Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Toronto activists stage mass die-in outside the CNE

Extinction Rebellion was back on its grind in Toronto Tuesday night, raising awareness about climate change by pretending to die — this time, in front of the CNE.

Roughly two dozen members of the global protest group, several of them dressed as endangered animals, laid their bodies across the Dufferin Bridge around 5:30 p.m. in peaceful opposition of government inaction against the climate crisis.

Others stood nearby holding signs, flags and banners with messages such as "Earth's resources are limited! Government do something before it's too late!" and "Climate Emergency."

"Join Extinction Rebellion Toronto on August 20, 2019 as we gather outside the CNE to inform the public about the climate crisis and highlight its impact on biodiversity," reads the description for an event called Extinction Pavilion CNE Die-In.

"We hope to create an opportunity for public reflection on the climate emergency, to motivate broader public participation in Extinction Rebellion Toronto, and to demand that our government acts now to address this crisis."

Like its international counterparts, the group has three consistent, core demands. They are:

  1. "Government must tell the truth by declaring a binding climate and ecological emergency, and by working with other institutions to communicate the urgency for change."
  2. "Government must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025."
  3. "Government must create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice."

Those on their way to the CNE through the massive fair's western entrance were forced to consider the impacts of climate change as they passed by, which was exactly the point of the protest.

The Extinction Rebellion, which started in the U.K. around October of 2018, bills itself as "an international movement that uses non-violent civil disobedience in an attempt to halt mass extinction and minimise the risk of social collapse." 

Hundreds of individual Extinction Rebellion (or "XR") groups have popped up all over the globe since the movement's first organized action in London, including this one in Toronto, which has been staging disruptions every Tuesday for most of the summer so far.


by Lauren O'Neil via blogTO

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