1998, I attended a meeting of London Greenpeace, which was situated in a room above the radical bookstore, Housemans, in a side street in Kings Cross.
In a somewhat cluttered room with leaflets and files, I was introduced to a handful of people, of various ages, who welcomed me with honest eyes and hopeful attitudes. I was 32.
The inevitable question was asked " What brings you here?".
I explained that I wanted to help raise awareness of our responsibility as world citizens to protect the future from complacent mismanagement. I also explained that the awareness of my own responsibility had come about from travelling the world and that I had just become a parent.
I was offered a chair and the meeting began.
The McLibel trial was discussed and I first heard the name of Franny Armstrong, a British film maker who was making a documentary about Helen Steel and David Morris, 2 London Greenpeace members often refered to as " The McLibel Two", who had an English Lawsuit filed against them by McDonalds over a pamphlet critical of the company. The original case, lasted 10 years, making it the longest-running court action in English history.
I attended weekly meetings from then on and helped out in whatever way I could. I distributed leaflets, answered e.mails, posted letters and made tea.
A year later we helped to organise 'Carnival Against Capitalism', an international day of protest timed to coincide with the 25th G8 Summit in Koln, Germany on June 18th 1999, in which we worked closely with 'Reclaim The Streets' and 'Stop The City' .
LIVERPOOL STREET STATION
On the day, Millions took to the streets and partied in over 40 countries, worldwide.
Global Actions took place in more than 122 cities, in 40 nations on June 18 including: Bayelsa State, Nigeria; Dakar, Senegal; Durban, South Africa; Harare, Zimbabwe; Dhaka, Bangladesh; 25 states in India; North Sumatera, Indonesia; Tel Aviv, Israel; Malaysia; Kathmandu, Nepal; Gujrat City, Pakistan; Seoul, South Korea; Thailand; Vienna, Austria; Minsk, Belarus; Barcelona, Reus y Castell=F3n, Catalonia; Prague Czech Republic; Bristol, Brighton, Cambridge, Hull, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Norfolk, Nottingham, Oxford, Reading, Sheffield, Stoke on Trent, Sunderland, Winchester, York, England ; Tampere, Finland; Dijon, Nantes, France; Berlin, Frankfurt, K=F6ln, Germany; Bologna, Milano, Roma, Torino, Italy; Malta; Amsterdam, Utrecht, Netherlands; Poland; Portugal; Romania; Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Scotland; Asturias, Granada, Huelva, Lleida, Valencia, Madrid, Spain; Stockholm, Sweden; Lausanne, Switzerland; Cardiff, Wales; Calgary, Ottawa ,Regina, Toronto, Vancouver, Canada; Mexico City, Mexico; Albuquerque, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Eugene, Hattiesburg, Lawrence, Lincoln, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New England, NewYork City, Oakland, Portland, Reno, San Diego, San Francisco, United States; Adelaide, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney, Australia; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Paulo y Sorocaba, Brazil; Medel lin, Colombia; Montevideo, Uruguay.
It was the first of many future anti-capitalist and anti-globalisation protests.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone involved in the making of 'The Age of Stupid' ...
GOOD LUCK AND HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!