On Monday, the Extinction Rebellion movement took to the streets across the United States and around the world in peaceful demonstrations that systematic changes are needed to stop climate change. According to the movement, thousands of activists will participate in marches, demonstrations and peaceful disobedience across 33 countries in six continents, while also advocating for a justice-based, healing vision for the future.
Launched by climate activists in the U.K. last year, the focus of the movement in America is “the hope the arrival of Extinction Rebellion will be a watershed moment for the U.S. environmental movement, shifting it from what they see as a tepid response to the cavalcade of disasters threatening the livability of the planet.
“Governments have failed us,” Bea Ruiz, national coordinator for Extinction Rebellion U.S., said in a statement. “Those who are most vulnerable and least responsible for this crisis are the ones who are suffering the most. People are dying. Species are disappearing. Everything is at stake.”
Actions are planned in “major cities from coast to coast, including New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Atlanta, and smaller cities including Portland, Denver, and Austin” from April 15-22, a press release stated.
The U.S. arm of Extinction Rebellion has four principle demands, according to the website:
- That the Government must tell the truth about the climate and wider ecological emergency, it must reverse all policies not in alignment with that position and must work alongside the media to communicate the urgency for change including what individuals, communities and businesses need to do.
- The Government must enact legally-binding policies to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2025 and take further action to remove the excess of atmospheric greenhouse gases. It must cooperate internationally so that the global economy runs on no more than half a planet’s worth of resources per year.
- We do not trust our Government to make the bold, swift and long-term changes necessary to achieve these changes and we do not intend to hand further power to our politicians. Instead we demand a Citizens’ Assembly to oversee the changes, as we rise from the wreckage, creating a democracy fit for purpose.
- We demand a just transition that prioritizes the most vulnerable people and indigenous sovereignty; establishes reparations and remediation led by and for Black people, Indigenous people, people of color and poor communities for years of environmental injustice, establishes legal rights for ecosystems to thrive and regenerate in perpetuity, and repairs the effects of ongoing ecocide to prevent extinction of human and all species, in order to maintain a livable, just planet for all.
“It’s time to do what’s never been done before in the fight against climate change – a collective and coordinated international rebellion that will continue to escalate until our demands are met,” Ruiz said. “Nothing can stop us, because together, nothing can.”
To find an Extinction Rebellion group to join or an action to participate in, click here for a complete list.