Support Oxford's Extinction Rebellion Arrestees With Their Legal Fees
Support Oxford's Extinction Rebellion Arrestees With Their Legal Fees
This case is raising funds for its stretch target. Your pledge will be collected within the next 24-48 hours (and it only takes two minutes to pledge!)
Who we are
We are Oxford XR. We are a non-violent direct action movement demanding urgent action in the face of the climate emergency. Our members are people in the Oxford area and surrounding villages who agree with the aims and methods of Extinction Rebellion.
In April, around 20 of our Oxford XR rebels were arrested for our non-violent civil disobedience actions during London’s rebellion week. So far, five of us have been charged, with the rest of us now expecting to be charged.
Our arrestees span many demographics - we are students, professionals, academics, retired grandparents, creatives, baby boomers, millennials, gen x and gen z! We all have different backgrounds and stories, but are united by our drive for meaningful change and Extinction Rebellion’s principles.
What we achieved
- Our protests contributed to the huge shift in public opinion with regards to the climate and ecological crisis: a YouGov poll showed that following the protests, UK public concern for the environment was at the highest level on record since 2010.
- We are in the process of bringing around key politicians. Boris Johnson said we are “right to draw attention to the loss of habitat, and the extinction of species. They are also right to sound the alarm about all manner of man-made pollution, including CO2.” John McDonnell said “Extinction Rebellion has successfully raised the profile of the climate threat and focused the minds of us all on the action needed.”
- Less than 3 weeks after the start of the April rebellion, MPs passed a motion making the UK parliament the first in the world to declare an “environment and climate emergency”.
- Oxford City Council is the first to establish a Citizen's Assembly on Climate Change, in line with one of Extinction Rebellion's three demands, and we are represented on the Advisory Team.
- However, there is much more still left to do, and Oxford rebels will no doubt again be arrested in our desperate struggle for a habitable planet.
Meet some of our arrestees
Hi! My name is Peter King. I am a 64 year old architect. I first heard of Extinction Rebellion in December of 2018 when news of the five bridges protest (in November 2018) started to circulate. I have been aware of environmental catastrophe for a long time but until XR had little opportunity to try to do something myself. I was so blown away by the bridges action that I joined XR immediately after.
Like many others, I was aware that arrest was possible for me and I was willing to do that like many of my friends in XR. What does my getting arrested matter in relation to the catastrophe bearing down, and now upon us?
‘If you don’t think small things matter try sleeping in a room with a mosquito’, the saying goes. Well, if we can get our government to do something about the UK’s carbon emissions I am willing to be that mosquito. And if Extinction Rebellion can’t do it, nobody can.
For many of us, being arrested and charged can be a financial burden. There are travel costs, taking time off work, and court and legal costs. These range from a few hundred pounds for a ‘guilty’ plea, to potentially thousands for a ‘not guilty’ trial. Trials are in our interests as a movement, because they showcase how many of us are just ordinary people, and thus make the authorities look vindictive towards its best own citizens.
Citizens whose only ‘crime’ is to shout out that ‘OUR HOUSE IS ON FIRE!’ I would ask you to give whatever you can spare for those that have put themselves forward to be arrested. We can and will bear the cost ourselves if we have to, but a contribution from fellow rebels, however small, is like a small pat on the back for us, a recognition that we are a team, a community, not just individuals.
With thanks and best wishes,
We are raising funds to financially support our rebels through the courts. Your support will go towards the cost of legal defence and will especially help those who don’t qualify for legal aid.
It is not possible at this stage to project how much will be needed to support our arrestees, however we know it’s likely that each case will cost several thousand pounds in legal fees. We are starting with an initial target of £15,000 which we intend to stretch as and when more of us are charged. The charges we face are for obstruction of the highway and public order offences.
My world is bound up with yours. My future – disappearing – with yours. Our brief bodies, whisked together from the same dust, are trapped in an hourglass running out of sand. We have so little time left to save our dying world – we are the last generation who can. Our actions now will swerve the course of human history. They could decide whether humans are history.
When I was sat in the road in Parliament Square, the police officer asked me to consider my future. I wish I’d had the presence of mind to tell her, “I am”. The least I can do is sit in the dirt, so that others don’t have to die in it.
You don’t have to donate your money. But please donate your time – to taking action, however small. To spending time in nature. Above all, to telling the truth. Besides this beautiful home in the stars, it’s the greatest thing we will ever share.
What we are trying to achieve
Extinction Rebellion is an international non-violent direct action movement, demanding urgent action in the face of the climate emergency. We have three demands:
- Tell the Truth Government must tell the truth by declaring a climate and ecological emergency, working with other institutions to communicate the urgency for change.
- Act Now Government must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.
- Beyond Politics Government must create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice.
We aim to achieve this through non-violent direct action, which means breaking the law and causing disruption. Previous methods of protesting have not worked, and the idea of civil disobedience has a successful history. For example, the Suffragettes, Independence in India, and Civil Rights. Extinction Rebellion only began in October 2018 and already we’ve got the issue into mainstream discussion.
I am 58 and work for myself as a painter & decorator. I am married and have a son of 20 and a daughter of 16. In a previous life, I worked in design for 30 years.
I always have been interested in environmental issues and towards the end of my career in design, felt uncomfortable about the impact my work practices were having on our planet's destiny.
I attended a talk in Oxford in March 2019, learnt about XR and joined an affinity group. With the April Rebellion on the horizon, I put myself forward as a person that could be arrested
I was arrested on April 18th sitting under the pink boat in Oxford Circus to the chants of ‘we love you’ from my fellow rebels, a lot of whom would be arrested in the following days.
The growing media coverage and public awareness of the situation we are facing has been encouraging but we have a long way to go. XR will continue to promote NVDA and I will be with them.
I’m 45, live in Oxford, and run a web business with 4 employees.
Attending the April protests in London was the first time I’d campaigned on environmental issues, although I’d gradually become more and more aware of the environmental problems unfolding, and wondered what I could do personally to have any impact.
In XR I’ve found a movement that I believe can make that difference, and force the change that we all need to embrace before it’s too late.
I’d never been arrested or charged with anything before in my life, but I feel strongly enough about this now. I was arrested twice - in Parliament Square, and on Waterloo Bridge, and have been charged with a public order offence. I pled not guilty and my trial has just been adjourned until October 1st.
I don’t mind paying my own legal fees, as this is a decision I took, but if people want to help then that’s amazing and very appreciated.
By supporting us in navigating the law you are helping us to bring our objectives into the court system and get us closer to achieving climate justice.
With our deepest gratitude, love and rage,
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