I’ve been experiencing Extinction Rebellion in London this month (since 7 October) with my body and my instincts rather than my thoughts and political beliefs. The opposite was true a month before when legal observing an XR protest where several young people were arrested at Lambeth Bridge. That day there wasn’t much headspace for enjoying the aesthetics, spirit and occasional wit of the action. The first two arrests were of Asian kids - a boy and a girl. The blatant institutional racism of the Metropolitan Police Force would have sobered me up at this point even if I had gotten caught up in the energy of the activists. The police, as they generally do in my experience, refused to say which station the kids were being taken to. I tried to feel hopeful they’d not experience police brutality, then ran southwards to the next arrest.
During International Rebellion, the event taking place 7-21 October 2019, I didn’t have any responsibilities, but could just go along as a punter if I wanted to. Fortunately, one of the main sites was across the road from my place of work, so on some days I stopped by three times.( Collapse )