Extinction Rebellion is demonstrating on Broad Street Tuesday with simulated “gallows” and “victims” standing on ice blocks. (Facebook/Extinction Rebellion Vancouver Island)

Extinction Rebellion sets up ‘gallows’ protest as climate concern sweeps Vancouver Island

Protest groups launching campaign against ‘climate emergency denial’

Extinction Rebellion Vancouver Island (XRVI) will be setting up a simulated hanging of three victims on Broad Street Tuesday to launch a campaign against Canadian media’s climate emergency denial.

The socio-political activist group will have three “victims” standing on ice blocks with ropes around their necks to demonstrate how “global heating is tightening the noose around all humankind and upwards of a million other species.”

The group alleges that Canadian corporate media has failed to cover the climate crisis accurately, a failure it compares to the lack of reporting on the Holocaust or on lynching in the U.S.

RELATED: Victoria teenager demands action in face of climate crisis, pledges not to have children

“Big Media is now failing to report a climate emergency that could end all life as we know it,” said a statement from XRVI’s Mark Nykanen. “The UN is very clear that we must start cutting carbon emissions dramatically, but instead carbon emissions are increasing. We are sleepwalking into disaster.”

The Tuesday demonstration will include talks by a number of Vancouver Island climate change activists.

The event is the first in a series of climate protest expected to crop up across the Island this week.

Cowichan youth are holding a second local climate strike in Duncan on Sept. 20, and are inviting adults to join the cause.

Hundreds of people, both youths and adults, turned up to show their support in dealing with climate change at the first Youth Climate Strike for Action that was held on May 17 in Duncan City Square, and organizers are hoping for an even bigger turnout this time to get the message across.

“It’s unfair that youth carry this burden alone when it’s not even us who created this crisis,” said 16-year-old Katia Bannister, a spokeswoman for the Earth Guardians’ Cowichan Valley crew which is organizing the event.

“To change everything, we need everyone, and that means adults showing up to stand with us shoulder to shoulder.”

And in Campbell River, the Quadra Climate Action Group is organizing a rally at Spirit Square downtown at noon and then marching to City Hall. Carihi students are joining the rally and march to City Hall as part of an ongoing series of strikes held every Friday.

RELATED: 16-year-old Swedish activist sails across Atlantic to attend climate meeting

Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old Swedish climate activist who inspired youth climate strikes around the globe last spring, including the one in Duncan, has called for world-wide strikes Sept. 20 to 27 where grown-ups are invited to join young people in drawing attention to the growing climate crisis.

A 2018 report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change outlined the drastic measures needed to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5 C, the rate that will substantially reduce the risks and effects of climate change.

The report said meeting the ambitious goal “would require rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society.”

— with a file from Robert Barron



nina.grossman@blackpress.ca

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