Totnes & Area  Aug/Sept Rebellion Celebration & Debriefing
News and photos #59

Bank Action with the Samba Band, Exeter, August    Photo Colin Moore
XRGlobal Newsletter #43: 

XR Totnes and Area Website
THIS WILL BE MY LAST NEWSLETTER - Thanks to all who have contributed and helped me during the last year or so. It's been fun but I need a change and so does the newsletter - fresh ideas and new life! Anyone up for it? 
Contact Colin at to find out more.

Zoom Big meet Up

You're warmly invited to a post rebellion big meet up on Monday 21st September at 6.30pm where there'll be opportunities to celebrate ourselves and each other, to share our stories and to offer feedback about organisation and strategy. 

Everyone is most welcome!  Since we can't, at his time, gather for a feast, please have some celebratory food and drink with you so that we can raise a glass together to each and every one of us - we're all crew! 

You might also want to light a candle; pick some flowers; decorate your space - whatever speaks to you of celebration. 

We're waiting for the final guidelines for a full debrief from the national Feedback and Learning Working Group so we'll just be dipping our toe into the feedback process at this meeting.

URGENT: Travel Expenses for the Rebellion.  Claim by 23rd September

A small fund is available from XR SW for rebels in need to reclaim their travel expenses.  We've been asked to make the claim as a group so please contact asap and she'll make the claim for Totnes and Area Rebels.  All claims will need to be evidenced.

At the insect Action, Totnes, August  Photo Colin Moore

Virtual attendance at big meet-ups in Grove school (whenever they recommence)

The Hosting Circle are aware that some people would prefer to continue to join meetings via Zoom, rather than attend in person.  Our tech team is working on this and plan to trial it at the first big meet-up so as to ensure we include as many rebels as possible.  For more info, email 

There have also been requests for in person big meet ups but, given current Covid guidelines, this seems unlikely for the foreseeable future.  If you have any suggestions,   
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Celebration and Debriefing the 2020 REBELLION

Local Post Action Well-being Resources from Totnes and Area Regen team - please pass on to anyone returning from actions, thank you. Love & Courage

National - HOT OFF THE PRESS :


The Post-Rebellion Handbook has been created in response to concern that rebels are exhausted both physically and emotionally after rebellion. The handbook is designed for organisers to gain resources to support existing rebels and encourage new rebels, but also has lots of good information and resources for everyone. The aims for this handbook are:

•To provide a valuable resource for organisers after rebellion

•To support organisers in helping groups to process, clear up and recuperate from rebellion

•To provide resources for organisers to welcome and guide new rebels

•To care for each and every rebel in the weeks after rebellion.



Please share widely and wildly! 

Look at what we did!!!
A lovely round up of clips (beautifully edited with the sound track of The Times They Are A-changing) from the Rebellion.....

Creating interest on Teignmouth Promenade the Green Spirits also made it onto TV. Photo Colin Moore
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Totnes and Area rebels acted on the streets and behind the scenes, locally, regionally and nationally contributing in a variety of ways to a hugely successful rebellion despite understandably low numbers due to Covid19 concerns. As ever, Totnes and Area XR were punching way above they're weight! 

Here Ruth Leonard Williams shares her testimony about her arrest outside the Houses of Parliament: 

Rebellion Day 2…

In an attempt to create a spectacle outside Parliament as Boris arrived for Prime Ministers Questions, 3 of us superglued ourselves to the pedestrian crossing by the MPs entrance and shut down the road whilst hundreds of others blocked roads in 4 other places around Parliament (plus lots of other more audacious actions).

Ruth being unglued. Photo Chris Jerrey

As 'Chunky' here (his real nickname) slowly and meticulously unstuck me we talked about our fears for our kids future plus other general good-natured banter, before I was cuffed and driven for an hour full pelt to the outer edge of Greater London, bizarrely with the sirens going, 6 officers, and then released at 3am with no charge (pending investigation).

This kind of action might seem reckless, bizarre, desperate or radical - but please dont consider it extreme.

Extreme is a Government leader who acknowledges that his parties policies commit us to 4 degrees warming this century, with a shrug. A level of warming that is completely incompatible with food and water security and would leave us with mass ecosystem collapse and little possibility of law and order or civilised society.

Extreme is continuing with HS2, despite displacing families and farmers, going billions over budget, and destroying 108 ancient woodlands, plus nature reserves and rare habitat. These places are our Amazon.

