Whether you’re a staunch activist or simply a passive London dweller, it will have been pretty damn hard to miss the Extinction Rebellion protests taking place across the capital.
Extinction Rebellion is an international movement that uses non-violent civil disobedience to achieve radical change in order to minimise the risk of human extinction and ecological collapse. Whilst we didn’t agree with a lot of their methods and they did cost the country a hell of a lot of money and time with their disruption, they were the first movement in a really long time to educate (and inspire) a whole new generation to take action on climate change.
The movement, who assembled on Parliament Square in London to announce a Declaration of Rebellion against the UK Government in October last year, say they were expecting a couple of hundred people to join them. Instead, 1,500 people joined them to demand change. Then, 6000 members of the organisation converged on London to peacefully block five major bridges across the Thames where they planted trees in the middle of Parliament Square, and dug a hole there to bury a coffin representing, in their words, ‘our future’.
Their actions generated huge national and international publicity and, as news spread, their ideas connected with tens of thousands of people around the world.
Now, the organisation has penned a book, which they describe as ‘truth and facts to arm you with stories to empower you’. Here, GLAMOUR has an extract of the new book, which asks ‘what is your place in these times?’.
Standing above the crowds in Oxford Circus, in the pink Extinction Rebellion boat, Daiara Tukano spoke of existence as resistance. Coming from the Tukano indigenous nation of Brazil’s Upper Rio Negro, a community enduring severe human rights abuses and under sustained environmental attack, she told us that indigenous nations protect 82 per cent of the Earth’s biodiversity. Her message to us was that if you are alive at this moment in history, it is because you are here to do a job.
So what is your place in these times? Have you felt the call to join Extinction Rebellion? Which of your gifts are needed right now? Maybe you feel ill equipped. Bring your uncertainty, together with a willingness to learn. You may feel your gifts are simple. Simple offers, made with true love, are the stuff of life. Do you feel the call to be with us on the streets? Come along and remember the power of togetherness, when the people are determined and strong. Join us in our home communities, let us grow as we are needed. You are so very welcome.
These are times of unravelling, dissolving, transformation. Don’t expect to be the same person as before you took part in this journey. For each of us there is an individual challenge, there are waves of difficulties, obstacles, challenges that can be hard to anticipate and hard to name.
It’s time to trust what is happening and to be willing to be changed.
We have shown in the UK something of what we are made of – which is perhaps fitting for the nation that unleashed this incredible and destructive industrial society on the world. Our challenge now is to look beyond our island nation and see with fresh eyes the rest of our family, spread across the world. To open our hearts. When we are able to fully feel the losses among us, then we will be able to do what these times truly require from us. All the children are our children. We can protect those closest to us only when we remember our love for those furthest away. This is an international rebellion, aligned with all peoples living with struggles to protect life on Earth. This is sacred.
This is an extract from This is Not a Drill: An Extinction Rebellion Handbook, published by Penguin Books.