Activism Gathering a great success, Thank you!
24 Jun 2011
Set in the stunning surrounds of Tollymore Forest Park, this year's Friends of the Earth Activism Gathering was a weekend of good fun and inspiration.
We kicked off to a beautifully sunny Saturday morning and an insightful panel discussion with guest speakers Ciarán Cuffe, Harry McGee, Political Blogger Mick Fealty (Slugger O'Toole) and Lisa Elherron provided their insights on what climate change politics now look like post-election, on both sides of the border.
'Reflections on Activism' followed exploring key activism movements of the past two decades asking what we can learn from these campaign successes after which delegates developed their learnings in themed workshops.
After a day of thought-provoking sessions, we all kicked back and soaked up the scenery with a choice of outdoor activities before dinner and a bit of craic at the inaugural Friends of the Earth pub quiz! Congratulations to "Mass Extinction Event", who romped home with 96 out of a possible 120 points, and duly received a bottle of fine whiskey for their efforts.
On Sunday morning, full of hearty breakfast, we listened as Andy Atkins (Friends of The Earth, England, Wales and Northern Ireland) took us through the "Snapshots of the Year" examining the highs and lows of our campaigns over the last 12 months. This was follow by a galvanising debate on effecting change by a remarkable group of experienced activists - Silas Siakor (former Chair of Friends of the Earth Liberia & winner of the Goldman Environmental Prize) , Marian Farrell (community activist & Transition Derry representative), Andrew McMurray (Co-ordinator of Belfast Friends of the Earth & Belfast Cycle City campaign) & Nancy Serrano (Irish environmental activist) reflecting on taking on the might of multinationals and the obstinacy of bureaucracies.
Tollymore National Centre, nestled in to the beautiful Mourne Mountains, provided the perfect setting for a heartening and motivating weekend, but that was all thanks to drive and imagination of activists that took part. Everyone at Friends of the Earth is excited after gathering about how, where and of whom the movement will grow from here. If you'd like to see more of the weekend, take a look at our photo gallery. If you would like any information about getting active on issues that matter to you and your community, get in touch, we will help in any way we can.