Rebel with us this Easter!

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The Easter Uprising is Coming!

This Easter Christian Climate Action is joining in with the Extinction Rebellion. We think that tackling climate change and ecological breakdown is serious enough to demand civil disobedience, so we’re taking part in the Extinction Rebellion this Easter in a campaign of nonviolent direct action calling for action.

From 15th April onwards Christian Climate Action and Extinction Rebellion will take part in a sustained mass disobedience in London. Interest is growing fast, but for the uprising to make a difference we need numbers. Extinction Rebellion is aiming for 10,000 participants.

There are four ways you can get involved:

1. Join us! Contact Christian Climate Action if if you want to come along and we will connect you with other Christians taking part. You absolutely do not have to be willing to be arrested to get involved. christianclimateaction@gmail.com

2. Invite a speaker. Can you arrange for a local Christian Climate Action or Extinction Rebellion member to attend a meeting with you and your church and get into conversation about how civil disobedience is a possible Christian response to the coming climate/ecological crisis? Let us know by emailing christianclimateaction@gmail.com

3. Publicise the April Rebellion. Please point people to this website and to https://rebellion.earth/get-active/international-rebellion-a-guide-for-participants/ 

Extinction Rebellion has brought a lot of new people into the world of activism and tapped into new energy. We’re really keen to see more Christians get involved.

XR’s guide talks about Affinity Groups – Christian Climate Action is an Affinity Group within XR and you are welcome to join us for some or all of the Rebellion from 15th-27th April.

As the guide says, action begins on 15th, but please let Christian Climate Action know if you’re around on Sunday 14th April for a day of CCA planning and banner-making.

You can also let them know you’re coming via these Facebook events: www.facebook.com/events/2206686162978830 and www.facebook.com/events/564351917381630 – saying you’re ‘going’ on Facebook will help us get the word out.

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Blood of Our Children Protest

Three members of Christian Climate Action, Jim Green, Nicholas Cooper and Phil Kingston, took part in ‘The Blood of our Children’ Extinction Rebellion Protest in London on 9th March 2019.

Phil, from Holy Family Church in Patchway, S. Glos said that ‘hearing the passionate, knowledgeable and plain-spoken statements of about fifteen young people aged between 10 and 20 moved and inspired me. This event had been arranged in liaison with the police. They knew that we would be pouring bio-degradable replica blood on the road and whilst they agreed to that as being within our right of public protest, they said that if we carried it out we would be arrested for criminal damage.’

This action took place to raise awareness of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report in September which stated that there are now only 11 years in which to reduce CO2 emissions to a level which gives a possibility of limiting runaway climate change. The police closed Whitehall to traffic and people dressed in black walked in silence along Whitehall to the entrance to Downing Street. A single ring of a bell marked the slow pace. The young people led the way, followed by about forty-five adults who carried buckets of “blood”, and numerous supporters followed. Those with “blood” formed an arc facing towards Downing Street, with the young people and supporters behind them. Phil described how ‘’the silence was maintained while we poured the “blood” down the camber of the road towards Downing Street and then sat down behind the empty buckets to await arrest. In fact the police decided to arrest no-one.’

The young people each then spoke for up to two minutes and the words of a number of them are on this four minute video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LW02kNbpAmU

The event ended with a song which expressed their concerns, followed by two minutes of silence in which participants could reflect upon what was most in their hearts.

We in Christian Climate Action ask if other Christians will send this message and video link far and wide to encourage the school children’s and student’s strikes; and to call all ages to take part in Extinction Rebellion’s international week of action from 15th to 20th April to draw attention to the environmental and social catastrophe for which the world is currently on track. Government and major opposition parties are not speaking the truth about this climate crisis, let alone taking meaningful action. This rebellion is in the hands of ordinary people. A determined mass movement of nonviolence is necessary if those who currently wield political power are to face the truth and act accordingly.  And for the outcome to result in the care of creation and the common good of all people with no-one excluded, it can only happen under God.

Ruth and Margriet’s XR Trials

Both these trials have been discontinued!

 

Christian Climate Action members Ruth and Margriet are on trial having been arrested several times during the Extinction Rebellion last year. Come and support them. We’ll be praying and worshipping outside court and supporting them by being in court. Bring a banner!

