AusMM Actions Visioning

Thread for visioning the work of the Actions group, starting with AusMM Wave 1.

What work is required to support the roll-out of Wave 1? What does a fully operational Actions group look like, what are its components, how do we get from where we are now to where we want to be?

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Some bullet points…

  • Criteria for transitions to Wave 2
  • Clearer definition of Waves
    – Is the wave the build up to synchronised action, or the synchronised action itself?
    – If it is the build up, then what happens during wave 2 and 3? Do small localised actions continue throughout? Do state capital actions repeat until wave 3?
    – How do we facilitate regenerative cycles in this process?
    – How do we work with different capacities of different regions at different times. How do we roll out wave 1 if restrictions tighten across the country?
  • What do wave 2 and 3 look like if pandemic restrictions prevent mass gatherings?
  • Clear pathways from mobilisation through AG formation and ongoing AG support
  • Strong communication links to affinity groups, standardised communications methods
  • Standardised onboarding and offboarding processes for AG coordinators to ensure links aren’t lost in role transitions or vacations from roles.
  • Affinity Group Support Networks (regional or national?)
  • AG Databases (name, description, location, contact point, status…)
  • Independent debriefing and info sharing roles/processes
  • Do all regions have functional actions WGs? Do we support that?
  • Formation of national actions group / integration with national SOS
  • Roles trainings, skills pathways
  • Active recruitment to Actions group
  • Wave 1, 2, 3 mass actions planning group / meeting

Max’s post in Vic Actions:
https://base.ausrebellion.earth/t/we-need-action-rebels-actions-working-group-activities-during-lockdown/5098 (join @State-Victoria for access).

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The first thing that needs clarifying is the question of whether monthly local group actions keep going in between statewide level two actions once level two action s start.The manual currently says both that the local actions continue and that they stop. The second thing that needs clarifying is whether all states wait in wave one till the least mobilised state is mobilised to the threshold level. (Doesn’t make much sense to me, but at the moment that’s what the manual seems to say.) Plus, as you point out, there could easily be differing states of pandemic restrictions from state to state as well, so it would be good to address that as well.

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These are all questions about the transition to Wave 2, which I think are pretty easy to manage. The purpose of Wave 1 and Wave 2 are to build the power of the movement so that we can be as big and disruptive as possible in Wave 3.

Given this, the Actions Working Group will decide when and how to transition on to Wave 2, taking into account the buy-in and capacity of XR groups across the country to carry out big disruptive actions in their state capitals.

As the plan for Wave 2 is for synchronised disruptive actions in all state capitals, it would be good if we could do it in all state capitals, but as we are in an unpredictable situation with the progress of the pandemic and with different levels of mobilisation in different states, we will have to plan depending on the context, so may have to act in a desynchronised way. We won’t get ‘stuck’ because we will plan and decide according to the context.

Regarding whether monthly local group actions will continue during wave 2 - they will continue as appropriate to group capacity. It may be that groups decide not to carry out actions in the weeks when they are focused on preparing for Wave 2 or 3, and that’s cool too.

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Can you or Jordan fix that in the manual as it’s far from clear?
Also far from clear is whether there is likely to be any link to the rest of the international movement - Spring and Autumn waves of rebellion etc

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My thoughts on a few points, will contribute to others soon. I honestly think though with COVID that we are going to have to work things out as we go - it’s not possible to make firm plans and decisions at the moment, only a guide.

  • Criteria for transitions to Wave 2 pledge & rebel numbers in each state having reached the required amount (moving to wave 2 simultaneously - not one at a time) and state of pandemic (not proceeding to wave 2 without the vast majority of capitals able to be involved).

