Before anything else, to me Simon Bramwell is my friend.
I first met Simon on a camp out, in a patch of woodland that a mutual friend of ours has the property rights to. My first opinion of him was “damn this hippy pagan is a romantic tit”, which I am sure Simon would agree he is. The more I shared space with this gnarled creature, who looks like an tree that has grown on the side of a hill by the sea and like he is older than he actually is, the more I found that he is someone who has lived intensely and has tasted the raw meat of the world more than most will ever.
Simon is someone who loves intensely, rebels relentlessly and I’ve never seen fail to be as compassionate as he is brutally honest. There is little I can write here to express the enormity of respect I feel for this creature.
I also feel a massive amount of appreciation for him, as I know he has encouraged XR members to read my first 2 books.
We have both shared in our mutual sense of despair over much of the contemporary environmental mainstream culture and bright-green ideology. We have also enjoyed bantering about a yet to be had fight between us both – which Simon knows I would win!
That Simon is receiving any flack, from those who would claim to be fighting to resist the violation of this earth and rebel against this culture of mass death, for being a voice for uncomfortable but honest truths, is vile to me. The Nietzsche quote about people not wanting to hear the truth because they don’t want to lose their illusions seems relevant to this situation. Of course, those who don’t feel any sense of care for the non-human, inhuman and unhuman world are going to reject anything that deviates from anthropocentric narratives. But is deeply saddening that supposed allies and friends are not voicing support for Simon, while watering down sincere thoughts to make them more easily swallowed by those unprepared to taste them!
I would encourage anyone involved in Extinction Rebellion to be the kind of friend they would wish to have and to have the courage to voice honest and uncomfortable things!