Local Women Join Together At The Mothers’ Rebellion Circle In Whitley Bay

On a beautiful sunny afternoon at the Coast, a group of women gathered to join with women across the world in a Mothers’ Rebellion Circle. The sky was blue; the breeze gentle and cool; the many passers by were intrigued by this circle of women with painted placards sitting on the pavement outside Spanish City in Whitley Bay.

On Saturday 13th May, mothers, grandmothers, aunties, sisters, daughters and allies gathered at 3pm to create a circle together by Spanish City, Whitley Bay as part of a global demonstration organised by Mothers’ Rebellion. Around the world, women gathered at this time on this day to express their desire for meaningful action towards the goal of an equitable global community living on a thriving Earth.

“With our circles we convey that we refuse to look away, that we refuse to give up and that we will do everything we can.”
Mothers’ Rebellion

These women from across the North East sat peacefully for an hour in a circle facing the passers-by, to help themselves and others to connect with their strong emotions about the climate emergency. Their placards were all different and personal to them, with the names of their children or grandchildren, or another message related to the climate crisis and its impact on younger and future generations.

Within the circle, children quietly played and drew posters of their own. People walking past asked questions: some took a leaflet, many were happy to hear about why the women were there, some actively thanked the women for what they were doing.

Mothers’ Rebellion (https://mothersrebellion.com/) is a movement of women in a growing global community including Germany, Sweden, Uganda, The United States and Zambia. Other Mothers’ Rebellion circles took place across the UK as part of this global event.

Passers-by were invited to join in. This symbolic action was inclusive for those who care about children’s future regardless of age, gender or whether they have children of their own.

MarieLouise, a 40 year old solicitor and mum of 2, said “I’m here today because my heart breaks when I see the news stories from around the world on extreme weather events and climate breakdown. Other mothers are watching their children go hungry, losing their homes and forgoing any chance of a decent future. Until the Global North steps up to make the level of change required and provide the money needed for adaptation, children in countries that have contributed least to climate change will continue to lose their lives or face extreme challenges to just survive. I am furious that in the Global North, we continue to prioritise protecting a system that has extracted wealth from the Global South for its success and now is falling so far short of paying back the minimum that is needed to protect lives right now and in the future. Added to this, we now have the racist Refugee Ban Bill going through Parliament so that even if people are desperately seeking refuge in the UK, our solution is to shut the door in their face, even unaccompanied children. So as a mother, I’m here today to remind people of their common humanity and to think about whether this is the way we want to face the biggest challenge of our time or whether we want to step up and make the change that is needed.”

Helen, a grandma from Gateshead, explained why she took part in this circle, “I have four beautiful young grandchildren and when I think about what the world will be like for them growing up, I’m so scared about food shortages, lack of clean water, and of course, extreme weather events. I grieve for the lack of biodiversity that they will experience, as creatures and birds we take for granted will become extinct. Sitting in this circle will help me focus on my sorrow in a safe space, and hopefully encourage others to think about what is happening in the world.”

Karen, local mother of two added, “I want to live in a world that is sustainable and peaceful. For me, the symbolism of mothers all over the world joining together to express their sorrow for what we have lost, and their desire for a liveable future for the children they love, is an essential and wonderful thing to be a part of.”

Anne, a grandma from South Shields, gave her reason for being there too – “I’m here today for my 3 lovely grandchildren as I’m so concerned about what the future holds for them if we don’t take meaningful action on the climate and biodiversity crisis that is happening right before our eyes. I’m here as a public witness to all our concerns for all children everywhere.”

After the success of this event, many people asked about when the next one would be. XR Families in the North East is the place to find out and there’s a WhatsApp group for announcements about further activities for families in the area. If you would like to find out more, contact xrne@protonmail.com.