Five Leaves Bookshop arranged a launch of the “handbook” written by Extinction Rebellion.
The organisation has a very different feel to traditional political groupings.
Concentred most to compel people to realise there is a climate emergency through a range of actions including direct action.
Now famous for their blocking of transport, the road blockages in Nottingham were very brief.
I had expected such campaigns to generate some hostility, but the public have reacted by saying the climate is now one of their top priorities; something that might have been bolstered by documentaries on BBCtv showing the impact of plastic on the environment.
Having only 3 broad policies, but 10 principles, and a membership requirement that says you have to undergo non-violence training.
Three speakers from London had been organised for the meeting but two were on a train from London that was stopped by a landslide / bank collapse at Corby, triggered by the long spells of rain. (Turns out part of Arnold town centre was flooded too.)
As a veteran of working for progress through party politics, when called to speak, there seemed little point in saying that Extinction Rebellion are wrong, and acknowledging the change in public opinion, more relevant to say to work together where we can in our concern to get faster and more significant action on climate change.
Indeed, Cllr. Sally Longford, our new Deputy Leader, has worked with XR in getting a zero-carbon Nottingham policy adopted at the January full council.
I circulated a 2-pager on the council’s outlook (“cities are good for us”), our recent achievements, a 2006 plan showing how green policies need to be embedded in the planning of the council and our manifesto commitments.
In my speech, I emphasised the radical history of the city council, often led by Fabian & Co-op minded Labour members, had led to opposition to inner-city motorways, realised the bus needed help and introduced bus lanes, tried radical change with zone and collar (which was re-introduced in a different way in 2000), introduced free bus passes for older people and the less mobile, introduced the tram and alone in the northern hemisphere introduced workplace parking levy so that commuters to the larger companies (that can provide alternatives) pay for new facilities and extra services, rather than residents.