News and Updates

Press Release: October 7, 2019 – Global Rebellion

EXTINCTION REBELLION TORONTO JOINS THE GLOBAL REBELLION

EXTINCTION REBELLION TORONTO

WEBSITE: https://extinctionrebelliontoronto.org

EMAIL: xrtorontomedia@yandex.com

CLIMATE CRISIS: WAKE UP – DISOBEY

Visit Extinction Rebellion Toronto’s website for the full Declaration of Rebellion.

WHEN: October 7, 2019, 8:00am

WHERE: Meet at Playter Gardens Park at 7:30am (4 Cambridge Ave, north side of Danforth, west of Broadview Station)

WHO: Extinction Rebellion Toronto  

CONTACT: xrtorontomedia@yandex.com

September 30, 2019—TORONTO FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Toronto members of Extinction Rebellion unite with rebels around the world and across Canada in a Global Rebellion. In Toronto, we plan to disrupt business as usual by occupying the Prince Edward Viaduct over the Don Valley Parkway beginning at 8:00am on October 7, 2019.

Nearly 750,000 people in Canada joined an estimated 6 million worldwide in the Global Climate walkouts to demand action and a just climate policy. Now, in the leadup to the Canadian Federal Election, Extinction Rebellion Toronto and allies from across Ontario will escalate their campaign of nonviolent civil disobedience and push for immediate action on the climate crisis. We have three demands of the government: TELL THE TRUTH, ACT NOW, MOVE BEYOND POLITICS.

The science is clear; we have run out of time for token gestures like the Prime Minister’s declaration of a climate emergency followed the next day by the approval of a pipeline or John Tory’s proposed climate emergency declaration that fails to include “new pledges for additional programs or initiatives”. Because the Government has neglected its duty to protect its citizens by allowing the ongoing destruction of the biosphere, members of Extinction Rebellion intend to disrupt economic activities in Toronto until our demands are met. 

This action will occur simultaneously with other Extinction Rebellion chapters in large and small urban centers across the country and around the globe. By engaging in a strategy of nonviolent civil disobedience we aim to awaken the hearts of citizens and call them to action and to demand the Government act now to address the climate crisis.


A notice of demonstration will be filed with the police for this event. Those who do not want to block the road are invited to stay in Playter Gardens Park nearby. 

LEGAL INFORMATION

While we have a charter right to freedom of assembly in a public space — including the streets — the police also have a strong legal right to perform their duties to maintain public order. When these rights overlap it is important to understand the possible legal consequences. We believe that the park will be a green zone throughout the action with an extremely small chance of arrest. The road will be a yellow zone — protestors can occupy city streets and often do so without arrest — but it is possible, though unlikely, that police may determine this gathering unlawful and arrest people. If police specifically order people to clear the road and state verbally that those who do not comply will be arrested, the road will become a red zone where chances of arrest are high, but impossible to predict.

While we highly recommend that you attend a Non-Violent Direct Action training, you can also inform yourself of potential outcomes with this document.

This action will be supported by the Movement Defense Committee (a team of volunteer lawyers) and you should call this number (416 833 6137) if you are arrested.

*** Extinction Rebellion Toronto cannot guarantee legal representation for anyone arrested during this action beyond this initial phone call but the Movement Defense Committee will advise you on retaining a lawyer. ***

LAND ACKNOWLEDGMENT

We acknowledge that we meet, organize and protest upon the traditional territories of the Mississauga of the Credit First Nation, Anishnawbe, Haudenosaunee, Wendat, and Huron Indigenous Peoples. They are the original stewards of this land, as well as the original environmental activists, whose models of resistance we see reflected in our own activism. 

We operate on Treaty 13 land, which was defined during the Toronto Purchase claim of 1805. The Treaty indicates that Tkaronto is unceded, and has never been sold or agreed to be shared with settlers by the Mississaugas of the New Credit. The truth is that most of the area this city covers has been settled illegally and unjustly. We live, work and organize on stolen land, which was taken from Indigenous peoples against the spirit of peace, friendship and respect.

We recognize the violent history of this space, in which many of us are still benefactors. As activists, we aim to act responsibly and stand in solidarity with land and water defenders all across Turtle Island. 

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, ianlawrencephotography.com Instagram: @ianlawrencephotography

Global Climate Strike Week

EXTINCTION REBELLION TORONTO & ALLIES:

Toronto members of Extinction Rebellion, an international climate action group, are joining forces with other environmental groups in Toronto to offer a range of events during the Global Climate Strike Week this September 20-27.

Global Climate Strike Week was declared by Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist who recently completed a remarkable carbon-neutral odyssey across the Atlantic to bring an urgent message to North America. “Since our leaders are behaving like children,” says Thunberg, “we have to take the responsibility they should have taken long ago.” Her group, FridaysForFuture.org, is calling on students and workers alike to strike for the planet. 

