We are deeply disturbed by what clearly goes way beyond the realm of an ‘unfortunate oversight’. Our planet is literally burning and some of the police and government seem desperate to silence the fire alarm.

We need to find out who knew what and when. But more importantly, we need to know why. Why are they trying to silence a peaceful, nonviolent movement of people who are trying to make sure the world’s children have a future?

It is hard to process how supporters and members of Extinction Rebellion, and those that just care about people, wildlife and planet, will feel when they understand that some people within organizations like NHS England and Ofsted knew about this and said nothing. [1] Considering the ‘greening of the NHS’ that was in the news at the weekend, this potentially represents a breaking of trust on a visceral level. [2]

We don’t want to be delivering this message, that the climate is burning and we are facing ecological breakdown. But it must be heard for the future of humanity. This othering and stigmatization of those that care and are trying desperately to bring people together to face the emergency is just divisive and misguided. Now is not the time for an us-versus-them mentality, we should not let fear make our decisions for us.

Rather, we need to be thinking about restorative practices that allow us to see the human in the people we share this island and world with, to help us develop resilient and caring communities where conflict and tensions can be managed by repairing harm and building trust.

We are already seeing big changes in awareness. By valuing peace, truth, community and justice, we can find courage as we face this emergency together.

Rob Cooper, former Police Chief Superintendent and member of Extinction Rebellion, said: “The worrying aspect about these revelations is that nobody inside the police or at the Home Office thought to question the guidance that included Extinction Rebellion alongside extremist groups, when it was first produced, or when it was subsequently circulated. It is worrying that it seems to have slipped through the scrutiny net, without any critical analysis.”

“If I cannot have confidence in this Government to look out for the future of my 6 year old granddaughter, then I cannot have confidence in them at all, full stop. What else is there that matters more than the future of our children and grandchildren?”

List of places: Home Office, the Department for Education, NHS England, the Ministry of Defence, HM Prison Service, Probation Service and Ofsted, as well as 20 local authorities, five police forces and Counter Terrorism Policing headquarters (CTPHQ) in London.

[1] https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/jan/27/terror-police-list-extinction-rebellion-shared-across-government

[2] https://www.england.nhs.uk/greenernhs/2020/01/greener-nhs-campaign-to-tackle-climate-health-emergency/ / https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/uk-51235786