Our first vigil – 40 days & 40 nights

In March of 2020, Extinction Rebellion members from different faiths came together to organise 40 days and 40 nights of vigil. The idea was that we would sit in silence on the pavements outside Parliament, with our grief and our love for our planet, with the intention of bringing attention to the lack of action around our Climate and Ecological Emergency.

Straight away, it was clear that something special was happening. As secular meditators sat with Franciscan monks, and Muslims and Jews joined with Buddhist chanting, people reported profound experiences after being on the rainy streets all night, or having moving conversations with passing politicians or with members of the public.

Halfway through the vigil we were forced to continue online as coronavirus swept across the UK. This only brought more people into our vigil, and again meaningful connections were made – a Christian group is still holding a daily meeting that started during this time. We made plans to repeat the vigil for the September rebellion, and groups sat together in Cardiff, Manchester and London, providing a steady

We are excited about the next phase of Earth Vigils. A few local Extinction Rebellion groups have already held successful vigils in their local towns and cities. Vigils are very easy to organise and very accessible for people new to activism. They are meaningful both for those taking part and for all those witnessing – regardless of how they feel about Extinction Rebellion’s focus on civil disobedience, it’s difficult to argue with a silent meditator sitting with their love for our ailing planet. We want to make it easier for people to organise their own vigils, and so here we are.

We look forward to hearing from you – download our Starter Pack, have a go, and please send us your photos!

With love & grief,
The vigil team

Our first night of vigil at the London rebellion 2020