Supporting our youth climate strikers

My 17 year old daughter has been attending youth climate strikes since they started here in Exeter in February and I’ve been to a few too and next week – on September 20th, we will be attending the largest one so far in the city. Over 2000 people are expected to attend. My son is almost 14 and has asked to come to this one – his first. Here’s the letter I’ve just sent to his school and here’s the event link if you want to know more


Dear (Headteacher)

We give my permission for our child – to not attend school on Friday 20th September; in order to attend the Youth Strike 4 Climate (Global Climate Strike) protest taking place across the UK and many other countries on that day. You might be aware that there are over 106 countries taking part in this historic event across all the continents of the globe. This is the link to the Exeter protest expecting over 2000 people – the largest ever climate protest in this city
We are aware of UK law that permits parents to only give permission for their child to miss school on medical grounds or in a few other cases, one of which is under “exceptional circumstances”.
Our view is that having only 11 years left to cut CO2 emissions by 50%, as per the latest UN IPCC report, are terrible and exceptional circumstances to find ourselves in. The news of late of wildfires burning in the precious Amazon and the Artic, plus our ice-caps and glaciers melting much faster than expected and insect numbers plummetting are all signs we need to heed and act upon. Therefore we will be attending this event with our son and give him full permission to protest against our government’s inaction.
We hope attending this demonstration will help our son to feel empowered and learn about standing up for what is right in this world, something I know is embedded in the philosophy of the school our son chose to attend. Attending this protest is part of active civic engagement which is a core part of every school curriculum. As the climate catastrophe is going to affect our children more than us, it is so important we support them in this kind of action.
We respect his decision to attend this protest and I hope you will support him too.
Kindest wishes
Sharon & Dan Pavey

Cruelty at Exeter Christmas Market

Those of you who’ve visited the Christmas market in Cathedral Yard may have seen that there is a French stall selling foie gras, another selling exotic meats (e.g. kangaroo, crocodile), a falconry stall with a tethered golden eagle, and a stall selling reindeer skins and antlers.

Exeter Friends for Animals is contacting the City Council about its complete lack of ethical standards, but individual letters/emails of complaint from members of the public regarding any one or all of these issues would strengthen their case.

PLEASE KEEP ALL COMMUNICATIONS POLITE!! and address them to: or Exeter City Council, Civic Centre, Paris Street, Exeter EX1 1JJ

Suggested points to make are:

  • The production of foie gras is so cruel it is banned in this country and many others, and many shops/restaurants have withdrawn it from sale in response to public pressure. (Here’s Kate Winslet explaining why Foie Gras is unacceptable
  • Exotic meats raise serious questions concerning capture, rearing and slaughter methods – what information can the council provide on these?
  • The noisy, crowded environment of the market is highly distressing and totally unsuitable for birds of prey (or any live animal).

Please add a comment here on the blog when you’ve sent off your email to Exeter City Council. I wasn’t sure whether to add the picture below as it is upsetting but there are some much much worse images of this practice out there. Please take just two mins to email the City Council and tell them to ask the stallholder to remove Foie Gras products from the event. Thank you.


Exeter Elections

Sharon&EmilyatExetercount2012With my fellow GREEN parish councillor Emily McIvor (right) at the Exeter City Council election count on Thursday 3rd May 2012. The Exeter Green Party stood candidates in all 14 wards and did well. Emily & I went over to help out with campaigning and it was great to be part of such a big team there on the night of the count. We would love to see our urban Green neighbours make that breakthrough to the City Council soon.

Exeter Animal Aid Festival – a great success!

The South West Green Party had a stall at the South West Christmas Without Cruelty Festival yesterday. The annual event held at the Corn Exchange in Exeter was a huge success with over a thousand people attending!

