Extinction Rebellion protesters stage ‘death sleep’ outside Shell garage in Upper Street
- Credit: Archant
Extinction Rebellion’s Rebel Street Party took Islington by storm – with protesters staging a “death sleep” outside the Shell garage in Upper Street.
The event was a celebration of Islington Council's decision to declare a climate emergency and pledge to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2030 - two decades before the government's target.
The Rebel Street Party last month featured talks on the climate emergency, musical performances, and a people's assembly in which attendees discussed how they could show support and solidarity to those in the Global South who are feeling the impact of climate change.
The festivities began with a funeral march from Upper Street to Islington Green. Protesters followed the pallbearers holding a coffin that read "Our Future".
"The idea behind the funeral march is that we have already lost a huge number of animal species. Climate change researchers believe that it is possible that humans may become extinct this century," said XR Islington member Julia Cameron.
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"We wanted to raise awareness that life on this planet is at serious risk. We wanted to bring the community together, raise awareness of the looming threat of climate change and provide discussion, education and entertainment for the residents of Islington. It was a great success. In the overall scheme of things, one march does not change the world, but they are important in raising awareness and encouraging people to join the movement."
Green Party transport spokesperson and London Assembly member Cllr Caroline Russell said: "Islington Green was awash with fluttering XR flags, freshly printed t shirts drying in the breeze and thoughtful discussion about how we create a just transition to a zero carbon future. It was Islington's diverse community at its best, showing people care and want to work through the complexity of moving to zero carbon in the context of austerity budgets at the council. But most of all it was a celebration that Islington Council has taken a first step on the road to zero carbon by declaring a climate emergency."
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Extinction Rebellion had been on hiatus after its campaign of mass direct action in April in which busy areas of central London such as Waterloo Bridge and Oxford Circus were shut down and occupied by climate change protesters.
Its next protest is this weekend in London Fields. Three days of talks, workshops and non-violent direct action are planned.