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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 10/8/19

Time to Rebel

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Monday, Oct. 7. marks the start of what the British-based group Extinction Rebellion is calling the International Rebellion. Thousands of people will occupy the centers of some 60 cities around the globe, including Madrid, Amsterdam, Paris and New York, to stage nonviolent occupations of bridges and roads for at least a week. The goal is to paralyze commerce to force the ruling elites to respond to the climate emergency. I will be at Battery Park in New York to join them Monday morning.

The protests, which organizers say will likely lead to hundreds of arrests, will employ a variety of tactics, including activists who will superglue themselves to trains, subways and buildings as well as build temporary encampments to disrupt traffic. The New York event will open at 9:30 a.m. Monday with a "funeral march" from Battery Park. At 2 p.m. Monday, organizers will set up base in Washington Square Park and use it as a staging area. Activists will congregate at the park and fan out in groups across the city to carry out protests. The disruptions during the week in New York will occur in a variety of locations, including in the Financial District and at the New York Stock Exchange, Columbia University and major cultural institutions. In Chicago, there will be an attempt to occupy City Hall and Daley Plaza. London activists, who shut much of the city down in April for 10 days and saw 1,000 arrests, are planning to hold out for three weeks.

"It is our sacred duty to rebel in order to protect our homes, our future, and the future of all life on Earth," Extinction Rebellion writes. This is not hyperbolic. We have, as every major climate report states, very little time left. Indeed, it may already be too late.

"People have to go to the capital city," said Roger Hallam, the co-founder of Extinction Rebellion and a researcher at King's College London, when we spoke earlier this year. "That's where the elite is, the business class. That's where the pillars of the state exist. That's the first element. Then you have to have a lot of people involved. They have to break the law. There's no point in just doing a march. They have to literally close down the streets. They have to remain nonviolent. That's absolutely crucial. Once you get violent, police and the state have an excuse to remove you. It's got to be cultural. You make it into a sort of Woodstock affair. Then thousands more people come onto the streets.

"There's a fundamental difference between breaking the law and not breaking the law. It's a binary difference. When you break the law, then you're massively more effective in terms of material and psychological influence as well as media interest. The more dramatic the civil disobedience, the better. It's a numbers game. You want people blocking the streets, but you need 10, 20, 30 thousand. You don't need 3 million. You need enough for the state to have to decide whether to use repression on a mass scale or invite you into the room. The gambit, of course, particularly in the U.K., is that the state is weak. It's been hollowed out by neoliberalism. They're going to find themselves overwhelmed. We will get in the room."

The group stresses what it calls a "pre-social-media age" strategy for organizing. It has created decentralized structures to make decisions and issue demands. It sends out teams to give talks in communities. It insists that people who participate in the actions of Rebellion Extinction undergo "nonviolent direct-action" training so they will not be provoked by the police or opposition groups.

"Most of the recent mass mobilizations have been social-media-fueled," Hallam said. "Consequently, they have been chaotic. They are extremely fast mobilizations. Social media's a bit like heroin. It's a high, but then it collapses, like we've seen. It becomes chaotic or violent. A lot of modern social movements put stuff on social media. It gets clogged up with trolls. There are lots of radical-left organizations arguing about different privileges. We've circumvented that and gone straight to the 'common people,' as you might say. We've held meetings in village town halls and city halls. We go around the country in a 19th-century sort of way, saying, 'Hey guys. We're all fucked. People are going to die if this isn't sorted out.' The second half of the talk is: There's a way of dealing with this called mass civil disobedience.