Hendon Magistrates Court

Ruth’s trial – 1st March 9.30am

Margriet’s trial – 4th March 9.30am

Agenda for Training Day

We have an agenda for our training day! There are still spaces for anyone who would like to come and it’s free (donations towards room hire welcome). No prior experience of direct action necessary. Sign up here.

Christian Climate Action Training Day

23rd February 2019. 10am-6pm

St Georges Bloomsbury. 6-7 Little Russell Street, London, WC1A 2, United Kingdom

10am: Prayer

10:05: Our experiences so far: a chance for everyone to share where they have come from

10:30: Christian Climate Action history

10:40: Extinction Rebellion history

10:50: Prayer: focus on sorrow and repentance

11am: What does the Bible say about non violent direct action

12pm: BREAK

12:10pm: Exercise: I could do that if…’

1pm: LUNCH: bring and share

2pm: Prayer and worship

2:20pm: Workshops. Choose from:

  • A time to contemplate runaway climate breakdown
  • Strategies used by XR

3:00pm: Loving our enemies

3:25: Where we go from here

3:50: BREAK

4pm: Planning an action

5:20pm: Closing Payer

5:30pm: END

5:30pm-6pm: clear the venue

Training Day: Intro to Christian Climate Action, Extinction Rebellion and Non-Violent Direct Action

Saturday 23rd February 2019, 10am-6pm
The Upper Vestry Hall, St Georges, Bloomsbury, WC1A 2HR
Free, donations towards room hire welcome
Facebook event

 

Christian Climate Action (CCA) has been busy recently, taking part in actions as part of the Extinction Rebellion (XR). We have lots of new people interested in our work. If you’re one of them, this is your chance to get find out more and get involved.

Followers of Jesus Christ are taught to imitate Christ and so are often given training and encouragement to feed the hungry, heal the sick and forgive our enemies. Seldom are we trained or encouraged to follow Jesus Christ in the activities that won the attention of the authorities, got him arrested, and then saw him crucified. His early followers shared in this aspect of his life but we generally do not. Some of us, who are aware of the contemporary signs of the times, aware of the behaviours of the principalities and powers in the world and aware of our own complicity in these processes, wonder what role Non-Violent Direct Action (NVDA) should have in our following of Jesus Christ.

Come and find out:

  • More about CCA
  • Why we do what we do
  • Why we’re currently involved in the XR
  • What NVDA involves
  • How you can get involved

No prior experience is expected. Interest and participation in this training day commits you to no action but it is hoped that it will be of use to you as you consider the issues around NVDA and how it relates to your own Christian discipleship.

If you are interested in taking part please visit the Facebook event or drop us an email.

 

Ruth’s Police Cell Journal

When CCA member, Ruth Jarman, was arrested on 12th November as part of her involvement in the Extinction Rebellion, she decided to keep a journal documenting her time in custody.

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Ruth being arrested… again!

Ruth’s Journal

I thought I’d write a diary of my time in my police cell so as to give others an idea of what it is like.

2.30pm. Peace at last. The cell door closes loudly and I am on my own with a Bible, Bonhoeffer’s The Cost of Discipleship, The Hundred Year Old Man who jumped out of a window and ran away, a pencil, a pen, a notebook, two tri-fold leaflets given to me by the policeman who checked me in, and a cup of tea.

My arresting officer, PC Mason, seems barely out-of-school, cool, sweet, not too sure of himself, smiles easily. We are ‘told’ by the protest legal experts that we shouldn’t allow the police to engage us in conversation as they are trying to find out about us by chatting. At CCA we don’t talk about the action or about anyone else – but we do chat generally and try to talk about climate change.

Sitting in my cell, the temperature is about right, though I will ask for a blanket soon, the blue plastic mattress is comfy enough, the walls like those of a public convenience, but without the smell. Ensuite toilet – literally – and room service of tea, water and beans and wedges just served by another motherly policeman. And hours ahead of me to write, read my Bible, pray, read. No phone, no emails, no washing up, no tidying, no cleaning. What’s there not to like?

Just heard the well-spoken voice of my CCA buddy Reggie talking, the PC calling him ‘sir’.

