My Rebellion

I was one of the first to be arrested

Over on Southwark the cuffs fit snugly

Into my assessment of events

We unfurled the banner, hitchless, crispy

Moments after Larch, at the fountain

Laid out a plan for a smart block –

We strode past the coppers

Staked our territory

Held the banner in unicity

With the other four bridges

The bright yellow jackets

Cameras on, batons low slung

Walked us down, we edged back

I shouted to the stragglers

To get behind us –

‘We’ve taken the bridge’

Larch said.

In the cop van with the Teign Valley crooks

About as crooked as the fact that we’re hot

As a planet, a movement -XR prevailing

Van banter, talk of favourite arrests

The Arsenal fan with the flare

(Don’t bring rockets to the stadium

Unless the stadium is television

The rocket, demand for global change)

Someone in the van with a subtle pronoun

The cop self-corrected, kindly chuckling

Before the driver stepped on it

And I enjoyed our public askance

Looking mean at us from London –

Held in a cage at Charing Cross

With a rude drunk who lost a million

Now homeless and glad to get

Bed and food from the Met –

At the custody desk I stood for

The questions, for Rising Up! stood

Gently, firm, so the other sergeant

At the next desk said ‘I agree

But getting arrested is not the way’

No time to argue, led to my cell

An interesting place, no sink for the loo

No dimmer for the light

No rest for the morally correct

But plenty of wall-tiles to while away my thoughts on

And touch with my toes in a workout routine

(This is just the bare account

But I know the hours spent there were

Strengthening in myriad subtle ways)

As for the food, ‘no comment’ –

They tried me with some books

Then pen and paper, nice of them

– Nice of me to them –

Where I wrote my thoughts for spiritual rebirth

For Extinction Rebellion unicity

The mental health nurse

Obliged to see me; my history

Said I should back-pat myself

Achieving my goal of arrest –

Walked down the corridor for release

The third cop of the day agreed with XR

And then there were cheers as I emerged

Into the foyer, disorientating, Woodstock

Had set up camp there

I headed down the stair

Some good hugs and a party declined

(I realised I had just missed it)

Walked to the Underground then

Discussing how to make The Message tight

With my temporary carer

Then in East London

Due to crossed wires

(No fault of my hosts)

Slept rough for the night

Musing on the homeless drunk

Who would also sleep rough on his release

Then in the morning took the Tube

To North Harrow where my mum grew up

Saw a house like my grandparents used to have there

Via Baker Street,  a romantic place that drew me

Into thoughts of not avoiding London afterall –

A couple of days later in my flat

In the rural Westcountry

Watching the bridge blocks on YouTube

Kicking myself that I missed the speakers and

The festival but proud I helped enable it




4 thoughts on “My Rebellion

  1. I wasn’t there but after reading this, it almost feels like I was. Thanks for sharing, things are scaling up here in Australia. XR rising up.


    1. Please feel free to send Australian XR diary. We would love to publish a weekly diary of developments from Australia. These could be amalgamated excerpts from a variety of Australian diarists, if you fancy co-ordinating this or know someone who will?


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