Tamsin Omond is the founder of Climate Rush, a group campaigning for environmental change.
After Tamsin left university, she arrived in Primrose Hill ready to start work as their parish administrator. In the Summer before she began her parish work she went to the Climate Camp at Heathrow, was arrested for locking closed the main entrance gates to Biggin Hill Private Jet Airport and became a member of the radical action group Plane Stupid.
Three months into her quiet parish life she erupted onto the front page of national newspapers after climbing on the roofs of Parliament and dropping banners: ‘No Third Runway’ and ‘BAA HQ’. Whilst organising a conference at her church, ‘Creation in Crisis’, she was also using her high profile within the environmental world to launch a new group: ‘The Climate Rush’.
She left the church to focus on this direct action group that would model its actions on those of The Suffragettes. ‘The Climate Rush’ would campaign to bring greater awareness to the dangers of climate change and to demand urgent action. Their first event was a celebration of the 100th aniiversary of the Suffragette Rush.
Over 1000 women, men and children, dressed as Suffragettes and wearing red sashes emblazoned with ‘Climate Code Red’, rushed The House of Commons and forced them to lock all their doors. The MPs inside were not allowed to leave and instead sat listening to the chant of ‘Deeds not Words’ echoing through their chamber. Tamsin was arrested and held on remand since by going so close to Parliament she had broken the conditions of her bail.
‘The Climate Rush’ continues to organise mass direct actions involving hundreds of Climate Suffragettes who will step outside their comfort zone to campaign for climate action. Tamsin has written a book ‘Rush – the making of an activist’ which will be out in early October.
Recorded at Greenbelt 2011: Kitchen, 27 Aug 2011, 20:00
Recorded at Greenbelt 2009: 11:15 Saturday, Jerusalem