Just Do It is a Tale of Modern Day Outlaws

royal bank photo

Photo: justdo it

Whether you agree with their methods, or not, Just Do It is a "tale of modern-day outlaws" whose spirit and energy you just have to admire.

The film follows the lives of English environmental activists as they go about their work: plotting direct-action campaigns in the name of climate change.

cap crisis photo

Photo: justdo it

Filmed over a year's period by Emily James who lived and travelled with the activists, Just Do It introduces a cast of mischievous and inspiring characters who put their bodies where their principles are. Sick of waiting for the world to change, they are taking action.

The film documents their discussions, debates, enthusiasm and hard work as they sit in and demonstrate at a number of different places. They create climate camps, demonstrate at the Bank of England and the G20, occupy a greenhouse on the site of a proposed third runway at Heathrow airport and chain themselves to a politician's front gate.

The activists are young, white, mostly female, well-educated and articulate. They have decided to fight for the things that they believe in--climate change and saving the environment--through direct action.

And it is all done with wit and intelligence and a sense of fun; with never a nasty word amongst them.

marina star photo

Photo: justdo it

The star, if there can be one, is Marina, an experienced activist in her early 40's. She believes that she can save the world by making a cup of tea, and she may be right. Police, fellow travellers, politicians--she has tea and sympathy ready for them all. She calls herself a "domestic extremist" who believes in fighting global priorities at a local level. Her charming and level-headed politics are a delight.

eat bankers photo

Photo: justdo it

At a wind turbine factory which has been closed down and occupied by the workers, she is on the forefront: breaking down fences to go and feed the hungry workers fish and chips. At a sit-in opposing a third runway at Heathrow Airport, the locals love her and understand her simple message and are right in there with her.

It is a fascinating journey and a direct line into the secret world of environmental activism. The one thing lacking is some sort of analysis of their effectiveness: whether they are reaching the right people and changing hearts and minds or just preaching to the converted. There have certainly been successes; the most notable being the cancellation of the third runway at Heathrow airport, but discussion of their future would have added some extra gravitas to the production.

Produced by Left Field Films, it was made through the generosity of hundreds of volunteers and crowd funders. It is opening in London on July 15, 2011, with more screenings across the UK.

More on Activism
No Third Runway But Here's an Architectural Bunker
Protesters Who Occupied Runway Prepare to Stand Trial
Airport Protesters Scale Parliament
What's a Climate Camp ? See How Activists on the Job Live

Related Content on Treehugger.com