Rob, Colette and Neil from our politics group were joined by Adam from Tower Hamlets to give a talk at Byline Festival on Monday. The event, which included a dedicated XR tent, describes itself as ‘a festival with a social, environmental and moral conscience’ and they had a program to back that up with speakers including Bonnie Greer, Gina Miller and Guardian columnist Carole Cadwalladr. So our rebels were in good company!
Called upon to discuss their knowledge of citizens’ assemblies, they spoke to an attentive audience of people curious to learn about this increasingly pervasive phrase. Encouragingly, the audience also included a number of councillors from around the country, eager to pick up useful information to take back to their colleagues.
The combined experience of our rebel speakers in dealing with Lambeth and Tower Hamlets councils with respect to citizens assemblies, as well as the wealth of pertinent knowledge they’ve picked up along the way, proved to be an oratorical goldmine. Over the course of an hour they gave an engaging talk and fielded some challenging questions from audience members afterwards.
Speaking after the event, Neil said:
“We had a great response. There were approximately 6 or 7 councillors from around the UK, who were frustrated with the lack of action by their fellow councillors. We were able to advise them of strong CA’s that they could use as examples, and how their local XR group can support them with NVDA. It was an unusually hot day, so we were all sweating in the tent!”
Being asked to be a part of the festival in this capacity and the response that the talk received is an encouraging sign that citizens assemblies are pushing their way into the right sort of conversations and that XR is seen as a respected voice on the subject.
To find out more about the Lambeth citizens assembly, visit lambethca.earth.