Toronto members of Extinction Rebellion will be striking in solidarity with Fridays for Future on Sept 20 and Sept 27 and will be offering the following events in support of Global Strike Week:

  • Sept 20 – FRIDAYS FOR FUTURE – STRIKE AND TEACH IN (12:00pm, 7 Hart House Circle) Join Fridays For Future and solidarity groups for chants, songs, a mass teach-in and more to show our government that we are watching.
  • Sept 21 – HEAT DEATH IN KENSINGTON: PERFORMANCE AND DIE-IN (12:00pm, Alexandra Park) Extinction Rebellion Toronto invites the public to join us in our performance. Improv training will be provided.
  • Sept 22 – CLIMATE PICNIC (11:00am, Stanley Park): Extinction Rebellion Toronto hosts a potluck and text sharing picnic. Bring a text to share that speaks to what regenerates you.
  • Sept 24 – ROADBLOCK DANCE PARTY (5:30pm St. George and Bloor) It’s another Extinction Rebellion Toronto roadblock—but with a dance party theme.
  • Sept 25 – TALKING CIRCLE DEMOCRACY AND DISOBEDIENCE (6:00pm Location TBA check website for details) A talking circle helps communication, decision-making, visioning, and builds community. We will use this model to focus on how we can activate ourselves and our networks to take action on the climate crisis.
  • Sept 27 – GLOBAL STRIKE FOR CLIMATE JUSTICE (Sep 27, Meet at 11:00am Queen’s Park, March at 12:00pm) Toronto will see its biggest strike and march for climate justice. It is hosted by Fridays For Future Toronto, who invites adults to join youth strikers in solidarity, and is backed by the S27 Coalition, a diverse group of activists, union members and individuals.


“Our house is on fire — let’s act like it. We demand climate justice for everyone.”

Global Climate Strike

For more information about the Global Strike Week, please contact the media group.

Extinction Rebellion Toronto Previous Media Coverage:

Non Violent Civil Disobedience – Why Is This a Hard Concept for Canadians to Understand? Victoria Fenner Interview, Rabble.ca, September 5, 2019

Protesters gather outside Brazil Consulate in Toronto , CTVNews, August 23, 2019

Toronto activists stage mass die-in outside the CNE, BlogTO, August 20, 2019

Global protest group Extinction Rebellion is now shutting down traffic in Toronto, BlogTO, July 17, 2019

Le tele-journal Toronto, July 16, 2019, Radio-Canada, July 16, 2019 (Coverage begins at 0:40)

ABOUT EXTINCTION REBELLION

Extinction Rebellion is an international movement, founded in the UK in October 2018, that uses nonviolent civil disobedience in an attempt to halt mass extinction and minimize the risk of social

collapse. The Government has failed in its duty to protect its citizens by allowing the ongoing destruction of the biosphere, and now it is our duty to rebel. Extinction Rebellion is nonpartisan, decentralized, and nonviolent. 

The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has issued numerous reports, written and approved by hundreds of environmental scientists, stating that the world’s nations must reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% by 2030 or face extinction-level threats, including famine, water shortages, extreme weather, and social collapse.

Extinction Rebellion’s demands are:

1.     TELL THE TRUTH: Governments must declare a climate and ecological emergency, working with other institutions to communicate the urgency for change.

2.     ACT NOW: Governments must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2025.

3.     BEYOND POLITICS: Governments must create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate action and ecological justice.

Extinction Rebellion Action Consensus

Participants in XR Actions must abide by this action consensus: https://rebellion.earth/act-now/action-consensus

Resources

Time to Act Now with Roger Hallam, Extinction Rebellion, Video

Climate Change: 12 Years to Save the Planet? Make that 18 Months

The Emergency, Extinction Rebellion Earth

Connect with Extinction Rebellion: 

Extinction Rebellion Toronto Website: https://extinctionrebelliontoronto.org/

Extinction Rebellion Canada Website: https://extinctionrebellion.ca/

International Website  https://rebellion.earth

DECLARATION OF REBELLION

RSVP here to join the Global Rebellion and rebel with Extinction Rebellion Toronto on October 7, 2018 at 7:30am.

Global Rebellion – Information on Extinction Rebellion Toronto’s action on October 7, 2019.

EXTINCTION REBELLION TORONTO

Indigenous peoples have been at the forefront of environmental activism in Canada since colonisation. Their continued resistance in the face of racism and oppression in order to defend land, water and resources as well as preserve livelihood, culture and sovereignty is what has allowed settlers organising on the traditional territories to fight for climate justice and rebel against the government today. As settlers and activists, we must recognize the violent colonial history that this land embodies. We are grateful for the privilege and opportunity to come together and act in solidarity with land and water defenders across Turtle Island.

