The Extinction Rebellion was formed in May 2018 by a group of activists that want governments to formally acknowledge the climate and ecological emergency as well as take immediate action to address climate change. The international coalition describes themselves a “non-violent civil disobedience activist movement,” according to the group’s website. The Extinction Rebellion alongside environmentalists and Indigenous rights activists recently staged a huge demonstration in London’s Trafalgar Square to signal the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples.
Over the weekend, the protesters were spotted lying “dead” on the steps while others held up banners reading “genocide [equals] ecocide” and “indigenous emergency.” Other activists spray-painted the steps red and also dyed the water in the fountains green and red (green for ecocide and red for genocide) for the demonstration in solidarity with Indigenous communities in Brazil who are dying of COVID-19. Brazil currently has one of the highest death rates of the pandemic in the world.
Three activists from the Extinction Rebellion were arrested by London police for criminal damage during the demonstration. Alongside the Extinction Rebellion were protesters from HS2 Rebellion and the Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (APIB) who also urged people to get involved in their demonstration online by painting their hands red and green as well as posting a selfie on social media with the hashtag #IndigenousEmergency.
“COVID-19 arrived in the indigenous territories in an overwhelming way. Indigenous lives are being lost at an increasing pace. We are facing an unprecedented humanitarian tragedy and we need to come together and act,” Brazil’s Indigenous People Articulation said in a statement as per Artnet.