We’ve been back on the lawn for two weeks now. There’s been some talk about gathering on a Wednesday, improving the chances of getting the attention of the people inside the Beehive. I can’t do both days and feel that it makes sense to show up on a Friday, given the global nature of the Fridays For Future group.
Kate is keen to do Wednesday and will be talking with others about gathering on that day. She and I will work to ensure that the various channels (Meetup, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, the website, and email) contain the information you might need.
In reality, no one day will suit everyone and there’s nothing to stop anyone showing up whenever. The more the merrier: we may find a timeslot that works particularly well, or a may find that various groups like to gather at different times.
Whatever works for you. Just get in touch through our social media accounts, talk to myself of Kate when you run into use, or use the email account mailto:email@example.com
It looks like we’re safe to return to the Lawn. Ollie once declared he’d eat some of the grass if the National Party leader came down to talk to him. A few days later Todd Muller did just that.
Around that time we also wondered whether the Nats were getting ready for a hard-denial approach to the problem, and at the very least Mr. Muller’s position at 32 on the list implied the party was still not treating the problem as important.
Now he’s is at the helm. It’s not clear whether this is a huge win for the environmental movement, but he does appear to be there for the discussion. His faith in unproven solutions like CCS suggests the lobbyists are managing to bend his ear.
Sometimes, when I invite people to come to the lawn on a Friday and hold a sign with us they ask whether doing so is ‘productive’.
I normally reply that it depends on what else they were planning to do with the time. At this point I’d add: Maybe. Definitely, Maybe.
I talked with climate striker Sophie Handford who is speaking with activists around the country who are looking to actions on Fridays, so hopefully we’ll have more to share as the election draws closer.
In the meantime, I’ll be back at the lawn this Friday with the banners and flags, and hopefully, will see you there.
I’ve set up a Zoom meeting for Thursday evening, 27th May at 7pm. Anyone is welcome to attend, it’s just a chance to catch up and talk about what to expect Friday.
Kieran Martin is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Fridays For Future post-lockdown catchup
Time: May 28, 2020 07:00 PM Auckland, Wellington
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).
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
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.
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.
Anna Kernahan is a climate activist and founder of Belfast Fridays For Future. She has been striking alone every Friday since September 2019. Anna created a short video for us – you can check it out on our web page and we’ll play it this Friday. We’ll also take some time to record a message to send back to her.
Ollie’s been away for a couple of weeks. He’ll be back this Friday and will be our speaker. We will also play the clips sent to us from strikers in Russia and Belfast.
Last week’s speakers:
Dr Sean Weaver has been working on environmental issues for more than thirty years. His current project is to bring rural and urban communities together. His talk was compelling and many passers-by stopped to listen.
Hannah and Liam: The Rubbish Trip
Liam Prince and Hannah Blumhardt have imagined a world without waste, and they made it their business to live in it. The world we live in is not sustainable, and their project, The Rubbish Trip, is a way of showing people what a sustainable world might look like.
29th Feb: Climate Hub (Aro Fair)
We’ll be there all day amongst the madness at the Aro Fair ’20, so combine an awesome day out with a wee pop in to see us! Discover whats going on in the local climate / environmental scene, and have a look at how you could get involved- we have something for everyone; whatever time or skills you have to offer!
Rest your weary legs on our comfy couches (first room on the right in Aro Community Centre) and come have a chat with our friendly TUI community!
8th March Takutai Kāpiti: Climate Change and Our Coast
The Summit launches a significant community engagement project that aims to encourage and empower our communities to become more aware of the impacts of climate change and sea-level rise and to take part in developing solutions and pathways for adapting to coming change
This event will happen at Ngā Purapura in Ōtaki. There’ll be a free shuttle to get you to and from (Raumati, Paraparaumu, Waikanae, Te Horo and Ōtaki. Book on Eventbrite.
Does anyone know where this banner went? It was last seen in this public meeting with Andy Foster (that’s him behind the icon). Please get in touch if you know where it is.
Signs in Busy Places
More people are holding the signs – Stuart and Jane on Thursdays, Kieran and company on Friday mornings (7-9 am) and Violet for a few hours during the day.
We have a new flier. We can print off copies for anyone wanting to distribute them or you can print them yourself. It also appears on the right sidebar of the website where you can click through to articles backing up the statements.
We’re transitioning from the old website www.climatechange.org.nz to a new one on www.fridaysforfuture.nz. This brings our naming more in-line with Fridays For Future groups around the world. The new site will contain regular updates you can share to let people know why we gather and what to expect when you come along. You can subscribe to be notified of changes or comment on posts, and we will also feed information from the site to social media (Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram).
