Why Extinction Rebellion Aotearoa’s civil disobedience is the future, why Jacinda is wrong and why protestors must demand more

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Get used to the massive disruption Extinction Rebellion Aotearoa caused Wellington today, because it’s only going to get worse.

This is the effect of the climate crisis that the right and those who benefit most from the current status quo simply don’t appreciate. As the climate continues to become destabilised by a super heating planet, people will become more and more angry at the lack of any real structural change.

As TDB pointed out, 3.5% is the magical number we need to hit for change to become unstoppable. 170 000 protestors on the streets last week equals 3.5%, and as the climate gives these protestors more evidence that we are right about the climate crisis, the more prepared people will be to embark upon civil disobedience that shuts down the city and jams the the courts with protestors.

This is the age of confrontational protests because the looming apocalypse justifies that confrontation. Vegans shouting in meat isles of supermarkets is but the beginning.

So when Jacinda says that this isn’t the way to make progress, she is completely wrong, THIS IS THE ONLY WAY to force change. The vested interests in the status quo will refuse to change unless civil disobedience shuts the rigged casino down.

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The challenge for Extinction Rebellion Aotearoa is to not squander that momentum and actually start making demands beyond the very shallow ones given.

If we believe that this is an existential crisis, we need solutions that break the paradigm and have the courage to voice those solutions.

Every year climate records break, and those catastrophic climate events will be self fulfilling evidence to the growing ranks of desperate people demanding action now.

Look at the millions striking for the climate, look at the protests in Hong Kong and eruption of protests in Iraq. People are sick of waiting for the structures of power to give them what they want, so citizens will shut down the machine instead.

There is no going back.

50 COMMENTS

  1. Are these protestors prepared to take a drop in living standards? Have they as individuals done as much as they can to reduce their impact on the environment? A sort of a great leap backwards, to recyclable materials, an ‘is your journey necessary’ attitude, almost a wartime footing that has to be sustained for decades, because that’s what it will take to significantly make an impact- everyone doing their utmost and not waiting for government rulings, which will only take the form of tax breaks, penalties, tariffs and quotas.
    Maybe they are hoping the government will put a environment tax on products that are ecologically damaging? The governments key role will instead be preparing for the impacts and results of climate change. Protest will only work when people boycott and shame the businesses and industries that create the pollution, those businesses will listen to their cashflow from their consumers. Local councils will be the ones on the frontline having to think about infrastructure and better processing of waste. The people maybe awake to the dangers now of environmental degradation, but they get what they voted for and have for too long and perhaps understandably put welfare, finances, crime, education and health as election issues over environmental concerns.

    • Who’s going to be the one to tell the young amongst them that their overseas flights for their OE have been made illegal due to the Climate Emergency.

      It is what they are demanding after all.

      • Ada, I think you underestimate the seriousness of these kids – they’ve made it very clear that they’re worried about their ability to live a normal life and things like OE pale into insignificance compared to what they’re looking it.

        • I’ll believe they are serious AND knowledgable when they give up their studies and/or jobs and live in a carbon-neutral commune, showing us in a very real and practical way how the rest of humanity can, and should, live.

          Sort of, demonstrate the way of change and sacrifice, not just shouting for one day on a lark that other people should give up consuming fossil fuels.

          • For heaven’s sake Ada, “give up their studies and/or jobs and live in a carbon-neutral commune”? The whole country should be moving toward being a carbon-neutral commune. This will require education, leadership, legislation and bloody-mindedness to achieve the sorts of changes that are needed. To start with, it is essential to reverse many of the ‘progressive’ throw-away lifestyle options that have grown since the dawning of the age of plastics (1950’s) and belief in the ‘necessity’ of private motor vehicle ownership (1960’s). This responsibility does not lie with the ‘kids’ as you call them, but with those of us who built a consumerist society without accepting the responsibility of leaving the planet in better shape for future generations.

          • Ada, (a) The last thing young people – or anyone – should do is give up their studies. Learning, from every source, is a like-long process, and essential now that we know that Gaia may be shrugging us off as the vandals that we are.

            (b) “Overseas flights for OE ” is trivialising the important role leaving these isolated islands has always played in contributing positively to
            the knowledge base of NZ. Many go, and have always gone, to further their education, or to up-skill, and often at considerable financial cost and sacrifice to themselves – not to just swan around tourist hotspots taking selfies. Some learn by learning to live and to adapt to different cultures and practices. We have to hope that they come back again for the benefit of us all.

            Suggesting giving up studies and jobs and retreating into communes is running away from the reality of what is happening now, and will continue to happen globally – which is how we have to think – well beyond our own shores.

