Yesterday Nana, Evan and me joined the Climate Strike protest in Sheffield city centre. My mum had never been on a protest before, despite being a teenager in the 1960s, so was feeling intrepid, Evan was mainly feeling bored and cranky.
True to my usual way of approaching things, I remembered the Climate Strike was happening 24 hours before it started. This meant there was no time to organise Joni getting out of school for the day and anyway, she’s been flipping between tears and happiness about school since she started two weeks ago so it didn’t feel right to meas up her routine. Cue the enviro-guilts. Still one out of two kids and a Nana isn’t a bad turn out from our household.
I don’t work Fridays, so claiming to be on strike was pushing it slightly. But if I had of been at work I would have awkwardly and very politely demanded that my right to protest be recognised.
My lack of organisation struck again as I forgot to charge my phone before I set off, so couldn’t check when the march started and we got there an hour early. Lots of waiting around in the sun is not good for babies or Nanas.
There were things to make signs out of so I came up with the phrase ‘Nanas for Nature’ which I’m hoping to copyright and start a global movement of climate change activism a’la Greta Thunberg but for ladies in their 70s.
45 minutes later we went to get a drink and something to eat as Evan kept trying to throw himself down the little hill on Devonshire Green. We come out of the cafe 15 minutes later and everyone had left Devonshire Green and were now on the move through town.
At this point, we trot back down Division Street and catch the tail end of the protest march at the top of the Moor. A bus driver was shouting obscenities at the protesters blocking the road and my mum was loving the drama.
In the most middle class protester move imaginable, we then went to Waitrose to buy dinner. Though I have to say, the prices of their vegan food are outrageous and everything is wrapped in plastic. Charging £6 for two teeny low carbon vegan meals and covering them in non-recyclable plastic is not exactly a great environmental strategy.
All in all though, it was another good protest, or the bits we saw of it were anyway. It was fantastic to see how many people came out, and maybe, just maybe, people are beginning to realise that it is getting very close to do or die time (literally) for the planet.