This strategy was designed in several phases: a first draft was written in early September by a group of rebels who volunteered to synthesise the outcome of discussions at the XR retreat and the experiences of national circles over the past year. This initial proposal was then widely disseminated within the movement, with each local group and collective invited to provide critical feedback. This feedback was analysed and used as a basis for rewriting the strategy and thus the document you are holding in your hands.
This document presents a short-term strategy for XR Belgium for the period October 2020 - spring 2021. The proposal for a new ecological narrative ("DeCO2lonize XR") that was circulated in parallel with the first version of the strategy is not part of this document.
This strategy aims to use this period to strengthen the foundations of the movement and amplify its general capacity for action with a view to moving to a higher level of rebellion in the spring of 2021.
Here are the 3 axes of this strategy :
First of all, we need to strengthen our movement by creating the conditions for a real integration of existing members while at the same time recruiting new members.
This strengthening will be done by aiming at 4 objectives:
The aim will be to put in place the context, the means and the environment necessary for the commitment and involvement of the existing rebels. We want to enable them to find their place and feel fully part of the movement while making the functioning of the movement explicit so that everyone can contribute to it by developing their full potential.
It is essential to implant a regenerative culture, i.e. the culture of "taking care of" (self, rebels, community, our planet), of developing positive feelings and building relationships. This culture allows us, among other things, to face the various difficulties we encounter (tensions between members, psychological stress, police violence, doubts...) and to emerge from them stronger and more united.
This point asks us to reflect on the relationships of power and domination that can take place within the movement, to put in place a real welcome for every person with each of their competencies and to question ourselves constantly.
As a self-organised and decentralised system, each of the groups and circles is autonomous in making its own decisions. We will work together to simplify and strengthen communication and coordination between national groups, local groups and collectives in order to create a supportive and effective network.
When all Belgian local groups join forces, we are able to bring together a significant number of participants, but our organisational and coordinating capacities are not multiplied in the same way. This is a major obstacle preventing XR from gaining momentum and consequently exhausts the resources and energies available in the national circles, which are then no longer able to fulfil their other functions (support, training, link with the international movement, link between local groups, etc).
In order to envisage national actions on a larger scale than we have organised so far (e.g. waves of rebellion involving thousands of participants over a week or more), we need a much larger number of rebels to have the availability, experience and confidence to organise large national actions.
It is essential to aim first and foremost to significantly amplify the capacity of all local and collective groups. Thus, by spring 2021, the energies and resources available in national circles will be devoted to helping and supporting local and collective groups in the organisation of more ambitious local actions.
This increase in capacity will be achieved in three ways:
A longer-term political and action strategy is needed in order to be able to organise our efforts in a coherent way and move towards acceptance and implementation of our three demands.
This will be done in two stages:
The political circle of XR Belgium is given the mandate to propose a process for the development of a long-term political and action strategy. This process will define how the strategy will be determined, reviewed and approved by the whole movement. It will be drawn up in such a way that it can be put into action in the spring of 2021. This strategy will serve as an effective guide for XR's action in Belgium, in line with the Belgian reality, the state of the ecological emergency and the action of XR as a global movement. The process of developing this strategy will pay particular attention to the integration of all the components of the movement so that it functions as a real binding and convergent force.
The discussion and revision of the ecological narrative underlying our actions and demands will be an integral part of this process. This new narrative obviously requires a thorough discussion with the whole movement (Belgian, but also beyond). This discussion will be organised in parallel with the process of elaborating the long-term political and action strategy.