Wednesday, 27 October 2021

Why You Should Join Green New Deal Rising

You may have noticed me sharing a lot online about a group called Green New Deal Rising – sharing actions members have taken challenging MPs, the issues the organisation is bringing to the forefront of political conversations, and sharing challenges I’ve been a part of myself. But who are Green New Deal Rising, what do we do and should you even care?


Despite only existing for about 3 months, Green New Deal Rising have made significant impacts, have had actions going viral again and again, and been mentioned in many high profile media outlets and in Parliament itself. It’s safe to say it’s going well so far. GNDR has many aims, goals and principles – its primary goal however is to push for the passing of the Green New Deal bill through the UK Parliament and ensure a 10-year programme of social, economic, and infrastructural change that prioritises the wellbeing of both people and the planet. It aims to decarbonise the UK, to ensure a just transition and plenty of green jobs, to transform the economy and move away from corporations, to protect and restore our planet and only home, and to promote global justice. Not too big of an ask really!


Our main methods are MP challenges, where activists confront politicians with the issue of the Green New Deal and climate action largely in an attempt to open up dialogue between politicians and young people, but also to praise those who are taking action as well as to shame those causing climate delay. These are the videos you may have seen shared online and several show just how little powerful politicians care about the climate and the voices of young people (I’m looking at you Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer).

 

I joined Green New Deal Rising in August after having seeing their launch events and challenges of politicians such as Nicola Sturgeon and Keir Starmer online. I was getting a bit desperate and lost when it came to hearing of and seeing the climate crisis worsening. Especially during the summer, it felt like we were seeing one new record-breaking climate disaster occurring every day. But climate despair gets us nowhere. We need to turn our desperation and despair into action otherwise the climate crisis will continue unfettered, with profits for CEOs of extractive industries continuing to rise as fossil fuel production is predicted to soar in coming years even with such open public objection. Since joining GNDR, I’ve felt like I’ve actually been doing something and having more of an impact on a wider level. Don’t get me wrong, I know the other work I’ve been doing is important, but I feel like taking part in direct actions with GNDR has given me more physical energy and motivation. There may also be an element of attending in-person actions after nearly two years of isolations and lockdowns, but the element of driven youth community which is at GNDR’s heart surely contributes to that too.

 

Since joining Green New Deal Rising I have felt more motivated in my actions and further campaigning on climate issues. I have been more joyful in my activism, and truly felt like part of a wider community of young people pushing to protect our futures, through making friends with the people.

 

I know that without the confidence boost and practical experience I gained through actions with GND Rising I would not have done other direct actions outside of the organisation such as the recent action I organised with some friends protesting at the opening of a new H&M in Newcastle’s Eldon Square shopping centre. Through working as part of Green New Deal Rising, I have learned more about what it takes to put together actions, and how much goes on before you see it covered in mainstream and social media. It’s takes a village not only to raise a child but to co-ordinate actions. There are so many meetings, things to consider, and not very exciting tasks that need to be done in order for actions to take place and be effective, that it’s easy to forget if you just see a snazzy edited video of it afterwards. There is a role for everyone because there are roles for every skillset, confidence level, and personality-type. Whether it’s writing speeches, planning routes, creating banners, leading meetings, figuring out where to get food beforehand. There’s something everyone can do, and the more people there are the easier it becomes. 



 

I am so looking forward to spending time with lots of Green New Deal Rising activists in Glasgow next week for COP26 – to meet people who’ve actions I have celebrated and been in awe of, to meet people in person who have supported actions I’ve been involved with from afar, and to see friends from previous actions again.

 

If you’re interested in getting involved, come along to one of GND Rising’s regular Welcome calls to find out more about the roles available and become part of the movement!



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If you liked this post you might like: 25 Ways to Take Action After the IPCC Report

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