Extinction Rebellion to stage ‘Funeral for our Future’ to deliver message to MP

@Darley Park, Derby, UK

Extinction Rebellion to stage ‘Funeral for our Future’ to deliver message to MP

At 1pm on Thursday 25 June the group will gather in Darley Park in socially distanced groups of no more than 6 people, each 3 metres apart from each other within that group to protest the lack of action by government.  They will carry a coffin through the park and then deliver a giant letter to the office of MP for Derby North, Amanda Solloway.

Why Thursday? The Climate Change Committee will deliver its progress report to the Government the same day. It will say that the Government is failing in its commitments to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, a target already woefully inadequate. It will say they are failing in their responsibilities to keep people safe. Local resident and protestor Edward Pickering-Symes says “The committee’s report will highlight how the government is more interested in propping up a toxic, exploitative system that disproportionately affects black people, indigenous people and the most vulnerable in society.” [1]

“The government’s slowness to act on coronavirus led to tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths. The same is now happening with the climate and ecological emergency. Only this time the science is terrifyingly clear: tens of MILLIONs of lives are at stake.” [2]

When asked why they would be carrying a coffin, he said “We’re deadly serious. Why aren’t the government listening? Inaction equals death. It’s not just fires in Australia and floods in Indonesia. Farmers had no rain in April and May this year in England!  We don’t want people to starve just because governments can’t listen to scientists.” [3]

According to the BBC, “The government faces a post-lockdown choice between green growth or propping up polluting industries”[4] but they have already bailed out airlines that provide unnecessary short-haul flights [5] that could be replaced by train journeys and Zoom meetings.

Edward wishes to stress this is a peaceful protest, “Extinction Rebellion is a global movement acting in non-violent direct action. The letter will be delivered peacefully to the MP’s office in Darley Abbey nearby, along with artwork created on the day. We’re demanding the MP help by raising, with the government, the need for urgent action on climate. Then we’ll go back to the park and check it’s tidy. Similar protests are planned across the country.”

“We are standing at an intersection of crises. All are symptoms of a toxic system built upon an economy dependent on indefinite growth, extreme inequality and racial oppression. All are symptoms of a government which fails to listen to the science, fails to protect the future and fails to trust the people.”

Protestors and onlookers are advised to wear face masks covering nose and mouth, and gloves, and to keep 3 metres apart within groups of no more than 6 people across the park, keeping out of the way of others. [6]

  1. ‘World has six months to avert climate crisis, says energy expert’, The Guardian, 18 June 2020 https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/jun/18/world-has-six-months-to-avert-climate-crisis-says-energy-expert
  2. ‘Britain still failing on climate crisis, warn advisers’, The Guardian, 21 June 2020 https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/jun/21/britain-still-failing-on-climate-crisis-warn-advisers
  3. ‘Dry weather causing further anxiety for farmers’, Farmers Weekly, 22 May 2020, https://www.fwi.co.uk/news/weather/dry-weather-causing-further-anxiety-for-farmers
  4. ‘Coronavirus: UK warned to avoid climate change crisis’ Roger Harrabin, BBC environment analyst, 6 May 2020 https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-52547885
  5. ‘EasyJet secures £600m coronavirus loan from UK Treasury and Bank’, The Guardian, 6 Arpil 2020 https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/apr/06/easyjet-secures-600m-coronavirus-loan-from-uk-treasury-and-bank
  6. ‘Early Data Show No Uptick in Covid-19 Transmission From Protests’, The Wall Street Journal, 18 June 2020 https://www.wsj.com/amp/articles/recent-protests-may-not-be-covid-19-transmission-hotspots-11592498020

Details of the Protest