Mothers Rise Up Show The Path For Continued Protest
‘Mothers Rise Up! We have just 11 years act to prevent climate breakdown. The time to act is NOW!’
This was the stirring message on the Women’s Environmental Network last week in preparation for the Mothers Climate March in London, an addendum to the XR protests back in April and showing solidarity with the Youth Climate Strikes. There was also the beautifully symbolic sight of 11 children marching to representing the 11 years remaining to save the planet.
This is an example of another impressive aspect of the Extinction Rebellion movement. It would have been so easy after the excitement and profile of the May Bank Holiday protests for things to gradually simmer down and dissipate. Instead all the protesters have formed up into nuclei based on geographical location, professional discipline or the like. A quick trawl on Facebook turns up groups such as Extinction Rebellion Health Workers, Extinction Rebellion Online Disability Group and Extinction Rebellion Vegans.
This is an intelligent way to maintain the momentum of a global movement, allowing smaller groups to organise and protest and set up local sustainability projects in quieter times, yet still maintain a membership capable of mass civil disobedience if we find the powers-that-be have stopped listening and think the issue has simply gone away. It also allows those new to the cause, inspired by the recent news coverage, to stay active and engaged in a movement they may not have joined before.
Going back to the Mothers March finally it also reinforces a key tactic of our movement - peaceful, respectful protest that paralyses any police action with kindness. The sight of thousands of mothers and children marching with prams must be a scarier prospect for the Met Police than any mob of football hooligans on the lash. I mean how do you break up that protest without looking like a complete coward. As it says on the WEN website:
’There is nothing more powerful than a mother’s instinct to protect her child!’
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