Performers! Makers! Doers! Thinkers!
This is an invitation to a party!
It's like Glastonbury, but its cheaper, (everyone can actually get in), and it might very well save your life.
I'm sharing this cos I know it can be daunting to join things like this, especially given coverage on social media and the news but the experience has been overwhelmingly positive so I want to share it with you.
Yesterday I spent the day with my mum, my brother, my partner and a variety of friends, walking the streets of London from Parliament Square to Oxford Circus to Waterloo Bridge. And it was a London I don't recognize,
People dancing in the streets, food stalls set up giving out free food, and endless flags and banners waving proclaiming a hope and a determination to imagine and build a better world together.
Police barriers interlaced with foliage like country lanes, hectic streets reclaimed as pedestrian promenades, sound stages, camp sites and skate parks popping up in the busiest and most inhospitable intersections of our city.
This is what love feels like. It felt like the two weeks of the Olympics -talking to strangers on the tube, like London turned from a huge metropolis to a tiny village for a moment in time, where we are all connected, and responsible for ourselves, each other and the world around us.
Extinction Rebellion are taking over 5 London and many UK and international sites until further notice demanding the government tell the truth about the climate and wider ecological emergency, commit to zero carbon by 2025 and create a national citizen's assembly to oversee these changes.
It feels good to be there, facing it head on, so much better than denial or resignation.
Incomparable moments await you- - silently standing and being serenaded on all sides by the calls of Britain's endangered birds, the chance to assemble and brainstorm what manageable actions we can each take, the affirmation that everyone is needed, has value, has a voice, and the lpeople offering everyone biscuits at the well-being tents as the hours go by.
Also more confronting, the bravery of people learning how to go limp when being arrested for a cause they believe in. The buzz in the crowd as we make a wall of noise, If the police talk to you, you don't want to hear them. If you hear them they can caution you, once cautioned you can be arrested. So the crowd makes a wall of noise behind which people can hide, at least for a while.
Later on, to the powerful low song of the volunteer choir, watching as one by one, individuals... so young and so old and everyone in between are enveloped by bodies in high vis sometimes 6 sometimes 8, always more than seems necessary, raising up these limp bodies to remove them from the street.
This technique takes more time and more man power than if you walk or stay rigid- we hold the space for longer. The crowd calls, whistling and cheering the bravery of each one, legal advisors follow, taking notes on every police action and enforcing what the police can and can't do. Others follow offering words of support and solidarity. Arrestees smile.
A few weeks back I was at the Climate Reality Leadership training with Al gore in Atlanta, my time there convinced me that we have the technology we need to limit climate change and that now we need the political will. No amount of recycling, eating plant based diets and turning off lights is enough. Everything helps, but we need government to be on the right side of this, and seeing the phenomenal work XR are doing- how organised they are, the amount of research that went into creating this strategy, the trainings they offer in facilitation, in non-violence, in de-escalation, and the resolve and resilience of the thousands of people being willing to hold these locations day in day out, people who have been arrested and are still willing to be arrested. I can honestly say I think this is our best chance.
So if you can please come down. Come for an hour, bring a friend, bring a picnic, listen to the brilliant musicians from Paloma Faith to Alabama Three, stay for the night in solidarity. You don't need to be arrested, and you should consider how vulnerable and how at risk you are before you consider signing up as an arrestee, but even to be there as I was in solidarity is an incredibly important role. Bring a hula hoop, bring you mum, especially bring your kids. They should see this and after all its for them.
Come to an induction (every day at 11:00, 1:00 , 7:00 and 9:00) on all the sites. See if you like it...
Come for the party, stay for the world.
For info go to: