I joined a group of local people holding a climate change protest in Rye on Friday September 20. With thousands of other demonstrations happening on the same day across the world, we wanted to show our support and commitment by organising some non-violent direct action of our own.
What this amounted to was a bunch of fairly timid, law-abiding people setting out nervously to see if their actions, in our own small town, could make a difference. Some of our worst fears were realised – in particular there were a few drivers who were verbally very abusive – and the police did turn up at one point to remind us (gently though) that what we were doing was potentially an arrestable offence.
We handed out Extinction Rebellion “We’re sorry” flyers apologising for the disruption, but understandably that didn’t cut any ice with some people who were inconvenienced going about their daily business. If this included you, please accept our apologies. The delay was only for a couple of minutes though, so ultimately pretty minor in the bigger scheme of things.
We were grateful that there was a lot of positive reaction too – drivers who hooted in support, waved or gave us the thumbs up. Pedestrians and onlookers stopped to watch or chat and take leaflets to find out more about what Extinction Rebellion (XR) is trying to achieve nationally and locally. We stood up and were counted: in Rye, as in countless communities elsewhere. It all added up to an international rebellion against the failure of governments and businesses to head off the climate and ecological emergency that we all now find ourselves facing.
Further action in the form of an International Rebellion will take place in London and other major cities around the globe beginning on October 7. To get involved or find out more contact firstname.lastname@example.org or search for the group on Facebook.
Image Credits: Giles Manning .