Climate activists Mikaela Loach and Josephine Becker, are making their mark on the future of the world. Through their Instagram platforms, reaching over 54 thousand people combined, they are speaking out against injustice and actively protesting against ecocide. Now they join forces to on their new podcast YIKES, creating space for conversation on environmental and social issues.
Our Everyday Action series was originally created to explore how we can each make small changes to our every day, that can make a big impact in the wider world. Over the last month, the definition of Everyday Action has taken on a whole new meaning for us, as we get used to a new routine of taking every day as it comes - adapting and working together to understand how best we can make use of our time and still remain safely connected.
For now, our Everyday Action series will share stories, new ideas and inspiration direct from our community, as we go forward into unchartered territory, together.
Mikaela Loach | @mikaelaloach & Josephine Becker | @treesnpeace
Tell us about yourselves and how you met.
I’m Mikaela Loach, a climate activist, medical student and writer based in Edinburgh. I am affiliated with @climatecampscotland (which is a very exciting climate-justice focused group here in Scotland) and I write about how we can keep our activism spaces accessible, intersectional at @mikaelaloach.
Hi, I am Josephine Becker and use she/her pronouns. I am an MSc student in Sustainability and Behaviour Change with a focus on societal transformation (yes it’s as overwhelming as it sounds!). I also consider myself an active citizen, fighting for climate and social justice, and I share this journey on my Instagram (@treesnpeace). Outside of Uni and activist spaces, I can most likely be found in natural spaces where I spend every minute of my free time.
We met first through Instagram and then in real life at the International Rebellion in October of 2019 - before we had actually met in person, I (Mikaela) had already offered Jo a space in my little pop-up tent!
It was an intense first time to meet. We shared emotional moments, tears and hugs. After the rebellion, Jo moved up to Edinburgh and since then we have spent most of our time together! Whether it’s studying together, protesting together, having silly boogies, supporting each other as friends or chatting on our podcast (@theyikespodcast) we have formed a really strong friendship in a short time!
Over the last year, you both have been active protesters in London and Edinburgh. Can you remember how you felt when you went to your first protest?
Mikaela: My first protest was the March for Refugees in London. I think it was 2016. I grew up in rural Surrey so protesting was not something I was used to at all. I remember feeling so completely exhilarated being part of a crowd of 30 thousand people who all cared about the rights of displaced people. It really sparked my passion for community action. It was a powerful day.
Jo: I went to my first demonstration in 2014, sort of by accident. It was a silent march in solidarity for all people facing violence and war crimes in the Eastern Medditarrean. I must have looked very confused, as multiple people approached me and encouraged me to join the demonstration. After just a few minutes there, I already held a banner and felt overwhelmed by the kindness I was welcomed with. The silence of this event still gives me the chills thinking of it.
You have just started your own podcast together, YIKES. What inspired you to do this? What do you hope listeners will gain from YIKES?
We both, separately, wanted to start a podcast for a long time. We know that they’re a really accessible way to have a conversation and provide a lot more space than Instagram does to talk about an issue. We really hope that listeners of YIKES will be inspired and empowered to take action themselves. That they’ll see that; 1) they can be an activist, 2) change comes from working together in community, and 3) that it’s so essential for us to be allies of marginalised communities and ensure climate justice is at the heart of everything we do.
For someone who is thinking about going on their first Climate Strike, what one thing would you recommend?
If you have the time, make a fab sign. Often, local groups get together prior to the strike to make signs together - join them as this is also a great place to meet new pals!
Check if there is an agenda for the strike, sometimes there are talks, performances and/or marches organised. Don’t be too late, otherwise, you might miss important parts of it.
It’s definitely a lot more fun if you have friends around you - try and convince yours to come along with you. If no one is willing to join, go anyways and if you want there will be people to speak to at these demonstrations - keep an eye out for community groups you recognise and speak to them as they are usually quite approachable, you could even message them before and ask if they were going and if you could join.
As we are expecting that most strikes will be cancelled until May, check what alternatives are happening online. Fridays For Future will be hosting Online Strikes every Friday, and more events are planned by other organisations. Social media is a great way to spread the word about this and to show-off your sign!
What does Everyday Action mean to you?
Mikaela: Making activism a habit. Making sure that what I buy and how I use my time I am doing so with an awareness of how I could use the resources available to me to create a better world for everyone. How can I use the resources I have to honour all people and our shared planet? How can I use my time to help the movement demanding climate justice? How can I weave this all into my daily routines?
Jo: To me, it means supporting my local community whilst learning about global struggles. This means practically I am actively learning about my own privileges and how I can deconstruct that whilst lifting others up. That practically means I educate myself beyond what is taught to me by mainstream education/media and intentionally learn life experiences that differ to mine. And to continuously work on figuring out how to support others from my local community to global solidarity work.