Between those two periods are 46 Fridays, six of which were spent in lockdown.
Climate strikes have appeared on the Parliament lawn for nearly one day in two since May 2019. Sometimes there have been thousands of people, and sometimes only one or two. In this time we have had hundreds of conversations with hundreds of people; most of them supporting us and wanting to see change.
We talk about anything and everything. We know that conversations require an emotional investment and a willingness to listen, especially when we don’t agree. We don’t shy away from the shock or the grief of this moment. We are a public forum within the grounds of Parliament, where the facts are not in question. We know of no other.
Since we started the situation has gotten worse: no price signals for the highest emitters, exploration continues, laws drafted to prop up emitters remain unchallenged and industries that benefit are claiming the word ‘justice’ for their owners.
Misinformation is increasing, people are imagining that not only are more roads essential but that they might actually lower emissions. The tiny steps made by the highest emitters only serve to demonstrate how dangerous they are. And emissions continue to rise.
We know you are already working on this problem. We know there are many ways to do it. Your stories, and your presence, give us courage. We’d love to see you, especially this Friday.
This week saw the hunger strike role pass from Sue Boyde to Paul Nieman. This was a bit last-minute: Sue was experiencing some health issues and need to pull out, while Paul, who arrived that day to act as support, was keen to fill the space. Tim Musson was back in town for the week so he was able to help out during the day.
Paul will be with us until Thursday the 27, and on the following Monday Rick Williment will commence hunger striking.
Support for the next week.
We have some gaps in the Support Calender for the next week. I’ll check in with the regulars to confirm their times, but if you are interested in helping out please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or drop by at parliament have a chat.
Short Film by Timon Zeiss
Flim-maker Timon came by to interview David when he was here. He sent up this amazing short piece. It was recorded on broadcast quality equipment so we would love to see it in the media.
The Dick Seddon Covid Tracer!
In the last few weeks we’ve had to share the space with a few protestors who question the basic science around the pandemic. In order to make it absolutely clear that we support this government’s response to the pandemic, we thought it might be useful to attach a QR Code to King Dick while we’re with him.
So now you can install the app, and record your support of climate action at the same time!
A committed group last week included Jesse Richardson (running for the Wellington Central seat as in independent on on a climate action platform), Sophia Honey from Vic Roots and Shoots (with the ‘Climate Action Now’ sign) and Jessica Hammond (Ohairiu candidate for TOP.
Hunger Strike: from Robin to Sue
This week saw a community spread case of COVID19 in Auckland, causing a switch to level 3 in Auckland and level 2 for the rest of the country. The Strike continues however; now with social distancing measures.
From today (August 13) Sue Boyde picks up the Hunger Strike with a plan to carry it for three weeks. Rick will pick it up from there.
Something you can do from home.
Aurelie Bray has a petition before Parliament for the recognition of a Non Proliferation Treaty for fossil fuels. You can sign it here:
The hunger strikers have a crew providing basic support but always welcome some supporters to help with talking to people about climate change and sharing information. Any weekday between 10 and 4 would be great. You can get in touch or indicate you’ll be around by joining the FaceBook event or the MeetUp group.
There is plenty of handout and information material, and the visitors are generally friendly and supportive. Sue and team would love to see you.
David Goldsmith completed his 21 day Hunger Strike last week. He handed the E Tū hunger strike blanket on to Robin Treadwell. She will take his place, striking for the next two weeks before Sue Boyde picks up the role.
It’s been an emotional and action packed few weeks. David’s presence has increased the numbers of visitors to the lawn, started hundreds of discussions with passers-by about the climate crisis, and spawned and attracted the media . Radio New Zealand marked the handover with this report.
Yellow Ribbon Wednesday
Robin has asked that we mark Wednesday at the lawn with this message:
Please would you publicise an invitation to anyone, especially parents & Grandparents, to join a ‘Stand up’ next Wednesday 5/8 lunch time 12-1, the last day Parliament is sitting. Yellow capes, clothes, ribbons welcome.
There is a lot of symbolism associated with yellow ribbons, from safe return of troops and hostages (perhaps we are all hostage to ‘Big Oil’s’ greed?), and most recently the yellow ribbon is being used as a symbol for Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement as it has long been the official colour of many suffrage organisations, stemming from the women’s suffrage campaign in the US in the 1860s. I’m calling for enhanced or true and just democracy, where the rights of all people for a fair and liveable future take priority over profits for the few.
Personally, 5 August is my younger son Andrew’s birthday and the yellow ribbon or clothing is an emblem for suicide prevention, particularly for young people. I’m calling for government to act to give all our young people a liveable future; as Greta Thonberg says ” I don’t want your hope. I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day, and then I want you to act. I want you to act as you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if our house is on fire. Because it is.” Perhaps that’s a letter to the PM on Wednesday? Thanks. Robin