"Nonviolent discipline, as the research shows, is the No. 1 criterion for maximizing the potential for success. This is not a moral observation. Violence destroys movements. The Global South has been at it for a few decades. Violence just ends up with people getting shot. It doesn't lead anywhere. You might as well take your chances and maintain nonviolent discipline. There's a big debate within the radical left over the attitude toward the police. This debate is a proxy for the justification of violence. As soon as you don't talk to police, you're more likely to provoke police violence. We try to charm the police so they'll arrest people in a civilized way. The metropolitan police [in London] are probably one of the most civilized police forces in the world. They have a professional team of guys who go to social protests. We've been in regular communication with them. We say to the police, 'Look, we're going to be blocking the streets. We're not going to not do that because you ask us not to.' That's the first thing to make clear. This is not an item for discussion. They know it's serious. They don't try to dissuade us. That would be silly. What they are concerned about is violence and public disorder. It's in our interest as civil disobedience designers not to have public disorder, because it becomes chaotic."

"You're basically holding the economy of a city to ransom," he said of the shutdowns. "It's the same dynamic as a labor strike. You want to get into the room and have a negotiation. Extinction Rebellion hasn't quite decided what that negotiation is going to be. We've got three demands -- the government tells the truth, the carbon emissions go to zero by 2025, which is a proxy for transformation of the economy and the society, and we have a national assembly which will sort out what the British people want to do about it. The third demand [calling for a national assembly] is a proxy for transforming the political structure of the economy. It proposes a different, concrete form of democratic governance, based around sortition rather than representation. This has had a big influence in Ireland and Iceland. The optimal transition is going to be from the corrupted 'representational' model to a sortition model in the same way aristocratic law shifted to representational law at the end of the 17th and beginning of the 19th century.

"The intelligent people on the political left have woken up to the fact that we've got an existential emergency that could destroy human society in the next 10 years. It's in the cards. A lot of us have already gone through the grief process. But these [newly awakened] people just had that enlightenment. They're in shock. They're maintaining a veneer of 'It's sort of OK.' This is what the Green Deal [a United Kingdom government policy initiative] is about. It is an attempt to pretend that industrialization can stay the same. We can all still be wealthy. We can all still have great jobs. It is like Roosevelt's New Deal. But the New Deal was based on the idea that we can carry on plundering nature and nothing's going to happen. Maybe that was right in the 1930s, but it's not right anymore. It's a matter of physics and biology. We simply cannot maintain these levels of consumption. They haven't reckoned with that. One of the main reasons the climate debate has not gotten into a serious mode over the last 30 years is because people who are in charge of informing the public are terrified of telling the public that they can't have the high consumer lifestyle anymore. It's a taboo. But like any addiction, there comes a moment of truth. We're there now."

"For 30 years we've had one political metaphysic, reform," he said. "You either reform or you are irrelevant. But now, we have two massive, exponentially increasing structural faults -- the inequality problem and the climate problem. A lot of people -- because of path dependency dynamics -- have worked for 30 years in this lost-cause sort of space. They're desperate for change. For 30 years, they've been putting their money on reform. The tragedy -- and you can see this in the history of political struggle going back hundreds of years -- is there's a flip where the reformists lose control. They're still living in the past world. The revolutionaries, who everyone thinks are ridiculously naive, suddenly come to the fore. It's usually a quake. It's not a gradualist thing. It's a double tragedy because it's a quake and the revolutionaries usually aren't organized. I think that's what's happening now. It has very big implications for [resistance against] fascism. Unless you have a clearheaded mass mobilization on the left, which is connected with the working class, you're not going to be able to stop the fascism."

These protests are a welcome antidote to the choreographed and ineffectual climate marches of the past in which protesters dutifully stayed in police-designated areas and dispersed after a few hours. The goal is not simply to protest but to throw a wrench into the machine. The group has 10 working principles that center on nonviolent resistance. These principles are:

We have a shared vision of change: to create a world that is fit for generations to come.

We set our mission on what is necessary, mobilizing 3.5% of the population to achieve system change using ideas such as "momentum-driven organizing" to achieve this.

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Chris Hedges spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. He has reported from more than 50 countries and has worked for The Christian Science Monitor, National Public Radio, The Dallas Morning News and The New York Times, for which he was a foreign correspondent for 15 years.

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6 people are discussing this page, with 35 comments  Post Comment


Lois Gagnon

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't this article have comments under it yesterday?

