A first-time protestor writes...

23 July 2016

Keep Calm and Protest

At the Young Friends of the Earth Europe summer camp in Scotland, Deivi from Estonia shares her experiences from her first time planning and participating in a protest...
Leaning towards a birch tree, The Life Correspondent takes the most of the sunny moments in Scotland. Another country under my feet and different kind of landscape in sight, this time I'm out in nature.

Deivi at the action in Aberdeen (c) Andreas Link / YFoEE

Spontaneously given a chance to join the action of Young Friends of the Earth Europe, I've travelled all the way to Scotland to meet youth who keen on preserving our nature. We're in Jock Neish Scouting Centre, not far from the city of Dundee. Besides untouched nature I'm surrounded by nearly one hundred young people from Europe and other continents of the world. I see diversity in race, educational and cultural background, job duties, religion, but people are united by an emotional connection to our planet.

People here, despite being unique, share a passion towards the environment which makes me feel as if they serve my god, the Earth.

During the past couple of days the members of Young Friends of the Earth Europe have shared stories about their involvement with climate issues in their local communities and experiences in fighting against them. Thinking about it, one of the worst consequences of climate change is losing a big number of magical places that one will never have a chance to discover. Unless, people become semiaquatic and adapt to living underwater...

In strong disbelief that it will ever happen, many youngsters have started to mine their time and energy to protect what remains.

Some have experience in blocking the streets to keep giant vehicles from dropping poisonous chemicals in Norwegian fjords; others have suffered from feeling sea sick on a mission to protect a French island. I, however, got my first experience in protesting for climate action yesterday, July the 21st.

We came up with striking chants and creative props to back up the message we wished to convey. "Fossil Free Scotland!", "Climate Justice Now!", "Green and Sustainable Energy/ Jobs!, "Just Transition!" written on the banners, we stood outside of Oil and Gas UK office (one of the UK's biggest fossil fuel lobbyists) building in European 'oil capital' of Aberdeen. Aiming to reduce using fossil fuels, we wanted to reach both the oil industries that increase the danger of losing spectacular places on Earth, and the society, showing that we stood in solidarity with those affected by heavy job losses in the oil and gas industry, and calling for safe, green jobs instead.

The atmosphere outside the shelter of the oil and gas offices was controversially peaceful. YFoEE had united their power and combined it with good will. Obviously nature-loving police officers appeared to check on our cheerful group and, while looking after the welfare of passersby, didn't hide their respect for our enthusiasm for sustainability and renewable energy.

Protesting outside Oil and Gas UK (c) Andreas Link / YFoEE


We were even more encouraged by the truck drivers who reacted on our banners with a friendly smile and peep-peep on the behalf of the truck.

I observed my allies, young warm-hearted environmentalists that still haven't lost their hope to breathe clean air and use fossil-free energy. Feeling completely safe and peaceful, but meanwhile excited and energetic, I sensed the positive vibration spreading through the air.

"If only we could plug that energy and, with a support from each other, keep it renewable," I was dreaming.

Even the staff of the company were caught by the "electricity" and came out to greet us. After the entirely lawful protest Young Friends of the Earth Europe returned to the scouting centre and shared knowledge about fracking, making natural cosmetics and other tips that come handy when creating a healthy environment.

Hoping for the best, yesterday's action will probably not remain the only one for me. Let's acknowledge our privilege to live on a beautiful planet and show our support it.