XRUK Statement on Palestine

On 3 November, 2023, Extinction Rebellion UK released this statement about Palestine –

In Extinction Rebellion we believe in nonviolence: standing against violence in the name of justice. We are horrified by the atrocities committed on October 7th, and the rapidly escalating violence and humanitarian crisis inflicted on the people of Gaza. We are not willing to remain silent in the face of the total failure of the UK political establishment to show humanity in the face of unimaginable destruction and killing.

The future we are fighting for is one free from violent systems of oppression that deem certain lives as expendable or less worthy of protection.
If we believe in climate and ecological justice, we must seek justice in all forms. The climate and ecological emergency has roots in centuries of colonial violence, exploitation and oppression – for which the UK bears a disproportionate share of responsibility. Britain has historically been instrumental in the ruthless suppression of Palestinian human rights and continues to offer unwavering support for the military onslaught we’re seeing now.

The collective punishment being imposed on innocent civilians in Gaza is a war crime that the UK Government and official opposition continue to enable in their refusal to call for a ceasefire — the only pathway to safety and peace for both Palestinians and Israelis.

Our political leaders continue to show a total disregard for the preservation of human life, and are all too ready to accept enormous destruction and loss as an inevitable side-effect of the policies they endorse in the name of power and profit.

We stand in rebellion against the UK government for their failure to protect life.

We join the urgent calls on the UK government and opposition leaders to demand an immediate ceasefire and to facilitate a peaceful resolution that preserves civilian life and ensures the safe return of hostages.

Polling shows that 76% of Britons say there should be an immediate ceasefire in the Holy Land. Our government continues to ignore the will of the overwhelming majority of the public. In light of this, continued mass mobilisation is our only recourse.

As we resist, we call for nonviolence and unity in our communities, and support for our Jewish and Muslim brothers, sisters, and siblings in the UK who face the increasing threat of anti-Semitic and Islamophobic attacks.

We condemn the continued crackdown on peaceful protest and the dangerous smearing of people mobilising to demand peace. The dangerous rhetoric driven by those exploiting the crisis to further extremist ideologies – including our political leaders – serves to stoke more division and persecution in our communities.

We cannot begin to secure a just future without an end to systems of violence and oppression all around the world, and the liberation of all indigenous people. We must extend our compassion and humanity to all life suffering under conditions of war, occupation or forced displacement: in Sudan, DR Congo, Yemen, Myanmar, Ukraine, Palestine and many more places across the world.

Only a just peace can secure a liveable future.

CEASE FIRE NOW

Rebels across the region have been taking to the streets to stand in solidarity with the people of Palestine, calling for a ceasefire. We asked several rebels why they think it is important to show up and speak up.

TONY: I’m a long time Palestinian supporter having visited and worked in the West Bank and Gaza for child health teaching and have seen the dreadful injustices and continuing oppression by the Israeli state that cause suffering every day. I condemn the Hamas atrocities, but the present punishment of the Palestinians goes beyond revenge and has to be stopped by people all over the world standing up and calling for an immediate ceasefire to protect the civilian population. This follows the principles of XR work of speaking up against injustice and the destruction of the environment.

LAUREN: Environmental activism is about restoring and caring for a planet that can support life. You can’t demand this and then condone genocide.

ANNE: It was important to me and my family to come together with others in our community in South Shields to share our grief and to add our voices to all those calling for an end to war, for peace and justice.

Community. Family. Grief.

Peace and justice. Justice and peace.

CEASE FIRE NOW.