'VALENTINE FOR THE EARTH' ACTION AND BLOCKADE

candy heartsjoin extinction rebellion in downtown Asheville on February 14th

all ages welcome

bring love, nurture hope, take action!

sign up below for latest updates, to volunteer, or just to let us know that you’ll be there


  Overview     Blockade     Roles     Arts     For Those Risking Arrest     Action Goals     Sign Up  

Extinction Rebellion WNC invites you to join a street blockade and nonviolent demonstration on Friday, February 14th to show love for our one and only home now in the throes of a climate emergency. The theme is ‘A Valentine for the Earth’.

We will begin to gather at 3:00pm at Pritchard Park. At 3:45pm we will walk on sidewalks to our destination a short distance away to a location which will be announced on the day of the action.

Upon arrival, trained protesters will deploy banners and artwork, occupying the street and disrupting traffic for exactly 10 minutes. The street blockade is un-permitted and blockaders will be risking arrest during this time. Those not planning to risk arrest may participate from the safety of sidewalks on either side of the street blockade.

Like an actual Valentine’s Day present, some details can’t be unwrapped ahead of time. But our plan is to use art and drama, our bodies and voices to declare a fierce love for this amazing world and rebellion against all that would threaten it.

After the predetermined time, blockaders will leave the street and all will depart on sidewalks. Participants are then invited to the Vance Monument for an open mic and to hear speakers and to hold signs and banners.

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Blockade

Using colorful banners spanning the roadway, we will block the street in both directions for precisely 10 minutes. This has not received a permit from the city, nor have we applied for one.

Asheville Police have been made fully aware of our intention to block the street. We do not know if they will decide to make arrests. Extinction Rebellion does not recommend that anyone enter the street who has not received a legal briefing and training from us in advance.

The purpose of the blockade is not to inconvenience motorists, but to mark a new beginning in North Carolina of escalated action on behalf of our children and communities now threatened by climate change. Having witnessed with disbelief more than a decade of delay and denial, growing numbers of people now recognize that a global nonviolent movement is our last and only chance to avoid climate catastrophe. In Asheville in 2020 we’ll step onto that path. This is an Extinction Rebellion.

one of the 22 ft. long banners we’ll use
…and this is the other one

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Roles

Participants may choose to act as blockaders willing to risk arrest or as demonstrators on the sidewalks who do not wish to risk arrest. All, however, are asked to add their individual contribution to the Valentine’s theme with signs, wearing red items of clothing, and bringing pictures of those people and places you love and wish to protect from climate chaos.

There are also specific volunteer roles remaining to be filled. These include:
   • photographers and videographers
   • marshals for safety and keeping people to the sidewalks
   • people with clipboards to collect new names for XR’s contact list

Our sign up form below has more information about volunteering both during and prior to the action.

All participants, no matter their role, are expected to abide by ‘The Rebel Agreement’, Extinction Rebellion’s binding framework for nonviolent direct action.
   1. We acknowledge the human dignity in everyone- each other, the public, the government, and the police.
   2. We engage in no violence, physical or verbal, and carry no weapons.
   3. We hold ourselves accountable for our actions and do not hide from the legal consequences.
   4. We bring no alcohol or illegal drugs.
   5. We take responsibility for ourselves; we are all crew.

Copies of this agreement will be available in flyer form on the day of the action. For a more detailed version of Extinction Rebellion’s Action Consensus, click here.

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Arts

Art is central to how we communicate with the public.


Creating beautiful and inspiring elements such as these requires many hours and many hands. For our ‘Valentine to the Earth’ action, we’re going to need banners, flags, giant Valentine’s cards and much more.

Extinction Rebellion WNC has a talented Arts team dedicated to this very thing, but they’ll need new recruits for a job this size. The team will be scheduling one or more art build days in a large space with the necessary supplies on hand to get things done right.

Working together and building community is the fun part! If you’d like to help with the art builds, we’d like to hear from you. Sign up below and we’ll be in touch.

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For Those Risking Arrest

It may come as a surprise to learn that Extinction Rebellion encourages cautious and sober self-reflection for anyone contemplating civil disobedience. Even a minor arrest on a misdemeanor charge can become vastly complicated–perhaps even dangerous–for someone in a vulnerable position due to residency status, prior convictions, religious or ethnic identity, gender expression, and more.

And even absent complicating factors, nonviolent direct action carries inherent risk. Coupled with the nervous uncertainty of a novel experience, one might be forgiven for wondering why any sane person would ever volunteer for such a thing!

This is a matter best considered alongside others. As a people’s movement, we depend on each other for wisdom and clarity about how best to use the resources we’ve been given and the time we have. Discernment is an important part of any action, even one which is straightforward and easily done.

Our nonviolence action trainings are a place where you can bring your serious questions needing answers. We’ll discuss how escalated actions and engagement with the legal system can help our cause. Experienced trainers and a consulting practicing attorney will assess the likelihood of arrests in this action, what to expect if arrests do occur, and possible charges and penalties. We’ll also practice the skills we need so that we’re prepared for whatever happens.

Let us know in the sign up section below if you’re interested in learning more about participating in the street blockade. And in the meantime, you may also want to check out an abundance of related information at https://www.xrebellion.nyc/legal-info.

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Action Goals

There is a climate emergency. Time is short. Does what happens in a small city in southern Appalachia matter?


Monbiot suggests that our answer to the question above could decide the fate of literally everything and everyone we love. Maybe it is the only question of any importance left to be asked.

Extinction Rebellion WNC believes that it matters what happens here.

We believe there are thousands of people in western North Carolina who experience climate crisis-induced fear, anger, and grief and who might act on the courage of their convictions if they saw others doing the same.

We believe these thousands will grow into tens of thousands in days to come as flooding, melting, and burning continue to wreak havoc on human communities and natural ecosystems around the world.

We believe that desperation and hope are a potent mixture; that desperation dispels lethargy and impels survival; that hope is something we create ourselves.

These are goals of XRWNC and the ‘Valentine for the Earth’ action:
   • to be seen by others who are ready to join an extinction rebellion
   • to use an uncomplicated blockade to demonstrate mass civil disobedience and make it thinkable
   • to build a diverse array of skills within coordinated, decentralized work teams
   • to inaugurate an ongoing quarterly cycle of action, reflection, and growth
   • to double in size by the time of the next cycle
   • to ready our work teams for new members
   • to plow our patch of ground here in the mountains as XR continues to spread across the state (WNC, Charlotte, Durham, & Chapel Hill/Carrboro so far with more to come)
   • to embrace the small steps that must be taken so that big change becomes possible

See also: The 4 Demands of Extinction Rebellion (US)

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Sign Up

You can help us prepare for the action by letting us know at the JotForm link below if you’re going to take part. This is especially important if you want to participate in the street blockade. Signing up will also help us to make plans and fill other volunteer roles, too. Let us know you’re coming!

(And if you need to write us, our email address is contact@extinctionrebellionwnc.org.)

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