Extinction Rebellion is an open gate for the law.
I have absolutely no doubt that XR threads and channels are swarming with undercover from various branches of the security services alongside the out and proud cops you welcome and celebrate. For the nest few years everytime an organiser meets someone new who says they started with XR, unless they have a flipping brilliant personal vouch they are going to have to assume they are a cop or at-least a leaking sieve.
I get the hostility to masks, I do. It goes against the liberal aestethic and the presentation XR are after. If people cover their face, the police will be hostile, and you want the police to see you as friends adn join you. Let’s ignore that fact the this excludes anyone cares about personal and collective security (including the life long activists being told they don’t care because they are not there) the reality is this arrogant approach to security has undone so much work to get good security drills into activists young and old to help them to realise they have rights, that they can walk away and that 100% of the time the safest thing they can do is give a no comment interview. You share pics of cops having a dance and making friends, videos of people talking about how they made friends during their time in lock up but have you once talked about the 40 odd people facing charges or those who are being held on remand? Oh and then there is the the horrendously flaws “activist information form” and it’s online version which askes if you are arrestable, who your affinity group is and all the other standard information GCHQ would love to have. The spreadsheet with everyones details in is, I garuntee, sat in unencrpted files on half a dozen compters… look at this mess and it’s online sister which we’ll share at the bottom
I sure as shit hope I am wrong and that all the data has been scrubbed down to say an email list or something.
You see security is vital to organising, it’s not vanity and play acting James Bond, it’s what keeps people out and the streets and stops their lives being ruined. It’s what stop movements being infiltrated and torn apart. You might be ok playing an open book for the police and encouraging activists to pour out personal details on open documents but have you stopped to think that it’s not just the coppas out there?
The fash, especially the James Goddard co-option of The Yellow Vests have been around you since day one, they were spotted by anti fascists and folk kept a close eye on it. Inevitably by the weekend they had taken to turning up in number and kicking off with you, to which having no response to authoritative forces that don’t give two shits how civil you are being, you let the police come and deal with it (which they did eventually)…
You’re activist should have been more prepared and a zero tolerance position made clear. Without that firm line in the sand, right wing activists have oozed their way onto mailing lists and threads. Some of them may genuinely agree with your campaign, others are trying to do “psy ops” whilst a pocket will be doxxing you and are everyone you work with.
The isn’t civil.
This isn’t a fun game for everyone to do for the weekend.
You don’t have to be fire and brimstone but if you are going to have vast resources and huge epic campaigns you need to do more to protect the people signing up and getting involved.
It starts with communications, maybe read our own mini guide eh?