Women Of This Town
Below, you will find a photo of a statue dedicated to The Four Musicians of Bremen; a donkey, a dog, a cat and a rooster, one on top of the other. Originally a German fairy tale published by the Brothers Grimm it also pops up in various forms in many other cultures - there is an irish version including a young man called Jack, Indian variants and of course a Disney version.
The story is of four aging domestic animals who, after a lifetime of hard work are neglected and mistreated by their master and decide to run away. They decide to become musicians in Bremen but on the way they come across a band of thieves who are robbing a large house and making merry with the contents of the larder and cellar. The animals are each too small to tackle the robbers but one of them has an idea; they stack themselves up and under the cover of darkness present themselves at the window, braying, barking, yowling, flapping and crowing. The robbers are so frightened they run away. You can choose from various happy endings at this point.
I was recently told this tale by a tour guide in Riga as he (and many, many others in the Baltic states) hold it dear as part of the inspiration for the movement that became known as The Baltic Way or The Baltic Chain. In 1989 millions of people from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania linked hands over a distance of 430 miles to draw global attention by demonstrating a popular desire for independence and to show solidarity among the three nations. This took place over a few days with folk taking turns/shifts and free transport for those who needed it. Independence was achieved within 2 years.
So, starting on 4th October this year, every Tuesday morning from 9 till 10 I will be standing in Petersfield town square as a visible sign to our councils (at every level) and government that I, as a 'Woman Of This Town' am waiting for them to reduce CO2 emissions.
If you would like to join me, and link your hand to mine, that would be great. I believe we, as women, have the strength and wisdom to impact those in power.
Supported by Article 10 and 11 of the Human Rights Act 1998 but within PCSC restrictions imposed in April of this year, this will bear none of the usual characteristics of a protest or demonstration. No whistles, banners or glue, unaffiliated to any other group or movement.
We will just stand quietly 'waiting'.
If the Police should arrive we will quickly disperse and I will speak to them (ideally with one or two witnesses).
Initially, the purpose will be to make ourselves visible as Women Of This Town by growing in number. In the new year if we have made a significant impact my hope is that those in power (at least locally) will be ready for dialogue with us and with each other.
Like most of you I am hurting, conflicted and confused about the enormity of the task ahead. Many of us feel we are doing all we can to preserve the lives of our children and grandchildren. But we need systems to change and change quickly. There are so many solutions and excellent models to reduce and drawdown carbon; we just need those in power to be brave enough to implement them.
As women we too often assume that the structures around us are solid and immovable but if we join together we may find them softer and more permeable than we had supposed. Many women have tried this throughout history. We remember their names with gratitude and honour their legacy.
Please come and join me in the square on Tuesday mornings for as long as you would like. If you make it to 10 oclock then please come and warm up with a free cup of tea (on me) at Winton House in the High Street.
It’s natural to be scared, but the solution to this fear is ACTION which brings HOPE.