The Big One: The environmental protest for everyone (yes, everyone!)
Friday 21 April – Monday 24 April, Houses of Parliament
‘The Big One’ – set to be the largest single environmental protest in UK history – will take place at the Houses of Parliament 21 to 24 April. This is a final reminder for all TTL newsletter readers – and a final entreaty to be there, says Mark Engineer of XR Lewes
It’s important to remember that this is a protest that’s for everyone – including those who have never protested before. It’s been designed specifically with inclusivity in mind, so that everyone and anyone can take part. There will be no glue, no roadblocks, no courting arrest. Just people. Lots and lots of people, gathering together, and making themselves heard.
Since our piece in last month’s newsletter there’s been loads of exciting developments. We’ve been joined by dozens of organisations – Greenpeace, Earthday, CND, Friends of the Earth and Global Justice Now to name but a few. It’s becoming a massive, groundbreaking alliance of national and local groups, movements and individuals. It’s going to be huge! We’ll demand a citizen-led end to the fossil fuel era. And we’ll be impossible to ignore.
And this isn’t just about environmental groups. There’s a growing understanding that the multiple crises surrounding us – climate emergency, cost of living crisis, growing inequality, wars in Ukraine and Yemen, many of the political upheavals we see reported on a daily basis – are inextricably linked. That’s why groups like Black Lives Matter, NHS Workers Say No, Don’t Pay UK, Quakers in the UK and Cafod are also participating.
The timing couldn’t be more prescient. In March, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) delivered its latest report, and its starkest yet. (If you’re thinking “What, another one?” you are forgiven. The IPCC keeps issuing reports, and they keep getting starker. If your house is on fire, and you do nothing but talk about it, the situation ain’t going to improve.)
If there were ever a time to make your voice heard, that time is now.
I realise how scary this is. This is last-chance-saloon stuff we’re dealing with here. And therein lies a problem. It’s often said that the doom and gloom around environmental issues is the reason more people don’t act. Sense of doom = despair, and despair = inaction. And there’s definitely something in that. So let’s flip it on its head. Let’s not think of what will happen if we don’t act, but what could happen if we do.
So – let’s just take a moment to imagine. Global cooperation. A common sense of purpose. Climate justice. Renewed ecosystems. A future where we don’t just survive, but thrive. This isn’t pie in the sky. We have the tools we need! What’s required is political will and investment.
Imagine being part of the generation that saved the world. Wouldn’t that be a fine thing?
Now imagine 100,000 people around the Houses of Parliament. Lifting their voices. Demanding to be heard. Impossible to ignore. Imagine being one of them. Imagine what we could do together.
Want to be part of it?
If you’d like to be part of the Lewes contingent going to The Big One, go to www.xrlewes.org to sign up and find out more. And together let’s be impossible to ignore.