Life in the times of pandemic

Ollie asked that we not appear on the lawn this week, given the current situation. Please pass the information on to the people you know, and stay in touch via email or social media while we plan ways to continue working online.

Imagine there was an emergency and the government mobilised to acknowledge it. Businesses contributed too. Across the country, large and small acts of unity and resolve saw it’s people remember some very old understandings. Protect the vulnerable. Practice hygiene. At scale, the smallest actions are the biggest actions. We’re in this together.

It wasn’t the emergency we had in mind. If repeating the warnings has made us weary, it’s a reminder that the world is always able to surprise us.

Over the next few weeks, we will turn to face a series of events that will challenge common wisdom. Like the crack of a creme brulee, it will reveal us. In many ways, it will become the moment we were asking for all along. Planes will stop flying. People will stop commuting. We will count people, and share stories and find courage.

In a relatively short while, much of this will pass over. It will become one in a cavalcade. Each occupies its moment, and each challenges our thoughts. In light of the changes we hope for, each gives us a chance to give hope to those around us.

So let’s adapt now. Around the world, activists are already changing their processes and finding new ways of coming to the problem. We live in a world where individuals are able to do something more powerful than protest alone. They are able to take on the problem directly.

Some of you will likely show up on the lawn, as usual, this week, while others will not. I plan to stay away. My home and workplace have been planning for a more isolated life for weeks now. Risk aside (and I think it’s already risky), I want to get on with some new ways of working.

Our counterparts around the world are moving the protest online and considering ways to come together that reduce the risk of sharing infection. As a group whose main aim is to make others recognise an emergency, we ought to do some talking about this, and we’ll need to find ways to act in smaller groups and/or online.

There are quite a few options, and more will likely appear over coming weeks as people come up with and implement new ideas. Right now there are at least six different social media platforms we could be using to come together (Twitter, FaceBook, MeetUp, Instagram, Loomio and Discourse).

There are many kinds of ways to remain active using these tools. They are used now to grow movements and create change in as many ways as you can imagine.

So please, get in touch. Email if you like ( ) or any other means you have. Let’s get talking about how to adapt to the changes we’ve been talking about for so long.

Weekly Update: Thursday 12 March

As part of the general plan to stop using the PA on the lawn we’ve learned to become more creative with the ways we share information and help each other. I’ll start bringing a whiteboard so that people can post stuff on the day, we’ll start trying to use the web site and social media as ways to share stories and contributions from individuals who have something to share, and we’ll point you to useful resources online rather them reading them out to a group.

I’m sure there is still a place for speakers, announcements and shared noise in the future, but for now, let’s think about the hundreds of committed climate change action people nearby who still need a reason to come to the lawn.

In the interest of not sharing the virus, I’m keen to hold off on pamphlets for now and will not be at the train station on Friday morning. I am considering spending many more hours on Friday (and invite anyone to join me) just so that we can say ‘come anytime’ and people can expect a crowd at 1230.

If you want to keep up with events and activities in Wellington please got to the TUI events calender.

There is a link on the page that will include the events in your phone’s calendar, so you’ll always be in sync with what is happening.

After popular requests, a Meetup group has been created


Friday, Mar 13, 2020, 12:30 PM

Parliament House
1 Museum Street Wellington, NZ

1 Members Attending

No PA, no lectures, no preaching. Bring anything you feel like sharing. Bring a book if you just want to read. Watch us gather. Let it give you courage.

Check out this Meetup →

MeetUp is designed to help people form groups and start movements IRL (in real life!). By joining and using it you can invite others and participate in the planning and organisation as we grow to support the many people wanting to take part in climate action.

Here’s the text for the Fridays For Future event:

We can see that the current plans to reduce emissions are not enough. We know everyone needs to come together to face this problem. We know this is difficult. We know the barriers are many. But we can do this. Watch us gather. Let it give you courage.
Come to Parliament Lawn, every Friday, around midday. Bring friends, lunch, music, kids, pets, plans, questions, feelings and stories. We’ll bring ours too. See you there.

Wednesday 4 March Weekly Update

Last week some of us had some hard talks about the path we were taking.

We talked about why people come, what they need when they arrive, and what could make them stay. Since Fridays for Future began we have used a PA regularly and filled much of the time we speakers and sharing and some housekeeping.

While many of those sessions seemed to go very well, we couldn’t help but notice that some of our closest supporters were starting to leave. They used to bring picnics and instruments and children and games.

It took a while but eventually, it began to dawn that we have been looking at this the wrong way. When people come for the first time to an action such as this they need to share and connect with those around them. They need to tell their stories and ask their questions.

Having a PA was getting in the way of this. So this week, we’d like to try a change of tack. Let’s leave the equipment behind. Let’s keep the hour open for people to walk up and get into conversations, just like they did all through 2019.

It’s handy to share some housekeeping, and useful to provide people with information, but we can do that in other ways. We don’t need to interrupt anyone.

It seemed to me that we were trying to build a cathedral, every one facing one way, hearing one voice, but we needed to create a bazaar; lots of voices and many groups with plenty to do. Because surely a thousand or more people on this lawn, showing up every week, would look like that. People from all places, each resisting injustice in the way it came to them. Each saying we need to bring emissions down.

And to the people inside the building, we could say something like this:

Last year, we stood for more than 100 days,
staring at the Beehives’s high windows, wondering.

We were ignored.

Now we have a future to prepare for.

One that is more careful. One that preserves life.

We need to learn about each other.

We will do the things that make us one.

Watch us gather.

Let it give you courage.

See you Friday.