Action - 10 May 2019

en - Telling the Truth ...this Easter 2019

It was over a week of non violent civil disobedience ; in the end tens of thousands took part in London, and many more elsewhere, all over the world. It was a week of disruption to traffic and normality. It was very effective. It happened because there has been a failure of politics to do anything like enough, and a failure too, to move politicians by the usual means of petitions and demonstrations. This unprecedented protest was good natured, the police response was calm and respectful even if they did make over 1,000 arrests, at the end of the actions they were thanked by protesters and parliamentarians alike. Londoners on the whole accepted the situation as many agreed with the protesters even if getting to work was seriously difficult. As a Barry Gardiner said later in the House of Commons, ` the disruption pales into insignificance compared to the capacity of climate disaster to wipe out human prosperity and human life itself.’

The aims of Extinction Rebellion are clear. The government must tell the truth and declare a climate emergency.

It must act to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025. Lastly it must involve us citizens, who need to be` in the driving seat for a sustainable future’, this means that the government needs to be led by decisions of citizens assemblies on climate and ecological justice. Key places in London had their own tale to tell – Marble Arch - `this is an emergency’, Oxford Circus ` tell the truth’- Waterloo bridge, `Act now’, Parliament Square, -` beyond politics’ – and Piccadilly Circus was given over to youth.
The voices of the protesters were amplified by the presence of Greta Thunberg, the 16 year old Swedish girl who has sparked school strikes across the world, She addressed Parliament `You lied to us… we face an existential crisis… you don’t listen to the science because you are only interested in solutions that will enable you to carry on like before’. She went on to point out that `our house is on fire… and nothing has changed….’ She accused the UK of `creative accounting’ over carbon emissions, quite rightly, in that figures for aviation and shipping, imports and exports are not included. `The voice of conscience’ responded one MP. `ongoing irresponsible behaviour’ said Greta. She was thanked for speaking the truth.

In addition before Easter, David Attenborough the renown naturalist and broadcaster, gave his name and expertise to a documentary, `Climate change – the facts’. It was watched by millions. This was another dose of truth, telling us how climate change is with us here and now.

How fast can we act ? Speed and urgency are required. A complete rethink of our economy is needed. But as a young man who took part in the courageous campaign of Extinction rebellion said `you are never alone, you feel part of a community, If this carries on eventually all London will join in !’ `This campaign is not just about symbolic actions, but about building the necessary resilient and regenerative culture that the world needs now. The truth is out and the real work is about to begin !’
And the truth will set us free.

Jessica Gatty Religious of the Assumption