News and Updates

3 Arrestee Profiles

On October 7, 2019, 18 members of Extinction Rebellion Toronto were arrested when they refused to clear the Prince Edward Vidauct during a protest drawing attention to the climate crisis and our government’s inadequate response.

Penny – Retired Church Musician – 72

“Why I am ready to be arrested.” I live in a world where humans plunder and poison the soil, water and air. I can no longer accept this morally corrupt, colonial, capitalist system. Mere words cannot fix the ecological crisis. I must sit in the street, blockade a bridge, or the doors of a fossil fuel funding bank. I choose to disrupt and disobey, while there is still hope for justice and food and shelter for all.

Martin – B.Sc. (computer science and mathematics) – 46 – Software Designer

I was arrested on October 7th. Enough with petitions. Emissions are still going up (2017 and 2018), so government is not failing, it HAS FAILED at its part of the Social Contract. The more people are out there, the less they can arrest. I did this for my nieces and nephews and I did it with love to try to reduce world suffering that IS coming and is already here.  Where is our government’s plan for the risk that this happens in 3 or 4 major world crop regions in the same year? They continue to prove themselves incapable of protecting us because it is impossible for them to vote against corporate interests.  The latest predictions from the science are worse and worse, yet Canadian government does next-to-nothing, with a 2050 target. This is what Extinction Rebellion is calling a crime against humanity.  I am not a climate activist, I am a citizen.

My arrest I would summarize as a day-and-a-bit of needing serious patience to handle extreme boredom and little bit of will power or zen or whatever you draw on to tolerate the negligible sleep you can manage by resting your head on your hands instead of on the hard steel cot.  Mostly it reminds me that we’re fortunate (due to the sacrifices of veterans like my great-uncle, and legal principles embodied in our constitution and charter) to live in a country where at least some people (and I recognize this may not be everyone’s experience, especially if not white) have the freedom to object and report on political objections. While my experience wasn’t pleasant, I was not beaten, disappeared, or murdered, as I might have been in much of the world.

I’m a 72 year old criminal lawyer, and moved to Canada in 1968 to resist the Vietnam War.  I have a daughter, and it was to support her right to a decent future that motivated me to get arrested on October 7.  It’s obvious to me that it is past the time for us to act outside of our comfort zones.

Some of the arrestees after their charges were dropped.

Justice for All: A New Demand for Extinction Rebellion Toronto


    A week ago, at our first general assembly we voted on and adopted a new demand for Extinction Rebellion Toronto. Under the header “Justice For All”, the demand reads: 

    “We demand self-determination for Indigenous communities both in Canada and around the world. The response to the climate crisis must centre the rights and needs of Indigenous peoples, people of colour, the economically disadvantaged, people with disabilities, migrants, and those of all genders and sexualities. Solutions must be actively decolonial and firmly safeguard the dignity of all.”

    Designed as a statement on XR Toronto’s commitment to the fight for climate justice as well and Indigenous self-determination, the demand is the product of months of education, debate and difficult conversations. This new demand is the first fruit born of the process of Extinction Rebellion Toronto developing our own collective consciousness of the greater forces which animate the climate crisis.

    This demand is not the culmination of this process; it’s just the beginning. At the assembly, rebels offered well-thought critiques of the demand. In the coming weeks and months we aim to incorporate those perspectives into the language of the demand and have it become a living document that evolves along with the group. In addition, we will begin a process of harmonising our language with our counterparts across Canada.

    What won’t change, though, is our steadfast commitment to justice. In adopting this demand we have given ourselves an explicit mandate in the realm of climate justice. A mandate which we must now act upon. It will be incumbent upon us to build relationships and alliances with groups from marginalised communities both locally and on the front-lines of the climate crisis, listen to the needs of these communities and assist in ways that might not bring the spotlight. In addition to fighting against unjust structures in the world, we must remain vigilant so that they do not reproduce themselves within Extinction Rebellion.

    This new demand is only the first step but it’s a crucial one.

