Rupert Read launches a new campaign, #WeWontSpeakToMurdochRags, to boycott the Rupert Murdoch-owned media by not speaking to these publications until they take the climate emergency seriously and convey the gravity of the crisis to their readers.
Following his arrest at a recent Extinction Rebellion protest, Rupert Read sets out his new “David versus Goliath” campaign for change by example.
The climate and ecological emergency consuming the world, usually, defies the imagination. It is so life-altering yet so gradual – exploiting the human tendency to ignore things that are radically outside our own experience.
Yet, thanks to the Coronavirus, we have been given a small taste of what is to come. The short COVID-19 pandemic is like an accelerated version of the long climate emergency. The UK’s vulnerability has been exposed, along with the incompetence of its Government, and the generosity of its people.
When I heard that Culture Declares emergency was organising a series of ‘Letters to Power’, I thought to myself: “Rupert, you should probably write one”. You see, I have spent much of my life attempting to talk to, persuade, even beg those with power - our elected leaders, heads of banks and businesses, big organisations or media companies, for example. I have written many, many letters to power before.
Extinction Rebellion and Davos sound like odd bedfellows. Why would a direct-action campaign, increasingly visible in the United Kingdom for warning starkly about the climate emergency, want to rub shoulders with the global financial elite at its main annual forum in Switzerland? The answer is that robust green activism turns out, when you think it through, to be high finance’s best friend.
The Guardian’s recent revelation that Extinction Rebellion (XR) had been classed as an extremist ideology in now hastily withdrawn advice issued by counter-terrorism police (Anti-terror police target school climate strikes, 11 January) is the latest example of a wider campaign seeking to undermine public support for our non-violent movement.