Kjipuktuk (Halifax) – March 4, 2019
For immediate release
Shortly after 10:00 a.m. on Friday, March 1, members of international climate uprising Extinction Rebellion (XR) disrupted the Nova Scotia Legislature for three minutes during question period with chants of “Declare a climate emergency!” and “Act like it’s an emergency!” They sang the classic protest song “Which Side Are You On? recently popularized by the US-based Sunrise Movement, as security escorted them out of Province House. As they were marched out, they held XR flags aloft for media cameras.
In a CBC interview conducted outside the front entrance, XR member Patrick Yancey explained: “We have 11 short years to act. Otherwise, we leave our children a nightmarish scenario. Environment groups have been flyering and having marches for decades. They [governments] can ignore all those things. We need to shut down business-as-usual because business-as-usual is a course set for extinction.”
Lisa Strickland-Clark added: “That was a bit scary, but we are on course for 3.4 degrees of warming – at that temperature the Amazon rainforest burns down. Children that are alive today will suffer the consequences. It’s unfortunate that we have to resort to such measures to get heard. The Legislature need to put the climate crisis front and centre of their agenda.”
Inside, question period ground to a halt as MLAs muttered among themselves for several minutes. MLA Lenore Zann, long known for environmental advocacy, followed the group down the stairs to call out her approval, with fist raised, from the upper landing as the group left the building.
Extinction Rebellion calls for a massive WWII-scale mobilization of society to shift rapidly to 100% renewables. One member participated in the action because she is a young mother: “The knowledge that my new child may not live to be my age is the devastating reality that motivates my involvement with XR. My moral duty to protect my child’s future is more important than allowing business-as-usual to continue for the sake of not causing discomfort or disruption. Anyone who cares about anything should care about the climate crisis because if we don’t make some serious changes, there will be nothing left to care about.”
Although the Halifax Regional Municipality, which account for over 40% of Nova Scotia’s population, recently declared a climate emergency, Nova Scotia MLAs have yet to acknowledge the crisis.
This action comes on the heels of XR Canada’s National Week of Rebellion in mid-February, which saw non-violent direct actions across the country. The group is calling on “all citizens of conscience to rise up in acts of non-violent rebellion against a course set for extinction. XR has no leaders – anyone who accepts our demands and our principles, such as non-violence, can speak for XR and organize actions. Just go to rebellion.earth to get started!”
For further information, see: https://rebellion.earth/
XR NS on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ExtinctionRebellionNovaScotia/
Video “XR NS Disrupts Nova Scotia Legislature”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FPXPWg6PDo