I did 3 full days, mainly in Parliament Square (i.e. not where it got critical), but I may go to back to London again.
I would prefer to get arrested either nearer home, or at a site, e.g. fracking, where they know full well why we are there, but I have this faint hope of making contact with Greta Thunberg.
Some of the public are getting the XR message, but mostly they think of themselves as innocent victims of the XR nuisance. The Metropolitan Police are being praised for their ‘kid glove’ approach. I prefer the hypothesis that someone has had a quiet word, for now. As Jonathan Bartley (Green Party Co-Leader) can testify, the Police at Preston New Road (fracking near Kirkham) certainly aren’t kid glove.
Attitudes on buses were revealing. I was clearly in XR regalia with a badge, and ‘Conscientious Protector’ armband. Most were indifferent, or in what I took to be stony silence, but quite a few expressed solidarity.
I carry a placard. On one side, for the public, it says
“The end of the World is need not be at hand”
The other side is my one man crusade to persuade anyone in XR of my narrative:
“What has a Basic income to do with climate breakdown?”
Success counts as the large number of photos taken of it. My narrative goes as follows:
Although I am deeply committed to XR, the public could be forgiven for thinking the alternatives are a ghastly catastrophe if the government does nothing, and a continuation of some sort of normal life if only they would do something. The real choice is between the catastrophe, and a less dreadful, but not very pleasant spell of downsizing – austerity. Whatever is suggested to reduce carbon emissions, the chances are it will ruin some sector of industry, aka conventional wealth creation. This is one reason why appropriate measures have not been touched with a barge pole any sooner.
A mind set change, from growth to global sustainability must happen, and it will have to be handled very differently from the 2007-8 recession. 46 years after I first mentioned it, I am still waiting for a better idea than the basic income to give everyone security – to make downsizing other than frightening for most.
In passing, you may have heard something along these lines yesterday on ‘Any Answers’, where mine was the first question asked. But you don’t get long.
Anita Anand spent the whole programme on XR.