Dr. Larch Maxey, A Warrior, Campaigner and Activist for the Common Good
Larch Maxey, right, campaigning with Caul Grant for Extinction Rebellion. Photograph: Larch Maxey. PHOTO via theguardian.com
Dozens arrested after climate protest blocks five London bridges
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Can You Hear us and Mother Earth Crying?
Photo: A painting by Berrin Duma. Photo: turkishpaintings.com
Our Sacred Earth and Mother Nature in Need of More People like Larch Maxey
‘Larch Maxey was arrested for obstruction on Southwark bridge, London, and spent nine hours in a police cell for protesting with Extinction Rebellion (XR) against Government action on climate change. Here, in a dialogue with Suzanne Bearne, he tells the telling story of his volunteerism with XR’++
But first lest we forget ‘that only 1.5 percent of accused rapists are now being prosecuted in the UK. Yet one hundred percent of the people who are trying to preserve life for our grandchildren, for our brothers and sisters in other countries who are already struggling with drought and deluge — one hundred percent of us are being prosecuted.’*
‘I’ve waited 25 years for a movement like Extinction Rebellion’
Larch Maxey is working six days a week developing and implementing strategies – while living off his savings.
Name: Larch Maxey Age: 46 Income: £0 Occupation: Full-time volunteer with Extinction Rebellion
I’m on a year’s sabbatical, and volunteering full-time with Extinction Rebellion. I’ve always been interested in the environment and social justice – I have a PhD in sustainability and was a geography lecturer and post-doctoral researcher for 17 years – and I’ve been a climate-change activist for 25 years. During 1994-5 I lived up a tree for a year as part of the No M65 campaign in Lancashire, which I co-founded. For me that was all about the climate and ecological emergency; I’ve waited 25 years for a movement like Extinction Rebellion (XR) that uses the science of social change so effectively.
I met XR at Offgrid Festival last August, and was won over by their focus on system change. The next week I brought XR to the Sunrise festival. Suddenly I was helping out on evenings and weekends, fitting in volunteering around my two jobs as co-founder of a wellbeing charity and co-director of Bright Green Futures, a social enterprise creating eco self-build communities.
I took two weeks’ annual leave to volunteer full time with XR in November, but the turning point came when I was unexpectedly arrested for obstruction of the highway on Southwark bridge on 17 November and spent nine hours in a police cell.
It gave me the chance to really reflect on my life and priorities. I saw what’s important to me and felt deep regret at not having spent the last 25 years addressing climate chaos full time. I know I was doing the best I could, and I had two kids to prioritise. Now they’re adults and this incredibly effective vehicle that is XR has come along, it became clear to me that I needed to go on sabbatical. I knew now was the time to make a difference before the threat to our existence deepens and leads to societal collapse. We only have this year to start bringing emissions down. But it really is possible if enough people join us.
I work about 14 hours, six days a week with Extinction Rebellion. My role involves helping develop and implement our strategy and ideas for actions, and linking up with international groups. This is my life’s purpose, and I couldn’t be happier and more fulfilled. I’m happy to spend every waking moment bringing this change about.
I’m currently living off my savings. I have just applied for living expenses through XR and requested £600 a month. No one gets a salary with XR. We don’t ask for the amount we’d like, but how much we need. I have savings as I’ve always saved since I was a child, even if there was nothing particular to save for. A dilemma for me has been digging into savings I’d hoped to give my children, aged 20 and 18, money towards a deposit for a home. But if we don’t turn this emergency around, there won’t be a future.
I live for free with my best friend Toby in Brixton. As well as joining XR for our big rebellions and actions, he supports XR by giving me a free room.
I’m a relaxed freegan. I keep my eyes open and look for food at every opportunity that would otherwise go to waste. Sometimes that means eating leftover food from whoever I’m hanging out with, or collecting food from a local cafe or market stall before they throw it out.
I have a flat in Totnes, where I rent a couple of rooms. My mortgage is £850 a month and is mostly covered by two lodgers. Travel sets me back about £250 a month, with most of it spent on trains to and from Totnes. Travelling by tube is expensive so I cycle around London, which I love as I get exercise and explore the city.
I do have a car that I was planning to let go of, but actually XR are going to use it for a tour of Europe, so I just spent £25 to insure someone for it.
I tend to find clothing. For example if there’s a sock on the pavement, I’ll pick it up and give it a rinse at home. I’ve just sewn up a pair of trousers. I like to repair stuff.
While lifestyle and voting can help, they’re no longer enough. We’re in an emergency and we need system change urgently. Far more important than how we vote or live is that we work together for system change and that requires mass peaceful civil disobedience. Join us.
I plan to continue working as a full-time XR volunteer until the government adopts our three demands. We need citizens’ assemblies, ordinary people deciding the policies to solve the crisis. If we don’t sort it out, our children won’t have a future.
++Larch Maxey telling his story to Suzanne Bearne was published in the Guardian on Sat 10 Aug 2019
*Anthea Lawson, We Owe it to Our Humanity to hear you, to emulate you
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"For way too long the politicians and people in power have got away with not doing anything at all to fight the climate crisis and ecological crisis. "But we will make sure they will not get away with it any longer." Photo: BBC
Thank you Extinction Rebellion for being a source of inspiration, a beacon of hope to all those who value life, nature and our sacred Mother Earth. We, too, at the GCGI, share your values and zest for life, beauty and wisdom.
At the GCGI we believe every child, young person, students, their teachers, and indeed, everybody, should have regular opportunities and ease of access to connect with nature, so they can learn to value it, appreciate it, enjoy it, prioritise it and take action to save it.
“Be like the sun for grace and mercy.
Be like the night to cover others’ faults.
Be like running water for generosity.
Be like death for rage and anger.
Be like the Earth for modesty.
Appear as you are.
Be as you appear.”-Rumi
Desperately seeking Sophia: The Wisdom of Nature
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The Time is Now to Take Action.
‘Time is running out for a world at risk…threats that were considered inconceivable, no longer are.’
The climate crisis is damaging the ability of the land to sustain humanity, with cascading risks becoming increasingly severe as global temperatures rise, according to a landmark UN report compiled by some of the world’s top scientists.
Global heating is increasing droughts, soil erosion and wildfires while diminishing crop yields in the tropics and thawing permafrost near the poles, says the report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change…’Climate crisis reducing land’s ability to sustain humanity, says IPCC
A Call to Action from Our Children and Grandchildren.
We Must Not Let Them Down!
On September 20, three days before the UN Climate Summit in NYC, young people and adults will strike all across the US and the world to demand transformative action be taken to address the climate crisis. To learn more, sign up to host a strike, or receive updates see below:
‘We, as a global society, are at a crossroads. We have a decision to make. Are we going to choose money or power or are we going to choose the future? The September 20 strike is an invitation to everyone to choose us. Choose the kids, choose humanity, choose the future.’...WE, THE FUTURE GENERATION, ASK YOU TO CHOOSE US