Action consensus

30 June 2018 – This action consensus is a collective framework  that is undertaken by all participants of the Code Rood action in Groningen at the end of August 2018. This text has been largely based on the action consensus developed by Ende Gelande in Germany and the action consensus of Code Rood for the action in the port of Amsterdam on 24 June 2017. A large group of individuals and working groups have worked on this text in different phases in a collective process that included publically accessible action conferences. At the end of this process the action consensus has been adopted in two steps at the Code Rood action conferences on 6 May and 30 June 2018.

The goal of this action consensus is to make the action transparent and accessible for all participants: people with more and less action experience, with different levels of physical and mental fitness, et cetera. The action consensus conveys that we take of each other and that we support each other, also in a large action such as Code Rood. “We say what we do and we do what we say”. All people that accept this consensus are welcome to join this action. Because of the extensive and careful process and considering the goals it is aiming to achieve the action consensus is very important for us. We will therefore strive to make sure all participants in the action are aware of the content of this document.

This summer we will collectively support the existing resistance in the gas extraction zone in Groningen by strongly disrupting business as usual gas extraction with acts of civil disobedience. Considering the severity and urgency of the gas-induced earthquakes, the wilfully inadequate compensation for damages, and the visibly escalating climate crisis, we consider it both necessary and legitimate to go one step further – from public protests to civil disobedience.

Around Gronings Ontzet (Groningen Liberated) on the 28th of August we will take action. In Groningen, Europe’s largest gas extraction zone, we will draw a line. By consciously breaking laws we place ourselves in a long history of just and necessary social struggle. With this legitimate resistance we reject the destruction of houses, businesses, historical heritage, and nature in Gronigen. As well as against the deliberate bureaucracy, unwillingness, and lies of the NAM, Shell, Exxon and the governments that make this possible. With our organisation and actions from below we will confront the dangerously fused power of companies that put profit over people and nature, and a corrupted state that is facilitating this. We are in solidarity with all people worldwide that who are affected by the social and ecological destruction of the fossil fuel industry.

We have to stop with oil, coal and gas as soon as possible to prevent further climate change. At the same time the extraction of fossil fuels has devastating consequences for both local communities and nature everywhere. This realisation is bringing more and more people together. Groups of indigenous people, farmers and city dwellers stop coal fired power stations in India, pipelines in the U.S., lignite coal mines in Germany, fracking in Brasil, and oil extraction in Nigeria. Together with them and many others we form a global movement against the devastation caused by the fossil fuel industry.

Our action offers different levels of engagement. Everyone that wants to take part is welcome to do so in a way that suits them. Personal experience with similar protests is not required to take part. Using a variety of banners and symbolic objects we will draw attention to the many destructive consequences of the gas extraction in Groningen and the fossil fuel industry in general.

We come from different places: Groningen, the rest of the Netherlands, and beyond. Together we are responsible for the success of this action. During the action we support each other’s welfare. We block and occupy with our bodies and we will not damage machines or infrastructure. If necessary we will move past or through obstacles from the police or the NAM. Our action will communicate an image of diversity, creativity and openness. The safety of the people taking action, workers and bystanders in the action zone are our highest priority. We will not enter terrain that is life threatening dangerous. We are thoroughly prepared for a safe execution of our blockade, among others by following trainings prior to the action. We will inform ourselves extensively about the safety rules in the action zone that are associated with the presence of fossil fuels.

During the action we will behave in a calm and cool-headed way. Escalation will not be provoked by us and we will not react in an escalating way on provocations. Our action is not aimed against workers or the police. Our actions are aimed against the policy of the fossil fuel industry, in particular the NAM, Exxon, Shell and the government. We find it important to interact restfully and without prejudices with each other. Sexism, racism and other discriminatory expressions are not tolerated. We recognize that we all are formed by our background and are open to learn from each other and understand and acknowledge each other’s feelings. If necessary, activists can approach the support and recovery group/trustiees for support*.

We acknowledge that social change is the result of a combination of diverse types of resistance, including legal demonstrations and surprise actions that have been prepared by smaller groups. We are engaging in an openly announced civil disobedience action. If there are other groups that want to take action during the action period, then we request them to reckon with the Code Rood action and its participants when choosing the location, timing and action form. We are firmly opposed to all attempts to use the resistance against gas extraction for reactionary and nationalist aims.

We understand that workers are dependent on their jobs to provide for themselves and for their families. Therefore we are calling for a transition fund for workers in the fossil fuel industry. For us, climate justice signifies not only that fossil fuels remain in the ground, but also that in the necessary transition there will be rewarding work opportunities for everyone, in an economy that respects all inhabitants and all life on this planet. Now and in the future.

*) Addition from the Support and Recovery group [23/8]: Trustiees will be present. At the action camp, during the action and afterwards the support and recovery team will be active. They offer support with preparation, tips and active support about recovery for action related stress.