Back on the streets with Extinction Rebellion

This is what democracy looks like!

Great energy with Extinction Rebellion in both Brighton and London at the end of August and the beginning of September. Since attending the Brighton debrief session after the now legendary April 2019 rebellion, I’ve been to nearly all of the big London events.

This time I decided to get a lot more involved with the local XR Brighton group and I’m very glad I did. The Rebel Rising event in August (kind of a warm-up for London) was a great success, it felt like a village fete with an edge! Talks included advice on being arrested, given by XR arrestees. Once up in London, with the help of others from Brighton, I took part in the pink table Crisis Talks. This was one of XR’s latest strategies to encourage more participatory democracy. Helped by the recent IPCC “Code Red for humanity” report, there were many in-depth conversations with members of the public about the current situation and possible ways forward. I did a lot of listening.

One of the many interesting long chats was with a very likeable man working in recruitment for several very big financial companies in the City of London. He already knew a great deal about Extinction Rebellion. After a very long exchange about everything from greenwashing corporations to spirituality and the use of psychedelics, he left with a big smile on his face. “I’ve got a very important meeting just now actually, this will certainly start a conversation!”, he said, pointing to the XR sticker now prominently positioned on his lapel.

Major road junction occupied in Covent Garden

With a focus on the City of London, XR’s wide range of (often unreported) actions took place over a two week period – calling for an immediate ban on further investment in fossil fuels. On 23rd August and the start of the rebellion, there were many excellent inspiring speakers at the occupied road junction in Covent Garden. Later in the rebellion, I met up with good mate Joe Bridge for the Stop The Harm march, which culminated with further inspirational speeches outside the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Economist Kate Raworth was excellent, as was George Monbiot in this speech – We don’t do hate! We do anger! We do love!

There is much more I could write about here e.g. the press coverage or lack of, heavy-handed policing including the use of batons against non-violent protesters, and co-founder Gail Bradbrook’s jokes! But this is just a short-ish blog to put my support for XR on the record, as it were.

Do we want more capitalist business as usual, or do we want life on Earth? The politicians are currently leading us off the edge of a cliff. We must completely change our economic and political systems – individual and collective behaviour. Change is coming. Get out on the streets, everyone

Reminder that the giant corporations always have our best interests at heart – of course they do

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