On the 26th of June 2019 one staff and eight students from the house, shack and carriage joined over twelve thousand people at rally in London, entitled ‘The Time is Now’, where we told our MP’s to end our contribution to climate change and restore our natural environment. Although only eight of us travelled to London, many more students and teachers helped make the banners and posters we took with us, the dining room was an extended art room on the day before the event, with people stopping in to help on throughout the afternoon and evening.
On the way down to London the train was packed with fellow supporters and we met many activists from different generations and backgrounds, many of whom were really interested to learn that we were from Summerhill! On arriving in London we headed towards the houses of parliament and slowly made our way through crowds on the banks of the Thames until we found the area for our local MP (Suffolk Coastal). Our MP, Thérèse Coffey, was not present at the rally, because at that time she was the Minister of State for the Environment and was holding talks with key organisers of the rally. We were soon able to talk with a representative from her office, however, and he gave us his attention for over an hour as we asked questions on many matters including Sizewell C and it’s impact on the local nature reserve, quality of local public transport and the governments wider environmental stance. Although he answered in a typically diplomatic fashion it was a positive discussion and he took plenty of time to explain how the local council, and the private companies it contracts to provide services, interact and how to raise these issues with them in the most productive way. He was keen to show how seriously the government was taking this issue and how rallies such as this one were applying the necessary pressure to hopefully lead to positive action!
We rounded up the day by walking through the parks around the houses of parliament, feeling the energy of the occasion and the people in attendance and then grabbing some food before taking the train back to Summerhill, just in time to experience an enormous summer thunderstorm directly above the school! The banners and posters we made for the event are now displayed next to the kitchen hatch, along with many other more detailed articles, so all members of the school can read about the concerns and issues every day as they queue up to get their lunch!