At 9:30 am the marchers gather in front of the Winchester City Council, where we received such a fine welcome the evening before. Local activists are there to guide us and we head northwest out of the city.
The walk gradually leaves the houses behind, and we find ourselves surrounded by fields. We also pass through leafy woodland with particularly spectacular spots such as the wooden bridges over the River Test. It is a damp day, but not too chilly. Walking on tracks is better than on tarmac.
We reach Andover. People are waiting for us. More and more people are becoming concerned about the consequences of our species’ impact on nature. The local activists from XR Andover and Friends of the Earth receive us with a rendition of the Song for the Climate (Do it Now) set to the melody of the anti-fascist resistance anthem ‘Bella Ciao’. The text calls us to wake up, build a better future and start right now!
We get back on the road – we have covered 25 km, but we still have 8 to go. It is late, the road is wooded, and night is falling. There are no lights to be seen, only our flashlights. Are we on the right track? We catch glimpses of roe deer and, in the distance, pheasants. An owl hoots nearby.
Despite the distance and darkness, we make it to Hurstbourne Tarrant. Mission accomplished!
On arrival we discover that WhatsApp has been down the whole afternoon – that’s why our messages weren’t sending. We are too dependent on technology…as well as on fuel, which is currently in short supply in Britain. It really highlights the fragility of our way of life. Any small problem can wipe out our way of life, and this has been underlined with COVID-19. Climate change will bring about even greater ecological, economic, and social impacts and everything seems to indicate that we will struggle to cope. We MUST act now.
Written by: Carlos López