Steve Heigham

Msc in Evolutionary Psychology

August 2017. Having been a member of Greenpeace for 36 years, I had been thinking for a while that NGOs were not doing enough effective action on climate, so I attended the Earth First gathering to met others involved in more direct action strategies. Initially my interest was in writing on environmental issues and reporting what I saw young people doing about it, but was moved by various workshops I attended to write a more comprehensive piece on the cultural background to the current crisis situation. This piece turned into an article which was published on line at Earth Talk.

I also went to the Earth First gathering in August 2018, where I first heard that there was a bigger scale set of actions being planned for the autumn.

Later in the autumn I went up to the action on the bridges when Extinction Rebellion first declared their intentions. I went on to join the then small Bristol XR group, and took part in taking and holding Oxford Circus in April 2019. I then wrote an article on the reasons why young people would want to rebel against the system, explaining some of the history of how toxic the circumstances had become for them, particularly in the UK. This was published in The Ecologist.

Later in April I started the Rebel Elders monthly meetings in Bristol. The first affinity group that we formed was called The Aged Agitators, who designed and have performed in silver cloaks at most of the XR actions since. ( See facebook page: XR Rebel Elders Bristol). Since then we have formed two other affinity groups, and a busking band that performs at most XR actions. CDs of these songs of rebellion are available by email request. Since the October 2019 actions in London I have been doing outreach work to help older people in society understand the psychological difficulties we all have in accepting and mitigating climate change through giving lectures and leading discussion groups, and writing articles. I have done this through the BPS south west region and the University of the Third Age (U3A).