Campaigners joined by indigenous people who have led fight against global heating

Nearly 2,000 festival-goers have joined climate change activists Extinction Rebellion to stage a procession across the Glastonbury site, tribute to indigenous people who have led the fight against world-wide heating.

Waving flags bearing the extinction symbol, which was seen across central London earlier this year when Extinction Rebellion protests brought the city to a standstill, the crowd paraded for about an hour in the blacken afternoon sun on Thursday from the festival’s park stagecoach to its stone circle.

Speaking to the crowd on the second day of the 49 th Glastonbury festival, Dr Gail Bradbrook from Extinction Rebellion, said: “[ Extinction Rebellion] is not a declaration. It is not awareness-raising campaigns. It is a rebellion. We are in active rebellion against our authority. The social contract is broken, the governments aren’t protecting us and it’s down to us now .”

Bradbrook said beings were waking up to the climate emergency.” This is not a slow movement of change. It’s a change in the consciousness of each of us.

” It is a collective displacement. It involves facing suffering and trauma and ruining our numbness and our narcissism and our self-indulgence that we have in this privileged western society .”

Green
Wisdom Keepers in the Green Fields at Glastonbury. Photograph: Alicia Canter/ The Guardian

The procession was part of a pushing to have environmental issues front and core at this year’s carnival. This includes the well-publicised ban on single-use plastics on site with dealers having to exclusively adhere to the policy, and attendees have been encouraged to producing their own water bottles and fill them up at one of the 800 taps on site.

Rosie Rogers, an activist from Greenpeace, told the crowd there was a long way to go in the fight against climate change but that she was ” hopeful “.

” I feel hopeful that everything of us in all of our different moves and identities can come together and rightfully unite for what is the fight of “peoples lives” to defend this planet ,” she said.” And I also feel truly grateful for the brothers and sisters all over the world, especially those in the world-wide south, the Amazon and other targets, who have given so much better to protect this planet .”

Q& A

Could this be Glastonbury’s greenest year yet?

Glastonbury is banning single application plastics. The world’s largest greenfield festival wants to avoid scenes of the expanse in front of its famous stagecoaches being strewn with plastic after the shows have ended. In 2017, visitors to the festival got through 1.3 m plastic bottles.

For 2019, festival co-organiser Emily Eavis said ” We’re asking beings to produce a reusable bottle to the festival this year, which can be filled up from one of 37 WaterAid kiosks or 20 refill depots .”

People are also being encouraged to go other steps to limit their impact on the environment, such as using public transport to get to the venue, forestalling the implementation of its undegradable soaked wipes , not leaving their tents behind to prevent them pointing up in landfill, and opting for biodegradable light instead of the plastic kind.

This year the gala will likewise boast a procession held by climate crisis activists Extinction Rebellion.

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Kurukindi, a Kichwa Amazonian Shaman activist and part of the Wisdom Keepers, a group of indigenous rulers from around the world, spoke to the crowd with the help of a translator.” We cherish our friends. We desire our children ,” he said.” And that cherish needs to extend to the planet that we are on and the earth beneath our feet .”

Jenny Bleasdale, a 60 -year-old civil servant from Exeter who joined the procession, said she was at the end of her tether with the failings of political parties to” appreciation the nettle of the climate disaster “.” We need to pass on the meaning and there needs to be some hope attached to it otherwise parties won’t even bother ,” she said.

Naomi Scott, 24, an activist with Extinction Rebellion in Scotland, said Glastonbury was the perfect region to spread the group’s message.” There are 250,000 people here and we need everyone out on the street in October, so it’s amazing to be able to walk though this festival. It’s a really amazing scaffold to spread the content .”

Climate
Climate vary objectors carry a boat designed by activist radical Extinction Rebellion. Photograph: Neil Hall/ EPA

As the sunbathe determined over Worthy Farm on Wednesday evening, in a corner of the Tipi Field the Wisdom Keepers acted a ritual to officially open the 2019 copy of the festival. Stood in a circle around a fire, hands clasped together they took turns to say boons and prayers.

The 12 tribal elders were invited by Emily Eavis specifically to christen the carnival, claiming their loftier purpose was ” to catalyse celebration culture for climate awareness “. The project is that as the planet moves towards a potentially catastrophic environmental situation, indigenous cultures can offer solutions and alternative ways to live sustainably.

” Everything ranges smoother when you’ve got an elder in the house ,” said Jarmbi, an aboriginal governor from northern New South Wales who is part of the group.” Someone who has screwed up, fastened it and come back. We need to show people what is missing. There are elders here who can talk about tribal living and how its structured the room it is and why it runs. That’s part of the gumption that is missing .”

Ben Christie, the group’s UK liaison, expressed the view that the Wisdom Keepers and their habits are crucial in the modern world.” These cultures are palpably most sustainable, more harmonious, more equitable. We’re at that point in our culture where we’ve work out of ideas and it looks like a bit of a gondola crash.

” It’s not exoticism, saying,’ Oh God you’re all great and we’re crap .’ They’ve got lots of missing segments which we need to learn from .”

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