            Thinking on a long-term basis about climate change as the young people are doing is crucial – we’re fortunate they’re doing this as it just may just help counter some politicians tendencies to think in terms of electoral cycles.

            If they can help counter consumerism too, well and good, but that may be forced upon us anyway – and it may be the least of the changes ahead.

    • The protestors prepared to bring attention to what is being ignored.

      “Are these protestors prepared to take a drop in living standards?”

      We all will get a drop in living standards when we are starving which is what must happen if we ignore climate shift and us causing it.

      The Govt must be forced to lead and co-ordinate local food supply and all that it will take to organise that resilience.

      • “co-ordinate local food supply and all that it will take to organise that resilience.”

        When they remove the GST from locally grown fruit, veggies and other NZ food produce, they’ll have made a good start. It will benefit everyone here in Aotearoa, in the immediate and the longer term.

        • It’s unlikely you’d gain access to enough private land. With out a strong central government you won’t be able to nationalise land or use soft power to incentives certain farming practises.

        • Food needs to be locally grown with minimal processing. Cooperatives not corporations driving food supply. Tax on food is counter productive as is profit.

  2. But if protest is not global it will not result in effective change. A lot of this is preaching to the semi-converted in nations signing up to the Paris Accord

    Only if the movement reaches into Russia, USA, China, Canada, Australia, India, ASEAN nations and Latin America is their prospect of success.

  3. Extinction Rebellion is anti-establishment, ant elites and capitalists. And the elites hold all the cool cards. Capitalists have the largest blocks of land. Building up is not power, owning the most land is power.

    The 3 aims of Extinction Rebellion is:

    1. Government must tell the truth by declaring a climate and ecological emergency, working with other institutions to communicate the urgency for change.
    2. Government must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2025.
    3. Government must create, and be led by the decisions of, a citizens’ assemblyon climate and ecological justice.

    And the 10 principles are:

    1. “We have a shared vision of change—creating a world that is fit for generations to come.
    2. We set our mission on what is necessary—mobilising 3.5% of the population to achieve system change by using ideas such as “momentum-driven organising” to achieve this.
    3. We need a regenerative culture—creating a culture that is healthy, resilient, and adaptable.
    4. We openly challenge ourselves and this toxic system, leaving our comfort zones to take action for change.
    5. We value reflecting and learning, following a cycle of action, reflection, learning, and planning for more action (learning from other movements and contexts as well as our own experiences).
    6. We welcome everyone and every part of everyone—working actively to create safer and more accessible spaces.
    7. We actively mitigate for power—breaking down hierarchies of power for more equitable participation.
    8. We avoid blaming and shaming—we live in a toxic system, but no one individual is to blame.
    9. We are a non-violent network using non-violent strategy and tactics as the most effective way to bring about change.
    10. We are based on autonomy and decentralisation—we collectively create the structures we need to challenge power. Anyone who follows these core principles and values can take action in the name of Extinction Rebellion.

    So I copy and pasted the all that from Extension Rebellions Wikipedia page.

    Number 10 is classic millennial-speak for the sharing-economy. It’s the way privatization has been done for the last 40 years. So you take the good parts of government and privatise them only to leave the unwanted parts of the government to wither and die because the more profitable parts of government no longer tend to the unprofitable parts of govement. Then as every other rebellion has done they move in to take over the government and become the regulator.

    Uber, the other part of the sharing economy uses the same business model. Like every other take over opportunity in business history, Uber is a taxi company but they say they aren’t a taxi company so they can pay there workers less and they don’t have to pay for car maintenance and they sell it as this wonderful new technology called an app. But they’re not selling an app, they’re selling a business model. As explained they’re just privatising the profitable parts of the business to leave the other less profitable taxi companies to wither and die because other taxi companies can’t compete with the new business models that undercut the wages that have been built up for a hundred years. Then once Uber has a monopoly and strangled the competition they can jack the prices up. Only once they’re a monopoly they have to shift from a start up company to a regulated institution with workers and workers rights and holiday pay and everything else.

    The main tool of the Extension Rebellion activist is number 9 – non-violence – in unconventional ways of fighting non-violence can be highly demoralizing for the powerful elites to engage with. Elites would much prefer activist receive rectum exams. In this way smaller groups of people can take on much wealthier groups of people and win.

    By no means will it be 100% non-violence. Activists who engage in non-violence to disrupt the businesses of the elites must expect violence from the establishment, and will disrupt more than elite networks of communications and commerce, it’ll disrupt the whole thing creating massive unintended consequence. People who are to busy working two jobs, 40hrs for low pay have no time to get familiar with any of this. They’re probably still paying for mobile data just to connect to YouTube so they can listen to their favourite playlist instead of there boring lives. These are the areas non-violence are particularly useful for, clashing with riot police not so much. Extension Rebellion doesn’t just want to convert minorities and vulnerable communities, the door must be left wide open to convert police, military, bureaucratese so that the elite 1% politicians and entrepreneurs will be on there own.

