Extinction Rebellion is a global movement that uses non-violent civil disobedience in an attempt to halt mass extinction and minimize the risk of social collapse.
On 31st October 2018, British activists assembled on Parliament Square in London to announce a Declaration of Rebellion against the UK Government. The next few weeks were a whirlwind. Six thousand rebels converged on London to peacefully block five major bridges across the Thames. Trees were planted in the middle of Parliament Square, and hole was dug there to bury a coffin representing our future. Rebels super-glued themselves to the gates of Buckingham Palace as they read a letter to the Queen.
Extinction Rebellion was born.
The call to rebel swiftly became global, with branches popping up the following week in Europe, the US, and soon after the world over. Leaderless and truly global, each new branch makes the movement stronger, bringing in new perspectives, wisdom, expertise, energy and inspiration.
Extinction Rebellion Québec
Our group made itself known in October 2019, when a few days after the historic September 27 demonstration that brought more than 500,000 people into the streets of Montreal to demand the ecological transition, Extinction Rebellion launched several civil disobedience actions. After three activists scaled the Jacques-Cartier Bridge structure to draw attention to government inaction, a second group blocked René-Lévesque Boulevard in the afternoon. At the end of a demonstration that lasted several hours, 41 activists were arrested.
In the following years, Extinction Rebellion launched numerous actions in campaigns against banks, oil companies, the automobile lobby, the ecocidal Canadian and Quebec governments, as well as taking part in solidarity actions with indigenous movements and for climate justice.
The Covid-19 pandemic has allowed XRQC to undertake a process of rethinking its organizational methods and strategic orientations. Since 2021, Extinction Rébellion Québec has been operating under the formula of affinity groups.
An affinity group refers to a small group of activists (usually 3 to 20 individuals) working together for direct action. Affinity groups are organized in a non-hierarchical way, with decisions made by consensus, and are often made up of trusted friends. They are a flexible and decentralized form of organization.
Affinity groups can be based on
- A shared concern on a given issue: promotion of degrowth, anti-GMO, anti-SUV…
- A common activity, role or skill: legal support, artistic creation, scientific research, etc.
- A geographical proximity: XR Mauricie, XR Abitibi-Témiscamingue, XR Québec…
So what’s next?
Anyone can create an affinity group in their community with the goal of climate justice. They can then contact the support group to access the various structures and be connected to other groups. The support group is committed to assisting to the best of its ability or redirecting groups to resources that can help them accomplish their mission.
Individuals who do not have the network to form an affinity group may contact the support group, which will, where possible, connect them with other individuals or groups in their area, or with similar goals.
Translated with DeepL