Protesters just played dead in Toronto's ritziest neighbourhood
The local arm of an international climate change protest group called Extinction Rebellion shocked passersby in Yorkville on Tuesday afternoon by staging a mass "die-in" on the upscale neighbourhood's famous giant rock.
"Weird fact: Yorkville was once the centre of counter-culture and resistance in Toronto," reads a Facebook description for the event, aptly named "Stone Dead - A Die-In in Yorkville."
The group gathered at a nearby church and then entered Yorkville's central park together for the purpose of pretending to die — a classic form of political demonstration.
Extinction Rebellion Toronto Die-in on August 6, 2019#ExtinctionRebellion #ClimateEmergency #ClimateCrisis #ClimateActionNow#RebelForLife #DieIn #XRToronto pic.twitter.com/5soAE0kjfB— Extinction Rebellion Toronto (@XR_Toronto) August 6, 2019
This isn't the first disruption staged by Extinction Rebellion (XR) since launching in Toronto.
Last month, dozens of activists closed off at least two major downtown Toronto intersections to demand that our governments act against growing threats posed by climate change.
Tuesday evening's demonstration included five minutes of silence for those who've already fallen victim to the effects of what Extinction Rebellion calls "an unprecedented global climate emergency."
Now in #Toronto, glad to see things are moving here too. #ExtinctionRebellion https://t.co/wmT9Fspr61 pic.twitter.com/MKYGU3F4fE— Dimitri Bettoni (@DimitriBettoni1) August 6, 2019
The U.K.-based group, founded in London circa 2018, bills itself as "an international movement that uses non-violent civil disobedience in an attempt to halt mass extinction and minimise the risk of social collapse."
Hundreds of individual XR chapters now exist around the world in addition to Toronto's, all of their demands consistent:
"We share three demands with Extinction Rebellion UK," reads the Facebook page for XR Toronto.
"Our government must: 1. Tell the Truth about our climate crisis. 2. Make plans to bring us to net-zero CO2 emissions by 2025. 3. Create an equitable People's Assembly to oversee the transition to a low-emissions world."
Extinction Rebellion stage die-in and five minutes of silence for victims of #climatechange in Toronto's affluent Yorkville @XR_Toronto @ExtinctionR— Martin Reis (@BikeLaneDiary) August 6, 2019
While newer to the scene, Extinction Rebellion Toronto has big plans for raising awareness about and demanding action on climate change issues.
In July, the group announced that it would be holding "weekly roadblocks" every Tuesday until September. Last week, the group gathered to shut down traffic at King and Bay Streets in the heart of Toronto's Financial District.
"It's Time! We are in a climate crisis and it's time to act," reads the about section of the group's Facebook page. "Join us!"
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