A week ago, at our first general assembly we voted on and adopted a new demand for Extinction Rebellion Toronto. Under the header “Justice For All”, the demand reads:
“We demand self-determination for Indigenous communities both in Canada and around the world. The response to the climate crisis must centre the rights and needs of Indigenous peoples, people of colour, the economically disadvantaged, people with disabilities, migrants, and those of all genders and sexualities. Solutions must be actively decolonial and firmly safeguard the dignity of all.”
Designed as a statement on XR Toronto’s commitment to the fight for climate justice as well and Indigenous self-determination, the demand is the product of months of education, debate and difficult conversations. This new demand is the first fruit born of the process of Extinction Rebellion Toronto developing our own collective consciousness of the greater forces which animate the climate crisis.
This demand is not the culmination of this process; it’s just the beginning. At the assembly, rebels offered well-thought critiques of the demand. In the coming weeks and months we aim to incorporate those perspectives into the language of the demand and have it become a living document that evolves along with the group. In addition, we will begin a process of harmonising our language with our counterparts across Canada.
What won’t change, though, is our steadfast commitment to justice. In adopting this demand we have given ourselves an explicit mandate in the realm of climate justice. A mandate which we must now act upon. It will be incumbent upon us to build relationships and alliances with groups from marginalised communities both locally and on the front-lines of the climate crisis, listen to the needs of these communities and assist in ways that might not bring the spotlight. In addition to fighting against unjust structures in the world, we must remain vigilant so that they do not reproduce themselves within Extinction Rebellion.
This new demand is only the first step but it’s a crucial one.
Love, Rage & Solidarity,
Extinction Rebellion Toronto