Today made me think about responsibility. After having picked up three new riders at Osnabrück train station, we were riding as a group of 10 people, the biggest group size we have had so far. When we were riding as a smaller group, many things required few organistion and we often could care for all the needs that individuals in our group have had. This was nice and the ride often felt like being on a holiday.
When we were riding in a group of 10 today, we had to pay much more attention on acting as one group. I remember one moment in the morning: I was riding in tha back of the group and my task was to make sure nobody was left behind. However, the trailer could not go very fast while a few people in the front were already far away. I got a bit angry: why did they not wait? They should take a look behing them from time to time and slow down if the group was falling apart! I stopped being angry when I realised that instead of finding someone to blame for the lack of cooperation and communication, I could change the situation: I could ride to the front and ask the others to slow down.
I am grateful for the opportunities to learn and to grow personally which open up to me in bigger groups. The opportunity to learn to reflect on my own needs and wishes having the whole group in mind: Do I need to do that now? Is it okay if the group has to wait for me then? Should I patien myself and wait for the next stop?
It feels so good to have taken care of others instead of acting egoistically. And it is such a nice experience to learn to trust the group, to become more relaxed concerning your own needs and more attentive concerning the needs of the others.
In the evening, we were received by the Fossil Free Group in Münster. Fossil Free invited us to join their mobilization event for Ende Gelände. We took a picture in the old harbour, with people swimming in the water while holding up a banner saying: “Uns steht das Wasser bis zum Hals – Ende Gelände!” The message was that we need to take action NOW and stop heating up our planet. Afterwards, we presented the banner “The true Cost of Coal” which was made by the Behive Collective. The banner tells many stories from the Appalach Mountains in the United States, explaining how coal mining has affected the region. It connects the local and the global level and shows how the problems of environmental destruction and climate change are caused by more than only coal mining: they are produced by the industrial machinery of a consumerist society that feeds itself from natural and human resources. This soiety is destroying the resources and turning them into trash. However, the banner also tells stories where diggers are stopped and nature is used in a sustainable way. It tells us that in order to make a change, we need both: resistance and regeneration. Ende Gelände is an act of resistance, while the climate camp is a place where people can learn how to create sustainable practices and structures. Our ride, too, has elements of both: we are against the use of fossil fuels while we practice and learn about alternatives.