Extinction Rebellion and climate change activism: Breaking the law to change the world

21 January 2021, 5.15 PM - 21 January 2021, 6.30 PM


What is the role of non-violent civil disobedience in securing environmental justice?

Extinction Rebellion (XR) uses non-violent civil disobedience to persuade governments to act justly on the climate and ecological emergencies. It’s been a controversial approach and has drawn a lot of attention since they were formed in 2019.

Oscar Berglund and Daniel Schmidt's new book, Extinction Rebellion and Climate Change Activism: Breaking the Law to Change the World, summarises and critiques XR as a social movement organisation, engaging with key issues surrounding its analysis, strategy and tactics. They suggest that XR has an underdeveloped and apolitical view of the kind of change necessary to address climate change, and that while this enables the building of broad movements, it is also an obstacle to achieving the systemic change that they are aiming for.

Extinction Rebellion and Climate Change Activism analyses different forms of protest and the role of civil disobedience in their respective success or failure; democratic demands and practices; and activist engagement with the political economy of climate change. It engages with a range of perspectives that address law-breaking in protest and participatory forms of democracy.

Oscar Berglund discusses XR and civil disobedience with a panel. Chaired by Andrew Kelly, director, Festival of Ideas. There will be time for questions, discussion, reflection and an opportunity to buy a copy using a discount code provided at the event.

This event is organised in partnership by Cabot Institute for the Environment and Bristol Festival of Ideas. This event will be recorded. It is part of a series that Festival of Ideas is running with many partners through 2020/2021 on the future of democracy and free speech as part of the English PEN Common Currency programme.

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XR protest with two police in front of protestors

Oscar Berglund

Oscar Berglund

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