National Theatre Workers Support the Climate Strikers
We, the staff, artists and supporters of the National Theatre have been inspired by the bold actions of the Climate Strikers around the globe. We wish to respond to their call for workers to support them.
We recognise the immediate need for urgent action on climate change, and the role the arts and culture must play in the transformational changes required to avert social collapse.
In response to the strikers’ call for solidarity, we will be joining them on September 20th to demand action on the climate crisis.
At 10:30 am on Friday 20th we will gather outside the National Theatre with staff from neighbouring arts institutions and march together to the Climate Strike in Trafalgar Square at 11 30 am.
We invite the theatre management to join and support us.
We commend our theatre for its work to reduce the National’s carbon footprint - however, we believe the scale of the crisis demands transformational social change. This is our only viable option, if we are to address the combined emergencies of climate change, the mass extinction of vital biodiversity and a degradation of ecosystems everywhere. The IPCC report tells us that “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society” are required to avert social collapse. We believe the key to this radical change isn’t just factual argument, but compelling storytelling – and action.
As theatre workers, we understand the power that stories have to inspire hope, to disrupt norms, to reimagine. We believe that cultural institutions are in a unique position to engage citizens worldwide in the urgency, values and opportunities of a transition away from fossil fuels.
For most of us, professional lives are constrained by financial insecurity. Casual work is consistently vulnerable to change - and without guaranteed hours.
It is extremely easy to feel small in the face of climate breakdown - through fear of not making rent, balancing mental health and falling sick / losing shifts. It is easy to feel powerless to affect change in our workplace. This prevents many of us from contributing meaningfully to the climate movement.
However, the actions of the school strikers have given us hope, we want to lend our voices to their movement.
We ask that the National Theatre joins and supports its staff on September 20th.
We see this as the beginning of a dialogue between staff and management about the role the National and its workers can play in the global climate movement.