Day 9: Blockade of Dover Port by Extinction Rebellion

These #twitternotes were originally posted 21 September 2019 on Day 9 of fieldwork. These tweets describe the Dover Blockade, Extinction Rebellion’s blockade of the Dover Port to raise awareness of food (in)security in a changing climate. The thread can also be accessed on twitter. And one of these tweets was picked up by The Guardian.

1/ Day 9. London. A very sleepy good morning from Southwark. Somewhere around Elephant & Castle. These beautiful small apartment blocks are eclipsed by more recent large-scale development and are like little brick islands in a sea of a glass and traffic junctions. #LAXLAB

2/ On my walk from my apartment to the tube this morning. #aestheticpolitics #urbanaestheticpolitics #ExtinctionRebellion

3/ Have slept 6 hours or less each night so far on my travels and I’m starting to slow down a bit. Intense photographic fieldwork is exhausting! I missed the train I hoped to get so I am enjoying a moment of détente and some coffee before the next one. Also, a bit of reading …

4/ Where to?, you ask. To the seaside, of course. For a blockade.

5/ So beautiful. Bits of white chalk peaking through. Approaching Dover.

6/ In Dover. It is the most gorgeous autumn day. The perfect birthday weather. I have zero clue where I am going. Must be on the right track as I’ve just passed a bunch of #ExtinctionRebelion [sic] posters. Worst case, I have a picnic on the beach.

7/ Well then, definitely in the right place as I have just been issued a Section 14 breach of public order warning by police. Just for walking with my camera. If I leave the designated area, I can be arrested. #ExtinctionRebellion #Dover #Blockade

8/ I’m in the designated area, an encampment overlooking the sea. Lots of police, given that this is a blockade of a major port. It’s difficult to know what’s happening at the blockade which is some distance away. Arrests highly likely. #ExtinctionRebellion #XR #DoverBlockade

9/ Red rebels, white cliffs. #ExtinctionRebellion #climatecrisis #nofoodonadyingplanet #foodsecurity #DoverBlockade

10/ A beautiful silent performance by #ExtinctionRebellion‘s #RedRebelBrigade as transport trucks move past the #whitecliffsofdover. #DoverBlockade #foodsecurity #climatecrisis

11/ Do not take all the beautiful pebbles, Emma. Also: I should have been born by the sea.

12/ A delicate balancing act between respecting those being disrupted and those doing the disrupting, says Kent Police.

13/ Sometimes good to take a peaceful moment and get your feet wet. I would have gone for a swim. The sea is actually warmer than the Oslo Fjord!

14/ No Brexit on a dead planet. #ExtinctionRebellion #DoverBlockade #Brexit

15/ The sound of the sea and a live band playing ‘Knocking on heaven’s door’ and the silence of the #RedRebelBrigade in their final action of the day. Very powerful performance.  #ExtinctionRebellion #DoverBlockade #Dover #Kent
16/ My introversion kicked in today and didn’t talk to anyone much. Instead had a peaceful day observing, making art (took many photos). Lay on the beach, got some sun and sea air. Missing my Norwegian rebels but had a really inspiring day, a little wiser maybe, more relaxed surely.
17/ I love the palette of Dover: the white cliffs, the flint pebbles, the colour of the water and algae against concrete, dusty green shrubs. #Dover #Kent 
18/ Well, I’m mentioned in The Guardian on my birthday. So thanks @guardian for the most excellent gift. More importantly, thank you tp [sic] @ExtinctionR #XRDover + the rebels who did get arrested during #DoverBlockade to raise awareness on food security + climate.
19/ Thank you to all #ExtinctionRebellion activists present at #DoverBlockade today. I felt like more of a bystander but was so impressed by the atmosphere, organisation, the amazing performances by the #RedRebelBrigade, and a very peaceful protest. Dover rebels are awesome!

20/ Also, thank you very much to Mary from Ramsgate who generously gave me 20p for the washroom AND bought me a mint chocolate chip ice cream cone. I’ll pay the kindness forward. #kindnessofrebel

Emma Arnold