Miriam Instone is a 22-year-old musician who invests much emotional and physical energy into climate activism, expecting nothing in return except the knowledge that her efforts might have an impact. Through art, support work and direct action, she helps weaken the pillars that prop up the climate crisis, with one simple driving force: she wants to live on a life-sustaining planet.
Her climate activism spans Extinction Rebellion and its sister group, Animal Rebellion, as well as Stop HS2. She volunteers for Palestine Action and Stop the War Coalition, campaigning for peace, which is connected to climate activism through the military’s interests in fossil fuels.
If the climate wasn’t in peril, she’d love to become a musician, teach music or do music therapy. She tried to find work so she could pay for her basic needs but a conviction for criminal damage has held her back, along with more impending cases. Meanwhile, she lived for free in a squat and volunteers for a community kitchen, surviving off food donations.
Her journey into activism started about four years ago when she attended an anti-fracking camp. While watching her brother get arrested from afar, she was astounded and inspired by the lengths people were willing to go to for causes they care about.
Gradually she learnt more about the climate crisis and what it means for our future. So when Extinction Rebellion emerged in 2018, its aims resonated with her completely and she headed to London to join the first rebellion.
Since the Declaration of Rebellion, she has continued to learn, take part in direct action and grieve for loss of life. A large part of her activism involves giving her voice to support roadblocks through XR Singers. For Miriam, the singing is a collectively empowering, healing and beautiful side of activism that can help determine the success of an action.
In Cambridge and Manchester, she led children’s talks on the climate crisis and supported the XR Art Blockers, printing T-shirts and making banners. She also helps nurture regenerative culture in the activist community, organising conflict resolution, advocating consent and tackling a culture of blame and shame.