July 19th, 2019
A group of Extinction Rebellion (XR) activists in Cork held a “die-in” outside Cork City Council today to highlight the urgency of action required to tackle climate change in concert with similar protests in Dublin this week.
The XR supporters, who joined the city’s teenage climate activists at their weekly strike, symbolically lied down outside the Council to depict the looming eventuality of human extinction without meaningful and immediate climate action.
Earlier this week, XR supporters in the capital blocked several streets and held “die-ins” on both Grafton Street and the Natural History Museum.
Dublin activists also carried out a “slow cycle” demonstration on Wednesday along the quays to highlight the capital’s air pollution problem as part of XR’s week-long Operation Mushroom which the group has described as their “summer uprising”.
Tjitske de Vries, an XR supporter in Cork, told The Green News that symbolic protests could drive their climate agenda home. “A die-in is more powerful because it really shows what is happening and a lot of people showed up which is great even though it is raining.”
Ms de Vries, who is also a member of People before Profit, criticised the State for “blaming normal people” for the accelerating pace of climate change as opposed to polluting industries and corporations.
“The Government has declared a climate emergency and at the same time killed the Keep it in the Ground Bill and has sold more licences for drilling,” she said.
Darren McAdam O’Connell of Cork Environmental Forum who joined today’s die-in said that more symbolic action is needed to highlight climate disruption as “people don’t make decisions based on fact” and are more drawn to stories.
“You have to bring it down to something that people can relate to on an emotional level,” he said. Mr O’Connell said that the Government has wasted plenty of time since the 1960s and 1970s and needs to take action immediately to combat climate change.
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”.