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I don't know about that, but we can start sharing now.

Submitted on Tuesday, Oct 8, 2019 at 5:31:49 PM

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The quotation below is from an article from RedFireOnline.com on 4-8-2019 entitled What's Wrong With Extinction Rebellion?

Anti-socialist action

Although one of XR's slogans is "beyond politics", they are very political but not in a good way as far as working people are concerned. One of the core positions of XR is being against socialism or at least their misunderstanding of it. Some XR organising sessions have warned participants against carrying placards saying "Down with Capitalism", lest the action be interpreted as being organised by socialists!! Explicit anti-socialism was on show with the now infamous XR training video, where a talk given by XR founder John Hallam identifies 20% of those who take part in political demonstrations as "obstructionists", who have to be bypassed to get to those who are supposedly not as political. Hallam is referring to socialists who allegedly bring everyone down by denouncing capitalism. He states the solutions need to be a balance, "not socialism or anything".[2]

The Manufacturing of Greta Thunberg--For Consent: The Political Economy of the Non-Profit Industrial Complex [Act 1] by Cory Morningstar


Submitted on Tuesday, Oct 8, 2019 at 4:12:25 PM

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If the organizers of Green New Deal and Extinction Rebellion are anti-socialist and anti-socialism, could this be a sign that the organizers are just the One Percent in disguise?

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The One Percent will always be against socialism.

Submitted on Tuesday, Oct 8, 2019 at 4:42:52 PM

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The One Percent knows, or may know, there is a climate crisis, but any solution they offer will allow or encourage vast disparities between the rich and the poor, which is why we have an ecological crisis, which is why we are not evolving as a human species.

Submitted on Tuesday, Oct 8, 2019 at 4:59:58 PM

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Maybe we need an Extinction Rebellion and Green New Deal movement that is openly socialist and for drastically reducing our planetary footprint immediately with ecological alternatives.

Submitted on Tuesday, Oct 8, 2019 at 5:19:09 PM

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At AZquotes.com , my two favorite quotes of Social Ecologist Murray Bookchin are "Capitalism can no more be persuaded to limit growth than a human being can be persuaded to stop breathing. Attempts to "green" capitalism to make it ecological, are doomed by the very nature of the system of endless growth." Also "Capitalism is a social disease. It has always been a social cancer. It is the disease of society. It is the malignancy of society."

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Any of you have them controls to turn red all the street lights in NY City? Am surprised IBEW Wirenuts have not yet shut lights off in the Big Apple. But that would be over "the cost of living" costing our lives.

Submitted on Tuesday, Oct 8, 2019 at 5:29:34 PM

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I am not sure I understand what you are saying.

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Imagine all street lights in the Big Apple turning red at one time. Have heard of people who would like to be there when that happens. But the IBEW Wirenuts (As we called ourselves.) are only concerned of the high cost of living costing people their lives. I do also ponder about back in August of 2003 how a branch growing into a power line shut down 26 power plants in the North East.- but that's about a few seed coincidences and prayers.

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Thanks for sharing.

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Whoops, posted twice by mistake so guess talk of learning to live one with Mother Earth being sound wisdom. We do that and Red Man would have his justice.

But the 3rd hard to find woe says this, "Woe to the earth and sea for the devil has come down to you, knowing he has but a little while."

And after them 2 olive branches get killed because no one wants to listen to offer of peaceful solutions it says, "The time has come to destroy those who destroy the earth."


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Submitted on Tuesday, Oct 8, 2019 at 5:32:51 PM

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The fact that we allow billionaires to exist is not the full problem. The extravagant and wasteful lifestyle of millionaires has also contributed to our ecological emergency.

Submitted on Tuesday, Oct 8, 2019 at 5:54:27 PM

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We cannot save the planet until we start saving all the people who live on it. The two go together.

Submitted on Tuesday, Oct 8, 2019 at 6:04:55 PM

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Becoming self-actualized is when the world becomes self-actualized with us.

