about us We are extinction rebellion vermont (XRVT)
XRVT intends to spark and sustain a spirit of collective, creative rebellion which will enable much-needed changes in our political, economic, and social landscape. XRVT works with and beside affinity groups in other U.S. cities and states to change the national consciousness to become one based on conservation of our ecosystems. XRVT believes in fostering cooperation within our citizenry to quickly reach the goal of living sustainably within our natural environment as a part of it, not apart from it. We work to transform our society into one that is compassionate, inclusive, kind, sustainable, equitable, and interpersonally connected. Additionally we endeavor to mobilize and train local organizers in Vermont municipalities to work with their local communities to develop, using the XR framework, tools they need to address Vermont’s deeply rooted problems as they relate to the threats created by global warming.
XRVT is allied with the broadly scientifically accepted understanding that achieving average global temperatures of greater than or equal to a 1.5ºC increase over preindustrial averages will be the cause of severe, adverse, and consequential impacts on life as humanity understands it today1 and that an increase of 2ºC or greater will have catastrophic and perhaps existential consequences for the human species and all of the Earth’s flora and fauna.2 XRVT acknowledges that this is reality, not a myth, a joke, or power grab by nefarious forces, but a dangerous future that we living today and those that might follow us will, without exception, inhabit should we continue with “business as usual.”
Maintaining +1.5ºC is our best hope and it will be difficult to achieve. The window to reach this benchmark grows smaller every day. This goal will require sacrifice by every Vermonter. The consequences of failing are real, terrifying, and will mean an end to life on Earth as we understand it today.3 XRVT understands that this message is not popular, nor one people wish to hear. It is a message that inspires despair and grief and XRVT maintains a goal of acknowledging this grief and is allied with local organizations able to help Vermonters reconcile this grief and turn it into positive action in the service of the future of our Earth and all of its inhabitants. For better or worse, we all are living through a moment of consequence the likes of which humankind has never seen before. We must rise to meet it.
XRVT’s Fundamental Goals
XRVT holds dear the tenets of the international group4 with a Vermont focus. In sum, these are that XRVT is an ecological activist group intent on creating a world fit for healthy habitation by generations to come, free of the existential dangers of the consequences of global warming. XRVT’s mission to concentrate on what is necessary to achieve this goal is one grounded in focused non-violent activism and civil disobedience in the service of mobilizing a broad coalition of a minimum of 3.5% of Vermont’s population (22,000 people) ready to be available for regular and repeated actions in the service of achieving XRVT’s goals. XRVT is part of a national XR goal of raising 3.5% or more of the U.S. population (11,497,200 people) to fight to change the inhumanity of today’s climate and environment-destroying norms.
XRVT’s goals are simple and are shared with the larger international XR organization.5 We require:
- That Vermont governments from the State to the Town level must tell the truth about global warming and the wider ecological emergency we have created without departmental exception. These governments and their departments must reverse policies inconsistent with addressing these issues and work with the media to communicate to citizens the dangers we face and the changes that must be made to mitigate future impacts of global warming on Vermont’s population and natural environment. Vermont’s governments and their departments must not be perpetuators of predatory delay.6
- That Vermont governments must enact legally binding policy measures to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 20257 and to reduce consumer consumption levels and impacts within State and Town governments and among all of the citizens of Vermont.
- The creation of State and Town Citizens’ Assemblies legally empowered to oversee the changes required above, as part of creating a democracy fit for the purpose of arresting global warming and empowering citizens over an establishment that has delivered us to this dangerous climate threshold. These Assemblies shall operate from a science and evidence-based position to ensure that Vermont is able to meet or exceed its goal of statewide net zero carbon emissions by 2025.
- XRVT requires a just transition that prioritizes Vermont’s most vulnerable people, indigenous sovereignty, and establishes reparations and remediation, led by and for, Vermont’s African-Americans, indigenous people, people of color, and poor communities as recompense for their suffering years of structural environmental injustice. XRVT understands that establishing legal rights for ecosystems is a non-negotiable requirement of State and Town government in order for historically degraded ecosystems to thrive and regenerate in perpetuity. The repair of the effects of historical and continuing ecocide in Vermont is absolutely mandatory to prevent the extinction of our human, and all of Earth’s, species.
In order to maintain a justly inhabited, livable planet for all, these are our requirements and what we intend to gain by our actions.
Like the international XR group, we have 10 basic principles from which our actions grow. They are:
- All of us in XRVT have a shared vision of change.
- XRVT’s mission is what is necessary — mobilizing 3.5% or more of Vermont’s population to achieve systemic change in Vermont in the service of Vermont’s part in maintaining a 1.5ºC increase of average global temperature over preindustrial averages.
- XRVT believes that Vermont and Vermonters need a sustainable culture. Our culture must be healthy for all, resilient, and adaptable to face a future destabilized by our society’s previously disastrous choices.
- XRVT openly challenges its members to rise up to remake the toxic systems of governance and economics that we have created in the United States. XRVT believes that everyone in the U.S. must question their role in perpetuating an ideology that threatens the very survival of our planet as we recall it in our recent past and know it today. This applies even to, and especially to, XRVT members!
- XRVT values reflecting on and learning from our group’s public actions and those of other popular movements. We will take the lessons we learn to plan for more action with each public action learning from and building on the failures and successes of the previous public actions.
- XRVT welcomes everyone and every part of everyone willing to work within our framework. We work to actively create safer and more accessible spaces open to all who come with a genuine purpose to help us achieve our goals in Vermont.
- XRVT actively seeks to recast power dynamics and structures in Vermont with the goal of remaking existing local power hierarchies to foster more equitable and just participation by all Vermonters.
- XRVT will not blame nor shame. We believe our present system of governance and economics to be toxic and ultimately deadly for the Earth as we know it to be. We acknowledge that we all have and continue to play parts in creating and perpetuating this system. No one is without blame and no one is unable to work to make the changes required for the healthy survival of all. We are in this together, we have created this crisis, and we must work to avert this crisis.
- XRVT is a non-violent chapter of a non-violent network that gains its strength as a part of a whole. We will exclusively use non-violent strategies and tactics to work to achieve our goals and believe them to be the most effective way to foster the change we require.
- XRVT exists as an autonomous part of a decentralized whole and our individual group practices collective decision making and has no leadership which might be pointed to as “in charge” of any particular decision or action. We are a collective creating a collective structure with which we work to challenge a deadly status quo. We as individuals in XRVT act in accordance with the objective moral principle that exploiting our planet’s resources in a manner that creates the likely probability of the destruction of life on Earth as we understand it today is categorically wrong and must be stopped.
Any who are able to follow these core principles are welcome to join our collective action.
We refuse to bequeath a dying planet to future generations by failing to act now. We act in peace with ferocious love of these lands in our hearts.