In the UK, our right to protest is under threat, explains Miriam Turner, the Co-Executive Director of Friends of the Earth. Demonstrating has been an integral part of creating change – whether you look at the women’s suffrage movement in the early 20th Century or the recent school climate strikes. Under new UK legislation, this important tool for change is being limited. Common forms of protest like linking arms, slow walking or sitting/lying down in protest are now more likely to be considered unlawful and punished more harshly. Such uncertainty can deter people from exercising their right to stand up to power. As Miriam shares, whether you agree with the goals of any particular protests or not, “the right to protest is key to our history and our everyday lives”, and is something we must protect if we are to address the climate and nature crises.

Miriam is Co-Executive Director at the environmental campaigning organisation Friends of the Earth in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. She studied ecology, has a background in innovation and believes in the power of collective action to create the fast and fair changes we need. She is a Trustee and founding member of The League of Intrapreneurs. Miriam is also on the board of COAST 4C, a social enterprise founded following the award winning Net-Works partnership, which she co-founded to reduce marine plastic with coastal communities in SE Asia. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

Miriam Turner

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