As a tactical matter, one would think that a serious rebellion would use surprise. After all, if you know in advance of a rebellion, the powers that be would be positioned to thwart it, put it down. But not this rebellion. Instead, it issued a press release.
For Immediate Release
April 11, 2019
Rebel Actions in 30+ Cities
April 15 – 22
There’s something about a media advisory for “immediate release” that doesn’t strike me as particularly rebel-ish. So what are they rebelling against?
USA, April 15 – 22 – Extinction Rebellion’s International Rebellion will break out across every continent on Earth, barring Antarctica, including the U.S. Rebels in 49 countries are demanding their governments take decisive action on climate change.
WHAT: Bold and creative acts of Rebellion, including blockades, demonstrations, and other forms of disruption are planned in at least 35 cities across the country next week to build capacity to force the US Government to take action and stop climate change.
Climate change is certainly in the air, so the cause isn’t exactly a surprise, even though the New Green Deal goes unmentioned, apparently not the solution they embrace. Of course, what to do is left unsaid, though they do say they’re going to take “bold and creative acts of Rebellion.” Blockades? Demonstrations? Other forms of disruption? Sounds like they’re full up on annoying people, which tends to be curious means of persuasion if their purpose is to create a consensus that government needs to confront climate change. Then again, they aren’t asking for change. They’re “demanding” it.
The name “Extinction Rebellion” sounds pretty serious. Nobody wants to go extinct, and nobody familiar with the issue doubts that we’ve fouled our environment to the point of seriously harmful change. Whether this spells extinction isn’t entirely clear, given that carbon emissions from bovine backsides is both huge and uncontrollable. Try to get a cow to control its flatulence.
At the website for the Rebellion — because what’s a rebellion without a website? — it’s got more to say. It demands that the government, together with its lackeys in the media, admit the truth about climate change and “enact legally-binding policies to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2025.” But they aren’t leaving it in the hands of the politicians.
We do not trust our Government to make the bold, swift and long-term changes necessary to achieve these changes and we do not intend to hand further power to our politicians. Instead we demand a Citizens’ Assembly to oversee the changes, as we rise from the wreckage, creating a democracy fit for purpose.
While it’s unclear what “fit for purpose” means, what is clear is that they’re unfamiliar with the meaning of the word “democracy.” As if this Citizens’ Assembly is somehow different from the existing Citizens’ Assembly known as Congress.
But like the new inspirational voice of the Democrats, the rebels too connect dots the olds can’t see to extend their demand beyond the mere reaches of climate change into . . . everything else.
We demand a just transition that prioritizes the most vulnerable people and indigenous sovereignty; establishes reparations and remediation led by and for Black people, Indigenous people, people of color and poor communities for years of environmental injustice, establishes legal rights for ecosystems to thrive and regenerate in perpetuity, and repairs the effects of ongoing ecocide to prevent extinction of human and all species, in order to maintain a livable, just planet for all.
This might be one of the most adorable press releases I’ve gotten, the piss and passion of youthful exuberance reflecting an excess of passion and a dearth of substance. Words that inspire hope in the future, provided you aspire to live in a yurt. Except this isn’t really all that far off from what some who have been elected to Congress want to do, which makes it slightly less adorable and more bewildering. Is this the alternative to Darth Cheeto?
But they take themselves seriously, as a click on their website informed me.
Well, no, I am not prepared to be arrested, at least not for this. And I have some issues with a rebellion that requires a cell phone to join. Does that mean I can’t rebel with a landline? As far as the amount of time I’m willing to commit to the cause, the time it takes to write this post pretty much maxes it out.
More than a decade ago, as the financial crisis crushed young people’s American dream of a decent job, a house, a financially secure future, I was slightly critical of their lack of political awareness and involvement. Their demands were about them, and their activism consisted of griping about how they did everything right and were left empty-handed.
On the bright side, young people have, in the past decade, become extremely engaged politically. But on the dark side, their passion is more directed toward empty demands and threats of rebellion. When the meteor strikes earth, it will not affect women and minorities most. And should this group of passionate rebels blockade traffic on Tenth Avenue, it will not cause government to capitulate to their demands. It will just annoy the hell out of people going about their lives.
But at least they’re savvy enough to send out a press release, so when traffic comes to a standstill, you’ll know why.