Extinction Rebellion V

I start my day protesting with something beautiful. Today, I find a piano on the road south of Nelson’s Column, and play Einaudi.

I am so relaxed after this I ask someone to take a picture of me at the piano, for the blog. But this is not a holiday or festival: she says there is a need for people to be sitting in the road, to avoid police getting traffic going. I go over to see if I can do anything. I am standing at first but sit down when told. Nearby is a toddler in a pushchair: I hope the police would not haul someone away in his sight.

A legal observer confirms I would leave the road if warned by the police. And when a polite officer with a friendly manner asks if I know there is a section 14 order I ask her to explain, but then leave the road. I don’t go back, but hang around the Square with my Quaker sign, chatting and having fun.

My Friend says moving into the road beside a protester surrounded by police was like a hand between the shoulder blades, a Leading in the moment. I have consciously to absolve myself for not doing more today; but this is my fourth day, and it is as much as I can reasonably manage.

A Friend has a light banner from Friends House, which we tape onto Nelson’s Column.

We still hold the top of Whitehall.

Someone asks me to participate in a music video. It is great to be up there.

At worship we have about forty people, one a nursing mother with a baby and toddler. The toddler has a picture book called A is for Activist.

I see the Jews and the Muslims. Almost all of us here are white, and that is because of white privilege. A Jew says how much he appreciates Quakers because of the Kindertransport.

I join the Anglican Eucharist. I value this ritual because of one prayer: though we are many, we are one body, because we all share in one bread: it is about community. There are several lovely vicars, it is just a shame more of their congregations are not here. One vicar tells me his church is the bridge between the Daily Telegraph and here. My heart is open and my feelings immediate.

Here is a man being brought down from a pile of crates. There was a huge crowd in support.

A woman has a sign saying “Accountant”. We are middle class. I love this statue.

We got into the Evening Standard because Benedict Cumberbatch was here. A man challenged me to say how I had changed my lifestyle, and I could say cutting down meatand cycling more. But when he criticises hypocrisy I don’t think there is any: we need common action by government, individual choices are not enough.

At 5pm, there is still no traffic on the top of Whitehall but it is occupied by  police rather than activists.

I did one unequivocally good thing: this stand was collapsing, but I provided the string holding it together. I went to a pub for dinner with Friends.

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