'The planet is on loan to us'

Sila Collins-Walden shares how Inverness Quakers are campaigning alongside Extinction Rebellion.

Quakers and Extinction Rebellion activists in Inverness bus station with a banner heading off to London
Inverness Quakers supporting XR off to London for The Big One actions.

Quakers from North Scotland Area Meeting joined with Extinction Rebellion to campaign against carbon bombs in July 2022. Carbon bombs is a phrase used to refer to projects capable of pumping at least 1bn tonnes of CO₂ emissions over their lifetimes.

No carbon bombs action in Inverness

The group made seed bombs, not carbon bombs, with children and parents. We also staged a 'die in' – an action where people lie on the ground to symbolise the death caused by the climate crisis. We were joined by quite a crowd and gave out plenty of leaflets to people passing by who showed an interest in the campaign. It was a great way to engage with young people, who stopped to talk to us about what we were doing.

Although it was a protest the atmosphere was jovial, even the police who were standing by came to chat to us. They commented on how peaceful and non-violent the protest was. The protesters shared refreshments amongst ourselves, sang some songs and had time to speak to each other and get to know each other beyond the cup of tea after meeting for worship.

Since then, we have carried out other events together. Some Quakers set off to London to join forces with XR and meet up with other supporting XR Friends at 'The Big One' in April 2023. Not everyone could make it to London from as far north as Inverness for various reason – cost, disability and trains not running on time. Some of us remained in Inverness where we held a march on Earth Day as a supporting action, including a supporting action for The Big One.

As a Quaker and an environmentalist my faith compels me to take action as this planet is not ours to do with as we wish, it is on loan to us and it's up to us to take care of it. We must point out to others how precious this homeland of ours is. We are in danger of destroying our home, this is why I stand with XR and other environmental groups, such as Ecocide International, who feel the same as I do.

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