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AFTER "THE BIG ONE": what next?

<< Scores of thousands gathered around Westminster for four days of debate, die-ins, protests and parades. Climate activists headed south from our area - and brought back their reports and reflections.

Our members have welcomed hearing what "THE BIG ONE" meant for them, and started our own discussions of how to build on the event, as part of our mission to protect the future for our families and life on this planet.

***Your comments, links, proposals are all welcome - please add below, and we'll gladly include them in our conversations and decisions.>>

BLOG BY HELEN RAFFLE, member of Climate Action Newcastle

"Every single person makes us collectively more powerful and makes our voices harder for the government to ignore. We can make this the biggest climate protest ever held in the UK, we can bring change, we can turn the tide ... But first we need to show up."

These were the words that drew me to travel to London for ‘The Big One’. The invitation was for everyone to UNITE TO SURVIVE, with four days of action from over 200 different groups and organisations. I have always felt that as climate organisations we are all working to the same goal and that we should work collectively.

I had never been to such a large protest and so was unsure what to expect. On arrival at the welcome hub, this anxiety dissipated. Stalls arranged around Parliament gave a chance to go and meet and speak to many other organisations and take part in a range of activities. I was able to learn about different organisations and perspectives, to exchange ideas, hopes and viewpoints, and to reflect on my own personal understanding and actions.

There were daily workshops, speeches, art, music and worship. Over the weekend, People's Pickets took place at every government department, and everyday there was a People's Assembly to allow participation in future plans for action. I was struck by how important community building, creativity and joy are as part of our climate action message.

Each of the four days had a theme. I was there for the Saturday, which was Earth Day.

The highlight for me was ‘The Big One For Biodiversity March’. It began with an excited gathering of all ages, backgrounds and organisations around Parliament. There were costumes, banners, animal models and flags. Colour and energy and collective hope.

Over 60,000 people from all over the country marching together to speak up for the natural world and the climate crisis. A powerful pause, when those same 60,000 people lay down in silence to indicate the death of species and the damage to biodiversity.

BUT ....

There was no response from government.

There was not as much media coverage as such an urgent climate emergency surely merits.

So now ...

A unified national campaign is planned with a powerful sense of community shared determination. A return to Parliament this year in even greater numbers.

Will you be there, with us?


LINKS TO MEDIA COVERAGE - previews, the four days of THE BIG ONE, and opinion pieces afterwards

Let us know:

  • what conclusions you've drawn

  • what questions are raised

  • what next steps we can take.

Share the debate.

Make a difference for the future!

THE BIG ONE - media coverage (examples)



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