Why so white? Climate activism and race…
Whilst I haven’t been raised in the confessional tradition (being Muslim and all), I do have a confession to make; I am a climate campaigner who hates meetings, marches, strikes, boycotts, hugging trees, joining groups and pretty much everything else you can relate to climate activism. I hate it – all of it.
It’s too white, it’s too cliquy and I don’t want to make more friends or risk arrest. I want to be useful, to help others feel useful and build effective political pressure that could enforce things we agree are important to us all in Manchester. So, I guess I don’t fit in to the climate movement as it stands in Manchester. The problem, and it’s a big one, is that judging by the complete failure of the movement to actually influence anything, not a lot of people feel they fit into it either.
Beyond the stuff I do in my own life and the work I do for Manchester Climate Monthly, I don’t see a place for me. A place that reflects me (in the basic sense of being a Muslim women) and reflects my desire to learn and make useful links with people across the city. So what do I do? I do the logical thing and stay at the periphery where I can invest my time in things I think will reward me in various ways and stop me from getting disillusioned.
Well, that’s what I have been doing for years. However, I have also finally come to the realisation that whilst that strategy does help protect me from muppets/burnout, it isn’t changing anything. And change is what the climate movement needs- more desperately than anything.
So, the MCFly editorial team have decided that instead of dedicating this page to educating people on a ecological phrases/theory, we are going to use it as a space to re-imagine activism in Manchester.To change it so that all those who are at the periphery or even further back are willing to take a step forward and shape a new kind of activism which not only includes them, but respects the time and energies they dedicate to making Manchester a better and more climate-safe place to live.
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