Puffinux

Solarpunk at heart, trying not be another privileged white male tech worker. All posts are my own opinions, my views may change. @puffinus_puffinus@sunbeam.city

Number Angle Inner circle Outer circle Centre of outer circle 0 0 (250.5, 0.0) (325.5, 0.0) (376.0, 0.0) 1 36 (202.7, 147.2) (263.3, 191.3) (304.2, 221.0) 2 72 (77.4, 238.2) (100.6, 309.6) (116.2, 357.6) 3 108 (-77.4, 238.2) (-100.6, 309.6) (-116.2, 357.6) 4 144 (-202.7, 147.2) (-263.3, 191.3) (-304.2, 221.0) 5 180 (-250.5, 0.0) (-325.5, 0.0) (-376.0, 0.0) 6 216 (-202.7, -147.2) (-263.3, -191.3) (-304.2, -221.0) 7 252 (-77.4, -238.2) (-100.6, -309.6) (-116.2, -357.6) 8 288 (77.4, -238.2) (100.6, -309.6) (116.2, -357.6) 9 324 (202.7, -147.2) (263.3, -191.3) (304.2, -221.0)

The Python 3 script:

import numpy as np

def pol2cart(rho, phi): # Returns the Cartesian coordinates (i.e. X and Y) from a polar vector. x = rho * np.cos(phi) y = rho * np.sin(phi) return(x, y)

# Print the table header print('Number\t\tAngle\t\tInner circle\t\tOuter circle\t\tCentre of outer circle')

# Print each row of data. Each row consists of data for a single 'arm' of the SBC # logo ( https://sunbeam.city ) and the inner / outer circle data represents the # relevant points on the inner / outer circles to create circles and lines joining them. for i in range(10): angle = i * 36 innerCircle = pol2cart(250.5, np.radians(angle)) outerCircle = pol2cart(325.5, np.radians(angle)) outerCircleCentre = pol2cart(376.0, np.radians(angle)) innerCircle = (round(innerCircle[0], 1), round(innerCircle[1], 1)) outerCircle = (round(outerCircle[0], 1), round(outerCircle[1], 1)) outerCircleCentre = (round(outerCircleCentre[0], 1), round(outerCircleCentre[1], 1)) print('%i\t\t%i\t\t%s\t\t%s\t\t%s' %(i, angle, str(innerCircle), str(outerCircle), str(outerCircleCentre)))

Rebellion Day 2 was the second large-scale demonstration in London by Extinction Rebellion, following a weeks' work of successful swarming tactics by small groups of rebels, who blocked roads in central London.

The theme was more somber than the generally happy and positive Rebellion Day 1, which took place a week earlier. The idea was to create a funeral-like atmosphere, in reference to the death of the generations to come, should we fail to change our culture and society, and to continue acting so out of harmony with the environment. I wore a suit, like many other rebels attending, and we tried to bury a coffin (with the words “OUR FUTURE” emblazoned on the side) in Parliament Square. This was more a symbolic gesture than anything else, namely because of the amount of time digging a grave would have taken. As it was, the police moved in after only a few shovelfuls of turf had been moved. They forced their way to the coffin by forming a human chain that they drove through the crowd like a nail, who were unfortunately slow to react and did not offer much resistance. A few rebels were pushed over and one activist was almost stood on by the police. While they were more active than what I had experienced at Rebellion Day 1, I still feel that perhaps they were going easy on us. I opine that the first steps the police would need to take to control a movement such as XR would be to gather information and then try to break apart the central group of organisers — as seen beginning to come into action by the move by Southwark Crown Court just a day before the Rebellion Day 1, where they summonsed Roger Hallam for old activism-related offences. This leads me to the conclusion that as XR becomes more influential and active, there will be attempts to “divide and conquer”. It is imperative that XR stays decentralised, uses multiple secure / encrypted messaging services, and remains unpredictable. Otherwise, I believe it is all too easy for the movement to lose momentum and for things to fall apart. Attempts to divide do not work if the movement has no head.

But I digress. The coffin was not buried, and so the bearers carried it at the front of the procession instead. We stopped a number of times, including a sit-down protest outside Downing Street where we held a silence for the lives lost, and those still to be lost. The procession was intentionally slow and more orderly than it might otherwise have been, to maintain the funeral atmosphere. This was successful despite a provocateur within the procession trying to disturb our silent Downing Street protest, shouting about us being “fascists” and “Nazis”. Fortunately he quickly quietened when XR rebels spoke to him calmly. I do not know whether he was placed there by the police or whether he was taking things into his own hands, but either way it had no impact on the course of events.

At some point the procession split up, with my half marching to Buckingham Palace. Though the Queen, unsurprisingly, did not come out to chat with us and enjoy the atmosphere, we addressed her as if she were present, stating our wishes and leaving flowers, placards and other offerings like food at the gates, around the coffin of our future. At this point the funeral atmosphere was complete and after respectfully acknowledging the catastrophe we are experiencing, a speaker read out our manifesto and then we shook off the gloom with drumming, dancing and music. A particularly inspired musician rapped the names of many countries around the world, reflecting the global nature of our cause.

It was interesting to take a different approach to the 'typical' procession and though there were fewer people attending, I still believe Rebellion Day 2 was just as successful as the first Rebellion Day.

References

https://enoughisenough14.org/2018/11/16/london-state-prosecution-tried-to-imprison-extinctionrebellion-cofounder-the-day-before-rebellionday/

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/nov/24/environmental-protesters-block-access-to-parliament-square-extinction-rebellion

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I need to take a step back from technology. I'm quite active on Mastodon and also spend time on other sites, meaning overall I take in quite a lot of information per day. However, though learning and exploring is good, I've increasingly been finding myself frustrated by how much I'd like to do. As a naturally creative person, I've always enjoyed gathering knowledge and following my interests. However, I'm beginning to suffer from overexposure. I'm having to deal with too much data, too many ideas and can't keep up with them. Whereas I used to have a few projects on the go most of the time, now I have many ideas for projects, but get little done.

So... I think the best thing to do is disengage from the stream of information a little, and turn my attention back to the little things I like to tinker with.

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6,000 activists, five bridges, 82 arrests. I think it's fair to say that the Extinction Rebellion event on Saturday was a success. The five London bridges were peacefully blocked from around 1100~1600, disrupting traffic and economic activity in the city. I was with the 1,000 or so on Blackfriars Bridge, and was able to observe strangers coming together to share food and have fun.

We mobilised at around 1100 after gathering on and near the bridge. We moved to sides of the road and the central pedestrian island, then flooded the road, sitting or standing along the crossing. There was already a police presence and many police vans were parked nearby, though they offered no resistance to our movements. After a period of time the police moved a van onto the road between us and the bridge, cutting off all access. Had an ambulance or other emergency vehicle needed to get through, it is likely we would have allowed them to pass. However, the police stopped this question from even arising through their blockade. It is also worth noting that there are many other bridges in London besides the five we closed off ─ there were other routes between the two sides of the Thames.

We soon moved from the end of the bridge to the centre. While this meant the groups from both ends were able to merge, it also cut us off from the public. People walked the bridge and could see the demonstration, but the direct impact on the public was reduced by not being easily visible from the shore.

A portable sound system was set up, live music began and a knot of people danced near the speakers. There was a very friendly and positive atmosphere throughout the day. A play parachute brought people together for some simple games, and later many speeches were broadcast.

There were speakers from all over the world: a Mongolian shaman, and individuals from Ghana, West Papua and the Caribbean all spoke out about the climate disaster, social and societal issues, and environmental exploitation; and how all three have damaged their area of the world. It was fantastic to see such global collaboration, and such a mix of cultures distilled in the speakers. Some had travelled from local movements in their respective areas of the globe to join with Extinction Rebellion that day, saying that it was all part of the same cause. To join together in our millions makes us strong, and a healthy worldwide community of supporters is vital to get countries' governments to make the changes required to avert the climate disaster that they are still trying to avoid meeting head-on, and work on social inequality.

A number of people in the crowd actively sought arrest. A small group of people used lock-ons and lay on the road. They were tended by protesters, given food and water, and kept warm with blankets. When people began to leave Blackfriars and join together at Westminster Bridge instead, the police began to move and arrest those that chose to stay. Although there was a collection of rebels who stayed on the bridge but were not using lock-ons, to the best of my knowledge, on Blackfriars Bridge only the users of lock-ons were arrested. I was with the final group who pushed back against the police, singing and pressing against their cordon around the lock-on activists, and the police were at all times very reasonable and tolerant. They allowed the protest to continue all day, and even when arrests began, they left most of the rebels alone. I have heard that the police at Lamberth Bridge were unable to deal with the numbers they were required to arrest in order to clear the bridge, so they eventually gave up and permitted the demonstration to continue.

After most of the day on the bridge, rebels from all bridges joined forces to march to Parliament Square, which lies very near to Westminster Bridge. By that time I had moved to Westminster, as the police closed down the demonstrations on each bridge. Lamberth held out for a long time, but those at Westminster moved together to Parliament Square after a final speech from a young girl, possibly the youngest speaker. When we arrived in Parliament Square, an interfaith closing ceremony took place. Thousands gathered together to reflect on the day, and reasons behind the rebellion. While the rebellion was a success and a move in the right direction in this current time, we should not be in this position where such action is required. We as a society should not be heading in the dangerous direction we are currently moving towards.

What struck me was how easy it was to participate in the rebellion ─ while I am sure that behind the scenes there was a lot going on, for the common-or-garden activist who had no involvement in organisation, all you had to do was turn up. This makes it very easy to join and do your bit for our future: even if you don't want to be arrested or don't feel you have anything you can contribute, being a body in the crowd counts.

References:

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Extinction Rebellion: NVDA

I went to the Extinction Rebellion training event in London on Sunday. XR rented a town hall, held talks and ran activities. All this was in preparation for this week's rebellion (12th to the 17th) with other arrestable activities happening next week.

My first impression was positive – the lady on the door was very nice, and welcomed me inside. Upstairs there were over 100 people training, learning and socialising. And this number represents only a small fraction of the total involved – those attending on Saturday were not present on the Sunday, and other NVDA training events are happening around the country. This is big, bigger than I (in my admittedly pessimistic mindset) had expected. An excellent turnout for such important issues.

Many of those attending were prepared to be arrested, and there were a number of support roles for those who wish to avoid being arrested. Even if you have no official role, more bodies on the streets is always a good thing. I expect the turnout for this week's rebellion to be in the thousands.

The atmosphere was friendly and positive, and I quickly made connections despite knowing very few people there. I was struck by the organisation of the leaders from XR – they were able to run through many aspects of the training, from dealing with angry drivers during a roadblock to knowing your rights and the law during arrests. While what we are attempting is radical and many attending feel strongly about the issues we face, there was at all times a level of respect and human kindness woven into the training. When we block roads and create traffic queues, we will distribute food and water to the drivers and explain the situation, because we care about them. It's not at all about the individual drivers – we are looking very much to the bigger picture, the overarching effect that blocking traffic causes. And it's not just about stopping cars: there are many other things planned.

While all of this is very positive and gives me hope for the future, it also drove home just what this will require from those who participate. I have never attended a demonstration of this scale, and expect to find activism like this challenging. There will be conflict, there will be arrests, and there will be upset. It's a part of this movement and it won't go away until we are accepted and our views are listened to. This may take time, so as with other large historical movements, we are currently in the difficult stage. Once talks with the government begin, there will be a whole different set of problems regarding how we implement our demands, but right now we need to be heard. We need to cause enough nuisance that the government complies, and enters negotiations with us.

I look forward to the realisation of my views, the response of the people when faced with the enormity of the problems of our time. I look forward to participating in the unfolding of the rebellion. Will you be there?

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I'm beginning to despair about the state of the planet. With a 60% loss of animal populations since 1970, so many species endangered, and the climate crises not looking to improve any time soon, it's difficult to see how we'll pull ourselves out of this one. Even the IPCC and the UN are saying we, humanity, need to drastically change the way that we live and consume, and to change within around 10 years, or else we are likely to face extinction or mass death, reducing the population to a fraction of what it once was. These aren't controversial claims by far-left activists, these are respected organisations raising the red flag and telling us to do something.

But it's not in the news, it's not on the front page of the papers. It seems that the information is largely hidden from the masses, unless they explicitly look for it. And how can they look for it if they don't know?

The problem is, a successful society is one which promotes itself. The next generation grow up learning that it's a good society which should continue, and then they teach these ideals to their children, and so the cycle continues. So we've learnt in the West that the stupid capitalist-consumerism that grips our world is something that's good, and meant to be. Those that disagree are outnumbered by those that follow along with the ideals fed to them. Those that have a different view are labelled, ridiculed; are ultimately ignored.

However, if you look back in history you'll see that there have been a great many societies, cultures and civilisations rise and fall. This proves that everything can change, and that society is always changing. So there is hope that we will move beyond the current system. But we will have to work hard to make people stop and think. To make them change. Too many people are comfortable in the current society, meaning that they don't see it as a problem. Hunger and discomfort lead to riots and anger, and job of the system is to control this. Thus, those with power have everything they need, and more; while those without enough, who go hungry, homeless, jobless, those without enough have no power to do anything about it. They have no voice, and the government provides token help without making any sort of change towards a more fair society.

I sincerely hope that activism, raising public awareness and mass civil disobedience can alter our course. But I worry that it's already a lost cause. We're going to see big changes in the next decade or so. I hope you're prepared.

References

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