflict Resilience – see ​here​ for mandate) holding the first part of the process, with support from Guardianship & Visioning, Connecting Communities and Feedback & Learning Culture teams. A first progress report on this process went out on 3rd December and can be found ​here​.

The Transformative Conflict and Justice Systems team want to respond to this situation from our mandate within XR UK, and also fully acknowledge that this conflict involves XR around the world, a community that is far beyond our mandate. We are here in service, to carry as much of the responsibility as we can, whilst recognising the inherent limits to what we can do.

“If you don’t create the system you want – you get the one society gives you”

Dominic Barter

Whatever your personal view around Roger Hallam’s comments or other persons or circles implicated in the events, each one of us is responsible for the collective, so we have an opportunity to treat each other with love, respect and kindness.

From that perspective, we ask for your support in reducing specific risks that are emerging in the XR social media spaces in particular.

We have heard the calls for suspension and exclusion due to the depth of impact certain groups have felt from these statements. In this particular case we are certain that dialogue is absolutely necessary in order to ensure that this situation is learnt from and that damage to the movement is addressed both for this incident and for the future.

Restorative approaches, like nonviolence itself must never be confused with pacifism or idealism. The outcomes of nonviolent restorative approaches must deliver concrete results if they are to be relied upon and trusted.

Transformative Justice, similar to Restorative Justice, is rooted in community involvement and accountability. Rather than punishing when hurt or harm occurs, it is focused on deeply hearing impacts, taking responsibility, healing and creating change. We ask for your patience and collaboration in this, as we are trying to build this system in XR.

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