I guess I should plan what to say in my interview. The legal advice is always to do a ‘no comment’ interview.  But I want to say why I did what I did, so I will read a prepared statement and then answer ‘no comment’ to any questions. You are always offered a solicitor on checking in at the police station – I declined one.

I wrote 4 pages, crossed out 2. That will do.

Prayed the Litany of Creation – another thing they allowed me in my cell. Out loud as the corridor was a bit noisy.

Just had another smiley policeman ask me if I was OK and give me some water.

Done 4 minutes of high impact aerobics. Wonder if they watched it on their CCTV and thought it mad or quite normal.

I just thought of something I needed to do and, of course I can’t do it. In the confines of the police cell I am liberated from that whole infinitely-long ‘to do’ list. That is such a freeing thought.

I have now tidied all my possessions. They are in a neat pile by my side. Tidying is done. I am liberated also from untidiness and the requirement to act on that untidiness. This is the life.

Now for Ephesians 1.

This is another huge benefit of being arrested. Maybe you are more focused than me, but when I read the Bible I have this monkey jumping up and down in my brain shouting about all the things I have to do on my ‘to do’ list, thinking up new things to do, telling me to check my watch, that I need to get through my quiet time as quickly and efficiently as possible so I can get on with making pancakes, hanging up the washing, sending that email. In the glorious freedom of the police cell the monkey is quiet, in fact I do believe it is curled up in a corner and gone to sleep. I read Ephesians 1 slowly, over and over again. Giving it time to be absorbed and remembered and respected and understood. I have soaked in it and phrases and verses have stood out for me and clicked into my understanding of life. In the serenity of this cell, ‘the eyes of my heart’ have been ‘enlightened’ in order that I have an inkling of God’s ‘incomparably great power for us who believe.’

In the police van coming here, handcuffed, driving past the ‘Tell the Truth’ umbrellas of the protest at the main entrance of BEIS, our movement looked very small, very insignificant. But ‘for us who believe’ we have an ‘incomparably great power’, a power mighty enough to raise Christ from the dead. And also we are Christ’s body and our head, Christ himself, is far above all ‘rule and authority, power and dominion.’

I just woke from a lovely sleep. I am so relaxed. I feel I have done something for God and my children and just for the moment I can do nothing more. They took my watch away so there is no time, no schedule – I am free from deadlines! Holidays are meant to help you unwind in this way. This version is free and without any potential for disappointment and family arguments!

The night shift called by – 10-12 people to ask how I was and if I wanted anything, how I liked my tea.

Then an Inspector Marshall letting me know that I will be interviewed and then they will decide what to do with me – charged, bailed or freed. I feel a little anxious that I will not understand what I should do that that stage – hopefully there will be no decision to make.

Something Bonhoeffer wrote while in prison, spoke to me: “It all depends on whether or not the fragment of our life reveals the plan and material of the whole. There are fragments which are only good to be thrown away, and others which are important for centuries to come because their fulfilment can only be a divine work. They are fragments of necessity. If our life, however remotely, reflects such a fragment… we shall not have to bewail our fragmentary life, but, on the contrary, rejoice in it.” If there is an ounce of possibility that our lives could reflect such a fragment, then we must continue and rejoice!

I’ve just been told that I am going to be escorted out of my cell to wash my hands. I’m quite excited.

Vegan Chilli and another cup of tea have come first, from a very smiley WPC.

Ummm, this chilli is the biz. I ate it slowly, savouring all the different soft vegetables. 200 calories, 1.5g fat.  Won’t get fat in here.

Just back from interview, washing hands (finally!) and fingerprinting.  PC something beginning-with-a-W and a bearded, larger chap. I took control a bit and told them up-front that I was going to read a short statement and then do a no-comment interview, though they were welcome to try to catch me out.

This was my statement:

‘I visited the Dept for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy today as a Christian and as a mother because God’s creation and the human race faces an existential crisis beyond anything in our history.

Our government has been offered a life-line, only available now, by international bodies of experts on climate and species loss, in the form of specific advice on what it must do to maintain abundant life on earth and avert catastrophe. It has refused to look at this life-line and instead is cutting support for renewables, increasing subsidies for oil and gas and expanding airports and roads. They know the truth about where we are. They know what they need to do to avert climate and biodiversity breakdown, yet they are refusing to act.

