Louise shares the deep experience of love and grief which propelled her into action.
My name is Louise Harris, I’m 24 years old, and just over a month ago, I spent eight days in Bronzefield prison for non-violently fighting for my life. I climbed up a gantry on the M25, the video of which I’m sure many of you have seen or heard by now.
I was emotional in that video, because losing my life at the hands of my own government, is emotional for me. Realising that I may not live past 40 years old, because there might not be enough food or water, is emotional for me. Realising that children born today might grow up in a world filled with war and conflict – not daisy chains, laughter, and games – is emotional for me.
The British government sent me and 40 of my dearest friends to prison, because they would rather choose profit over people.
When I was in the police cell, after being arrested for the action, I started singing songs, to comfort myself. Until one song in particular came to mind: ‘Somewhere Only We Know’ by Keane. It’s mine and my Dad’s song, which we used to sing when I was a child, on a playstation game. The words had never seemed truer to me: ‘oh simple thing, where have you gone?…this could be the end of everything, so why don’t we go, somewhere only we know?’.
I started bawling, with what I now recognise as grief. I couldn’t understand how a handful of people in this world were willing, and able, to let a bond as special as the one between me and my father be completely destroyed. Just for an extra bit of cash.
I concluded: they must never have felt love.
Because when you feel love, you take risks. When you feel love, you fight. When you feel love, you put everything you have on the line – to save it.
And that’s what I did. And even though world leaders and fossil fuel executives may not know what love is, I do.
And you probably do too.
And it only takes enough of us, to win.