We want to live
After the XR Rebellion in London 18 months ago the UK parliament became the first in the world to declare a climate emergency. This demonstrated "the will of the Commons" on the issue but did not legally compel the government to act. And it hasn't.
So XR has drafted a new piece of legislation, the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill, which calls, among other things, for:
• a serious plan to deal with the UK’s fair share of emissions and to halt critical rises in global temperatures;
• the UK's entire carbon footprint be taken into account – in the UK and overseas;
• the active conservation and restoration of nature here and overseas, recognising the damage we cause through the goods we import;
• those in power not to depend on future technologies to save the day; technologies that are used as an excuse for us to carry on polluting;
• ordinary people to have a real say on the right way forward in a Citizens’ Assembly with bite.
And next Tuesday XR will be back on the streets in London, Cardiff and Manchester, calling on the government to back the bill.
Because many of us do not feel able to gather en masse, there are actions by local XR groups all over the country between today and Monday. In this morning's sun the group I belong to slung the banner we have made together over the side of a footbridge over the busy Oxford Ring Road. A police officer turned up (called by a motorist who apparently thought someone was going to jump) and said, “You have every right to peaceful protest”. He was given a copy of our risk assessment (we have had training in putting banners up over roads safely) and he seemed impressed.
Over the day there were a lot of supportive horn-toots, waves and upturned thumbs. There were also some middle fingers and a few drivers who wound down their windows and yelled fury. We hope that they live too.
I thought I wasn't going to be able to get there today but things changed, so I was part of the group taking the banner down in this afternoon's monsoon.
Extra: the protest approximately as it appeared to motorists (though in accordance with our risk assessment I was in the wood next to the road, not on the road itself).