I hold our government criminally negligent for the coming extinction of most of God’s creation including possibly humanity itself.

I wanted to expose this truth and help them to repent and do what it takes to protect the future.’

Nearly cried at the end and then we both laughed when W asked the first question to my first-of-many ‘no-comment’. A fun game and I won! They showed a video of me spray painting the XR symbol on the glass wall of the lobby.

‘Is that you?’

‘no comment’

‘Who owns that glass?’

‘No comment’

‘Did you have permission to spray paint that glass?’

‘No comment’

Green and Black Cross advise you to continue with the ‘no comment’ after the official interview, but I did respond to some questions.  To ‘protest is a right but criminal damage is not’, I said ‘I have tried everything else’. They said that however much they agree with me, and they ‘live in the same world’, when their uniform is on they have to uphold the law. They said that PC W was policing the protest on Wednesday and Friday as well and was I planning to be here all week (‘no comment’) because if so I could superglue my hands to PC W and get his photo in The Sun. Later, when PC W left me, I said ‘see you soon!’ I hope that the protest legal support group, Green and Black Cross, didn’t have any spies listening!

They said they may need to take my CCA T-shirt as evidence and would give me another one. They then discussed it and decided they wouldn’t need to take it. Bless ‘em.

Um, this is a proper cup of tea that PC W got me as I was let back into my cell after my fingerprinting and mug-shot.

It was 9pm when we started the interview, so I’ve been here for 6.5 hours.  Time flies.

Read more of The Cost of Discipleship.  Costly Grace. Hard stuff.

Then a bit of low-impact aerobics – kicking, stepping, just moving around.

Now for some light relief – I finished The One Hundred-year-old man.

Just realised I have a window sill! The ‘window’ is frosted and is not an outside wall but the sill works as such. I have arranged the 2 leaflets that the ‘receptionist’ gave me on it for decoration.

I was ‘released under investigation’ (as were Reggie and Martin) at 2 am, and were welcomed with cheers, hugs and food by Martin and some arrestee support in the lobby. Free to keep on with doing our duty.

Ruth was arrested a total of five times during November as part of efforts to get the UK government to declare a state of emergency in relation to climate change. She has since been charged and is due to appear in court in January 2019.

Five Christians Arrested at Downing Street During Climate Change Rebellion

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Five Christians have been arrested today in London during a protest designed to make the government take more urgent action on climate change. Ruth Jarman, 55; Richard Barnard, 45; Phil Kingston, 82; Margareet Boss; and one other person, all members of Christian Climate Action, were arrested for criminal damage after they allegedly used spray paint outside Downing Street.

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CCA members habe been taking part in the Extinction Rebellion, which saw more than 1000 people gathered in Parliament Square this morning, before marching to Downing Street. 14 people were arrested in total. CCA member, Fr Martin Newell led the crowds in a liturgy.

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Ruth has been arrested several times over the last fortnight and is due to appear in court in January. Speaking this morning she commented on why Christians have got involved in a number of protests which have taken place over the last fortnight as part of the Extinction Rebellion:

“We feel called by God to protect creation… God told Adam to care and preserve the garden so we think it’s a particularly Christian activity to protect God’s creation. Christian’s are the ones who believe it’s God’s creation, we’re the ones who believe it’s there for God and not for humans to use and abuse, so I think Christians should be leading this movement.”

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Phil Kingston, 82, made a statement earlier on in the fortnight, when he was in custody a following an earlier arrest:

‘If I am remanded in prison it will be a privilege to witness to how essential it is to work our socks off for all life on earth and the generations who follow us. I will have great support from friends here, so let’s look our fears in the eye and put them aside.’

Those involved in the Extinction Rebellion are prepared to risk arrest in order to ensure the world avoids climate breakdown. They are making the following key demands of the government:

  • That the UK declares a state of emergency around climate change;
  • That the government takes action to create a zero carbon economy by 2025;
  • That we create a national assembly of ordinary people to decide what our zero carbon future will look like.

Earlier in the fortnight members of CCA blockaded entrances to the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, attempted to blockade the entrance to Downing Street, and tried to plant a tree outside the Brazilian Embassy.

More about the Extinction Rebellion: https://risingup.org.uk/XR/