‘SMALL is big’.
The Extinction Rebellion protest outside Woodley’s Oakwood Centre on Friday afternoon might have been small, but the ambition of its participants was mighty.
Two teenagers and a Woodley woman teamed up for the event while similar ones took place across the globe, including in Reading where traffic in the town centre ground to a halt as youngsters took to the streets to make their feelings known.
The movement Extinction Rebellion had encouraged pupils from schools all over the world to strike, in a bid to make governments take immediate action on the climate and ecological emergency.
It comes ahead of a meeting of world leaders at the United Nations on Monday.
For 17-year-old Jo, who is a Piggott School pupil, taking part was an essential.
“I’m scared,” she said. “I’m scared I’m not going to live to see 50. Or, if I do, I want to ensure I’ll see earth.
“This is one of the most important and pressing issues of our time.
“If we don’t change our ways within 18 months then it’s going to go belly up and we’re all going to die.”
Joining her was 16-year-old teenager Samuel, who attends Bracknell and Wokingham College and had also participated in events in Bracknell and Winnersh.
“So far, there’s been mostly a positive response,” he said. “People want to know what we’re doing. One person was a teacher and said she had been encouraging her pupils to do this kind of stuff.”
Jo was convinced that change will happen.
“Small is big,” is her way of encouraging to take actions, one step at a time. She also wanted people to encourage their friends and families to follow suit.
And one thing that Jo’s family has done has been to see the light: “We’ve put in solar panels. On a sunny day like today, it means lots of hot water.”
Wokingham’s action on climate emergency
Wokingham Borough Council has committed to being carbon neutral by 2030. As part of this is launching a consultation for residents’ views on Monday.
There is also a Greener Wokingham conference taking place in Wokingham Town Hall on Tuesday evening from 7pm.
For more details, or to book a place log on to https://greenerwokingham.co.uk/2019/08/14/greener-wokingham-live-25th-sept/