Why we started Radical Restart - Meg, Nils and Robin
Updated: Apr 30
"Each generation must, out of relative obscurity, discover its mission, fulfill it, or betray it."
- Frantz Fanon
Hey there, and welcome to Radical Restart! We've written this blog to share why we decided to form Radical Resart, how that came about and why we're excited about it - we hope this will help frame the project and break down the idea that you have to be an expert to get together and get something going. Enjoy!
My name’s Meg, and I'm 18- what a year for it! Right now I was expecting to be forcing my head down to study for my A levels but instead I’m here- free to do much more important things. I’ve been actively involved in activism for about a year now, and it’s been a crash course. I’ve definitely learnt more than I did in my lessons.
Some of it was really fun- street art, squat raves and sound systems- and some of it has been humbling, overwhelming or upsetting. A lot of it was long meetings and late nights/early mornings!
I’ve also met a lot of very cool people, and learnt a whole lot more about the systems in our society designed around privilege and oppression, and how these make my life experience massively different from the experiences of other people I meet.
For me, this is a big part of what Radical Restart is about- bringing together cool young people across movements and creating a space to help break down all the barriers made to divide us. We have to learn from each other if we really want to break this cycle.
About a day after school closed I got a call from Robin, saying him and Nils wanted to create some kind of youth training network, and I reckoned they needed someone less old to jump on the team! Radical Restart is some of the best parts of activism- community, connection,
learning, and radical young people fighting the system. Empowered young people is a scary thought for anyone trying to protect the system- that’s why they force us into school where we learn to respect authority and lose that dream of being able to change the world. We have the power to bring about the future we want and need, if we act together, in solidarity and resistance. We’re gonna have to learn (and unlearn) a lot- but young people will teach old people more than they ever drilled into our heads at school! That’s the plan anyway ;0)
I'm a swedish national based in Bristol, co-founder of Extinction Rebellion and being part of this work has been more challenging and amazing than most other things I have done, with loads of learning as I go along. I haven't been to university and spent a few years after finishing school training in crafts and farming, a part of me could be happy just carving wood and reading books on a hill with a view over Bristol.
So much valuable work have been done to work out how we can build more impactful social movements which we can learn from and the situation in which we are currently in could be a
moment where we take a good look at what we are doing with a fresh perspective and support each other to move forwards as young activists. Its so easy to take for granted how
we are working and many of us could benefit a lot from having more conversations across different groups and organisations of young people. We need each other to figure out how we move forwards from the impacts of the pandemic, young people are the most likely to make change happen in society, most able to imagine something different and take risks to make it real and our generation need to support each other to get us out of this mess we are in
Hey everyone I'm Robin. I'm 25 and come from Stroud - a town formally known best for tennis balls and inventing the lawn mower, that now seems far more famous for being the birth place of Extinction Rebellion. Which isn't where my activism journey really starts but it does seem to have kicked things into gear recently.
Things started way back with the anti-war movement of the early 2000s, where my Dad, who was one of the main organsisers down in the South West, would bring me and my sister along to protests at the massive US airbase Fairford - and while I of course didn't know much about what was happening, I still remember the energy and the shouting. I've come a long way since then, I'm nowhere near as cute now, but I often think about how these early memories taught me to stand and fight.
Radical Restart comes at the end, well more like the middle, of quite a long journey learning about activism, how to make change and the shape of our world in general. At school doing youth politics I learnt about how young people are tokenised in adult spaces, travelling I saw the complete fuckery that was the British empire and its legacy; at university I was finally forced to see my male privilige and in the last year I've known what its like to really organise for change.
As such, Radical Restart is a chance I've been waiting for - a chance to breath, to connect, to
prepare and as youth of the UK, to join our global generation who are rising to meet the
challenges of a world breaking at the seems. This pandemic has forced so many of us to rethink so much about our lives - we cannot go back to normal, now is the time for transformative change and I believe that we the youth must lead.
Which really brings us to my thing - we all have to have those things which really drive us and mine is youth. No, not just young people, but the social concept of youth - those ready to challenge the older generations, to break from tradition and carve new paths. This for me is what it means and more to be a youth - and exploring this identity with loads of other young people is a massive part of what makes me so excited about Radical Restart - I hope it excites you all too and that you all come get involved!
Radical Restart Crew!