The October Rebellion – some highlights so far

On a Sunday evening at the end of a busy week, it feels like a good time to pause and reflect on all that has happened over the last few days.

After many months of planning, it all began on Monday with the taking of the Faith Bridge, with a vision of creating a space for worship and prayer across the river. The police had other ideas and the bridge was swiftly cleared – but not before a show of support from several Christian NGOs, and the arrest of 13 members of CCA.

On Tuesday we had re-located to Trafalgar Square, and pitched a marquee alongside our friends from XR’s other faith groups. We shared times of prayer, using the Franciscan hours, and praying and meditating with those of other faiths. The climate is bigger than all of us, and multi-faith solidarity has been a powerful witness this week. Tuesday also saw 10 people reaffirm their baptism in a paddling pool in the street!

Wednesday began with a gathering of clergy, led by Paul Bayes, Bishop of Liverpool. They read the Book of Revelation from the steps of the National Gallery. In the afternoon we celebrated the eucharist in the street.

Thursday was a day of action at London City Airport, which plans to double in size. There were activists in planes, on planes and on the building, and members of CCA sitting on the ground outside. Seven Christians were arrested at the airport.

On Friday we regrouped at Trafalgar Square to share communion, and help to hold the site. We joined XR Buddhists on a meditative march, and XR Muslims in Sufi singing.

The faith area of Trafalgar Square continued to host regular prayer, Quaker worship, and meditation into Saturday. We supported those holding the site against as the police moved to confine the protest to the square itself. With thousands of others, we created an extinction march through London and Oxford Street.

Which brings us to Sunday, and a rainy day in Trafalgar Square. Members of CCA joined worshippers at Catholic Westminster Cathedral, and called attention to the words of Pope Francis. The bishop of Colchester paid us a visit, and in the afternoon activists stood with disabled XR members at New Scotland Yard, protesting at the treatment of the disabled over the course of the week.

That’s week one, with news of further arrests this evening outside New Scotland Yard.

Thank you to all who have prayed with us on site, at church or at home. It has been an incredible week, with more to come as we stand in defence of God’s creation.

For more, several of us feature on the Things Unseen podcast, and the XR podcast. Phil Kingston was profiled in the Mirror, Helen Burnett and others in the Telegraph, and there were several familiar faces in a gallery of ‘arrestables’ in the Guardian.

4 thoughts on “The October Rebellion – some highlights so far

  1. Nick McDuff says:

    Excellent work! I was only able to attend Monday’s Faith Bridge event and so admire those who have persisted throughout the week against poor weather conditions and significant opposition.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Martyn Hawkes says:

    You’ve been an inspiration this week, the energy and passion and humility will continue to encourage many of us as we return to ‘normal’ life, hopefully changed forever.
    Blessings to all.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Robert Thorburn says:

    Thank you for this report of all your sustained and gritty dedication in some miserable weather.

    I loved especially to hear the experience of diverse faith groups experiencing a profound shared experience together.

    This sort of report is persuasive for one like me, using doubts of the overall XR disruption strategy to justify fence-sitting, although I have been impressed from the beginning of the movement by the depth of thinking behind the foundational XR principles. I having a little knowledge and experience of NVR and its history through working with Palestinian Christians.

    I WILL come up to show solidarity and seek more connection with the movement this week.

    Ironically, I only got up to London this week on Sunday, a last minute invite from a blind friend to accompany him to a nice event right in a bubble of central London over-consumption. Then, lo and behold, after the bus went unhindered over Waterloo Bridge in the beginnings of a lovely red sunset, I saw from the front of the top deck 30 or so Handmaids processing two by two towards the bridge.

    May God bless all you do this week.


    Liked by 1 person

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