[22 February 2020, National] National Day of Action

Event details: Sat Feb 22, 2pm State Library, corner Swanston St & La Trobe St, Melbourne CBD

Quote from the event page

Join the Climate Crisis National Day of Action event in Melbourne!

Sat Feb 22, 2pm State Library, corner Swanston St & La Trobe St, Melbourne CBD

The rally has been called by a meeting of more than 20 climate, social justice organisations and union activists in Melbourne.
There is a climate and bush fire emergency. This crisis demands a united response across the community to call for climate action.
More information on the action will be available soon.

Quote from XR Vic Outreach Coordinator Luke, who represented XR Victoria at a planning meeting of multiple organisations:

  • idea proposed to begin coalition with mass rally
  • There seemed to be a general willingness to work together and keep messaging broad
  • 22 feb chosen as potential rally day to connect with proposed Nat day of action
  • quite a bit of talk about possibly having a community summit in future to develop solutions to climate change, sounds a lot like our citizen assembly so XR could help with this
  • some people wanted to do ‘something different’ from the one-off rally but no solid ideas

Next steps:

  • Smaller WG will meet either Thurs or Fri to start planning for the 22nd
  • myself and another XR person will attend
  • another big meeting proposed for Monday night next week

Our aims when attending WG:

  • try to ensure this coalition works (because it could be the movements of movements we’ve been looking for
  • make sure no decisions are made that may contradict XR principles and stop us fully supporting it
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Demands - There is a set of national demands that has been formulated for a sign on statement. In Melbourne, this was amended to be on the poster:

· 100% renewable energy –no new fossil fuel or nuclear projects.

· A just transition: guaranteed jobs for affected fossil fuel workers and communities

· Fund our firies – support communities…

· First nations justice, including funding for Indigenous-led land management

· Make the Climate Criminals pay
Climate Justice Alliance and it involves School Strike 4 Climate, Australian Parents 4 Climate Action, ASEN (Australian Students Environment Network), Workers for Climate Action, SEED Indigenous Youth Climate Network

More updates from Luke:

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How can I help with the rally?

Here’s the invitation to support the Climate Crisis National Day of Action:

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Hi Luke
I have a role at XR Brisbane West as outreach coordinator with a focus on alliances - Can we connect please?
Roger (perhaps a phone call?)

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Because I’m assuming I’m among friends here, I’m going to be frank and try do a critical [not cynical] case for the negative. Not to dissuade anyone from involvement, but to try and aid decision making.

Who are Climate Justice Alliance?

https://climatejusticealliance.org/ seems to be a US based group. The Australian presence don’t seem to have much other than a Melbourne FaceBook page, there may be another group in or near Wollongong. They mention, “We created Climate Justice Alliance Melbourne at a meeting of 87 people from 20 organisations.” but I couldn’t see any details on who those 20 organisations are.

Extinction Rebellion have three demands and ten principles. The Climate Justice Alliance and this National Day of Action list six demands that are not Extinction Rebellion’s. I’m not disputing that they are worthwhile and they all sound like sensible topics for Citizen’s Assemblies to asses and provide proposals and action plans to deliver.

While XR members should feel free to attend and participate in this event, I’m uncertain how any XR groups could join and promote their membership or allegiance to the Climate Justice Alliance as the demands do not align with Extinction Rebellion’s.

The rebel agreement

"All Rebels are asked to follow our basic agreements. They provide a basis for trust so that both Rebels and the public know what we can expect from each other.

  1. We show respect to everyone - to each other, the general public and to the government and police, although we may not feel respect.
  2. We engage in no violence, physical or verbal, and carry no weapons.
  3. We hold ourselves accountable for our actions and do not hide from the legal consequences.
  4. We bring no alcohol or illegal drugs.
  5. We take responsibility for ourselves; we are all crew.
    We are here together until the Government acts on our three demands for necessary action on the climate and ecological emergency. This agreement aims to help us attract the many people we need to make this movement effective.

Any rebel adhering to these principles / values ​​and the rebel agreement is considered to be a member of Extinction Rebellion Australia and can act on our behalf. We recommend getting feedback from other rebels before acting as we are a do-it-together movement."

I think it could be a great event to promote XR training sessions, other upcoming XR actions and events [those being planned for April and May] and hopefully recruit new membership to XR.

Hi all it would be helpful to know where XR Central is at with endorsing the Melbourne Feb 22 rally or when this decision is likely to be made? The last open organising meeting in Melbourne on Monday 27 Jan was deliberately stacked by 25+ Animal Justice Party/Animal Rights/Vegan activists to include the 6th demand of 'Transition away from animal agriculture" as a result the few unions that were on board are reconsidering their support and Victorian Trades Hall has withdrawn logistical support of ute and PA.

Geelong had their first open organising meeting last night 30/01 this was instigated by XR Geelong. We had 37 people in the room, 22 of which were Animal Justice Party, Animal Rights, Vegan activists, the other 15 were made up of XR Geelong, Socialist Alliance Geelong, Geelong Greens, Geelong Trades Hall, AYCC Geelong and a few unions. We were also railroaded in to accepting the same demands. Today Geelong Trades Hall have worked on some amendments to the 6th demand and have put them back to the Animal Justice Party to consider. If they’re prepared to compromise so that Geelong Trades Hall will stay involved the other groups will likely stay on board, if they remain hardline and won’t compromise then it’s likely all the to the other groups including XR Geelong will pull out. There will hopefully be further developments Monday/Tuesday and Geelong has another open organising meeting on Thursday next week where this will all be finalised, however if we can get them to compromise in Geelong, it will help in Melbourne and having logistical and political support from unions will make a huge difference.

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Hi Fellahin, the Climate Justice Alliance has nothing to do with any groups in the US, it was founded in Melbourne by a bunch of groups including XR Victoria. I can get a list of them but I know that it includes XR Victoria, Friends of the Earth, Socialist Alliance, the Greens Multicultural Wing, Trades Hall, Socialist Alternative, at least one animal rights group, some unions, etc. The list of demands is a result of a consensus process that happened in some open meetings and it’s true there were concerns about the process (see above). Our approach in Victoria is to offer qualified endorsement and then direct rebels who are motivated to get involved in organizing a rally (of which there are many) the chance to get involved in this. If it’s true that Trades Hall and some unions have pulled out it might be worth reconsidering the approach if the organisation moves on after this using a representative-based approach rather than open stackable meetings.

The above update from Luke who has been attending the Climate Justice Alliance meetings. The sixth demand was dropped.