The new Extinction Rebellion group had its first public action at Canada Day in Nelson’s Lakeside Park. Wearing blue and green T-shirts, the crew of about 20 flocked through the crowd, symbolizing the life force of the water and the trees we all depend on.
The gentle action and reminder that we are in a climate emergency went over well with folks celebrating Canada Day, the group said in a news release.
Lisa Hanning and the group put together this initial event to build toward larger and more significant public displays about the climate crisis, they said.
Extinction Rebellion is a large-scale direct-action group that has shut down some of central London with large protests. The first two of their three demands have already partially been met by the UK Parliament. The first demand was declare a climate emergency, which Parliament voted for.
The UK government is also preparing a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice, the second demand. The third demand is act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.
Ann Remnant, a member of Extinction Rebellion Nelson and participant in the flash flock, spoke to youth in Europe who helped begin the Extinction Rebellion movement.
“Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teenager who has taken the world by storm said, ‘I know so many people who feel hopeless, and they ask me: What should I do? And I say: Act. Do something. Because that is the best medicine against sadness and depression.’ And she is right,” says Remnant.
“Our Canada Day morning flash flock left me feeling positive for the rest of the day. The crowd was curious and appreciative, and the action buoyed our spirits. Join us.”
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change special report came out last falling noting we have approximately a decade to massively cut carbon emissions to avert a complete ecological and existential disaster.
“Extinction Rebellion Nelson offers a platform for regular folks like me to come together to take collective action in the face of the climate crisis,” said Hanning after the event.
The group holds “peoples’ assemblies” every Saturday morning at 10 a.m. in Lakeside Park to discuss the crisis and plan local strategies.
“We can do this, but we all have to lift our heads out of the sand and do the work to avert climate and biodiversity collapse. We humans have huge brains. Let’s use them and imagine and reason our way out of this crisis. We can do this!” says Hanning.