A 70 year-old grandmother began a five-week walk from Lands End in Cornwall to London to raise awareness of the climate and ecological emergency we all face. That 70 year old is Jackie Dash from Truro, who will be joining 30 other people as they take the first step in what is to become Extinction Rebellion’s ‘Earth March: A Pilgrimage for the Planet’. Their departure will be marked by songs and music by some members of the Cornwall Extinction Rebellion choir.
1,000 people from across the country were expected to join Jackie on the Earth March from various points across the country converging on London in time for 15 April, when International Rebellion begins. Other starting-points include Cardiff, Manchester, Peterborough, Norwich, Oxford, Cambridge and Brighton.
The Cornwall marchers were joined by walkers from Wales and Bristol at the end of this month in Bradford on Avon. Before then, they’ll be joining the Youth Strike 4 Climate event in Truro on Friday 15 March. En route, marchers will use the opportunity to hold public talks about the climate crisis, along with trainings in nonviolent direct action, legal rights, public speaking, banner-making and more.
Extinction Rebellion is encouraging people from all walks of life and across the world to join or organise an Earth March in their community. For the International Rebellion it advises those coming to London to ‘Come to stay’ and to ‘Take 2 weeks off work’. The movement will be demanding decisive action on the climate and ecological collapse from governments around the world
“We’re really excited to be taking the first steps on a journey that so many will join,” said Jackie. “We’re deeply aware of the footsteps in which we’re treading: the Earth March is the next significant step in a proud tradition across these British Islands. From Jarrow and the Hunger Marches to The Suffragists and the Women’s Peace March to Greenham Common from South West Wales in the 1980’s; from The Cornish Rebellion to The Peasants Revolt to The Chartists.”
“Our cause, like those of our predecessors who have marched in order to be heard and witnessed before us, is founded in an urgent plea to those in positions of power and control to listen to the voice of the People. We are marching for the future of the land beneath our feet, our winding rivers, our shorelines, the oceans and the very air we breathe.
“We march for our children who, unless we are heard, might not live to know the Natural World, the richness and diversity of this ‘Blue Planet’ as we have been privileged to know it: these lush, green Islands as they are today. We march for the millions around the world already suffering the cruel and destructive effects of this ecological emergency.”
Reverend Peter Owen-Jones, TV presenter and Vicar of Firle, has also sent a video showing his support for the March, saying: “This is a pilgrimage for the planet – please join us. Extinction Rebellion is inviting me to recognise and take responsibility for the toxic reality of what is being called progress, to live in service to love for all life, to celebrate the reality of one life carrying all life, and all life carrying one life. It is nothing other than a privilege to walk the route of the Earth March.”