Extreme is supposedly 'being led by the science' on Covid 19, but dealing with it by bailing out airlines and big business and promising to 'Build, Build, Build', all while continuing to ignore the urgent warnings of our scientists about the state of the natural world and the need to act NOW.
A bit bleary eyed this afternoon I attended a talk about Citizen's Assemblies as a viable alternative to confrontational 'us and them' politics for complex decision making. This method has recently been successfully used in France with 98% of participants (who were made up of a representative cross-section of society) voting for a French Ecocide law, plus 150 other policies to tackle the climate and ecological crisis.

There are other really exciting examples of these Assemblies resulting in progressive outcomes. Give power to the people and with balanced expert information they really can make sensible decisions that benefit the people and not just the mega-rich.

The new Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill that has been written by scientists, lawyers and activists and was presented to Parliament yesterday, gives us a chance to put into place a Citizens Assembly and hopefully the radical policies that are needed - and with social justice at their heart. Because let's face it....this isn’t just about our planet and ecosystems it's about justice for those who are exploited and marginalised, in many cases for centuries.

Ecological justice is intimately intertwined with social and racial justice and there is a lot more work needed to connect these issues.

I might talk about fear and worst case scenarios some of the time, but ultimately I'm driven by positives. By hope, by love for humanity and the natural world and a belief that in general there is something good and sacred in everyone and all life.


The government issued its new Covid-19 regulations on 9 September, highlighting the 'rule of 6' -- i.e. that people can meet in social groups of maximum six, indoors or outdoors. There's a range of exceptions, including for protests. So we can still get out on the streets so long as we're Covid secure and write a good risk assessment. We have great experience of both of those. Let's keep getting out there!

Here's an extract from the new regulations

"From 14 September - when the new rules apply - it will be against the law to meet people you do not live with in a group larger than 6 (unless you are meeting as a household or support bubble). The police will have the powers to enforce these legal limits, including to issue fines (fixed penalty notice) of £100, doubling for further breaches up to a maximum of £3,200.

There will be exceptions where groups can be larger than 6 people, including:
... protests and political activities organised in compliance with COVID-19 secure guidance and subject to strict risk assessments"

Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill. This was at the centre of the first 2-3 days of the London Rebellion. 

Digital Rebellion. Ongoing programme of disruptive emailing and phone swamping of Whitehall. Much success already! 

Can you help Tell The Truth? QUIZ!!!
Please spread the quiz to your friends and followers using email or social media.  Here is an example social media post:

Are you up to speed with the defining issue for your generation? Find out with this quiz … then dare to share to Tell The Truth!  Challenge your friends to do better!

Feedback on the quiz very welcome, we are just in the process of improving it. Geoff Petty

Red Rebels outside BBC Cymru in Cardiff, Sept  Photo Colin Moore


The XR Politics Circle invites rebels to write to  re the Government’s recent White paper, Planning for the Future, making use of the following points as you wish!

The target in the White paper of 2025 for new homes to produce 75-80% lower CO2 emissions compared to current levels is too little too late. The previous target of 2016 for new houses to be zero carbon was removed by a previous Conservative government. Will Mr Mangnall use his influence to ensure that at a local level we will still have the freedom under the new Planning strategy to require new builds to be carbon neutral immediately.

2. The Government's Committee on Climate Change in its July report states that the rapid decarbonisation of housing is a priority, as it accounts for 18% of total UK emissions, and that since the zero carbon date of 2016 was delayed, 1.8 million houses have been built which will need retrofitting. If the requirement is delayed for another 5 years, there will be another 1.5 million houses that will need retrofitting in addition to all the existing homes that need retrofitting!

3 In the South Hams, the situation is even more critical. Buildings in the South Hams account for 33% of all carbon emissions. To achieve the Government target of global warming remaining below 2% and to meet our commitment under the Paris Agreement, the South Hams will need to reduce its carbon emissions by 13.7% per year. Under the 2025 target, the South Hams will already have used almost our entire carbon budget available for housing by 2025.  

4. We are looking at a scenario of a 3-4% rise in global temperature in our lifetime or that of our children with the catastrophic outcomes that will bring on human society and nature. Local communities in the South Hams and South Hams District Council are keen to avoid this. However in the White paper, local people's ability to insist on zero carbon new builds through the planning process is taken away from them.

