Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Climate Rush: The Aftermath

So, news. What a night! All dressed up in our Edwardian bloomers, piled hair, high collars and red sashes, 2000+ of us took to Climate Rush in Parliament Square. Just as the suffragettes of a century ago had fought for Women's Rights so here we were fighting for the Planet's Rights. The feminine energy was palpable, as was the spirit of our female ancestors.

Two of my Wise Women had made me a wonderful banner, Trees Have Rights Too, appliqued with the clothes of their mother, full of references to times past, present and future, imbued with such spirit - there were even buttons that had been worn at suffragette rallies of the previous century (thank you Tabitha and Lucy). Thus, so the wisdom of our sisters a hundred years back came pouring through - those of the past helping those in the present to move forward into the future. It was a cause they would be fully in accord with, for sure. And so we rushed (ladylike of course) at Parliament's doors.

One rather surly interviewer questioned me at length on whether the potential breach of security was justified. Yes, I replied. If it takes the storming of Parliament to get Gordon Brown to take action on climate change, then yes, the end certainly justifies the means. What of our democratic right to protest? Time now for action - that's why we were chanting the very chant of the Suffragettes - Deeds Not Words. Going by the heightened activity of my inbox and texts the following morning, all and sundry who couldn't make it supported my sentiment after hearing me speak on the 10 o'clock BBC news that night. A collective cheer, I am told, reverberated across the country.

It seems District Judge Michael Snow at City & Westminster Magistrates (an old haunt of mine) also agreed. There had been arrests - five brave ladies in pursuit of direct action were handcuffed and removed. Tamsin, who had organised the event, was up on breach of her bail conditions after having scaled the Houses of Parliament's roof in November of last year in protest against the planned expansion of Heathrow Airport. Sage DJ Snow said he recognised "the need for proportionality and one should hesitate from taking away bail from someone exercising their right to protest."

So it had been a remarkable and joyous event, with some fine cakes, tea and something far stronger to keep off the chill. Be warned Mr Brown, this is but a taster - the beginning of something far bigger. Women are fighting for the Planet (with a little help from the chaps too). We shan't stop until you and your government do so too.

For more wonderful pics, see Amelia's Blog.
video of protestand shots of friends being arrested.
Indymedia pics


Erica Grigg said...

Well done, ladies! I'm so glad to read about your collective actions which hold the government accountable for pushing forward climate change legislation which calls for REAL measurable change...!

JaneDunn said...

What a great website and excellent reporting on what seems to have been a triumphant Climate Rush! I wish I'd caught Polly on the 10 o'clock news. Well done to everyone there in reality and in spirit. The connection with our suffragette grandmothers and great grandmothers is a celebration of the unruly female spirit that goes to the heart of the matter, connects women from past to present and future - and doesn't care about playing the game. Onwards and upwards!

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