Silence at the Senedd

One could have heard a pin drop at the Senedd today, well outside anyway.

While an event was taking place inside celebrating the life of a politician a small group of Quakers were sitting outside in camping chairs protesting silently with a vigil.

For one day each month they gather in silence on the veranda of the Welsh parliament. I stumbled on this peacefully quiet group of people as I was leaving the Senedd. I asked what they were doing and of course, no one spoke. They signalled to an empty chair presumably asking me to take a seat in it. I asked if anyone was willing to speak with me and if they were willing for me to take a photograph and one man promptly got up and walked away.

The empty chair beckoned

Naturally I thought the answer was no. To my surprise he came back bearing a leaflet outlining their cause. It said:

“We choose to be silent. Words are inadequate to express the depths of our concern or the magnitude of the crisis facing mankind. Without change much of the planet will become uninhabitable: silent, species extinct, sounds of life extinguished. Our silent energy sends messages urging politicians and people throughout the world to wake up and come together, as a family, in a spirit of mutual love and respect, to make the changes necessary to mitigate and hopefully to reverse the destructive effects of climate change, and to create a world in which all people live in harmony with each other and with the natural environment. The task is huge. But it is possible if we desire it sufficiently.”

Invite for politicians to sit a while

It is ironic that none of the politicians gathered within had stopped to ask the people who had gathered what it was they were there for (so I was informed by one of the only speaking members). The demand seems clearly in line with political speak and in fact would make a great speech for one of the said politicians to share within the Senedd.

I promised the group of quakers that I would publicise their cause and who knows, perhaps the Minister or Deputy Minister for Climate Change might just read it and go out when next they are there to sit in silence and reflect for a while.

Next vigil will be held on June 15th then on July 20th, August 17th and September 28th. Bring a chair.

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