Thursday was not an easy day to be a member of Extinction Rebellion (Movement split over tactics as travellers turn on activist who disrupted rail travel, 18 October). As families involved in the movement, we feel that now is not the time to condone or condemn, but to recognise and reflect on the very human desperation that has driven thousands of citizens to commit acts of nonviolent civil disobedience.
Despite more than 1,600 arrests over the last two weeks, the government is yet to respond with a clear plan of action to tackle the climate and ecological emergency. While we sound the alarm louder and louder, the government remains silent.
As families we aim to create a loving and inclusive rebellion that gives voice to and empowers our children and connects us as parents. We acknowledge that we still have not brought everyone with us on the issue of the climate crisis, and we have work to do to heal our divisions and give voice to those who are marginalised. Through our family-friendly spaces we hope to create a place where people can join us in a shared experience of community and love for the natural world that sustains us all.
Over the last two weeks we have brought all our hope, our courage and our creativity to bear; we have put our bodies on the line as we staged nurse-ins at Downing Street and at Google; we have watched the oldest in our community sacrifice their liberty in the hope that in doing so they will protect the future of the young.
Yes, all this should shock us. Not because these actions are extreme but because they are borne from the fact that we are in a real and present state of emergency. We are ordinary parents in an extraordinary time. This is a proportionate response.
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