Submitted on Tuesday, Oct 8, 2019 at 6:08:34 PM

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This was a really good interview I heard this past week from the Global Research News Hour: Saving the Earth or Capitalism : The Inconvenient Truth Behind Today's Youth Climate Campaigns.

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It is mostly because of the United States Empire and the lifestyles of millionaires that there is no peace and ecological sustainability in the world.

Submitted on Tuesday, Oct 8, 2019 at 7:07:50 PM

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When everyone starts living simply, preferably by choice, it will be a win-win solution for everyone.

Submitted on Tuesday, Oct 8, 2019 at 7:50:26 PM

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Roger Copple

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Using more biodegradable hemp and solar would greatly help the world. I am reminded of Marcin Jakubowski whose organization Open Source Ecology encourages low cost tools that can last a lifetime to build sustainable farms and ecological communities. I am also reminded of Muhammad Yunus who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for founding Grameen Bank which pioneered the concepts of microcredit and microfinance. The loans are given to entrepreneurs too poor to qualify for traditional bank loans. If everyone in the world is guaranteed $12,000 a year--after we drastically reduce military spending and eliminate all of the private central banks--we can teach everyone in need of a home how to build and maintain a hemp and solar home, after we first learn ourselves.

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Yes Hemp and solar. Had seen a video of an engineer saying wind was best for electric cars.


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tim mcghie

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I hate to even think that what I am thinking could become reality, but with the way the global elitists seem more concerned about making more money than the future of the planet makes me think that maybe "THE GEORGIA GUIDSTONES" could be their simple solution for global warming.

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I did a quick search and found this summary of the Georgia Guidestones Mystery . Now I will go back and study the article and the website more carefully. Thanks for sharing.

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Roger Copple

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I did a quick search and found this summary of the Georgia Guidestones Mystery . Now I will go back and study the article and the website more carefully.

After looking at this article, I would say, yes, we need ecological sustainability, and yes, compassionate socialism, above any conceived form of compassionate capitalism, is the only way we can create ecological sustainability. Moreover, I like the Earth Constitution model much better than the Earth Charter Initiative that was mentioned in the above article. We need democratic world law as the basis for forming Democratic World Government, and it has to be built from the bottom-up and from the inside-out.

Submitted on Tuesday, Oct 8, 2019 at 9:44:37 PM

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What is The GEORGIA GUIDSTINES?


Remember a talk at talk in bar around 2007 with an insurance man. He insured me that when hemp and all green tech stuff take off, the same elite will control it.


Me big fan of Arlo's bring your own god church.


My social conscience woke up at same time heard about the worker ownership of the $20 billion a year Mondragon Cooperative back in 94. Sadly what Unions could have worked out details of, everything went backwards. Mondragon owns it's own bank, which reinvests in itself and collage that trains its workers. Can't imagine how that could help things today?

Submitted on Tuesday, Oct 8, 2019 at 9:26:38 PM

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wikipedia.org/wiki/Georgia_Guidestones
the scariest part is to reduce earths population to 500,000,000 and maintain it there. That would mean eliminating around 7 billion

Submitted on Tuesday, Oct 8, 2019 at 10:40:23 PM

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tim mcghie

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who would be the 500 million chosen people? The egotistical elitists will need slaves, no?

Submitted on Tuesday, Oct 8, 2019 at 10:55:05 PM

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Roger Copple

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It's up to we the people to make sure that no group tries to reduce the world to a population of 500 million, if that really is the intent of an organized group of elitists. If we are going to make decisions about the whole world then every world citizen needs to participate in the decision making, and not a small elitist group.

Submitted on Wednesday, Oct 9, 2019 at 12:58:05 AM

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Michael Dewey

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Had thought for sure OWS 2011 was going to unite the world. Had just moved in with Marie over in Antwerpen July 2011. We met on FB and 3 cold week visit as a Muslim for 3 cold weeks in New England fall 2010. She was the Yoko waiting for to make this following DJ video of Arlo's "all over the world people were holding hands." Am sure its coming sometime. Been back from Belgium since Dec 2017 after finding Marie with head up against wall May 5-2017 morning. She would always joke about Jim Page's "It will be over your dead body, in a Belgium sweet voice."


