‘Not the usual suspects’ – novice activists of ‘Rebellion Day’ at Westminster Bridge, London on 17 November 2018

By Ruth Davey, ruth@look-again.org (© Ruth Davey / Look Again 2018, http://www.look-again.org)

Photographer Ruth Davey volunteered to photograph Extinction Rebellion’s Rebellion Day on 17 November 2018. She spent most of the day on Westminster Bridge before moving to Parliament Square for the multi faith celebratory closing ceremony. She decided to focus on people who had never been on a demonstration of this kind before and was curious as to why they came along to perform an act of civil disobedience – illegally blocking a public highway. She is fairly new to Extinction Rebellion herself although she did cover a roadblock a few weeks ago in her hometown of Stroud, Gloucestershire.

Here protestors explain why they spent the day on Westminster Bridge.


Tom Hardy, 64, education consultant and retired teacher

“I am here for the future of my children. I have never done this before.”


Heather Bower 53, civil servant

“I am here because something has to be done about the future of the planet – for us, our children and for generations to come.”


Kate Hodges, writer, with children Dusty and Arthur Jenkinson

“I want to be visible and take up space. It’s important for the children to see what we are doing and that we’re doing something for them.”


Linda Diggory, 59, charity worker, Stroud

“I’m here because of the absolute paucity of action from our government regarding climate breakdown following the IPPC report that says that we are facing an existential threat to humanity within 12 years.”


Jonathan Wise, 47, marketing consultant

“I’m here to be in support of what I believe is the critical issue of our time.”


Jenny Wilkinson, 65, retired childcare worker, with Sophie Wilkinson, 27, actor,

and Edwin Wilkinson, 68, retired social care manager.

“After 30 years of banging on, nothing is happening. The time has come. We had to join in on this one!” Edwin Wilkinson


Jo Costello, 68, mother, with granddaughter Katie Jones, 23, care assistant, and daughter Donna Winks, 44, foster carer, all from Wrexham, Wales.

“I have children and grandchildren. The decisions made in the next 12 years will decide what future they have.” Jo Costello


Rob Husband, 54, company director and coach

“I feel anger and frustration being caught up in this consumerism and greed on this place we call earth.”


Emma Cordell, 27, nurse, with Dave Cordell, 27, project manager for a charity, both in London

“It’s crazy that people wouldn’t come here today. The future is so scary. What else can we do?” Emma Cordell


Livi Anning, 19, student in Canterbury

“This is our last chance to turn things around before total destruction. We have to raise awareness.”


Steve Turner, 61, former teacher, with partner Dr Sally Webber, 59, NHS worker for 35 years

“I am here due to national and international government failures in acting on the scientific evidence of climate change that is happening here and now.” Steve Turner

“The only person you can change is yourself. I decided to stop complaining and get up and do something. It’s time to wake up.” Dr Sally Webber


Sid Saunders, 39, builder, with Katerina Hasapopoulos, 40, mum of 3, Stroud

“It’s common sense to come here today.” Sid Saunders

“This is about our children’s future. I have to do something.” Katerina Hasapopoulos


Anita Van Rossum, 71, from Stroud with Arrate Rojas, 34, from Bilbao, both volunteers for Mission Life Force, with international environment barrister Polly Higgins.


Jamie Robbins, 43, life coach, with daughter Ruby Robbins, 13, student

“We’re here to make a difference – things have to change and fast!”


One thought on “‘Not the usual suspects’ – novice activists of ‘Rebellion Day’ at Westminster Bridge, London on 17 November 2018

  1. Reblogged this on Our Gallant Ship and commented:
    Extinction Rebellion blocked five of the main bridges in London. Here are some of the ordinary but awakened people who participated in non-violent direct action for the first time. To them, the crisis is here now. The bear is in our house, not out in the yard.


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