Love, Rage & Solidarity,
Extinction Rebellion Toronto

Speakers Corner Live Stream (LIVE 11 AM – 3 PM, 29 November)

Can’t make it to the strike today at Queen’s Park? No problem! Tune in to a recreation of Speakers’ Corner that we’ve created in tandem with our friends at Fridays for Future where we’ll be asking climate strikers hop in the booth and speak to the world about why they’ve chosen to strike today!

We will be broadcasting live from 11AM – 3PM during the strike so do tune in!

Click Here to view the video!

CHARGES DROPPED!

ALL CHARGES HAVE BEEN DROPPED.

On October 7th, in Toronto, 18 members of Extinction Rebellion and Animal Rebellion were arrested on the Prince Edward Viaduct following a peaceful protest. Their choice to risk arrest is a direct response to the government’s inaction in the face of the climate crisis, and the severe impact it will pose to future generations and the life-supporting ecological systems that we all rely on.

They spent a night in jail and have faced many weeks of uncertainty about legal expenses and repercussions while the Crown reviewed the evidence against them.

We are so grateful for their courage and strength. 👊❤️

Today the Crown thankfully withdrew the charges, stating that pursuing them “would not be in the public interest.” We believe this is a sound decision – the State should not use public resources to punish its people for reacting to political inertia. Instead, the State should be focusing on confronting the impending ecological collapse which threatens us all.

We do not take getting arrested lightly. Choosing to be arrested is a reaction to the dire situation we will soon all be facing. We know that to be able to choose to be arrested is a privilege that many others do not have. We recognize that many communities face systemic harm and violence at the hands of police and the State because of their continued resistance to oppression. We stand in solidarity with countless Indigenous activists and hope to bring awareness to the ongoing harm experienced by land and water defenders all across Turtle Island.

We are committed to ongoing activism and disruption. Our demands are the following:

TELL THE TRUTH – The government must work with the media to tell the truth about climate change and declare a state of emergency
ACT NOW – The government must act now to reach net-zero carbon emissions and halt biodiversity loss by 2025
BEYOND POLITICS – That the government moves beyond politics and create a citizens’ assembly to guide this transition so that it works for everyone – not just wealthy lobbyists.

With Love & Rage,

XR TO Team

VAMPIRES VS. THE PEOPLE: AN EXTINCTION REBELLION TORONTO HALLOWEEN

DATE: October 31, 2019

LOCATION: Barbara Hall Park

TIME: Meet at Barbara Hall Park at 8:30PM for briefing and improv warm-up. Performance begins at 9:00PM.

FACEBOOK EVENT: Vampires Vs. The People

DESCRIPTION

Vampire (văm′pīr′): 3. a person who preys mercilessly upon others.

Extinction Rebellion Toronto will join Toronto’s biggest Halloween party in the Gay Village (Church and Wellesley) and perform a skit that is both haunting and close to home.

The skit pits the vampires, seemingly hell-bent on sucking every last drop of oil, water, and life out of this planet vs. the rest of us: the land, the plants, animals, and people who call this place home.

The situation seems dire. The body count at the vampires’ lair rises but, over the hill, in the sleepy village a motley crew of vampire hunters begins to form.

PERFORMANCE VOLUNTEERS WANTED

We’re actively seeking participants for the different roles in this skit. Vampires, Slayers as well as some victims (if your life goal ever was to be a dead body on CSI, this is your chance)!

Wish to come out but improv in the streets not your thing? Don’t worry there’s going to be opportunities for outreach and other ways to participate!

This action will commence around Church & Wellesley at 9pm, but we will GATHER at Barbara Hall Park (East Side church st. north of Wellesley) at 8:30PM for a briefing and some improv warm-up.

EXTINCTION REBELLION ACTION CONSENSUS

If you participate in XR actions, you need to abide by this action consensus: https://rebellion.earth/act-now/action-consensus/

Extinction Rebellion: Support Our Arrestees

Non-violent demonstrators arrested on October 7 during Extinction Rebellion’s Global Rebellion.

