Code Rood: climate justice in Groningen

My personal observations in the Northern-European radical climate justice movement indicate that groups are moving away from presenting themselves as principally nonviolent. What I saw in Groningen corroborates this: even though it was clear that activists would refrain from intentionally harming people, CodeROOD refrained from calling themselves nonviolent. Within the literature, arguments for refraining from strict nonviolence range from preventing a division between a good versus bad activist divide, from not wanting to condemn those who act in self-defence, to historical analogies that show that, contrary to research by Chenoweth and Stephans on which XR relies, in fact almost no important victories in the past have succeeded without violence. It is this more nuanced understanding of what the implications of presenting one’s group as nonviolent are, that makes groups like Ende Gelande and CodeROOD different from a more ‘mainstream presenting’ group like Extinction Rebellion. Whereas within the literature Derek Jensen is often brought up as representing the “violent” view, he does not seem to be representative of the climate or environmental movement. Eschewing the label nonviolent does not mean a group will start terrorist acks, random attacks on people, or resort to authoritarianism.

Harriet Bergman in Code Rood: Climate Justice in Groningen (