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Extinction Rebellion protests across Big Pond raise awareness on eve of Earth Day

Speakers addressed the crowd at Parliament Square on reasons why citizens must revolt to save the planet. — Bruce Fuhr, The Nelson Daily

In Canada, Eco Warriors will be sounding the alarms regarding global warming on Earth Day, Monday, April 22.

Across the Big Pond, alarm bells were ringing loud and clear as climate protesters did their best to raise awareness society is in the midst of mass extinction during the Extinction Rebellion outside the British Parliament.

“We have three demands,” said Clare Carlile Good Friday morning from outside one of the tents in the heart of London.

Carlile said the three demands are:

  • The Government must tell the truth by declaring a climate and ecological emergency, working with other institutions to communicate the urgency of change
  • The Government must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025
  • The Government must create and be led by a national Citizen’s Assembly on climate and ecological justice.

Carlile said the protest in London started the week prior to the Easter weekend. During one protest, thousands of protesters blocked the street urging citizens of the dangers of rising temperatures on Earth.

On Good Friday, climate protesters, including Oscar-winning actress Emma Thompson, once again shut down parts of the busy downtown to get their message across.

The protesters managed to keep Waterloo Bridge over the River Thames in London closed to vehicles. A demonstration at London’s Heathrow Airport drew only a small number of people and did not affect the busy facility.

“If we continue to ignore the current environmental situation we will experience an unprecedented level of disruption within our lifetimes,” said the Extinction Rebellion pamphlet Carlile and others were passing out to public. “We face floods, wildfires, extreme weather, crop failure, mass migration and the breakdown of society.”

Saturday, protests in Parliament Square were peaceful with numerous speakers reinforcing the need for change. Police presence was heavy with many officers situated on street corners and walking the beat throughout the downtown core. A few protesters had lodged themselves in trees surrounding Parliament Square, near Westminster Abbey.

London police say more than 750 climate protesters have been arrested and 27 charged since the protests began four days ago.

Back in Nelson, the West Kootenay EcoSociety and the Interfaith Climate Action Collaborative are coordinating Earth Day celebrations.

This year’s global theme is Protect our Species. Join the fun at Hall St. Plaza in Nelson on Monday, April 22nd from 2-4 p.m. The parade starts at 3 p.m. and features the local Samba band. Organizers are asking participants to dress up as their favorite plant, animal or fungus.

For more information check out the West Kootenay EcoSociety webpage.

Tents stopped traffice leading to the Waterloo Bridge over the River Thames in London through the Easter Weekend. — Bruce Fuhr, The Nelson Daily

 Extinction Rebellion protester tents blocked most streets in and around the Westminster Abbey Saturday afternoon. — Bruce Fuhr, The Nelson Daily