As “Rebellion Day 2” took place in London, U.K. on November 24, Extinction Rebellion Facebook groups are proliferating rapidly across Canada.
There are now Extinction Rebellion Facebook groups for Canada, Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, Vancouver, Vancouver Island, Alberta, and Nova Scotia, as well as groups in Peterborough, Barrie, Kitchener/Waterloo, Hamilton, Toronto, London, Ottawa, Guelph, South Okanagan, Williams Lake, and Victoria. This is undoubtedly only a partial list of a rapidly growing number of chapters.
The heightened Canadian interest and participation in Extinction Rebellion comes a week after 6,000 Extinction Rebellion activists occupied five bridges in central London on November 17. Following these actions, on November 24, about 1,000 conscientious protectors were back again to hold a funeral ceremony in Parliament Square while 50 members of an affinity group blocked the four roads entering the square.
Extinction Rebellion has posted on Facebook, “Police forced their way in to prevent a coffin, symbolically labelled ‘OUR FUTURE,’ from being buried in the grass of the square.”
The funeral procession then moved to Whitehall — a road in central London where numerous ministries have their offices, including the Cabinet Office — and then on to Downing Street, the official residence and office of the Prime Minister.
The Guardian reports, “Campaigners carried a mock coffin in a funeral-style procession and took part in a mass sit-down protest for around 10 minutes outside the gates of Downing Street… Several protesters also lay down in front of the gates.”
Extinction Rebellion adds, “The procession continued on to Buckingham Palace, where rebels read out a letter to the Queen, asking her to take action to protect the realm from these existential threats where the government has ignored our demands.”
The Guardian also notes, “One older woman superglued her hands to a railing outside Buckingham Palace in protest.”
There has been no reported response to date from Queen Elizabeth, who constitutionally is also the Queen of Canada.
The Extinction Rebellion Facebook page has previously noted, “A rebellion on an international scale will follow in March.” Now, tantalizingly, it notes, “April 15. Save the date. We’ll see you on the streets in spring, rebels.”
Activists in Canada appear to be preparing for this and other actions. About 2,176 people have now signed up across the country, with Extinction Rebellion Ontario leading the way with 235 Facebook followers, Extinction Rebellion Vancouver with 604 followers, London with 60 followers, and Victoria with 28 followers.
Please note that Extinction Rebellion Vancouver will be holding a public forum titled “Climate Change: Heading for extinction – what can we do about it?” on December 11.
For more, please also see my rabble column “Extinction Rebellion for climate justice is organizing in Canada, too” (November 21) and blog “Extinction Rebellion says it’s time to move beyond mass marches and petitions.”
Brent Patterson is a political activist and writer.
Image: Extinction Rebellion Canada/Facebook
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