We’re adding our steps to those of other groups marching to Glasgow and to those of the countless defenders of water, life and the planet. We want to make as much noise as possible, so that something will get through to the stone-deaf governments with their greedy minds and insensitive hearts.
Climate change is not only an environmental problem but also a social crisis that will have a devastating effect on the futures of young people.
My steps are dedicated to all the people who have supported us, accompanied us and welcomed us into their homes, all courageous individuals who are standing up and fighting for our planet. In particular, I want to dedicate them to Lane, Nelly, Margot and Ruby.
Twelve-year-old Lane joined us on 4 October from Winchester to Hurstborne Tarrant. The following weekend she gave a rousing speech in the gardens of Buckingham Palace in front of a huge crowd before delivering a 100,000-strong petition requesting that the Royal Family rewild their land in order to boost wildlife and help fight climate change. Here is part of her speech:
‘90% of British people have never seen a live badger, we only see them dead on the sides of the roads. Butterflies, bees and birds are disappearing from our countryside. Hedgehog numbers have fallen by 97% since Queen Elizabeth took the throne in 1952. Today the UK is considered one of the most nature depleted countries on earth… A better, sustainable future is within reach, we just have to grasp it. We’re here today to ask the Royal Family to help us reach that sustainable future. As the UK’s largest landowner we’re asking the Royal Family to turn hope into action and lead by example. We’re asking them to let nature lead because when nature leads we all win.’
Nelly and Margot are nine-year-old twin sisters, who gazed at us in wonder, asking themselves, ‘Who are these crazy people who are walking all the way to where our grandpa lives in Scotland?’ They were very excited that some of the marchers we’re staying at their house. José Luis and I were the lucky ones and in the morning the twins got up extra early so they could have breakfast with us.
Ruby, a girl from Leeds, joined us walking through the city in the afternoon, for the Light festival and then the following morning. When we said goodbye she gave me a precious Extinction Rebellion badge.
Yesterday, from Wooler to Kelso, we hit the Cheviot hills, including a particularly tough ascent of Yeavering Bell. The green of the woods had changed to the reds and oranges or the hills and bracken. We reached Scotland. We were received with rain and rainbows, welcome banners, music and Scottish whisky. Later we went to the Friends Meeting House in Kelso for a slap up meal and some Scottish folk tunes.
Today, from Kelso to Lauder we completed 800 kilometres on foot! This is a symbolic milestone that brings us within reaching distance of Glasgow!
Written by: Maribel Roldón