Death to Oh-So-Sweet Life: September 27th

When rebels meet at 7am and don’t stop fighting for climate justice until 4pm, you know you’re doing something right. On September 7th, XR Toronto members gathered at Bloor and Adelaide. With the sun barely out, they proceeded into the Path, where they slowly “died of heat.” the same impactful script was read as at the Kensington die-in the week before. While the rebels were quickly kicked out by disgruntled security guards, they simply picked up and walked to Union, where they “died” again, and once booted out of there, they ran into a group of flexible, yoga-performing activists and “died” alongside them. All this before 9am!

While the die-ins were a great kick-start to the day, they were more of an icing for the activist cake later that day. It was the global climate strike, too. At 11am, the grass in front of Queen’s Park began filling with people of all ages, taking time off work or school to fight for our future. Rousing speeches and beautiful musical performances were enjoyed by all, and then we started marching. People began streaming out of the park around 12, and there was about an hour of marching altogether. Estimates on numbers range from a conservative 50,000 to 100,000! XR proudly marched alongside our Climate-Conscious Comrades.

The Strike was amazing, mobilizing 6 million people all around the world. But we can’t fizzle out. We must keep the momentum going, and continue pressuring governments for change. Join XR Toronto on October 7th to disrupt business as usual right here in the biggest city in the country. Sign up here.

Photos thanks to JP H, Yana Sery, and Prashant Tripathi.

Who says rebellion can’t be fun? Roadblock dance party

On Tuesday, XR held one of our most regenerative events yet – a roadblock dance party! This event saw rebels blocking the intersection of Bloor and St. George in swarms, but dancers took centre stage this time. While some members kept the intersection safe by blocking traffic, others took the the middle of the streets for some good old fashioned dance. Everything from brake dancing to belly dancing to group salsa dancing was on the table. An incredible performance showcasing an evil pipeline being struck low closed off the evening. A wholesome, family friendly, and fun event for all. Revolution isn’t all doom and gloom!

Dying of Heat: Kensington Die-In

On Saturday, September 21st, rebels took to the streets of Kensington in an intense production showcasing the consequences of the astronomical heat level rises we are facing. A vision of the near future, rebels stumbled through the streets, crying for water and collapsing from the “heat.” This eventually culminated in a die-in in the middle of Kensington market, where the activists were covered in shawls bearing the XR logo, and a moment of silence was observed for all those suffering from this crisis.

Photo credit: Ian Lawrence, Instagram: @ianlawrencephotography

TIFF party: A beautiful day for disruption

On Saturday, rebels took to the Toronto International Film Festival to make Torontonians and movie enthusiasts alike aware of the Climate Crisis. Meeting in Simcoe park, party-goers were treated to beautiful artistic acts, from poetry and singing to live painting and the legendary Raging Grannies.

Rebels also took the red carpet, interrupting during A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood to ask Tom Hanks to use his platform to speak out about the climate crisis. Despite angry calls to “go home” from others at the carpet, rebels did get the attention and acknowledgement of the actor.

A beautiful afternoon, filled with song, laughter, and thought-provoking art, the effectiveness of art and peaceful (but loud!) disruption continues to be showcased. We hope Mr. Hanks takes our message to heart, and decides to be a good neighbor and spread the urgency of our mission.

Photos courtesy of Prashant Tripathi, Jessie, and Sean.

Walk with Walk to Wake the Nation!

Yesterday, Toronto rebels joined Calgary resident Ann Cognito on the latest stretch of her Walk to Waken the Nation. Accompanied by her dog, Mr. Myrtle Sir, Ann has been on a 3300 kilometer walk from Calgary to Ottawa, where she plans to deliver a petition and message to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, while spreading the good word of Extinction Rebellion.

Toronto XR members joined Ann when she arrived at Finch station, and numbers increased as she steadily marched to Queen’s Park. An incredible day of solidarity, despite the gloomy weather. XR Toronto wishes Ann all the best in the next leg of her journey!

Double Feature: Solidarity with Brazil and Turkey

This weekend, XR Toronto stood in solidarity with our environmental allies in Brazil and Turkey. On Saturday, August 24, we stood with our Brazilian friends in a protest at Queen’s Park, further bringing attention to the 57,509 fires ravaging the Amazon. Indigenous groups in the forest have been caretaking it peacefully for hundreds of years, and rely on it for food and water. These forest fires not only decimate the ecosystem of the forest, but the lives of those in it.

On the 25th, we were at Dundas Square standing with Canada Mount Ida Solidarity. Alamos Gold, a Canadian company, has been conducting a massive open-pit mining operation in the Ida Mountains in Turkey. The cyanide they’ve used in the drilling process (easily replaceable with less toxic materials) could spell disaster for the local ecosystem should there be a leak, not to mention the arsenic and heavy metals that will contaminate it regardless.