Extinction Rebellion join Cork student activists for Friday climate protest

Source: Greennews.ie

July 19th, 2019

A group of
Extinction Rebellion (XR) activists in Cork held a “die-in” outside Cork City
Council today to highlight the urgency of action required to tackle climate
change in concert with similar protests in Dublin this week.

The XR supporters,
who joined the city’s teenage climate activists at their weekly strike,
symbolically lied down outside the Council to depict the looming eventuality of
human extinction without meaningful and immediate climate action.

Earlier this week,
XR supporters in the capital blocked several streets and held “die-ins” on both
Grafton Street and the Natural History Museum.

Dublin activists also carried out a “slow cycle” demonstration on Wednesday along the quays to highlight the capital’s air pollution problem as part of XR’s week-long Operation Mushroom which the group has described as their “summer uprising”.

Extinction Rebellion die-in, July 2019, Cork Photo: Shamim Malekmian

Tjitske de Vries, an
XR supporter in Cork, told The Green News that symbolic protests could
drive their climate agenda home. “A die-in is more powerful because it really
shows what is happening and a lot of people showed up which is great even
though it is raining.”

Ms de Vries, who is
also a member of People before Profit, criticised the State for “blaming normal
people” for the accelerating pace of climate change as opposed to polluting
industries and corporations.

“The Government has
declared a climate emergency and at the same time killed the Keep it in the
Ground Bill and has sold more licences for drilling,” she said.

Darren McAdam
O’Connell of Cork Environmental Forum who joined today’s die-in said that more
symbolic action is needed to highlight climate 
disruption as “people don’t make decisions based on fact” and are more
drawn to stories.

“You have to bring
it down to something that people can relate to on an emotional level,” he said.
Mr O’Connell said that the Government has wasted plenty of time since the 1960s
and 1970s and needs to take action immediately to combat climate change.  

This past October, UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published a special report warning that global warming “is likely to reach 1.5 C between 2030 and 2025 if it continues to increase at the current rate”.

About the Author

Shamim Malekmian

Shamim is a Senior Reporter at The Green News and a contributing writer to the Irish Examiner, Cork Evening Echo and the Dublin Inquirer.

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