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.