  • Clearer definition of Waves
    – Is the wave the build up to synchronised action, or the synchronised action itself? Generally a build up, but with occasional synchronised actions within itself, particularly at beginning and end to mark transition and build sense of engagement
    – If it is the build up, then what happens during wave 2 and 3? Do small localised actions continue throughout? Do state capital actions repeat until wave 3? **State capital actions repeat until we have sufficient numbers and the impact available for wave 3. Generally - I think this shouldn’t be too long between wave 2 and 3, and repeats shouldn’t be too often either to prevent burnout and also arrestable status. *

I think small localised actions continue but only for new or regional local groups who come on board (eg, confidence & training) - otherwise I think the risk of burnout for those who participated actively in waves 1 and 2 is too high to reach wave 3. Each group will decide for themselves.*

– How do we work with different capacities of different regions at different times. How do we roll out wave 1 if restrictions tighten across the country? Personal feeling is that if restrictions tighten across the country, we hold on rolling out. While I think we can proceed atm without one state, we are a national movement and impact/vision will suffer if we have two states or more out of the loop. Similarly, we need to ensure our messaging is about protecting life - and rolling out in some locations while others are suffering could hurt this message.

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I’d have to disagree with the idea of asking states/groups to hold off mass actions until everyone is able to do it. Pandemic and other externally disruptive factors are normal - they will always occur and we need to be able to continue. If (for example) WA were asked to start Wave 1…get cranking and then be kind of ‘directed’ not to mobilise to the city in a Wave 2 style action at the appropriate time for our momentum, it undermines the decentralised nature of the movement… this is a national project and there is national collaboration, but it is not a national movement! It is what it needs to be, wherever it is. I think Aus MM needs to offer a robust strategic framework that is inviting for Regional/Local Groups to participate in and contribute to, but that’s about it… we need to allow flexibility, but sell the benefits of the collaboration.

From WA perspective, we have a real need to get started (Wave 1) and to escalate (Wave 2 - or Wave 2 style mass action)… things have been in decline and from the XR ‘public’ point of view there is now no reason why not to get cracking, and a LOT of reasons to mobilise. We have a state election in 2021 and already we are seeing active rebels bail out to get busy on elections… I’d hope to get them wrapped up in civil disobedience instead! And also, have that movement influence the elections.

We are also anticipating a COVID resurgence here - @ManicMax will be able to comment with much more authority, but it seems inevitable, and I can tell you there are pretty much zero precautions being taken! Community transmission here will go off as it has in Vic.

Consider a whole range of externalities - what if there was another Death in Custody, sparking massive solidarity rallies/protests and possibly disruptive things, right around the time when we’d be calling a Wave 2 or Wave 3… proceeding would be tone deaf at best, and a PR disaster at worst. Bushfire crisis, flood crisis, storm crisis, drought and food crisis, international war… these are always going to happen and in fact, in our narrative, will happen more as a result of this crisis! So our movement needs to be able to absorb and carry on.

In WA we had started planning a mass disruptive action - a Wave 2 style thing, for mid-Oct. In anticipation of a more systematic, national approach, we have decided to call it off or postpone it, and shift it to be our Wave 2… but I can’t imagine we would be able to wait much longer than (say) early Nov to run it…

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Great list! A lot to do there!

I think the gathering of metrics is pretty key. We discussed this in XRWA Action WG. We felt that the best approach would be federated (where possible) - so Aus MM Actions would ask Regional Actions WGs to measure XYZ using ABC tools (a form, a spreadsheet, a meeting). This would, hopefully, bring the Regional Groups more ‘in’ to AusMM and also distribute the load of the AG Support function. For Local Groups who don’t have a Regional/State group to do that, then they just link up with AusMM directly.

The conversation regarding timing of Wave 2 might then simply be : “Hey, Regional Action Group - do you have the ability to hold a blockade for a day? Do you have (for example) 100 arrestables? Would they be well supported with pre-, during, and post-arrest support?” If yes, we talk dates, if no, we ask - “What can we do to help with that?”