Banners in Busy Places
Join, me, Violet, Stu, Jane, Lucas, and Ella as we move into the city to tell people about Fridays For Future. The communicators tell us (thank you Jane!) that real change is about talking to persuadables. These are the many people who haven’t formed a strong opinion, one way or another, just yet.
It takes some effort because climate reality skeptics and activists alike both want to talk about it all the time. But these people are the least likely to change.
You don’t need to shift someone’s opinion a long way to make a difference. If your presence starts people thinking and gets them considering the evidence you have made a very real difference.
Get in touch via email or talk to us on Friday if you want to try this out. We have signs and fliers you can use to get started. If people want to get together to prepare material we can book the ReGen centre in Aro Community Hall.
This week’s speakers:
Sean Weaver: Healing the Urban/Rural divide.
Sean is working to combine climate care activists from the city with some central North Island farmers to get some mutual understanding on the way forward. He is running a workshop this Thursday at the Sustainability Trust.
Liam Prince: The Rubbish Trip
Liam Prince and his partner Hannah embarked on The Rubbish Trip (check Google) a couple of years ago, to teach people how to minimise waste in their homes, particularly plastic. They’ve won awards and were profiled on Sunday on TVNZ a few months ago. At the start, it was tough going. I remember Liam saying to me once, “we don’t know if we’re wasting our time, the msg isn’t getting thru.” And then 6 months later plastic reduction became the new black. Liam will speak about having determination and belief when it all seems too har
Last week’s speaker: Tom Bennion.
Environmental Lawyer and #NoFly advocate Tom Bennion reprised a recent talk on the changes that are upon us. Links and notes from that talk are here.
Social Media improvements.
We’re looking at ways to improve the ways information gets to you – starting with HootSuite – a tool to push our updates to Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook all at once – so you can share the information online using the tools you love.
Lisa McLaren of Gen Zero (the creators of the Zero Carbon Act) has agreed to join us soon. As election year starts to build momentum we’d love to get a political campaigner to give us some pointers about starting conversations about things that matter. We’re also keen to hear from some school strikers. Keep an eye out for future posts and get in touch with suggestions.
Overseas strikers: @solonotalone
Solo But Not Alone is a new twitter account tracking solo strikers around the world. We’ll be working with them to hear from strikers around the world and to show them our solidarity.
There are more than we can keep track of right now! (We’re working on
that too). In the meantime here is a short list from Tui Climate
Community’s [[Facebook feed][
Feb 20 Healing the Rural/Urban Divide (Sean Weaver) (Extinction Rebellion) We are excited to have Sean Weaver (Ekodo) with us again to run a planning workshop on assertively compassionate climate action. This will involve recruiting and planning a delegation of climate care activists to a central North Island rural farming community that is open to meeting with urban climate campaigners to heal the urban-rural divide on climate change. This is creating the seed crystal of a nation-wide cross-party agreement on climate change for rural Aotearoa. This work is about using active listening and compassionate communication skills to create transformative ecopolitical outcomes. The climate crisis is upon us and there is no time to lose getting distracted with adversarial approaches that divide us. Why compassion? Because it is the most effective way to bring about enduring beneficial change in an age of division. This workshop will involve forming a core working group keen to sit down and kōrero with our farming whanau to create a foundation for mutual understanding and mutual agreement on a way forward. This is about learning what life is really like for these communities, exploring shared values, and co-designing a middle path solution, so that both urban and rural people can build a resilient, low carbon future together.
Feb 29 Climate Hub at Aro Fair We’ll be there all day amongst the madness at the Aro Fair ’20, so combine an awesome day out with a wee pop in to see us! Discover what’s going on in the local climate / environmental scene, and have a look at how you could get involved- we have something for everyone; whatever time or skills you have to offer! Rest your weary legs on our comfy couches (first room on the right in Aro Community Centre) and come have a chat with our friendly TUI community!
Mar 7 Wellington No Butts cleanup Our Seas Our Future is running a nationwide campaign to highlight the negative effects of cigarette butts on our environment. Join us this Seaweek for our first local No Butts cleanup. During this clean up we will separate cigarette butts from general rubbish to begin building a picture on the extent of ‘butt pollution’ in Wellington.
Mar 8 Climate Community Get Together (open to requests / ideas / input / feedback from last time!) This is an event for all environmental / climate groups in Wellington to get together, share some stories and some kai, strengthen bonds, and make friends! All welcome!! If you’re not active in any current environmental groups, but want to be, this is a great opportunity to come along and mingle! That’s all for this week – see you on the lawn! nga mihi Kieran