Extinction Rebellion activists draw up plans to attract 'poor' activists from ethnic minorities

Daily Mail Online 5 days ago

Extinction Rebellion activists have drawn up plans to attract activists who are 'poor' and from ethnic minorities in a bid to change the white, middle-class make-up of the movement.

A document seen by The Mail on Sunday reveals that members have considered an 'announcement to the working class'. 

The proposed text says: 'Are you working class? We need you! We are incredibly keen to increase the socio-economic diversity of XR. If you are poor or working class and already a member, please get in touch,' with an email address underneath.

Extinction Rebellion activists have drawn up plans to attract activists who are 'poor' and from ethnic minorities in a bid to change the white, middle-class make-up of the movement
Extinction Rebellion activists have drawn up plans to attract activists who are 'poor' and from ethnic minorities in a bid to change the white, middle-class make-up of the movement

Minutes from last month's meeting of the group's head 'Anchor' group highlighted 'a lack of representation from disabled people and people of colour'.

In a June proposal to reach out to marginalised London communities, one member wrote: 'XR has been following the conventional model of virtue signalling ('yes, we agree working people are oppressed etc') and tokenism ('we need to get more black people into working groups' – as if this is just a matter of ordering them out of catalogue).'

The member bemoaned 'the almost complete absence of working-class people in the London office and the massive representation of Oxbridge graduates'.

Another activist says the movement 'needs to sound less hippy', while others fear the group's aim of mass arrests will alienate ethnic minority communities who historically suffered racial injustice at the hands of the police. 

One document admits this has caused an issue in the public perception of the group.

It said: 'If you were to come to our actions and only walk straight up to the people being arrested on the front line, such as the affinity group members blocking the bridges on Rebellion Day, you'd probably end up seeing the same type of people.

'This is where you'd likely see the 'stereotype' of XR: white, British national, middle-aged or a pensioner, middle-class, educated, and probably a Left-leaning Guardian reader.'

The documents also reveal that children are viewed as a key target for the organisation in winning support for their radical demands. 

Spokesman Rupert Read published an online pamphlet in August which claimed: 'Imagine an October with tens of thousands of children and students on the streets of London.'

The protest group said last night: 'It is important that there is conflict within Extinction Rebellion over lack of diversity. We live in a racist system, and Extinction Rebellion and the people within it are not separate from that system.'

The member bemoaned ‘the almost complete absence of working-class people in the London office and the massive representation of Oxbridge graduates’. Climate change activists are pictured in London yesterday
The member bemoaned 'the almost complete absence of working-class people in the London office and the massive representation of Oxbridge graduates'. Climate change activists are pictured in London yesterday

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