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Planet Shaftesbury – 21 Mar, 2019

We’ve talked about it long enough – so this meeting indicated – it’s time now for Planet Shaftesbury to get active. As before, after an invitation to share information, we divided ourselves into groups. Three, this time. One was for those interested in participating in Extinction Rebellion’s London action, which will begin on April 15th. One was for those up for organising local activities to support the London action. The third one was for those who would like to establish groups to focus on encouraging positive, practical alternatives to the over-consuming, CO2 emitting culture in which we are living. Results from all three follow.

But first there was a chance to come in early and catch up with one another. Big thanks to those who brought snacks along, and – as ever – to Pat and Arthur for doing the teas. Amongst the opening information we heard from the Shaftesbury Hospital League of Friends, who want to work in tandem with PS, citing electric charging points amongst common interests. We also heard from Richard of Nadder Community Energy who will be leading discussion following the talk on Changing Energy Sources on April 4th. We heard of a forthcoming talk on climate friendly farming at the Friends Meeting House (details to follow). The need to include like-minded people in Gillingham was also mentioned. Apologies as ever to anyone whose contribution at this point I’ve missed.

With regard to their forthcoming campaign in London, Extinction Rebellion have made a big ask. The requested five day commitment is not an easy one for any of us. So the first group’s task was to work out what in practice could be committed to, and then to arrange it. The local campaign group debated possible pieces of action that could take place in Shaftesbury and came up with two proposals, while the alternatives group delved into and committed themselves, variously, to begin projects. The results:

  • A number of people decided to travel to London on Monday, 15th April, and to join in the activities there for two days. Contact and further details to appear on website/newsletter emails.

  • ‘Paint the Streets’ (from 30th March). We’ll be displaying posters around the town. All who wish to participate, get some printed at Swan’s Trust and ‘fly-post’ them around town/area. Further info in news/blog section below.

  • ‘Critical Mass’ cycling/walking demo to take place in Shaftesbury from 10am, 20th April, starting at Town Hall. Details, flyers/posters to follow. Local schools to be contacted and young people invited to join in.

  • People with a special interest in biodiversity formed a group that will meet independently to develop their ideas around work that could focus on schools, churchyards, roundabouts, etc.

  • Permaculture is an approach to living within nature’s limits whilst caring for the earth, each other and future generations. We now have a network of practitioners and learners. Watch this space.

  • Offers made by a small group to act jointly as ‘information officer’ for PS, to liaise with schools, community groups etc.

  • Flyer on Planet Shaftesbury to be produced.

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