    Yknow no rebellion have ever been successful with out the blessing of the military and this one is no different. 3.5% is a good start but remember it’s 99% vs the 1%. Let’s not settle for 3.5% vs the 1%. We’re not perfect. Like I said Extinction Rebellion is inherently anti-establishment so we don’t fuss over it. We just get stuck into it. So a 75% super majority vs the 35% ought to do it. 3.5% is a good start for Extension Rebellion but they must be able to switch it up once they hit 75%. Moving towards 75% the non-violent tool of the activist must be left to work it’s wonderful ways in converting a 75% super majority. At that level 75% level is when you can make constitutional changes. Then you’ll need a political party with the full breadth and width of policy formulation and the National Party crash back down to insignificance.

    So using the activist tools to build up to a 75% super majority has to mean more than just converting new concerts. All that has to coalesce and congeal into a political party or more likely for New Zealanders, another Labour, NZFirst, Green Coalition Party. Honestly if the greens haven’t learnt already I think the Extinction Rebellion should be enough to force the Greens to forget about this woke bullshit and get them all another term. And they woke are still stupid to think we can do it with out NZFirst.

    • The citizens’ assembly is the end of Parliamentary democracy. Why bother having an MP or even voting if the CA is going to make the decisions?

      • Like i said the elites have all the cool cards. If Extinction Rebellion do as they say and chuck out the government. All they’ll have is the parts of the government that no one wants and the elites will do as they please. It will be the biggest spike in inequality since the dark ages.

      • Ada – “The citizens’ assembly is the end of Parliamentary democracy. Why bother having an MP or even voting if the CA is going to make the decisions? ”

        Wrong, Ada. ” Government must create, and be led by the decisions of, a citizens’ assembly on climate and ecological justice. ” This is not the end of parliamentary democracy, this is the establishment of a specialised service of experts to advise the government on climate and ecological issues – not to advise govt on everything.

        Think of it as a parallel process, similar perhaps to the Waitangi Tribunal, but with an added advantage of being able to access global expertise, and participate where appropriate, in global initiatives.

        Govt being “led” by a citizens assembly raises interesting questions concerning parliamentary sovereignty, but that’s the only potentially legal hiccough I can see.

    • “the Extinction Rebellion should be enough to force the Greens to forget about this woke bullshit and get them all another term. ”

      I tend to agree with you on this. The Greens actions, now that they have a role in government, has been disappointing, decidedly anaemic. This was their chance! It seems a wasted opportunity 🙁

      They could have been out there at the crest of the wave, leading the way with passion and fervour. Voices for the future. Where are they? What have they got to say now?

      The only one who is out there saying what he means and meaning what he says, not pulling any punches, is Russell Norman, and he’s not the party rep any more.

          • Russel promoted the idea of the govt printing money (quantitative easing) then suffered intense political and personal unscrupulous derision that sadly affected his family.
            Russell was right but the last thing banks want is a govt creating money like they do.

  4. how many young people would have joined the protest if it had been in the holidays or the weekend. How many of those protestors have stopped using their mobiles checked their clothing how it was made .

    • The atmosphere doesn’t give a shit, it responds to physical laws, more GHGs means higher temperature means lowered rainfall, droughts, floods and extreme weather events.
      Lowering and ceasing emissions is what counts.

      • I am a regular reader though I rarely agree with the point of views expressed . I like to think I have a open mind and look at both sides of the arguement . I believe weather patterns are changing but am of the opinion we adapt to conditions rather than fight. I hate to see polution and am annoyed at how lazy people and businesses are and efforts should be made to enforce a better attitude . However I worry the young are being lead by forces that want to see the end of our free way of life under the quize of saving the planet

        • “free” to do what. Destroy their future and the biosphere. Thats what happening and not without terrible consequences. Climate runaway will see devastation or your “freedom”.

        • Well bugger me Trev – the hole in the ozone layer isn’t now repairing itself because we adapted to conditions rather than fight! Sometimes, the man who can see both sides is the one who looks in one ear and can see out the other side.

      • Arnt these doubters awful , just like my parents in the 60s .

        awful and ugly . those of this kind couldnt stop change then and they wont stop change now .

        more power to the kids , more power to others who are protesting, marching and demanding change .

  5. Perhaps Lewis Carol saw a long way forward…

    The time has come,’ the Walrus said,
    To talk of many things:
    Of shoes — and ships — and sealing-wax —
    Of cabbages — and kings —
    And why the sea is boiling hot —
    And whether pigs have wings.’
    D J S

  6. Well .. the government should ideally be here to restrain evil and reward good.

    It’s true that the conscience and the family unit work to restrain the dark machinations of the human heart.

