Where have I been since July you might ask?
Well my life got rather swallowed up by Extinction Rebellion/XR! Back in early July myself and two neighbours decided to set up an XR group in our town and we were pleased to see about 25 people at our first meeting. This was a sure sign that our community was worried about the climate emergency and that they wanted to get active.
From then on, we have been meeting regularly and I have been involved in coordinating the meetings, minute taking, planning actions and running actions. It’s been a bit of a whirlwind and a huge learning curve and I have really enjoyed getting stuck in.
From the end of August, we started planning for the October Rebellion, a national action in London to bring all XR groups together to pressure the government to listen to us and to deliver our three demands:
In the months leading up to October there were countless meetings, emails and planning conversations. It was very exciting but also quite nerve-wracking as I had never been part of a protest of this size.
Early in the morning on Monday 7th October myself and two friends got on a coach to London and eight hours later we found ourselves at the north end of Lambeth bridge in what can only be described as a pop-up village! There were tents, a fully working kitchen that dished out delicious vegan food, a wellbeing hub, information points and crowds of people chanting, singing and waving banners in an entirely peaceful manner.
The October rebellion lasted for around two weeks, but I stayed for three days. Those days were mainly spent on the streets talking to passers-by about what we were doing and why. But I also spent lots of time in the company of old friends and new, discussing the climate emergency, its implications and any and every possible idea we could come up with to reduce those implications. I watched hundreds of people getting arrested for the cause. Each arrest I observed was a truly humbling experience for me, the bravery and dedication that those arrestees possessed is immense.
Those three days will stay with me forever, on the Wednesday night I was exhausted both physically and emotionally. I felt I needed to be with my family who live nearby, so I got on a train to the seaside for some reflective time.
In the weeks following the rebellion I felt very strange, I felt almost alien to the world around me. It completely bewildered me that so many people have some awareness of the climate crisis, yet they are also able to carry on with life as normal. For a while I became quite angry and I completely lost my motivation for blogging.
I felt that the little actions that I had been advocating were not enough and that they were a distraction from the bigger issue. After a good period of reflection, down time and some wholesome, family filled festivities over Christmas I feel ready to come back to blogging.
I realise now that we need to do big things, but we also need to do all the little things. I think that everyone should feel like they can do something. For some people sitting in protest on the streets of London is achievable and for others simply switching their cleaning products is achievable, but either way those actions are needed.
So, in short- I am back in action and ready to fill 2020 with ideas, advice and inspiration for all of you so that together we create lots of positive change no matter how big or small!