Shapes of our fearTessa Hadley

  Amitav Ghosh’s book The Great Derangement was published in 2016. It’s a moving polemic, accusing contemporary novelists of failing to find the right forms, or the necessary urgency, in addressing the climate crisis. And it’s a crucial intervention. Which novelist hasn’t been anguished by this widening gap, like a chasm opening under our own […]

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How to Tell a Story to Save the World 5Toby Litt

  In this final couple of chapters, we find some signs of resistance to the dominance of Heroism in two of the most successful films of all time.   AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR 2018 and AVENGERS: ENDGAME 2019   Unlikely as it may seem, the two recent Avengers films give signs of possible hope. (I’m going […]

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They have given us no reason to trust themEmma Garnett

  This is an edited version of a speech given to XR Scientists at the Science Museum on 29th August 2021 My name is Emma. I am a Research Fellow at Cambridge University looking at behaviour change and sustainable diets. But I’m not here to talk about that. Instead, I’ve been asked to speak today […]

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Monique Roffey Speaks Truth to Power at the Impossible Rebellion 

  This stirring speech was given by author and co-founder of XR Writers Rebel, Monique Roffey, at XR’s Impossible Rebellion in London, Monday 23rd August, 2021.   Why, are we here in the City, today? Why have we marched all this way? To speak truth to power. To speak truth to the City of London, […]

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How to Tell a Story to Save the World 4Toby Litt

  This time we look at the most recent of the screenwriting gurus, John Yorke, and then take a hard look at the transformations of World War Z. What happens when a novel without a hero goes through four of the scriptwriting machines?   INTO THE WOODS: HOW STORIES WORK AND WHY WE TELL THEM […]

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What I said to the jury who found me guiltyZappi Taylor

  On 22nd July, three rebels were convicted of taking action at the Brazilian Embassy against the ecocidal and genocidal regime of President Bolsonaro. Possible sentences range from a community order to 18 months in prison.  This is the address given by one of the rebels, 24 year old Zappi Taylor, to the jury.   […]

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Read: Iggy Fox’s Defence StatementIggy Fox

Iggy Fox on the Eros Statue in London.

  The wildlife biologist and campaigner Raphael Coleman, known in XR as Iggy Fox, joined Extinction Rebellion as part of the Media and Messaging team in 2018. He was active in XR Youth, a beloved member of the Snowflakes affinity group, and the force behind XR’s iconic Paint The Streets campaigns. When still a zoology student, he […]

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Support the Tufton 3Jessica Townsend

A Writers Rebel Campaign On Trial for Causing Criminal Damage to the Home of Dark Money   Extinction Rebellion co-founder Clare Farrell, Professor Rupert Read and I are in the heart of London to perform an act of civil disobedience. Later, we expect to be arrested. I don’t know about the others, but I’m nervous. […]

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Parents for a Future – how do we broaden the movement?Rupert Read

  Walking along the street the other day, I overheard a fragment of a conversation. A mother with a pushchair was saying confidently said to her friend, ‘You know me, I’d do anything to protect my kids’.  It’s a variation of a phrase I have often heard but, just recently, the urge to interrupt and […]

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Writing on the landJames Flint

  John Richard Granville Stevens — Granville to everyone who knows him — is standing in the field behind his farmhouse, showing me his roots. While he’s doing this, I’m thinking about Franz Kafka’s short story “In the Penal Settlement”. Farmer Granville Stevens standing in one of his cover crops. [Photo credit: JAMES FLINT]   […]

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How to Tell a Story to Save the World 3Toby Litt

  This month I’m looking at two of the sacred monsters of Screenwriting Guruhood – Robert McKee (Story) and Blake Snyder (Save the Cat). If you’d like to read what’s gone before, start here; if not, read on.     STORY: SUBSTANCE, STRUCTURE, STYLE AND PRINCIPLES OF SCREENWRITING   ROBERT MCKEE   1997   Of […]

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Children of the Revolution: On Parenting and ProtestChristiana Spens

‘Why are we here, Mummy?’ My four year-old son asked, as we joined the swathes of Extinction Rebellion protesters in Glasgow’s George Square in September 2019. ‘The ice caps are still melting. This isn’t really going to help the polar bears, is it?’ I was slightly taken aback. Caspian had always been fascinated by wild […]

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The Puma YearsLaura Coleman

It was last August, at around three in the morning when my phone rang. I lay in bed and listened, the darkness spreading around me. Through the phone, Tania ‘Nena’ Baltazar wept. Our home is on fire. “Nuestra casa se está quemando.” I could hear the crackling of flames. I could smell it, feel the […]

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Threading Our WayCeó Ruaírc

  Threading Our Way    Peace River territory   The Peace purls a ripple stitch across the Rockies    down through fertile valleys   air shimmers in waves    over the hot road to Hudson’s Hope   glistening fish hide in hollows    fishers patient hopeful   on the farm Grandma weaves    a sheaf of wheat into wreathes   […]

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The prayer of the Common NewtGordon Meade

  The Prayer of the Common Newt   In a muddy pond, in the outskirts  of Clydebank, a mother, with over two  hundred eggs inside her, is beginning the process of giving birth. Over the next few weeks,   each day she will deposit about a dozen  of them not on a folded over leaf, […]

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The shaping of History: THE PEOPLE VERSUS SHELLSimon Bramwell

On 22 April, XR co-founder Simon Bramwell and six other rebels appeared at the Southwark Crown Court, charged with causing 25K worth of criminal damage to Shell’s London headquarters.  In a historic ruling, six of the defendants were found not guilty despite admitting to criminal damage, and the judge indicating that the law pointed to […]

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