Harvey Hennessy, 16 year old Climate and Environmental Activist living in North Devon:
I founded Fridays For Future Barnstaple in April 2019 and we had our first strike on the 24th May 2019!I I work internationally with the Fridays For Future movement and will continue to. I recently also started Extinction Rebellion Youth North Devon!
Who or what inspired you to start striking?
I was inspired by Greta Thunberg when she started striking outside of the Swedish parliament. She knew there was a crisis and wanted people to take urgent action. However she knew that the political leaders and people in power were NOT listening and treating it as the crisis and emergency it is. This inspired me because she's only 17 and what she has been is amazing for someone of that age!
Do you find striking draining or empowering (or both)?
I don't necessarily find it draining however I organise strikes in my local area in North Devon with a few other people and that can become so very tiring! Especially through these times as you are on zoom after zoom or updating people on what's happening or how they can strike digitally. Overall I feel striking is so empowering as it gives you the voice leaders try to pretend isn't there and they don't listen to us.
How do you recharge?
I try to take as many breaks as I can to be able to recharge and not feel so stressed. The people I have met through my activism are also so supportive and will help you no matter what! It's always good to take a break and re-charge especially if you're doing a lot of work like myself as it can affect your mental health and cause climate anxiety which believe it or not is real and affects so many young people across the world! So always remember to look after yourself.
Are there special places that help you?
A special place that helps me is anywhere with trees and a nice view! I especially love to walk through the backroads of my village in Landkey.
Instagram - Backroads of Landkey
Are there special people that help you?
I wouldn't necessarily say there are special people that specifically help me however everyone in the movement will help anyone they can and look after them! That's something that people don't realise that aren't part of the movement... people are so caring and will go to any stretch to take care of people as well as themselves.
How easy is it to remember those places and people in your daily life?
I find all the people that I cannot see at the moment inspiring! Because everyone helps me along the way!
Any advice to other strikers?
My advice to other strikers would be to not give up! There will be times when you feel alone and like you're the only one standing up for climate justice but always remember you're not! As Greta says "Change is coming whether you like it or not!"