    What is also true is that the conscience and be corrupted by incorrect belief systems – both secular and otherwise. And who would deny the break down of the family unit, alcoholism, drug addiction, etc?

    These climate rebels seem off-center to me. As if by a government decree all would be well. How myopic their thinking must be to focus on the temporal with no care given to the eternal? Yes! It is wrong, even evil to harm the planet ..

    But I fear these ‘rebels’ would cast down our statues of history and throw our elected officials in the streets – if they could get away with it! To call climate change a banality of government would make many here flinch, BUT compared to the governments roll in securing our freedoms (i.e. pottering safely about in our gardens) it is.

    I like the Maori philosophy of being caretakers, I like praying for our leaders, exposing evil deeds done it the dark .. I feel taking care of the planet STARTS from the heart – things like not throwing your trash out the car window [maybe taking the bike] – not a legislative wand.

    Government sure has a roll as an environmental caretaker, but the restraining of evil and the protection of liabilities must be its primary roll. I fear government is a replacement for internal issues, for many people.

    • Zack – ” How myopic their thinking must be to focus on the temporal with no care given to the eternal? Yes! It is wrong, even evil to harm the planet . ” Some big thinking there, Zack. I’m totally with you too.

  7. These protests are excellent news. Long may they continue!

    Because they are driving middle class voters into the arms of National…. 😉

  8. Oh my goodness. This author doesnt have a clue. All these hippies have done is make everyone despise them… not identify with them.

    • Not so dickhead. It won’t be long when you and your kind will be despised by the majority and the oldies will fade away thank fuck.

      • Easy GreenBus – plenty of oldies are out there lending weight to the cause, just as in the past when the need arose – anti Vietnam, anti-nuke, anti-apartheid, anti-neoliberalism etc. These days they are professionals in that they are paid by the taxpayer. The good news is that they are prepared to refund some of their income via fines. And yes, it is agreed that Joe Bloggs is a dickhead.

        • My apologies Aom, your quite right. That comment was not aimed at your good self and others of the same good faith. It is very noticeable who the majority of deniers are, and that is the oldies for sure, probably white and loudly vocal against anything and everything that will or even just might change their stinking lives so that others might share in a small piece of the good fortune they selfishly hang onto. Theres a bunch of commenters stirring the pot with their old views and pompous advice for the young and I intend to give them shit about that.

      • Yeah will i have just voted for our brown and the young for our local hutt city council we need change i believe the above can deliver its time for change

  9. Extinction Rebellion will fade away same as the one percent anti capitalist, anti corporate banks movement did.

    We live in times where movements become more like fads, and where urban, disconnected people live up movements that are not based on connections to the realities that exist.

    Yes, they have a point, but the urban, especially younger urban population, will know stuff all about where our food comes from, what is needed to grow food, and what else is forming essentials of their daily living.

    Once they form communes and grow community gardens (perhaps occupied urban or rural land), thus feed themselves and others ‘climate friendly’, live without synthetic clothes, live in true harmony with nature, and are self sustainable, then I may grow to believe their cause.

    So far it is a new modern fad movement, formed and supported mostly by out of touch urban dwellers, who want change, but who are not sure enough what change is needed, and what it will mean for them and others.

    Most worrying though is the majority of the populace, who carry on as per usual, only pay some lip service to changing lifestyles and become ‘systainable’, and who actually oppose really significant change. The addicts that need fossil fuel and fossil resources and the products made from them, they are still addicts and in firm denial of the realities we face.

    How the hell can you bring these together, it will end in civil war or in one side giving up, and that will be ‘Extinction Rebellion’.

    Humanity will continue to exploit and ravage the planet as it has for centuries, as the alternative will mean the death of a few billion people, through starvation, disasters, war and so forth.

  10. So what are the numbers of participants, please?
    https://rebellion.earth/international-rebellion/worldwide/

    I did not hear much about protests in so called ‘developing nations’, or China and India, why is this?

    Maybe it is a movement of the better off and better educated kids in a number of more developed countries and few others, hardly getting the fossil fuel dependent protesters in Ecuador or Indonesia onto the street for the same cause.

    • This is a bit of blond faith but I think if New Zealand and Australia make more sacrifices than China then China should be willing to slow its growth rates. Apart of that is developing closer military ties with so they don’t have to attack or defend against what ever structure we implement and the Chinese economy dosnt boom and envelop us.

  11. Woke pakeha kids with woke latte socialist parents and grandparents who want a EV to brag about, but will also keep the diesel/petrol car for long journeys.
    Woke Up Nu Zeelind!

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