The Big What? Why? Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and Extinction Rebellion kiss and make it up as they go along

Extinction Rebellion today announced that it was teaming up with Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace to try to make what has looked like it would be the Humiliatingly Small One into the Tolerably Medium-Sized One.

This is the same Extinction Rebellion which denounced FoE and Greenpeace (aka “the FoGgers”) as complicit, sclerotic and useless. The same XR that “occupied” their offices, threw pink paint on their buildings etc etc.

So, it’s obvious what XR get from this – the numbers at their do-or-die (spoiler, it’s die) attempt to rejuvenate themselves will be less disastrous, so it might only be an egg or two on their face, instead of a whole carton. It might be the difference between going under in April and staggering on some more.

But the FoGgers? Why? What are they getting in return? A private apology and – more importantly – a commitment not to repeat that accusation?

Presumably the FoGgers are anticipating the collapse of XR, and want to be able to hoover up the useful activists and – crucially – the mailing lists?? If they go along with this “Big One” idiocy now, then most of the failure still lands on XR (so, there’s not too much reputational damage at the small numbers), and they’re in a box seat for the aftermath?

It’s not zero risk, of course. If some people do some Really Stupid Stuff (RSS) under XR’s “banner” (think the DLR action of October 2019, only even more tin-eared) then FoE and Greenpeace will have to do that ‘public distancing’ thing (“support the aims”… “regret individual actions”… “does not reflect” etc etc – they’ve probably got multiple versions of the media releases good to go already).

That reputational repair work does not really succeed, and actually often drives deeper wedges between the establishment groups and the masses/rabble. So presumably the FoGgers have also extracted a commitment that XR would join them in throwing any RSSers under the bus, and that XR will make serious efforts to minimise the RSS potential. And presumably the FoGgers think XR has the intention and capacity to do that, and that the risk is worth it.

Popcorn time.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: