Citizen's Assemblies

XR: The Case for Deliberative Democracy

By Alex Bradbury, Red Pepper

‘Extinction Rebellion needs to find ways of reaching the people who think we’re some sort of weird cult.’ This remark, made by a member of the Extinction Rebellion (XR) Citizens’ Assembly Working Group, is met by a spontaneous flurry of jazz hands from everyone in the small Kings College London meeting room. No, we’re not all frustrated musical theatre performers; waving ‘jazz hands’ are used in XR, and other activist groups, to express agreement during a group discussion. I can’t resist pointing out the irony of our reaction – we’re all agreeing we need to be less cult-like by raising our hands in unison and waving them about. Everyone laughs, but it strikes me that this points to a deeper challenge in our work. There are people who feel excluded by XR’s culture, but the democratic process we want to promote aims at radical inclusion. After all, we’re calling on...

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