First off, you should read this fine blog post by my former colleague and still-friend Calum McFarlane on the Climate Emergency Manchester website (yes, I submitted the FOIA).
Do we in the bubble, with our private and public spats (they are fun, aren’t they), ever understand how “ordinary people” think about when they think about social movements and activism?
Does much of what we do resonate?
What messages do we send when our “organisations” go up like a rocket and then come crashing down like a stick?
I think we send a message that is something like this. “The only kind of action you will get credibility points for is the really high-arrest risk stuff. Oh, and if you get involved in a group, it will probably go up like a rocket and come down like a stick.”
I looked at the Twitter accounts of three groups that claimed to be All That about Manchester activism.
Greater Manchester Climate Action Network – last Tweet was in November 2019
Youth Climate Strike – last tweet was November 2021, promising to be back in two weeeks
The woefully misnamed “COP26CoalitionMcr” hasn’t tweeted anything (not even a retweet) since June.
None of these organisations even bothered to put up a tweet saying “actually, we’re dead, but the issue isn’t, so please try x or y or z.”
Meanwhile, XR Manchester never seems to tweet about anything it is doing (is it doing anything?) or even about the greenwashing shitshow that is Manchester City Council
The last blog on their website? That would be in May… 2021.
Meanwhile, I am still, for the lulz, on the email lists for various XR fractions. The whole of XR North has precisely one person on the comms team.
The message we send is “come get nicked. But the groups will wink out of existence like a fist when you open your palm.”
And we wonder why nobody gets involved for the long-haul.