228: Calum Macintyre/Direct Action

Calum on a line of quite some consequence. Photo: Vegard Aasen
Why is direct action important? Why is there such apathy as our democratic right to protest is being removed? How can the outdoor community and industry enact a more impactful and effective type of protest and activism?

All topics I discussed with snowboarder, activist and campaigner for Just Stop Oil Calum Macintyre. You might not know Calum, but he has a vital story to tell about how our democratic right to protest is carefully being steadily and stealthily dismantled in the age of the climate emergency, and I implore you to listen to what he has to say.

I first met Calum in Lofoten back in 2019 on a Patagonia activist camp. We became friends and stayed in touch, and since then I’ve watched with great interest as Calum has become more and more immersed in the world of direct action.

It was Calum who wrote my most popular ever guest blog – last year’s thought-provoking 5 Reasons Why Our Community Does Not Engage, in which he was politely yet forcefully critical of the outdoor and action sports community’s approach to protest and activism.

We’ve spent much time over the last year discussing these ideas, which has helped inform and shape my own thinking as I’ve been working on The Announcement, my forthcoming podcast documentary series about Yvon Chouinard’s September 2022 decision to give away Patagonia.

Calum in his ‘untouched snowboarding paradise’ in Norway. Photo: Vegard Aasen

Calum’s participation in this movement has also given him a minor role in a wider, much more important story – the way that protest is being quietly, methodically criminalised.

Which was why, in March 2024, after Calum successfully defended himself in court after being arrested for taking part in a slow march for Just Stop Oil, I decided to ask him to come on the podcast to discuss these topics.

Photo: Vegard Aasen

This is a vital conversation about the climate crisis, the notion of protest, effective activism, and how the climate emergency is being weaponised as part of the culture wars. It’s also about how Calum has found a little untouched snowboarding paradise in one of Europe’s last wildernesses, which might make you want pack up and head for the hills.

Listen below:

Connect with Calum