Extinction Rebellion Bury St Edmunds hold People's Assembly in Abbey Gardens
Extinction Rebellion Bury St Edmunds held a People’s Assembly last weekend to help spread the word about the group and its cause.
The gathering took place in the Abbey Gardens on Saturday morning at 10.30am and saw more than 20 people take part.
Hazel Stenson, a member of the group, said the aim of the meeting was to ‘attract new members’ and ‘get people thinking about the issue’.
“We had hoped it would attract lots of new people to the cause and it definitely delivered,” said Hazel.
“Considering it was hailing, raining and absolutely freezing cold, we did really well to have so many people come and join us.”
The meeting was organised after thousands of activists descended on London last month to take part in an ‘International Rebellion’.
The protests, which lasted two weeks, saw around 1,000 arrests made.
“We wanted to keep the issue alive in people’s minds. Just because those protests are over doesn’t mean the fight is,” said Hazel, was part of a group which cycled to London to take part in the action.
She added that this meeting was to show those who did not want to take part in certain activities that they could still serve the cause in other ways.
“Not everybody wants to be involved in direct action,” she said.
“Most of us do but there are people who have small children or who find it difficult to do that kind of thing or who just aren’t comfortable with it which is absolutely fine.
“It gives them the chance to learn what they can do as individuals to help the cause.
“It’s great because it just gets them thinking about it and also gives us access to fresh ideas from new faces.”
The idea of a People’s Assembly is based on Extinction Rebellion’s third demand, which is to have a Citizens’ Assembly to deal with the climate crisis.
“Obviously it’s a bit different because a Citizens’ Assembly would have different sections of society represented,” said Hazel.
“This was more about having an exercise which saw us break people down into smaller groups so that they could talk through things properly and get a really good understanding of what we do and what we want.
“It’s definitely something we’d do again because it’s such an important step in moving the cause forward.”
Anyone who is interested in joining Extinction Rebellion Bury St Edmunds can contact the group on Facebook.