On Thursday I looked at the weather, bus time tables, hire bike apps, police statements and Google maps to decide if I would go to the Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate. I have never been to something like this before and I am as far from a militant as you can get but this time it felt right and possible.
Thanks to London for not being suitable and to the person who said let’s do Bristol instead. Bristol will get on board. You bet we did! Also thanks to my child’s nursery for unintentionally doing his settling in session today so I could spend 3 hours walking Bristol’s streets. Thinking of the naysayers who criticize climate protesters with, “how did they all get there?” remark. Well yesterday I walk, cycled and bused to Park Street.
On the way home I basically walked from College Green to Horfield in torrential rain. I had the right clothes, attitude and remembered that skin was waterproof. Plus having attended something where you feel a part of something a lot bigger than yourself; it felt good and most probably supplied some endorphins, oxytocin, serotonin and dopamine to power me up. I got to Horfield far quicker than google maps suggested too!
Why did I go? If I’m honest. I am not really sure why. It’s possibly the same reason I decided to go along to this group’s first meeting. To do something. But also to support the teenagers who set up the group. To be a peaceful protester and count as one that would like change to happen quicker before we run out of time.
Because you are never too small or too young to change something.
Because systematic change will have to happen if we are to slow climate change. 10 years is a very small window.
If we don’t act now, what do we leave for the next generation? When in the future my children ask what I did in the year 2020? When the scientist were telling us that it now or never. The future me would be able to say I tried to be part of the change. Whether being a part will be enough only time will tell.
What was it like? My summary of the event. I am pleased I went and I was counted. The crowd was happy, polite and of all ages. So many babies in slings cuddled in completely oblivious to what they were part of and what it could mean for their future. Smiling police officers talking to children. Well organised with stewards and emergency workers keeping everyone safe. Greta’s speech was short and simple.
As a side note, Greta is much smaller than I realised. Really not relevant but her tiny stature almost evoked a feeling in me. A feeling of, if she can unintentionally start a movement by choosing not to attend school on a Friday and instead sit outside her Country’s Parliament, how powerful can we be as a group, however big or small our role. Yesterday Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate was trying to say we want change but we have to put climate before economics. The UK wants to lead the way but we need to do more than talk about doing more.
To conclude as I am a new, hopeful, thoughtful and responsible climate striker I am pleased that Jon Usher has set up a Gofundme page to restore the grass and flowers on College Green which took a bit of a battering with numbers and rain. I have donated some money to the fund for making College Green green again. So whether you attended or not, or if you just support the ideas and the ethos, maybe consider contributing £1 to this Gofundme.