We felt we’d be in the best place to run our WA Affinity Group Support network/circle - but we’d love to use common tools/methods as created by the Aus MM Actions group - no need to double-up on the various resources (for e.g. see our Affinity Group kit - what do you think? Does it look like yours? If so, lets just pick one, edit it and publish it on ausrebellion.earth. Within our kit are guides and descriptions for a variety of roles, @the-river-jordan mentioned, but just to expand, I think AusMM Actions needs to try to wrangle support for training of roles:

  • Police Liaisons (with supplementary info for state-specific stuff)
  • Legal Observers (with supplementary info for state-specific stuff)
  • Arrestee Support
  • De-escalation
  • public Outreach during actions (how to talk to the public, how to recruit at actions)
  • De-escalation
  • Wellbeing/Regen - including the debriefing and regen cycle as Jordan mentioned
  • Media liaison - how-to write media releases, or we provide templates to go with the template actions

I know that @MaryH and others have made a lot of progress on consolidating some of those resources above. I wonder if AusMM support might simply be to host weekly or fortnightly trainings or discussion groups on each of the role/topics - and advertise these as a regular series. Across Australia we already have this capacity - it’s just a question of SOS coordination.

I’m kicking off my local suburb group - it would be brilliant to be able to go to ausrebellion.earth and just be able to download the guidebook for (say) De-escalation, and sign up our little group for the De-escalation session that runs every (say) Thursday evening, via Zoom, hosted by AusMM. In XRWA we currently do not have de-escalation training or capacity to run it… but someone of you out there does!!

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While I can understand the reasoning of states without COVID restrictions (currently) to get going and move ahead before others, I think that would be best done by those state groups - not AusMM.

This project isn’t precluding states and local groups from doing their own actions. Sydney is planning a Spring Rebellion, and so are other locations. Each state can do mass actions early if they are ready. I’m just not sure it’s the best use of our resources in AusMM to be organising wave 2 in in only 1-2 cities, and I can’t imagine east coast cities being ready for wave 2 by November - from both a COVID and numbers/mobilisation perspective - to hold our state capitals for an entire day (also factoring in issues of regen time and the messaging perspective).

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Given the considerable uncertainty about how waves 1,2 and 3 will proceed, (for example, whether states like Victoria and NSW that already have 10,000 rebels need to wait until all others reach some criterion and how the pandemic will unfold in different states) and given the complexities of the relationship of AusAMM with Coordination Circles, Actions Circles and Local Groups around Australia, I suggest adopting the terminology “Level 1,2 and 3 actions” rather than “Waves 1,2 and 3” for the Heading for Extinction talks training in the next few weeks and the mobiliser manual Building towards larger actions section.

The important thing at this stage is to be clear that we are aiming for local groups to regularly do local actions and that we are aiming to do larger and larger- and eventually sustained actions - in state capitals (and/or Canberra). The interim wording needs to be bedded done in the next week so that an updated version of the manual can be finalised for distribution to mobilisers at their training starting in two weeks and so that the HfE talks that are occurring on 10/8 and 17/8 have wording that reflects the overall idea without attempting to pin down details that are not yet clear.

I don’t think it’s helpful at this stage to be saying that the Actions group inside AusMM will be deciding such big questions as whether and how we participate in international waves of rebellion and whether states plan large actions in their capital cities.

@JaneM @Vee @Dogwood @MaxCurmi @laura @Mad_Mattho

At the moment discussion of Wave 1 is spread between three or four topics, but this makes things hard as the date of Wave 1 the launch of Wave 1, the date of the commencement of Wave 1, the duration of Wave 1, whether Wave 1 involves monthly local actions (and if so, whether monthly actions are coordinated in terms of date and timing) and the messaging around the launch and/or the actions - these are very much inter-related questions.

So @ManicMax, is there some way of folding the three Wave 1 actions topics into this one?

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I suggest that local groups are encouraged but, of course not compelled, to do monthly actions that occur within the same week, or if possible even the same day. Ideally these would be in the same week each month - eg the first week of the month - so that groups get into the habit of doing an action, doing some outreach and then taking a rest.

Ideally, local groups would receive some suggestions about possible targets, possible template actions and suggested messaging each month.

For example, if the initial Wave 1 actions are to be in the first week of September, it would be useful for local groups to know about the large action in the UK on September 1 and try to coordinate with that and use similar messaging - ‘We want to live’. See this and this and this great video. There are some international Tell the Truth actions targetting media outlets in that first week of September - including in Australia - and those actions could readily be linked into a narrative about ‘we want to live - and we demand you tell the truth’.

