XR Boston’s Statement on Capitol Hill Violence

As a result of the violence at Capitol Hill on Wednesday, January 6, 2021, Extinction Rebellion Boston reaffirms our commitment to nonviolent civil disobedience, telling the truth, our 10 values, and the democratic process. We remain nonpartisan.

Nonviolent Civil Disobedience vs. Violent Civil Disobedience

Nonviolent civil disobedience is the main strategy Extinction Rebellion uses to transform society and demand that our local, state, and national governments around the world take bold and urgent action on the climate and ecological crises. We remain committed to these tactics, and we reaffirm that our use of civil disobedience is always practiced under nonviolent conditions. We actively oppose the use of violence, following in the footsteps of Gandhi and Martin Luther King.

Six people have died as a result of the mob that stormed the US Capitol. According to news reports, some of the protesters at the Capitol were armed and there is evidence that some were planning to harm or kill elected officials. This is not the civil disobedience that Extinction Rebellion practices or condones.


Extinction Rebellion’s fourth demand is for a just transition to a green economy, which includes racial justice. Strikingly, there was a relatively light police presence at the Capitol for this predominantly white protest, while over the summer, there was an overwhelming number of police for Black Lives Matter and indigenous actions and protests. Extinction Rebellion Boston remains committed to social and racial justice and the fair and equal treatment of all members of society.

Our Values and Demands

Extinction Rebellion Boston reaffirms our value of non-violence in both word and action. Trump’s words inspired and condoned the use of physical violence. Our ten values are the source of power and strength within all of Extinction Rebellion’s messaging and actions and guide our decision making.

Extinction Rebellion's first demand is to ‘Tell the Truth.’ The people who came into the capitol building were there because of lies that were told to them to get them there. They believed Trump’s assertions that he won the election by a landslide. The President denied the legitimacy of the election results and 60 members of congress supported this propaganda that the election was stolen.

Extinction Rebellion will only partake in peaceful civil disobedience to support the truth as identified by scientific consensus.

Commitment to the Democratic Process

Although Extinction Rebellion recognizes that our current system of government is deeply flawed, we strongly believe in democratic decision-making, as outlined in our third demand. The events of January 6 were an attempt to overthrow the will of the majority and install minority rule by force. Even though this coup was a failure, the attempted insurrection may have long-lasting consequences, not only for our current government but for the ideals of democracy worldwide.

We support efforts to bring to justice persons who directly or indirectly supported this attempted coup. Violent insurrection and attempts to defeat the democratic will of the people, left unaddressed, invites further violence and the continued deterioration of democracy.

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