Rosemary Blenkinsop is a walker, cyclist, community gardener and activist living in the hills of Derbyshire; her passion is for the Natural World.
In October 2019 Extinction Rebellion once again took to the streets of London; in the very heart of Westminster we Rebels planted ourselves like trees across the road, proudly holding our banners. As soon as we stopped the traffic, sounds like birdsong, human voices and bicycle bells suddenly became audible. Bright coloured tents popped up in the road all around, gazebos sprang up offering workshops. Bunting was draped over the railings, bright flags flapped in the breeze. All around, leaflets were being offered, and conversations taking place. While blocking most of the road we left a lane for cyclists, many of whom waved and thanked us, delighted to have freedom from the car dominance that generally reigns in our cities. Food and tea arrived on trolleys, all brought by volunteers. A chamber quartet played to us. Samba bands, dancers in costumes like birds, the eerily dramatic Red People all processed by us, connecting us psychically with other Rebellion sites. Journalists arrived to interview us, and memorably one, when asked what she felt about the climate emergency, broke into tears of grief. We Rebels gathered each morning in circle under the traffic lights to make our decisions collectively. We forged and deepened friendships, sharing our love for the Earth, as well as singing songs of Heart and Rebellion. All too soon police came a-wrecking, but not before each one of us took with us that seed of knowing; we could co-create loving community again elsewhere, anytime.
Love on the Streets © Rosemary Blenkinsop 2019