If Wave 1 starts on September 1 then preparation needs to rapidly ramp up starting now! We would start sharing the UK video and alerting the media that Australia will be doing coordinated actions because we want to live too. And possibly preparing for additional Tell the Truth actions.

Alternatively, the September local groups actions could be in the week between the Tomorrow (new youth group) action on 18 September and the School Strike for Climate on September 25 - both of which are focussed on the COVID Commission, gas, and a green recovery. In this case, the actions would be framed as ‘we are helping promote the SS4C action on 25/9’ and the focus would be on the gas-fired ‘recovery plan’ and how our political system is being damaged by vested interests. The actions would involve gas-related targets or the local state or federal politician’s office and the media message would focus on our concern for our kids and gas.

A third option would be the week after the SS4C - starting 26/9 September. In this case, the point would be that the political system is ignoring the SS4C that the media is not saying how serious things are and that politicians are not acting and hence we are being forced to ramp things up.

I like the idea of helping local groups push their councils to declare a climate and ecological emergency and then to follow up with pressure to fully inform the public, pressure to set up People’s Assemblies and Citizen’s Assemblies on Climate and pressure to enact a full (and just) emergency transition- to the extent that this can be achieved at the local level. Resources are here. However, I suggest that September is not a good month for this. Queensland has just had council elections and Victoria will have them in October. In Victoria, the council will be heading into caretaker mode and I’m not sure that trying to intervene in council elections is a good role for XR to take (let others try - our system is broken).

In October we cold stay on a gas/build back better focus or move to fires/weather depending on what is happening. Also happening in late October is the Queensland election with coal likely to be a major issue and the possibility of a hung parliament - with either Greens or Ronnie Katter in the balance of power. The pernicious influence of media monopolies and fossil fuel money will be on display and Tell the Truth actions could be timely, as could broader messaging on existential threat.

Another note-worthy event around then is the US election on 3 November. The US will pull out of the Paris Agreement the next day. There may be internationally coordinated actions around then.

Major events like the Sustainable Living Festival and various music festivals are being cancelled right through to March 2021. I think we will have at least six months of pandemic affected campaigning so let’s make our Wave 1 local actions count, not just to build the movement but also to gain media coverage of our message and to win victories at the local level.

So … [if I knew how to make this into a poll, I’d do that. Can anyone help? @ManicMax? @ageorge?]

:rainbow: Question 1: do you agree that Wave 1 consists of monthly local group actions?

:rainbow: Question 2: do you agree that we aim to coordinate the monthly actions so they occur mostly in a particular week of a month?

:rainbow: Question 3: do you agree that we aim for one or more shared themes for the actions in a particular month?

::rainbow: Question 4: if we are doing coordinated local group actions in September should the date be:
(a) the week starting Sept 1 (or possibly August 28 - that’s when the UK starts)?
(b) the week 19-24 Sept approx - before SS4C?
© the week starting 26 Sept - after SS4C?

:rainbow: Question 5: for your chosen date, should we aim for a shared theme and similar targets and if so, what should that shared theme and targets be?

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just to get the responses started; as you know Jane I agree with proposals 1,2 and 3.
4. i’m thinking that we aim for a week of action after SS4C for two reasons. 1. i think there’s a chance of our actions overshadowing them if we go first. i prefer the idea of an implicit escalation where they go first. 2. gives the higher-risk action planning that’s happening now more time to prepare (which may be needed)
5. thinking a shared theme should be anti-gas recovery. seems to be the most relevant and arguably most serious climate issue in Aus right now

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Great Jane! Yeah I think that we should be aiming for local groups to all go out at the same time. That would be very powerful. Not sure about sharing action themes, I think people create the art to what is powerful to them. Also too much prescription is uninspiring.

I like the idea of doing the first week of every month, but it might be too soon for that, as September 1 is so close and mobilisers are only forming our first groups now. The week after the school strike would be really powerful, hold up the momentum that they create.