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Submitted on Wednesday, Oct 9, 2019 at 4:19:05 AM

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Roger Copple

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If we have a democratic world government, it is conceivable that we could equally empower the 7 largest international political parties, after we equally empower the 7 largest national political parties in every country. In any case, we will need a compassionate philosophy of child development. I like this article that was just sent to me entitled Here's what a four-year-old should know by Alicia Bayer--October 31, 2018. We have to start being concerned about the self-actualization of every person who shares this planet. We are one earth, one world, and one humanity. If we cannot realize this, we are doomed.

Submitted on Tuesday, Oct 8, 2019 at 10:13:24 PM

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Roger Copple

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In an article entitled "World Order and the Rule of Law: From Disorder, No Order Can Emerge , " Glen T. Martin, President of the World Constitution and Parliament Association states, "The system of so-called sovereign nations (interfaced with their multinational corporations) is really a fragmented system of disorder." On page 4 he states, "Because there is no democratically legislated enforceable law for our planet itself (divided as it is into some 193 sovereign entities recognizing no effective law above themselves and little individual accountability for agreements and treaties) there is also no moral dimension of reasoned order that obtains at the global level, only chaos, fragmentation, and naked power relationships." He also states, "Abstract ideals, like those embodied in the UN Declaration of Human Rights, cannot create a decent world order. These moral principles must be embodied concretely within enforceable world law."

Submitted on Tuesday, Oct 8, 2019 at 11:37:25 PM

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Gary Brumback

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Great comments. Totallyy agree, especially on the moral dimension. I devote an Appendix in my new book, "911!' to the subject of morality. Evildoing, btw, is the epitome of immorality. And America's power elite are unsurpased anywhere on the globe by their evildoing.

Submitted on Wednesday, Oct 9, 2019 at 1:51:56 PM

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David Watts

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That is what I have been thinking. I am thinking "they" think there is still time to save us/Homo sapiens and other life on the planet by eliminating 7 billion carbon footprints soon. Depopulation plans are set up in Agenda 21/2030.

From everything I have seen, it is too late to save the globe from what has now become a runaway heat train. The main reason, feedback loops; primarily the thawing permafrost releasing methane and albedo (amount of sunlight being reflected vs absorbed as heat) being reduced by the melting of ice especially in the arctic. The feedback loops have started to churn which will warm things more which means more released methane and more ice melt which means more warming and on and on..

So if what I just said is true, and I think it is, the question is will "they" be able to save themselves and their families and still have a future.

Submitted on Wednesday, Oct 9, 2019 at 10:55:17 PM

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David Watts

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In an essay for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Molina along with Veerabhadran Ramanathan, a professor of climate sciences at the University of California, San Diego, and Durwood J. Zaelke, president of the Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development in Washington DC, explain that climate change is not worsening in a simple, linear fashion, but rather by compounding and accelerating: "Adding 50 percent more warming to reach 1.5 degrees won't simply increase impacts by the same percentage bad as that would be. Instead, it risks setting up feedbacks that could fall like dangerous dominos, fundamentally destabilizing the planet."

Submitted on Wednesday, Oct 9, 2019 at 11:29:26 PM

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Gary Brumback

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Chris, it's time to knock down the "props" mutually created by Corporate and Government America to keep their power elite in power and perpetuating their endless wrong doing and evil doing.


America needs rescued from its power elite. I worked ujt a perfect solution and and pickedsome of the super rich as the rescuers. We shall wait and see.


If you would like a free inside look at my book, do this:

See Amazon Books. Enter Gary Brumback's "911!" book & keep clicking till "Look Inside"

Submitted on Wednesday, Oct 9, 2019 at 11:59:01 AM

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