Environmental activists to hold protests in Dublin on Monday

Extinction Rebellion Ireland is planning a week-long campaign of civil disobedience

 An activist draws the ‘XR’ logo on the EU flag. Extinction Rebellion Ireland says voting, lobbying and petitions have all failed. Photograph: EPA

An activist draws the ‘XR’ logo on the EU flag. Extinction Rebellion Ireland says voting, lobbying and petitions have all failed. Photograph: EPA

 

Environmental activists will stage multiple demonstrations in Dublin on Monday as part of a week-long campaign of civil disobedience in the capital aimed at pressurising the Government to do more to tackle the climate emergency.

The disruption seeks to shine a light on climate breakdown and the biodiversity crisis and will see Extinction Rebellion Ireland (XRI) members join like-minded groups in other cities to stage an international “Rebellion Week”.

XRI argue that conventional approaches of voting, lobbying and petitions have all failed because powerful economic and political interests prevent change.

It is inviting people to join them in “non-violent, disruptive civil disobedience”.

The group is promising to hold “peaceful, family-friendly actions” which “will bring society to a standstill and force governments to finally respond appropriately to the climate emergency before it is too late”.

While Irish organisers were vague about the precise nature of the protests planned for Dublin, the start of their campaign will see protestors gather at the Kildare St entrance to Dáil Eireann shortly before 1pm on Monday.

The protesters will then take part in a slow moving “Climate Walk” led by a large pink sailing boat flying the Extinction Rebellion flag.

The activists will march to a nearby green space, likely to be Merrion Square, and set up a camp.

After speeches and an opening ceremony including the symbolic planting of seeds of native trees by author, environmental activist and Chelsea Garden Show winning garden designer Mary Reynolds, there will be a rolling series of protests and demonstrations across Dublin.

Extinction Rebellion (XR) is a non-violent socio-political movement founded in London last year to protest and to demand action against climate breakdown with acts of civil disobedience leading to arrests central to its campaign.

Last November it staged sit-ins on central London’s bridges and an Irish movement was born soon afterwards.

It has already staged several protests in Dublin with a view to having climate change declared a national emergency and to try and force the State to meet or surpass commitments made under the Paris climate change accord.

It also wants the Government to adopt climate change recommendations made by the Citizens’ Assembly last year including higher carbon taxes, a dramatic reduction in plastic packaging and support for the agriculture sector as it moves to lower greenhouse gas production.

While getting activists arrested to raise awareness of the seriousness of the crisis is a stated goal of the XR movement, a Garda spokeswoman said it respected “people’s right to peaceful protest and will facilitate same”.

She said the Garda had to ensure people were able to go about their business, including having access to their work place while also ensuring peaceful protest can take place.

She stressed the Garda would “continue to uphold that principle while defending and maintaining the human rights of all involved”