After I successfully applied for a permission to protest against climate breakdown in the pedestrian zone (Forumtorget) on Saturdays in Uppsala, Sweden, I would like to share some experiences after 4.5 hours of protest.
- A family (both parents and three kids) joined for one hour with self-designed protest posters
- 2 friends stopping by
- Interesting discussions with three global warming critics
- Girl nagging her unwilling mother “What is this?” pointing at my poster
- Nosy kids staring at my poster!
- A few thumb-ups and smiles.
- Duration: 4.5 hours of protest
- Maximum number of protesters/time: 6
- Cumulative number of protesters: 9
- Engaging discussions: 3
- Thumbs-up/Smiles: 4
Well, I guess I know now what a busty blonde with too much cleavage must feel like in public, when people pretend not to stare at her 😉 Overall the experience was positive, though slightly dull, because there was much less traffic than I anticipated between 10 and 12am, but I got some intellectual stimulation out of monitoring my own psychophysiological reactions and other social reactions during the protests. It reminded me of social risk exercises I did during my psychology studies while exploring behaviorist techniques to treat social phobias and generalized anxiety disorders, for example, by announcing time loudly in crowded shopping centers or pulling a banana on a string behind you in the pedestrian zone. Therefore, I was already anticipating that people would not take much notice of me. What I found really great and made me happy was that kids with their unfiltered nosiness just kept staring at me and my sign, trying to understand what it was all about with this guy and his sign. A little girl “took the cake” by stopping to read my sign, while her mother was trying to pull her into the next shop, nagging her mother “What is this about? What is this about?”. 🙂 🙂
In summary, today I could kept most of the honor of climate action for myself, however, it seems more people will join over the next weeks 🙂
PS: Since traffic was quite slow in the morning, the next protests as of 2019-03-09 and later will be from 13-15pm (see Facebook page for updates).
PPS: I also had prepared a speech, but did not feel that it would have an audience (maybe next time ;-)) [PDF].