ACTIVISTS from the Forest and Wye Valley took part in a demonstration in Bath last weekend to once again shed light on the pollution of our waterways.
The event called ‘Unite to Survive’ saw various groups from the South West come together to demand action from the government on the cost of living crisis, social injustice and the climate and nature emergencies.
Local activist Richard Henson said protesters called for effective changes from government to create “a safe and secure future for everyone on the planet”.
The causes highlighted on the day (Saturday, October 28) included the prevention of the threat of global overheating, severe species loss and habitat destruction; and the creation of clean jobs, fair pay for all and comprehensive environmental protection.
The event’s aim was to encourage the coming together of people from diverse groups to build "greater community resilience to the threats we already face, and those we will face in the future".
More than 40 organisations were represented including Greenpeace, Extinction Rebellion and local group Save the Wye, while samba band Forest Thump were one of a number of groups ensuring the protesters were heard.
A number of ‘river water ceremonies‘ were staged in the streets of Bath featuring the Goddess of the Wye, and ‘The Trial of the Wye’ was also performed to expose how the pollution on the river has come about.
One local campaigner, Ali Rose from Chepstow, said of the day: “I want to say a heartfelt ’thank you’ to everyone who created a beautiful piece of street theatre and ritual ceremony with the Wye Goddess.
“I was very moved to see people’s responses as she wandered through the streets of Bath.
“The faces and gestures of both young and old as they felt compelled to engage with her were, for me, not just a response to the theatre, but also spoke of a deep yearning to reconnect with the mystery and sacredness of not only our rivers, but to all of nature of which we are a part.
“The Goddess bypasses the linear and rational and speaks in an embodied direct way to the deeper part of ourselves that knows our humble human role is of guardianship to all life on this precious planet.”
Catherine Musk from Redbrook added: “A woman told me that she had never seen the message on river pollution done so well.
"She said ‘You have brought the spiritual and political together’.”