5. Mr Mangnall, MP, has expressed his personal commitment to supporting local communities in the South Hams to reduce their carbon emissions, will he use his influence to ensure that at a local level we will still have the freedom under the new Planning strategy to require new builds to be carbon neutral immediately.

Planning White Paper
Boris Johnson’s post lockdown promise to ‘build, build, build’, coupled with Cummings ‘taking an axe’ to our planning system could be a backward step for both Climate and wildlife in the UK.

The proposed Planning White Paper will, if implemented build 300,000 more houses every year in the UK, but they won’t be allocated on a need basis, but rather where volume developers can sell them. In South and West Devon, that means another 10,000 houses, on top of the already damaging levels of housing allocated in the Joint Local Plan, which the new legislation will cancel out. All areas will be zoned for  Protection, Renewal or Growth. In our area, the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty will be protected- at the cost of most of the 10,000 houses being built alongside the A38 corridor or between Brixham and the A38- yes, that’s all over the countryside from Paignton, through Totnes, Dartington and beyond. This volume of housing will change the landscape forever, wiping out habitats, generating huge traffic increases and further polluting the air in areas that already break WHO limits. What’s more, local people will have almost no right to object to any development in the growth areas. Echoes of the HS2 approach to development?

Already we know that around 40% of new houses in South Devon are bought as second homes or investment properties. Developers don’t have to build truly affordable homes for local people, or build near to employment. We’re used to seeing adverts for houses in Dartington as ‘an easy drive to Plymouth or Exeter’. The White Paper will give the big volume housebuilders even more gains and less obligations. 

The Chair of Planning at SHDC has spoken out against the damaging effects of the new bill and Anthony Mangnall who previously said that he would vote for it- and not for the CEE bill, has now written in the Totnes Times that ‘Planning reform is needed- but not like this’. In a rural constituency, many of his voters will be as appalled by the prospects of a free for all for developers, so we have a real chance to tip the balance by writing to our MP now.

Please write in to explaining why you are deeply concerned about the proposed White Paper and what it could mean for our environment and our communities. You might mention the CEE bill too! Encourage him to work with other back benchers to vote against it or seek reforms. Copy your emails and responses you receive onto facebook, twitter or any other social platforms you use. Thank you. 


The CEE Bill is launched and more and more MPs are supporting it! Watch & share this video:

Find out more here:

💻Write to your MP's and get your family and friends to write to theirs! Ask them to support it! You can find your MP's email here:

"This Bill outlines the path needed to avoid the catastrophe outlined by the United is farsighted aiming to protect those at risk now and in the future." - Kumi Naidoo, Ex-Director of Greenpeace & Secretary Amnesty International

If you want to find out what's happening locally, contact  

Announcing a local chapter of Ocean Rebellion

Following the wonderful action of Ocean Rebellion in Falmouth in late August highlighting the obscene "World" cruise liner harboured there, a local Ocean Rebellion South Devon and Torbay group is in the process of setting up and will soon be planning some actions. 
If you're interested please check out and like the local Ocean Rebellion South Devon and Torbay facebook group here and if you'd like to sign up for zoom meetings and a newsletter please send an email to   You will be asked to agree to three basic principles for both the Fb group and the email list. The group is in the XR family and adheres to XR's 10 principles. We are particularly interested in rebels with access to boats, kayaks etc Please let s know!
The main website for Ocean Rebellion UK where you can read about its demands (slightly different to Extinction Rebellion's) is here
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Please donate 
Huge thanks for your generosity - we've more than covered our rebellion expenses so far but the rebellion doesn't stop here so please do continue to donate if you can, even if it's a one off, a small amount or a regular standing orders.

Donations are invited
via BACS to Totnes & Area Extinction Rebellion Sort Code 16 58 10 Account Number 21119023. If you are able to, a regular donation via standing order is really helpful. Many thanks. Erica Lewis, Finance
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Communications news

Leaving Basecamp at the end of September
We are reaching out from UK Digital Discussions who look after our internal communications platforms to ensure you have some very important information.

We hope you were already aware that we have for some time now been moving off Basecamp and on to new platforms.

The reasons can be broadly summed up as for security, scaleability and sustainability.

Further details can be found at

The XR Basecamp account will be closed in September, and you will lose everything on there unless you transfer to the new services.

You need to to know we are aiming for this transfer to be completed by the end of September 2020, and that we will be closing this Basecamp account behind us.

