XR campaigners outside Clayton Hotel Photo: Shamim Malekmian

Extinction Rebellion bring concerns to the Taoiseach

May 2nd, 2019

Activists from Cork’s Extinction Rebellion movement held a climate vigil outside the Clayton Hotel yesterday evening while the Taoiseach was in a town hall meeting.

Protesters stood in silence outside the hotel holding placards and banners to show their dissatisfaction with the State’s lack of climate action.

Extinction Rebellion is a civil disobedience environmental movement whose focal aim is to draw the public and Government’s attention to climate change and biodiversity decline.

The crowd became more vocal as Leo Varadkar passed them by on his way out of the hotel, chanting slogans including “system change, not climate change”.

Speaking to The Green News, Oliver Moran of the Green Party said that the Mr Varadkar needs to hear and listen to dissident environmental voices across Ireland.

“I don’t think people are being heard anywhere in the country. I don’t think they’re even being heard in Dublin,” said Mr Moran. “That is why the Extinction Rebellion movement is springing up everywhere.”

Mr Moran, who managed to briefly share his climate concerns with the Taoiseach, added that “social media” environmental campaigns are not enough and that climate demands need to be made on the streets.

Serge Vandenberghe, an artist and active member of Cork’s Extinction Rebellion, said that the Taoiseach must realise that the group’s organiser is a teenage mother fighting for the future of her child.

“The person who organised Extinction Rebellion in Cork is a young lady, eighteen years old,” he said. “She is fighting because she wants a future for her child in Ireland, I think she has to fight for climate action, now.”

Wren Alice Ind organised a protest in Cork in late April where hundreds of protestors staged a “die-in” on the streets where around 200 supporters symbolically lied down on Oliver Plunkett Street to depict the looming possibility of species extinction without urgent climate action.

Dublin city was also the scene of a large peaceful protest in April where XR campaigners brought traffic on O’Connell Bridge to a halt for several hours.

The group’s protests in London has made international headlines due to their consistency and creative acts of civil disobedience carried out to draw attention to the scope of our age’s climate problem.

Yesterday, the UK Parliament voted to declare a “climate emergency” in line with the demands of the movement, becoming the first country in Europe to do so.

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.