People are joining Extinction Rebellion from all walks of life, and getting involved in many different ways. Karen is our new copywriter/editor in our Media & Messaging team – here is her story!
Hi, I’m new here with Extinction Rebellion Western Australia. I’ve been teetering on the edges of joining Extinction Rebellion for over a year, probably more. I’m desperate to see climate action for our precious planet but I wasn’t sure how I could fit in to XRWA.
Ever since I was a teenager, I have been passionate about our planet and human rights. I remember protesting outside a Tesco’s in the UK standing up against apartheid. We were urging people to boycott this supermarket because they were still stocking goods from South Africa. Since then I have supported many non-profits that promote the good for our planet and people, as well as living a life with as little a footprint as possible.
Fast forward around 30 years from that chilly day outside Tesco’s in a wintry England to a scorching West Australian summer when the local government had the gall to suggest actually building the long-held plan of running a bloody great highway through my beloved local area.
Not only did they suggest it; they rolled in the bulldozers knocking down trees, plants and animals that had peacefully lived there for centuries. That summer I spent every single day on the ground. I suddenly became aware of alien concepts such as non-violent direct action. I found myself sitting on the ground arm in arm with strangers, I had my first ever brushes with the law, I learnt all about the intricacies of arrest and the mechanics of the legal system. I found myself talking to people sitting in trees, running around the bush with thumbcuffs in my pocket, buying adult nappies as I prepared to lock on and driving activists around at 2 o’clock in the morning so they could so the same.
It was exhausting, heartbreaking and finally exhilarating when the state elections delivered a premier who took it off the table. But I was burnt out. We had won the battle, but the war still rages on. Despite the amazing people power and the euphoria I feel every day when I walk around Bibra Lake free from destruction and pollution, I knew I didn’t have it in me to go through that again.
Then came along Extinction Rebellion to continue to fight the war against climate destruction. This is no one hit wonder or single campaign but an organisation with a foundation, a structure that promotes a regenerative culture. An approach that enables resilience, learning, building and momentum. It has checks and balances that work against burnout and includes everybody in any and every capacity.
I’m a writer and editor; I love telling stories, they are a powerful way to connect today and chronicle for the future. I’m also an introvert and non-risk taker. I love the idea of civil disobedience, but the Roe 8 campaign made me realise I’m not cut out for that. However, a phone call from XRWA mobilised me into action by inviting me to use my skills to help out. I said yes (thanks for asking!) and I can now contribute in my own capacity by offering my particular set of skills for the Media & Messaging working group of XRWA.
So, here I am, doing what I love, in the safety of my own home helping to make a difference. We all have skills and resources. We all have what it takes to help heal our planet, to fight climate change, to get our power back. I have seen what people power can do. If we can stop bulldozers, if we can stop a highway, then with enough of us working together doing what we do well, we can stop climate change too.
Whether you have time, knowledge, a skill, a resource, a vehicle, a pair of hands, even if you can bake a cake, I promise it will make a difference. The fight for our planet needs you in whatever capacity you have to offer.
What skills do you have? Fill in the survey here to let us know where you might fit into XRWA. There’s a YOU shaped space waiting!