Starting today Extinction Rebellion Te Whanganui-a-Tara has launched a Week of Action against climate change and the 6th mass extinction.
Extinction Rebellion (XR) Te Whanganui-a-Tara will be joining XR groups around the country and the world in a week of non-violent direct action for the climate and against mass extinction.
This evening, there will be a “Gathering of Rebels” at Rutherford House, Lecture Theatre 1, beginning at 7pm. This is a public meeting featuring a range of speakers from highly-active environmental groups about the crises we face as a society and what they, and each of us can do to act.
Dr Sea Rotmann speaks out
Dr Sea Rotmann, Wellington XR spokesperson and facilitator of this event says “We are gathering our country’s rebels for life to discuss their why, how and what they are trying to achieve when
combating climate change and the 6th mass extinction.
We will discuss our similarities and our differences with the audience and try to establish how XRNZ can support everyone’s efforts to ensure life on this planet and in our beautiful Aotearoa can continue.”
Demands for Govt. action
On Wednesday, April 17th, the International Day of Peasant’s Struggle, we will meet at 3pm at Parliament to demand that government finally takes action on our “sour milk” that is polluting our country and creating one of the largest freshwater extinction crises on earth.
Dr Mike Joy will talk about the issues of intensive agriculture and its impacts on freshwater in New Zealand.
Sea says ‘Join us!’
Dr Sea Rotmann says, “We ask people to join us – in cow costumes, if they wish! – to find out more about these very important issues. New Zealand’s emission profile is more than half from intensive agriculture and we have the highest freshwater extinction rates on earth. We simply cannot continue this unsustainable way of farming yet we do not want to put the blame only on our farmers but also on our governments, who have chosen short-term profits of the few over long-term survival of us all.”
A ‘Human Wave’ for action
The Week of Action will climax in a human wave for action on climate change on Saturday, April 20th. The wave will be gathering at Waitangi Park at 11am before moving throughout the CBD waterfront at midday to symbolise the threat of rising seas and coastal inundation.
“We would like to warmly invite everyone who wants strong action on climate change to come along and show that the seas are rising – but so are we,” says XR spokesperson Dr Sea Rotmann.
She continues, “our human wave will be showing the threats of rising sea levels and coastal inundation to our CBD waterfront, which is low-lying and partly on reclaimed land.
The government needs to be taking stronger action and the City Council and Regional Council need to be focusing on ways to make our city more resilient and sustainable. Let’s invest in walking, cycling, and public transport that works for all Wellingtonians, not waste billions on motorways and airport extensions that we cannot afford if we take this situation, and our city’s future, seriously.
“Some of the people most at risk from climate change are those who already get a raw deal in our society. All action on climate change must be strong, inspirational and transformative to make our world a fairer, safer and sustainable place. Our shared ship is sinking among the rising tides. We ask Wellingtonians to join us in demanding urgent action from our leaders!”
A firm non-violence policy
“Given the shocking events in Christchurch, and continued high security presence of armed police throughout the country, Extinction Rebellion Te Whanganui-a-Tara wants to express clearly that we are an inclusive organisation with a firm commitment to non-violence.”
She adds: “We were all shocked by the events of 15th March. We were so inspired by the leadership shown by youth here and overseas, in the ‘School Strike 4 Climate’ protests which happened on the same day as the shooting.
We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. And we are leaving them our mess to clean up. Basically, we have borrowed a high-interest loan from future generations and other species, and we have no way to make the repayments on time.
“Climate scientists tell us that action is urgent – we are looking at runaway climate change feedback loops and have kicked off the 6th mass extinction event. Parliament, with cross-party support, passed gun laws within a month of the Christchurch shootings. This has shown us what can be done if there is political will and the situation is taken seriously. But twenty times more lives were lost in last month’s cyclone in Mozambique and Zimbabwe alone. Even if they did not die in our backyard, they are also us, and we all must stand up to combat this global threat, together.
Demands for Government
Extinction Rebellion Te Whanganui-a-Tara demands that the Government:
- Tells the truth about the climate and ecological crisis
- Takes the necessary steps (declaring a state of emergency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025) to address it, and
- Creates Participatory Democracy to oversee the process.