An estimated 60 000 people from all over the country joined Christian Climate Action and 200 other environmental organisations in Parliament Square over the four-day weekend of 21-24 April. The protests issued a strong challenge to Government policy on fossil fuel extraction and called for greater public engagement through citizens assemblies. Over 40 people from St James’s took part across the four days. This was a moment when the climate protest movement got much broader, with many more people willing to witness publicly to the need for urgent action on the climate emergency.
On Friday, Christians of many denominations joined the ‘No Faith in Fossil Fuels’ service at St John’s Waterloo, where the church and entrance were filled to capacity, with many others in the garden. We then walked in pilgrimage along the South Bank and over Westminster Bridge to Parliament Square, stopping at the Shell building on route to sing Amazing Grace and hand in a letter. On Saturday, Earth Day, many thousands participated in a Biodiversity march and die-in, and leaders of Black majority churches led worship for the Christian community. Sunday’s theme, ‘Running out of Time’ coincided with the London marathon, with Race Director Hugh Brasher expressing his support for the protest – and many protestors getting a great view of the race as it passed through Parliament Square. On Monday in the pouring rain, with parliament in session, the core messages were restated: no more fossil fuels, and greater democratic participation through citizens assemblies.
Why participate in public witness and direct action?
What did we learn?
Some key things arising from our debrief session:
If you would like to join us as we continue our action for the Earth, please get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org
Part of the SJP group on the way to Westminster on 23 April
Many hundreds of people gather for worship at St John’s Waterloo before walking to Parliament Square, via the Shell Building where former Archbishop of York John Sentamu tried to hand in a letter
Thousands of people participate in a ‘die-in’ – lying down in the street during a march for biodiversity on Earth Day, 22nd April
Christian Climate Action were at the Faith hub throughout the four days
SJP members with prayer cards, as encouraged by Christian Climate Action