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In reference to your question @JaneM about discussion being spread across multiple threads, the initial question I asked at the head of this thread was to the Actions WG, to vision what work we need to do to roll out wave 1, and support groups. I wanted to have discussion about what capacities we need to grow within the working group.

I identified a few questions I think we need to answer as part of the work we need to do as the Actions WG for the roll out of wave 1. This thread has detoured into trying to actually answer some of those particular questions which is jumping beyond the scope of the initial conversation I had hoped to have here.

All good discussion but all I was aiming for in this thread was to identify the things to discuss rather than start discussing them.

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Personally, the “gas led recovery” strikes me as being the newest & most disastrous climate related thing (excluding covid?) that has happened lately in Australia in my opinion, it has far-reaching consequences that span decades in their intention, and it needs to be exposed and opposed. It must be on-the-nose for many Australians, it stinks of corruption, it blatantly bypasses democracy, and it will be disastrous for ecosystems and climate, it is a great “theme”. I personally think we should consider opposing the gas led recovery as our primary message during wave 1, synchronised, all around the country. And, I think as generally elder people in comparison to the school strikers, we have an obligation to support the school strikers as much as possible, the XR way of doing things may be to ask them directly what they would like us to do re timing of this if that is possible? Pretty sure I have heard Greta say that it is time for civil disobedience, well, lets bring it… I think the minimum commitment we should ask of groups is monthly actions, they can always do more, and yes, I think synchronised… Just my 2 cents worth…

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  1. I think maybe I month per month as a recommended minimum but groups should be encouraged to go hard, actions every week is actually very achievable for local groups. I think working towards a coordinated launch on sep 1.
  2. Yeah maybe the first week of every month
  3. Tea shard themes, if the they are general and core messaging
  4. Messaging should be about demands and not about reactive things like the “gas led recovery”, we are about structural political change, talk about the political failure not that that did this tike, it’s tired and old.

Reposting this from the other thread. Let’s stick the core reason XR exists and why It has actual value in the broader political environment, XR is not special because of its culture or anything superficial like that. XR is proposing a political solution to political crisis, citizens assembly’s are XR’s forward facing strategy with vision. Make sure everyone knows this is why we are blocking them, they are not gonna get it unless we spell it out and actually tell the truth ourselves in plain English.
Let’s focus on this difference rather than jostling with every other NGO to be the quickest to react to whatever thing is happening that day, ie gas or coal or covid
I’m really keen to see our core messaging for September focus on the Demands, especially demand 2 and 3 which to me we not highlighted enough last year and are our core business. I think our messaging needs to focus on why we are on the road/taking the disruptive action, rather than our XR or “rebel identity”, (which I know is off putting to many people who otherwise like the plan). The demands are our points of unity, they are simple and clear.

Below are some suggestions to maybe brainstorm around?

“Net Zero Emissions by 2025”, “Binding Citizens Assembly on Climate”, “We are on track for Extinction”, “Let’s Flatten this curve too” (accompanied with hockey stick graph). I think featuring these messages alongside banners like “Join the Rebellion” also play very well and are a call to action. Also things like “Rebel Against Ecological Collapse”?

Below are some examples of how they could look (more color and art could definitely be applied but also simplicity cuts through well.


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on 2. i might be ignorant of some key information here, but from my understanding there seems to be better dates for the first coordinated actions, as there are already coordinated actions on the 4th september (international tell the truth actions including in SA and NSW) and in late september in vic.
i think you’ve made me uncertain of my position with 3 and 4. i agree with you that having contextually themed messaging could get in the way of our core messaging. but i’m also thinking it could be important to include significant climate-related issues with our core-messaging , because ideas like a gas-led recovery seem like such important ideas to push back on and raise awareness about. and the inclusion of issues like this can be quick and simple i think; something like “these are our three demands, this gas-led recovery, and the way its being pursued contradicts all of them.”
i’m thinking these might be things to add to the agenda tonight as well

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