18 people were arrested Monday, October 7, 2019 while practicing non-violent civil disobedience at a protest in Toronto, Ontario.

The activists, who were demonstrating to urge action on the climate crisis were arrested by police and charged with Mischief/obstruct use of property not to exceed $5000. Extinction Rebellion Toronto is seeking to raise $10,000.00 through this appeal, which will assist our members, who were arrested, with legal representation, bail bonds and other legal expenses.

If you would like to support our arrestees through our Chuffed fundraising campaign, please donate here.

We are facing an unprecedented global climate emergency.

The participants of XR-Toronto’s non-violent demonstration at the Bloor Viaduct on Monday, October 7 are part of a wider movement pressing governments to respond with the urgency that this crisis demands. Similar demonstrations were held in Halifax, Edmonton, Victoria, and Vancouver, as well as internationally.

XR-Toronto is a local chapter of the international Extinction Rebellion movement. We use non-violent civil disobedience to compel governments to take action on climate breakdown, and biodiversity loss, to prevent social and ecological collapse.

Non-violent civil disobedience intends to direct attention to an injustice which is sufficiently serious to morally justify a violation of the law. Those arrested protesters were peacefully demonstrating in opposition to global climate inaction. Will you donate and help our XR-Toronto members who were arrested?

Extinction Rebellion has three demands

Extinction Rebellion aims to create a culture that is healthy, resilient and adaptable. But for this to be successful, the following three things must take place:

  1. Government must tell the truth by declaring a climate and ecological emergency, working with other institutions to communicate the urgency for change.
  2. Government must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2025.
  3. Government must create, and be led by the decisions of, a citizens’ assembly on climate and ecological justice.

It is time to act on reality instead of ignoring it.

It’s not too late! A world that is fit for future generations to come is possible.

If you would like to join us, learn more about Extinction Rebellion or would like to provide in-kind donations (e.g. pro-bono legal work, performances at actions, food, or other suggestions) please contact:  xrtorontofundraising@protonmail.com.

If you would like to donate money, support our Chuffed campaign here.

Banner Photo Credit: @furtivesubversive

Global Rebellion in Toronto

CLIMATE CRISIS? WAKE UP-DISOBEY

Toronto members of Extinction Rebellion along with Animal Rebellion Turtle Island and other solidarity groups, joined rebels across Canada and around the world to launch the Global Rebellion—a two-week campaign of nonviolent civil disobedience to demand that governments take immediate action on the climate crisis. We are on the brink of ecological collapse and in the beginning of the sixth mass extinction. 

Toronto rebels gathered at Playter Gardens at 7:30am for a briefing. By the time we occupied the Prince Edward Viaduct at 8:05am, our numbers grew to nearly 200.

Throughout the day we engaged in singing, chants, art, and theatre. The atmosphere was at times serene and somber and at other times joyous and uplifting. It was so heartening to see so many fight for a just and livable future.

Rebels held the bridge for close to five hours. The police attempted to clear the bridge at 11:45pm and ordered everyone to vacate the area. 18 members of Extinction Rebellion Toronto and Animal Rebellion Turtle Island refused to leave the bridge and were arrested and charged with Mischief/obstruct use of property not to exceed $5000. They were all released within 24 hours and are now safe at home. They are currently reviewing their options and deciding how to proceed.

We want thank those who were arrested for their courage and thank our Regenerative Culture team for their patience and compassion in supporting them throughout the night and in the following days.

Extinction Rebellion Toronto is not alone in its desire for action. We unite in solidarity with nearly a million people in Canada and 6 million worldwide who took to the streets for the Global Climate Strike. We refuse to continue on business as usual and are demanding action. The science is clear. If we do not move swiftly, we will soon reach the tipping point for irreversible climate breakdown.

We welcome anyone to join us who wants the Government to tell the truth, act now, and move beyond politics for real and sustained action on the climate emergency.

Updated October 10, 2019

Extinction Rebellion Toronto, October 7, 2019
Global Rebellion
Extinction Rebellion Toronto, October 7, 2019
Global Rebellion