I used to look out over the city with a sense of hope and optimism. Now that’s changed, all there is is confusion, I hope I can write my way out of that.
It’s almost a year since Mike Erskine and I did the Share Cardiff Sensemaking event at Greens Vegan. It’s also a year since I put my mind to learning about permaculture.
It’s also the year that we started to feel the impact of climate breakdown in a very real way for ourselves. I often wonder why the mainstream news and media aren’t talking about the Covid 19 pandemic as an effect of the climate and ecological crisis. This concerns me deeply.
There are other things that I see going on around me that concern me deeply, especially in regard to local government decision making and lack of action towards addressing the climate and ecological crisis.
It would seem that in the place where I live in the Vale there is a gulf, a vast disconnect between what the people who live here want and what the local councils are doing. We seem to be in a breakdown of democratic process, where even if consultation happens, peoples views are ignored and the council steamrollers ahead with its plans anyway.
I’ve seen this happening in recent years in Cardiff too. Examples are too numerous to mention, but include the building on the greenspace in Howard Gardens, ancient trees being cut down despite the protests of local folk, and, a ‘deal’ to sell our city to developers and other endeavors in pursuit of economic growth (did you ever see a picture of the people on the board of the city deal?). Sure the Metro is a good thing to come out of this, but…
Emerging now, from the ashes of our ability to collectively uprise, because we all have to to stay at home, comes Reclaim Cardiff. I’m involved with a similar sort of local action group that is beginning to take shape in Penarth, Cylch Alexandra (Alexandra’s Circle). I’m starting to feel like nonviolent direct action projects are forming.
I was listening to a podcast this morning, whilst out walking. In it Satish Kumar, peace activist and Founder of the Resurgence Trust talked about leadership, in fact, he talked of distributed leadership. Whilst he believes that individual heroes like Greta Thunberg are vital as we move into the future, he also says that we all need to be leaders. That each of us needs to take action in our own place. And that we ‘act out of love’.
Act out of love, and build relationships with local council leaders. That’s how I’m intending to move forward now.
I’ll close with a chant I learned from XR, folks were singing it as they saw off Greta Thunberg on the boat as she headed for New York.
“We are rising up
Time has come to stir things up
Join the rebellion”
You can listen to it being sung in Plymouth on a different occasion here.