Extinction Rebellion Takes To The Streets

Kim Osborn Mullen

Ignited by London-based Extinction Rebellion (XR), thousands of protesters mobilized world-wide to take part in non-violent Climate Crisis actions last month, including Colorado.

The protests, many infused with creative costumes and props, were called, “The Week of Action”  by XR and resulted in activists from Dublin to Denver disrupting daily routines in the name of climate crisis awareness.

London held the largest protests where activists camped in monuments, stopped traffic, glued themselves to trains and briefly blocked the London Stock exchange. The demonstrations resulted in over 1,000 arrests throughout the week, but no violence was reported.  

XR Denver took up the protest call by hosting several protests the week of April 15th.

Beginning with XR banner stating “Climate Change, We’re F**ked” drawing a lot of attention along near Suncor Refinery and a die-in at the offices of Denver City Council.

Mid-week about 3 dozen somberly dressed protesters marched with a makeshift coffin and skeleton puppet from Congresswoman Diana DeGette’s office to Channel 9 news on Speer Blvd. As the march circled Channel 9 news block, several members broke from the group and used chalk spray to write “Tell the Truth” on the Channel 9 wall. Police quickly arrived and monitored as protesters scrubbed the wall (as planned) and continued to rally, chant and wave signs to the mostly supportive drivers. There were no arrests and Channel 9 did not cover the protest.

On 4/20 a small but determined  XR group marched from Fishback Park to Speer Blvd. where they stopped southbound traffic heading over the bridge. Dressed in safety vests, 7 XR members sat facing stopped traffic, while others stood behind with banners and signs. A few “traffic calmers” offered flowers and baked goods, to encourage patience among stopped drivers. Police and a swat team arrived immediately. After about 20 minutes the seated protesters were assisted off the Boulevard by police and given the summons to appear in court.

XR -named to reflect rebellion against the ongoing 6th mass extinction- began small protests last fall highlighting three main issues: To urge government and media to “Tell the truth” about the dire consequences of Climate Change; to radically reduce emissions by 2025; to create a “citizen’s assembly” to oversee climate policy.  The “Week of Action” got widespread media coverage and several members of London Parliament were supportive and promised swift action.

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