Green Party members from left: Derek, Martin, Loran, Sharon Howe, Steve, Ana, sam then Paula Black and Sharon Pavey at the front
Green Party members from left: Derek, Martin, Loran, Sharon Howe, Steve, Ana, Sam then Paula Black and Sharon Pavey at the front

Huge thanks to everyone who helped on the stall, we raised over £200 with our hampers – all donated veggies from Green Party members and a hamper full of Suma goodies.

Green Party members donated fruit, veggies & wine for the hamper
Green Party members donated fruit, veggies & wine for the hamper

Benjamin Zephaniah was the highlight of the day performing some of his poetry, the choir were great and so many amazing stalls and lovely people. A thoroughly enjoyable day.

Thank you to Suma for donating all these products for our raffle
Thank you to Suma for donating all these products for our raffle
We launched the new Green Party cookbook at the festival and it went down very well
We launched the new Green Party cookbook at the festival and it went down very well

Tuesday 15th November ‘What Shall We Do About Christmas?’

An ideas workshop on alternatives to shopping, stress and consumerism  at Christmas time. Transition Exeter will be exploring solutions to the pressures we feel amongst the Christmas consumerism and look at alternative ways to enjoy the Christmas season. On Tuesday 15th of November  6.45pm (teas) for a 7.00pm start.   Upstairs at Friend’s Meeting House, Wynard’s Lane, Magdalen St., Devon EX2 4HU. Contact: Penny 07811409954

South West Christmas Without Cruelty Festival 2011



Exeter Corn Exchange, Market Street, Exeter, EX1 1BU

Sunday 27 November 2011



Benjamin Zephaniah, the nation’s favourite performance poet, will be the special guest at this year’s South West Christmas Without Cruelty Festival on November 27. Benjamin will be reading poems (at around midday), signing books and chatting with visitors.

The pioneering, eco-friendly Festival offers visitors the chance to buy Christmas cards and innovative, cruelty-free gifts in the sure knowledge that they are supporting good causes and creative local companies. Products will range from fairtrade clothes and jewellery to cosmetics and skin care products, handmade chocolates, games for children, pottery and oils made in Palestine and sold to provide poverty relief for the local population, wildlife photographs, and Devon grown olive trees.

Everything on sale will be free from animal products.

Charitable organisations taking part include Survival International, CND and the Palestine Solidarity Group, Devon Wildlife Trust, Sea Shepherd, the League Against Cruel Sports and the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection – emphasizing the core message of non-violence to people, animals and the environment. The South West Green Party will also be there.

According to Mark Gold, who is organising the Festival for Animal Aid,

We’re particularly thrilled that Benjamin Zephaniah has kindly agreed to join us this year and add another great attraction to our popular festival. We’ve really built the event up over the last four years and it’s been wonderful to see increasing numbers of visitors seeking to buy imaginative and unique presents for their family and friends.

It’s part of the ethos of the Festival to keep admission free, so that people can spend everything they can afford at the stalls. At the same time, we want them to feel they’ve had a special and fun day out, so we also have a fabulous restaurant and great live music – as well as Benjamin’s guest appearance, of course.’ Photo from

For further details of the South West Christmas Without Cruelty Festival contact Mark Gold on 01395 579353 (07796 581915) or email

Exeter Winter Ceilidh

Our neighbours Exeter Green Party are putting on a Winter Ceilidh (pron. Kayley!!) on Saturday January 22 2011. A chance to liven up the cold winter months with some dancing, tasty local beers and other drinks and food to share. Everything you’d expect from a great local Ceilidh. The caller is the famous Martin Hodge and the lead band are Sheer Hopody along with other local performers in the intervals. It runs from 7:30pm to 11:30pm and takes place at St James Church Hall, Mount Pleasant Rd, Exeter, EX4 7AH.

A few of us from the East Devon Green Party are hoping to go over, so come and join us all having a good old green knees up to start the year off in style. Tickets are £9 or £6 concessions, which you can get from Therese on 07854 682879 or Isaac on 07977 079722 or email for more info.