The Vancouver Island branch of a global activism group plans to join the fray in the fight against climate inaction and they won’t be alone.
Across the globe, young and old members of Extinction Rebellion will be set to stop traffic in their efforts to start a conversation about the future of the planet.
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In Victoria, activists will be occupying the intersection of Government and Belleville Streets in front of the BC Legislature between 2 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Friday, September 20th.
This Friday will also mark Day One of planned week-long protests, and is expected to feature youth speakers, music, dancing, and compelling visuals.
“This is a climate and ecological emergency. The Government of British Columbia must tell the truth by declaring a state of emergency, and act now to quickly reduce greenhouse gas pollution,” said Eric Doherty, a member of Extinction Rebellion Vancouver Island.
“Business as usual is a death sentence for youth, and it is time for adults to rebel for life” Dohery stated.
Extinction Rebellion is a non-violent movement founded by British environmental activists Roger Hallam and Gail Bradbrook. The movement began in October 2018 with acts of civil disobedience in London and has since sent shockwaves across the globe with many of their protests getting massive media coverage.
In conjunction with the intersection occupation, students across the city are joining a week-long global Youth Climate Strike, starting with a student strike at the BC Legislature this Friday.
In a movement spearheaded by teenage Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, youth and adults alike are invited to join the protests which, in the past, have seen millions of people worldwide leaving work and school in a mass exodus of support for the cause.
These youth strikers have made several demands to the governments of their nations that include immediate legislation of greenhouse gas emission reductions of 75% over 2005 levels by 2030, as well as committing to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
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“We will be in front of the B.C. Legislature demanding that the provincial government declare a climate emergency, and follow that declaration with concrete action,” said one of the Victoria organizers, Savannah Layne.
These worldwide protests are timed to match the September 23rd Climate Action Summit in which youth activists will gather in front of the United Nations, ahead of a General Assembly meeting later that week in which countries are supposed to increase their efforts to reduce greenhouse gases under the 2015 Paris Agreement.
The protests also come in the middle of election campaigns looming over both Canada and the United States, and are expected to be on the forefront of political conversations and debates in the near future.
Global Climate Action week kickoff
- When: 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday September, 20th
- Where: BC Legislature Building, 501 Belleville Street