I'm hearing great stories around the coffee machine here at Greenpeace International as activists return from the mass mobilization against "Chernobyl on wheels" -- the Castor transport of highly radioactive waste which drew a multigenerational crowd of 10,000 and brought the shipment to a crawl, then a halt, with a great array of non-violent direct action tactics.
Ok, I loved the story of the police looking at our radiation readings and deciding it might be prudent to stay a *little further away* from the train.
And the brilliance of the farmers who drove their tractors and flocked their sheep and goats across the road, flummoxing police who were not prepared to arrest ruminant mammals.
And of course, the Trojan Beer Truck was brilliant.
But my favourite wasn't a story that got covered on Euronews. It was about a grandmother, a 70 year old woman who turned her home over to our activists, shared her food, and doled out pillows, tea, and advice: she'd been challenging the Castor shipment for decades, and was a wealth of tips about places to go, places not to go, things to watch out for, and how to avoid getting "kettled" or driven in a police van into a field in the middle of nowhere, to be released to find your own way home (she had been there, and done that). She was very concerned that nobody go home with any head injuries.
These are the stories that we need to tell, and the examples we need to hold up, if we are to build a truly global movement around climate change: to remind people that activism is not a crime, that non-violent protest is not terrorism, and that there is no cardboard cutout, one-size-fits-all template for activism, or for those who have the civil courage to know right from wrong, and step away from the crowd to say it.
© Jan Grarup/NOOR / Greenpeace