All UK Working Groups and UK Nations and Regions now have “Tech Champions” aiding UK Digital Discussions with the move within their regions and their local groups.

If you do not know who your UK WG / Regional / Local Tech Champion is, or you can not get support from them contact

We'll be using the Mattermost Big Blue button instead of zoom soon!

We're streamlining our communication channels
  • to get information to you more quickly,
  • to reduce how many different channels we each need to follow,
  • to reduce costs,
  • to use a platform which is run on renewable energy,
  • to improve security: data on our new services is held encrypted on a server in Switzerland (which has excellent data protection laws). Should we receive a data access request, shutting down the server would make the disk useless to the authorities.  So anything shared on a Private Channel will be secure.  Similarly, meetings held using Mattermost's Big Blue Button will be more secure than Zoom (& are free). This document explains further, including why we should move away from Google, Whats App, Facebook, etc.
Telegram Broadcast Channel
We've decided to continue to use this useful tool for rebellion and big meet up broadcasts, amongst other thing. Totnes & Area Telegram Broadcast channel use the link here.

UK Comms Hub and Mattermost Overview
The new XR comms systems comprise:
  • Mattermost chat, for short lived conversations and eventually for virtual meetings. One place to reach all rebels. (Mattermost can be used instead of WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram and Zoom)
  • UK Forums (also called Discourse), for longer, more in-depth discussions
  • UK Cloud, for file storage
  • The XR UK Communications Hub, which is a simple landing page that provides links to the above three areas. 
You may soon receive an invitation to join the UK Comms Hub, or you can request one at
For help, email Jonathan ( for more techie issues, or Barry ( for simpler stuff.

If you're not planning to be on the new platforms but you want to receive information, please contact your AG or WG coordinator so they can make sure you're in the communication loop.  If you're not in a WG or AG, you can contact Helen ( to arrange a chat about how to make sure you get the information you want.

UK Comms Hub and Mattermost Training
Ned Evans is offering Zoom sessions providing an overview of the UK Comms Hub for all levels of technical ability. She can also invite you to the hub during the session and help you to get on there.  The sessions are on:
  • The Hub and Mattermost overviews with a look at the Forums and the Cloud. Here's the days/times and zoom links for the sessions. Please come along to as many as you'd like - I go at the slowest pace and do follow ups for support.

    Overview sessions:
    Mondays - 12:00-14:00 - Zoom link -

    Thursdays - 11:00-13:00 - Zoom link -

    Fridays - 14:00-16:00 - Zoom link -
If everyone can encourage 2 or 3 people they know to ask for an invite onto the hub ... and they encourage 2 or 3 more people ... we'll all be on there in no time!  Go along to a session with your affinity group ofr working group for a ready made support group!
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Check out the new website for info on Regenerative culture!
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Post Action Arrest Support – Where are we Now?


To all local rebels arrested this September we offer gratitude and respect and any other kind of support should you contact us. If you haven’t already done so you should log all your personal and arrest details with:

This ensures that you receive advice as rapidly as possible. Please copy us in also if you wish.

More info in next newsletter.

For local information contact Tim at

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Working Group and Circle Vacancies 

Please note all roles advertised here are voluntary. 

Media lead link
Can you write press releases, or would you be interested in learning how? Totnes and Area XR have a vacancy for media lead link. Now needed urgently for the upcoming rebellion!  Please email
Main roles
- arranging press, TV and radio coverage of actions (writing and sending press releases, organising photographers, being the press contact etc.)
- coordinating media rebels, managing press contacts and updating media archive
- managing Totnes and Area XR social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Insta, YouTube)

Newsletter Co-ordinator needed URGENTLY to take on putting together newsletter from September
- for an informal chat please email Colin   -
Fundraiser needed
Someone with experience needed to enable all the actions and infrastructure needed for XR Totnes and Area
Please contact Erica
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Please share this newsletter to all who may be interested!

THIS WILL BE MY LAST NEWSLETTER - Thanks to all who have contributed and helped me during the last year or so. It's been fun but I need a change and so does the newsletter - fresh ideas and new life! Anyone up for it?contact to find out more.

Please send content by email to in this format:  Day, Date, Time, Title  - details and contact information.
Needs to be ready to cut and paste. It may not be proofread so please be careful with details and spelling. Please keep it as brief as possible. 

Colin and the Totnes XR Media Team 

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