Extinction Rebellion ‘slow cycle’ halts Dublin traffic

Source: Greennews.ie

July 17th, 2019

Members of Extinction Rebellion Ireland disrupted traffic in Co Dublin for the second day running to highlight the capital’s air pollution problem as part of an international week of climate action.

Protesters staged a “slow cycle” this
lunchtime as multiple cyclists and people on foot blockaded traffic along the
quay, holding banners imploring the Government to act on climate change. 

The action was part of Extinction
Rebellion’s week-long Operation Mushroom which the group has described as their
“summer uprising”

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

Maria Arnold was among the
protesters and, as an avid cyclist said that she finds that “there’s less and
less space for us on the roads”. 

“You’re constantly sitting beside big trucks and buses that are spewing out diesel fumes, so really for us it’s a battle,” Ms Arnold told The Green News. 

Extinction Rebellion Ireland slow cycle protest Photo: Kayle Crosson

Today’s action comes just days
after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reported that
Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) levels in areas of the capital have exceeded EU limits.

Pollution hotspots include the
M50 motorway, the entrance to and exit from the Dublin Port Tunnel, and certain
city centre streets. 

NO2 in our air is emitted through
traffic, and levels of the chemical can vary depending on the density and type
of vehicle, as well as the weather condition and road size. 

In order to address the scale of
the climate crisis, Extinction Rebellion Ireland have demanded that the Government
immediately implement the recommendations of the Citizens’ Assembly on climate
change, prioritize public transport, and introduce congestion charges or
introduce a traffic ban in Dublin city centre. 

The international Extinction
Rebellion movement began last summer in the UK and rose to prominence in
November 2018 after thousands of activists blocked London bridges, disrupted
traffic, and glued themselves to public buildings. 

This week’s series of action comes on the heels of XR Ireland interrupting a speech from Minister for Climate Action Richard Bruton at an event held by Forestry Industries Ireland last week, outlining the group’s opposition to a conifer plantation led forestry model. 

The group instead calls for more native woodland planting and better engagement with local communities where large forestry projects are set to take place. 

About the Author

Kayle Crosson

Kayle is a multimedia journalist focused on climate and environmental issues and contributes to The Irish Times and The Green News.

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