From a young age, Skeena Rathor has actively pursued racial, social, and economic justice. She is a British born, working-class mother of Kashmiri descent, powered by a love for all life on Earth. Her main aim is for us to recover collectively from a history of patriarchal and colonial violence that has led to the climate crisis we are in today. Her actions are rooted in nonviolent civil disobedience, co liberation and deep adaptation.
Back in 2018, she became a founding member of Extinction Rebellion UK (XRUK) and Co-Founder of XRUK Visioning, followed by the New Co Liberation Campaign for a Movement of Movements. In recognition of her climate activism, she was named one of 2021’s Green Warriors by the environmental platform, Green is the New Black.
For the last 20 years, she has drawn on science, spirituality and philosophy to understand how to confront our predicament effectively. She believes the pain caused by climate breakdown and historic injustices resides in the body, It disorganises the mind and disrupts emotional intelligence. To heal, she encourages comprehensive relationships with self, beloveds, also strangers, nature and the cosmos.
In August 2021 she joined XR protesters to scale the Guildhall and highlight the City of London's role in global ecocide. She was subsequently found guilty of "criminal damage" for spraying washable chalk paint on the building. She was ordered to pay court costs and the cleanup bill - £1,300 in total.
The irony is painfully clear. The court's decision creates a situation in which a woman of Kashmiri heritage is forced to pay damages to The Crown and The City - two institutions at the very heart of colonialism and ecological destruction. The money laundering and corruption centre of the world costs the British taxpayer more than £170k each year.
Skeena holds 13 teaching certificates including in psycho sensory movement and trauma healing modalities, ante- and post-natal care as well as early childhood development and learning.
On several occasions, she has faced the threat of arrest and made front-page news across the globe.
Prior to her involvement in direct action, she has been an elected politician, led and worked for many social and political organisations including the Equalities Council UK, Amnesty International, The UK Labour Party, War on Want and Cancer Research UK.