It's no longer a secret that Extinction Rebellion now has a presence in Houston. What kind of presence, we won't know for a bit, at least not until 20 September. Even if I knew, I would not say.
I can tell you that some people who showed up at last night's XR HTX organization meeting will appear at the Climate Strike rally outside Houston's City Hall on that Friday afternoon, but I can't tell you who will show up or what (if anything) they will do there.
Because XR's style involves targeted civil disobedience, the secrecy of their planning is something that I had overlooked or underprioritized in my survey of XR activities. They try to keep tight wraps on what will happen where, when, and whom it will involve; they don't put out Facebook events, which is why I was hesitant to create a Facebook event for the XR Critical Mass ride this coming weekend. I have since canceled the event. You're still welcome to ride to demonstrate your displeasure at Houston's role in exacerbating climate disruption, but I won't, at least not this weekend.
In light of that habit of secrecy, it is quite possible that somebody else in the Houston area has already cobbled together an XR group. If so, they have yet to let us know.
I can tell you that some splendid activists of my acquaintance, with a diversity of talent and experience, showed up at the AFL-CIO hall last night. I can tell you who was there...but I won't. I can tell you that there were 19 of us in all, and that the facilitator who got this thing started is Brent Sullivan. Brent is new to me; since I arrived at the meeting a few minutes late, I did not get to hear whether he is also new to climate activism.
I can reveal my usual disappointment about recently formed progressive activist groups in Houston. At least three references to Democratic presidential candidates made their way into the conversation, and that does not even include another reference to missing the Climate Town Hall that CNN broadcast last night. I am not the arbiter of who is sincere and committed enough to be XR material, but those who place their hopes in the Democratic Party or any of its candidates to halt climate change, in my view, is no rebel. And yes, although Senator Bernie Sanders is pushing a form of the Green New Deal, I remain convinced that we cannot look to mainstream politics or politicians to get us on the right track. The impetus must come from the people at large.
I can also reveal that we agreed to meet again on the 18th of this month, but as of now I cannot say where. When I know of the location, I will add it to the event on my calendar. In the meantime, to get on the XR HTX mailing list, send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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