Walking the walk: the Greta Thunberg effect

Two daughters of Sustainable Ruislip

A day off school to protest and join with our Extinction Rebellion comrades about the climate emergency we’re facing? 

Why not?

Myself and my friend were persuaded by our daughters; and it was brilliant.

Last Tuesday the four of us made our way to Parliament Square with banners made from twigs and recycled paper (loving the message ‘May the forest be with you’ – thanks Karen for coming up with that one).

May the Forest be with you

There were drummers outside the Cabinet Office. The effect was tribal, the message being spread about the time we have left to turn things round not solely for humans, but for life on Earth. It was hard-hitting, visceral, and impossible to ignore.

We each collected a number of saplings and laid them out in front of the Houses of Parliament. Each Member of Parliament was invited to collect their tree. People were labelling them with the names of each MP as they were laid down. The trees were accompanied by a choir, celebrating the symbolism of their presence. We witnessed one MP, Kate Green, collecting her tree. 

My daughter was in turns delighted to be there and, understandably at times, slightly nervous. There was a police presence, not least. People were being arrested. People from all walks of life and all ages, not just ‘crusties’ as labelled by some politicians and commentators in recent days.

What did our kids learn?

That protest is sometimes necessary, as is civil action. Extinction Rebellion are both sorry and not sorry for the disruption. 

They learnt that the time for inaction has passed. 

The emergency is NOW.

We were so glad we went. For a day we were part of something. Something moving, inspiring and thought-provoking. Something global. Something we won’t forget as we weave actions on climate change into our everyday lives. We’re working on a local level, but our kids have, we hope, been inspired to work beyond that too. We hope they will work to influence others.

It’s their future they’re fighting for, and we should join them, to show we care.

Shared by FranTracey – Sustainable Ruislip founding member.

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