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Real Life Lisa Simpson (extinction rebellion)

Firstly, I should explain about what extinction rebellion (XR) is. XR is a protest group that demands the government to tell the truth about climate change. They proceed to do this by proving they are “an international movement that uses non-violent civil disobedience in an attempt to halt mass extinction”. Having followers from all walks of life, including many environmental scientists that support the groups facts and claims, they are willing to do anything to make masses and more importantly the government “Tell the truth” to the public and to “act now”, which on the 14th of April 2019, resulted in XR blocking off bridges, roads and trains in London. Which is where I come in…

  I first heard about XR when they marched into parliament, stripped naked with messages of climate change painted on their bodies, and like everyone else, I saw the BBC coverage and laughed at the “silly jobless hippies” that the media made them out to be.
So when my housemate Ruby asked me to join the rebellion with her and XR I was sceptical as I didn’t want to be involved with a political joke. But after seeing the determination, passion and and more inspiringly her sheer hunger for this protest to be a success, I thought what the hell, I’ve got a long weekend off from work, let’s try and see if my little troop from Hackney Wick can make some wankers in suits listen.

  The plan of action. So after getting a quick briefing from Ruby the night before, I became aware that this was a much bigger deal than I anticipated. Basically, everyone from different constituencies over the UK had an allocated area to block off, these included; Marble Arch, Waterloo Bridge, Oxford Circus and Parliament Square. As a Hackney Wicker I was based in Marble Arch and deployed out to block Oxford street. I first arrived at Marble Arch and was met by swarms of people in the thousands, giving talks, cooking food, playing music and most importantly blocking off the roads and causing serious disruption.

  This is then where I met Ruby, she proceeded to show me where to pitch my tent and upon my arrival I found myself in awe of her, the passion I saw from the dying need for someone of a higher authority to fucking listen to the panic was like nothing I’ve ever seen before. Take into consideration that this is my housemate that I see only on an off chance around the house brewing a coffee and leaving for work, but here she’s like some sort of real life Lisa Simpson. So with my increasing dedication to the passionate cause, I pitched my tent, then we made our way with my other housemates to the make-shift stage on the back of a lorry where an environmental scientist was making a speech. I’ve never experienced any type of protest in my life apart from the odd mob outside a high street store making a bit of bother, so with a completely open mind I listened to what he had to say. As he introduced himself the loud muffles in the crowd went instantly into silence. He then went on to explain the colossal crisis and what we are obligated to do about it, as inhabitants on planet earth to prevent our actions from becoming irreversible. As he finished the crowd erupted. I was sold. There was no going back. So with the madness that surrounded me, ‘Lisa’ and my fellow rebels by my side, I knew this was it, we weren’t stopping until justice is done. I was in it for the long run.

Words: Cane Valentine
Editor: Christiana Garvie


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