The People Behind The Protests

  • 5 years ago
  • 7 Minutes to Read

The media coverage of XR is often the same – arrests and disruption. But what is never reported is that XR transcends occupations, nationalities and generations to unite thousands of people in their mission. 

Those protesting include doctors, teachers and scientists, who’ve all been moved to act against the neglect of the climate and ecological crisis. 

This week saw disruptions in Bristol, Cardiff, Leeds, Glasgow and London as XR factions came together to emphasise the global climate emergency, and encourage immediate action.

We headed down to the Extinction Rebellion Bristol road-block to meet the people behind the protest and find out their inspiration and hopes for getting involved. 

This is Sally. A retired yoga and meditation teacher, she recently joined XR after she realised the Government wasn’t taking action, and she was concerned we don’t have much time left. With three young grandchildren, Sally told us that XR gave her hope. It’s provided her with a way to get involved in something which she feels can really help make a difference. She hopes these protests will help raise awareness of the immediacy of this issue within the general public and encourage other people to get involved. 

“We have to act together. We all live on this earth alongside each other and this crisis affects us all. We’re all in the same boat.”

This is Luke. An A-Level Biology Teacher at a local college, Luke believes that disruption is necessary for getting people to sit up and listen. He told us before he joined XR he struggled to know what to do, how to take action, and how to help. XR is starting difficult conversations and encouraging people to tackle them head-on. Yes, he agrees disruption is annoying (that’s the point, right!), but it’s necessary to be heard. Luke told us from these protests he hopes to see local, city-wide changes as he believes that these tangible, green actions in cities can have a knock-on effect for global change.

“Small, local changes can be scaled to bring huge, sustainable benefits all over the world. Let’s start with the small wins, if everyone comes together then we can tackle these difficult conversations as one.”

This is Oz. He’s a retired builder, turned environmentalist. In 1993 he set up a nationwide network of people running their cars on chip fat. Within two weeks he was in Top Gear Magazine. Since then he’s spent his life campaigning and inspiring people to be green. He was fundamental in stopping fracking in Bristol and has created a world-first community polytunnel. Oz joined XR as it gives him hope. He has dedicated his life to trying to make the world a better place and now feels inspired by the thousands of members of XR who’ve been doing the same. From the protests, he hopes to stop the Bristol Airport expansion and when we met him he was collecting signatures and encouraging others to join the fight. 

“Extinction Rebellion is shocking people into action. We live behind a wall of apathy. People don’t realise their voice can change things. We live in a democracy, you do have a voice.”

This is Nicky, a Student Advice Worker. Nicky joined XR as she’s worried about the future, she’s concerned about the world in which her son will grow up. From these protests, Nicky hopes the Government will sit up and listen and make the changes needed to prevent the climate and ecological crisis. 

“People have been campaigning for climate justice for years but no one has listened. With the collective voice of Extinction Rebellion, I truly hope people begin to listen.”

This is Vicky, Chloe, Pheonix, Bethan, Jo and Saf. They work for Pukka Herbs. They think its amazing being part of something bigger with people who truly care about something as much as they do. They feel hopeful and are all inspired by the positivity that surrounds them at the XR road-block. They hope these protests will raise awareness and help get more people engaged with ongoing conversations. As consumers, it’s us that choose Fast Fashion, waste food and overconsume, so they believe that change starts with us. They’re here to join the movement for change. 

“As a collective, if we come together with a shared passion and goal, we can really make a difference.”

Find out more about Extinction Rebellion or donate to their cause here.

We are marketing experts. We are creatives. We’re passionate about sustainability.  We want change. We wanted to meet the faces behind Extinction Rebellion to showcase how climate change is an issue which affects us all. No matter your job, gender or race. It’s an issue which unites us. 

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