JULY '22 newsletter

Dear XR Hammersmith & Fulham Rebels,

We hope you're well and warmly welcome the new people who have signed up to our mailing list recently. We're delighted to share an update on how we're progressing. 

Update to XRHF group meeting schedule

We have changed our meetings and for the time being are meeting up as a group every second Tuesday – usually the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month. We are still meeting in Our Lady of Fatima Parish Centre (Church Hall), Commonwealth Ave, White City, W12 7QR. Different groups meet more often as necessary – all the details are on the WhatsApp groups and the website. Zoom link for the meetings if you can’t come in person. https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87667791294. Next meeting Tuesday 2nd August 8pm. 

Updates on our activism - and how to get involved

We’ve been very active over the last few months on a number of different projects. There’s too much to list everything here, but some of what we’ve been doing: 

Air Pollution Campaign - School Streets for H&F

Following a successful people’s assembly we held at the end of last year, we set up a group to address the issue of air pollution across the borough. We held a series of meetings and talks in the spring and were lucky to have some expert speakers including Prof Ian Mudway of Imperial college. Our first action has been to pressure the council to introduce School Streets in the borough (H&F is the only inner London borough to have no School Streets). We have organised a letter to the council demanding School Streets which has been signed by 40% of the heads across the borough and are optimistic we’ll see some progress. If this is something you’d like to know more about there is a WhatsApp groups concentrating on Air Pollution. Reply to this email for info. 

Campaign against fossil fuel sponsorship of the Science Museum

Rebels from H&F have been instrumental in protesting against the Science Muesum’s sponsorship arrangements. Last year the museum opened an exhibition ‘Our Future Planet’, sponsored by Shell. Later in the year they announced they’d be opening a new Green Energy Gallery sponsored by Adani – one of the biggest coal companies in the world. XRHF Rebels maintained a presence outside the museum for 3 or 4 days a week for much of last year, handing out flyers and talking to people going into the museum. We are part of a wider coalition – Fossil Free Science Museum which has coordinated actions throughout the year – and continues to do so. You can read all about it here: www.fossilfreesciencemuseum.com

During the year there were resignations from their board of trustees reflecting our views and we have recently seen what might be a sign of progress with the museum announcing they are planning to demand higher carbon emission standards from their sponsors. We’ll see how that pans out. The group has also coordinated a letter to the museum, signed by over 400 schools (and counting) saying they will not bring their children to visit the museum while it accepts sponsorship from fossil fuel companies.

Shareholder Activism against polluting banks

A number of rebels bought a share in different fossil funding banks (as well as Shell) which enabled us to attend their AGMs and put questions to the boards about their continuing finance of fossil fuel projects. During April and May we were at the HSBC, Barclays and Standard Chartered AGMs, keeping the pressure up. One highlight was a flashmob performance of ‘Money, Money, Money’ during the HSBC meeting which led to the protestors being evicted. There are small signs that some institutional investors are starting to put pressure on the banks. 

Vanguard Asset Management is the 2nd largest fund manager in the world, with $7.5 trillion under management, of which a significant amount is invested in fossil fuels. Only 0.4% of their funds are invested ‘sustainably’ and amazingly their ‘sustainable’ funds are allowed to invest in coal, oil and gas. We have been part of a wider XR protest outside their offices in the city every day through July and will continue to make investors and the people who work for them aware of their climate-destroying investments. All the info click here

Imagine2030 - an offshoot group engaging with local residents on climate & ecology

Some of the XRHF group established Imagine2030 a couple of years ago. This group has attended 3 different events over the last few months (Fulham Palace, Wandsworth Bridge Road, LBHF Wildlife Day) and had dozens of conversations with people about the CEE and what kind of 2030 they’d like to see. What we hear almost always is fewer cars, more public transport and cleaner air. See what’s going on at www.imagine2030.earth

Preparing for the next rebellion - 10th Sept save the date!

The last Rebellion – in April was a great success. The biggest difference from 3 years ago is that it’s not news – the majority of people we speak to know there is an emergency and agree the government should be acting more decisively. It’s more than depressing to see the candidates for PM debating their responses to Climate Change – Rishi Sunak suggesting recycling is the answer and Liz Truss saying how she’s always been thrifty. All a part of it for sure – but where are their commitments to no more coal mines, no more oil and gas drilling licences, more green energy, more insulation in properties and on and on. A glimmer of good news was a presentation made to MPs by Patrick Vallance (the government’s chief scientific advisor) in June on the science behind the CEE. Sadly fewer than 70 MPs attended but the talk was filmed – you can watch it here. Please share it as widely as you can – certainly all policy makers should watch it. 

The next big XR Rebellion is in September – starting on 10th. Save that date. Plans are still being developed but it’s likely there will be at least one big march over that first weekend. It’s our opportunity to let the government know we are still there and that they have a responsibility to act on the emergency. Following the extremes of weather we’ve all experienced this year and the widespread agreement these are effects of climate change it’ll be interesting to hear their response. 

Keep in touch/connect with XRHF

As for how to keep in touch and find out more, have a look at our website: www.xrhf.earth You’ll also find info and links to the various WhatsApp groups there. 

Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/XR_Hamm_Fulham

And on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/xr_hammersmith_fulham/

If you’d like to get involved with any of the different projects please get in touch. It doesn’t have to be a lot of time and can involve anything including research, design, planning ... as well as attending various events. 

Special bonus news - we featured in 'My Extinction' Documentary - going to film festivals shortly for public 2023 release

One of our rebels is a filmmaker and has documented his journey over the last 3 years: his doubts, involvement with XR and all the ups and downs. The film should be out in the autumn – something to look out for. We are hoping to be holding a public talk before the next Rebellion – probably in early September. See you there! 

Love and rage! 

David, Hamish and the XRHF Facilitators