"The temptation to finish with a rousing cry of ‘This is What Democracy Looks Like’ was huge."
While our Prime Minister was denigrating and other-ing the entire Extinction Rebellion movement as "uncooperative crusties" and "nose-ringed hemp-smelling bivouacs" us crusties were coming together in the Jubilee Room of the Houses of Parliament, not as irritants, but actually convening the first ever Peoples' Assembly to be held in Parliament, which put proposals in the form of questions to major government departments.
I took part in the Peoples' Assembly along with about 50 others, including some MPs. @Peter Macfadyen, founder of Independents for Frome and Campfire member who was also taking part commented:
"The temptation to finish with a rousing cry of ‘This is what democracy looks like’ was huge. Around 50 MPs and members of the public heard expert comment on key areas of government policy. With six months since a government declaration of emergency, and virtually no sign of plans that recognise this, what should each of the major departments be planning? This resulted in their hard hitting but realistic proposals for each department, but equally exciting was the process: With the room rearranged into small circles and carefully facilitated ‘radical inclusion’, young people had as much of a say as MPs. The meeting was live streamed and used ranking software to feed on top questions from the public.
All credit to the Climate and Ecological Emergency Declaration Circle of XR who organised the meeting with the help of MPs Clive Lewis and Caroline Lucas."
Watch highlights here including contributions from our 'departments' for housing, energy, education, transport, DEFRA, treasury, home office, health and more, plus speeches from Clive Lewis, Caroline Lucas, ex-police chief inspector and XR supporter Rob Cooper.
"We here at Extinction Rebellion are taking action to interrupt the flow of normality, because it is that flow which is carrying us towards disaster." Jake Lynch, Democracy Now
Message from a prison cell to October rebels from Roger Hallam, co-founder of Extinction Rebellion:
I have been here for several weeks and may be here for some time longer. But please remember to do this:
Take all your rage and fury
Take all your despair and heartbreak
Take all your love and compassion
Mould it and transform it
Into a resolute determination to act.
To act and then come back and act again.
Again and again and again
Nothing is more important now than this
Nothing will be more important from now on
I cried as these words came to me
Because their weight is so great
We face the gravest responsibility
And the greatest opportunity for honour
The eyes of the world are upon you
Show them what courage, beauty, and humanity look like
Show them some damn spirit
Go to it, guys!
All my love
Here is a film of Kate Raworth's powerful speech from the Mall Stage on Monday this week: