April 20th, 2019
Hundreds of protesters staged a “die in” on the streets of Cork today, disrupting the city’s routine and traffic to highlight the urgent need for climate action now.
Around 200 Extinction Rebellion (XR) supporters symbolically lied down on Oliver Plunkett Street to depict the looming possibility of the species extinction in the absence of meaningful action to curtail global temperature rise.
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”.
Protestors in the rebel city marched in silence throughout the city, becoming more vocal towards the end chanting slogans such as “system change not climate change”.
Donal Chambers, a Horticulture lecturer from Kinsale College who attended the vigil, called on the State to invest money currently paid to oil-rich countries for fossil fuel on renewable energy.
“Let’s keep [the money] for ourselves, let’s go energy independence, not to pay it to some corporations and countries that are treating their workers and people terribly,” Mr Chambers said.
“It’s not about finding more oil and to keep enjoying ourselves on the west coast, stop that. We need to preserve, we need to build gardens, that’s what we need to do.”
Gardaí navigated traffic in Cork during the city’s standstill, while some drivers engaged in conversations with protestors.
International Week of Rebellion
The 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.
Members of the environmental movement in London, for example, blocked access to several London landmarks, vandalising oil company Shell’s headquarters last Monday.
Some English activists glued themselves to windows of the Shell headquarters near Waterloo Bridge while a number of protestors smashed glass revolving doors and marked its building with graffiti.
Dublin city was also the scene of a large peaceful protest yesterday where XR campaigners brought traffic on O’Connell Bridge to a halt for several hours.
Members of the XR movement in Cork said that the media needs to highlight other Irish cities’ acts of climate revolt standing alongside Dublin campaigners.
“It’s all well and good that it’s happening in London and Dublin, and we show great solidarity to people in Dublin,” George Taylor, one of the protestors said. “But there is more than one city in Ireland, and everyone needs to know that.”
Speaking to The Green News, the organiser of the Cork protest Wren Alice Ind criticised the media’s lack of attention on other Irish cities, adding that “all of the focus” remains on London and Dublin.
“Obviously what they are doing is amazing, and they’ve been there for days now, but there needs to be a focus on other protests as well,” she said.
[x_author title=”About the Author”]