Members of Extinction Rebellion in Toronto intends to perform nonviolent direct actions until Canadian leaders agree to meet Extinction Rebellion’s three demands and TAKE EMERGENCY ACTION NOW.

Extinction Rebellion is an international movement, founded in the UK in October 2018, that uses nonviolent civil disobedience in an attempt to halt mass extinction and minimize the risk of social collapse. The Government has failed in its duty to protect its citizens by allowing the ongoing destruction of the biosphere, and now it is our duty to rebel. Extinction Rebellion is nonpartisan, decentralized, and nonviolent. 

The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has issued numerous reports, written and approved by hundreds of environmental scientists, stating that the world’s nations must reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% by 2030 or face extinction-level threats, including famine, water shortages, extreme weather, and social collapse.

Extinction Rebellion’s demands are:

  1. TELL THE TRUTH: Governments must declare a climate and ecological emergency, working with other institutions to communicate the urgency for change.
  2. ACT NOW: Governments must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2025.
  3. BEYOND POLITICS: Governments must create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate action and ecological justice.

Members of Extinction Rebellion intend to disrupt economic activities in Toronto. They have invited all to join them, as they are able, until the Government meets their demands.

For more information about Extinction Rebellion and the climate crisis:


DECLARATION

On June 17, Canada declared a climate emergency.

Three months have passed.

The emergency has not.

The science is clear: we are in the sixth mass extinction event and we will face catastrophe if we do not act swiftly and robustly. Time is running out. Climate and ecological breakdown has already begun. 

The situation is urgent and disproportionately affects Black people, Indigenous peoples, people of colour and other socially and economically marginalized communities, in Canada as well as in other parts of the world. The fight for climate justice includes reparations for historically underserved and marginalized communities. Reparations must include meaningful involvement of BIPOC communities in decision-making surrounding climate policy and a just energy transition that prioritizes free, prior and informed consent, as outlined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. 

In September 2018, the UN Secretary-General António Guterres warned, “If we do not change course by 2020, we risk missing the point where we can avoid runaway climate change, with disastrous consequences for people and all the natural systems that sustain us.” Biodiversity is being annihilated around the world. The IPCC’s reported in August 2019 that the additional stress on land caused by climate change, “exacerbates existing risks to livelihoods, biodiversity, human and ecosystem health, infrastructure, and food systems.” The ecological crises that are impacting upon this nation – and on this planet, its wildlife, and its people – can no longer be ignored or denied.

Change to avert the worst effects of climate collapse is still possible. But government authorities and policymakers are not acting in accordance with the social contract. When the Government refuses to act on scientific information that has been known for decades, it is criminal negligence. It becomes the right of citizens to seek redress in order to restore dutiful democracy and to secure the solutions needed to avert catastrophe and protect the future. It becomes not only our right but our moral duty to rebel.

People in Toronto can expect Extinction Rebellion actions to disrupt normal economic activity until our demands are met. We regret the inconvenience. But the alternative, climate breakdown and social collapse, is much worse.

Extinction Rebellion is not about politics. We endorse no political party, and we do not seek financial or political gain. Instead, we demand real participatory democracy so that our governments serve the needs of the people.


EXTINCTION REBELLION FACTS

WHAT: A decentralized international network of activist groups committed to nonviolent direct action to persuade governments to act on the climate and ecological crisis.

WHEN: Extinction Rebellion UK was formed on Oct 31, 2018 in response to a United Nations IPCC report stating humans have until 2030 to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% or face catastrophic global warming. Canada’s Extinction Rebellion groups began to organize in late 2018.

WHO: Extinction Rebellion UK was co-founded by Dr. Gail Bradbrook, Roger Hallam, and members of the activist group Rising Up! The Extinction Rebellion network in Canada has over a dozen local groups across the country, with over 1,000 active members.

DEMANDS

  1. TELL THE TRUTH: Governments must declare a climate and ecological emergency, working with other institutions to communicate the urgency for change.
  2. ACT NOW: Governments must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2025.
  3. BEYOND POLITICS: Governments must create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate action and ecological justice.

PRINCIPLES

  1. We share a vision of change, and a commitment to creating a world that is fit for generations to come.
  2. We seek to mobilize at least 3.5% of the population to achieve systemic change.
  3. We work towards a regenerative culture that is healthy, resilient, and adaptable.
  4. We openly challenge ourselves and our toxic system.
  5. We follow a cycle of action, reflection, learning, and planning. We strive to learn from our own experiences, and those of others.
  6. We welcome everyone and every part of everyone, and work actively to create safer and more accessible spaces.
  7. We seek to break down traditional hierarchies of power for more equitable and democratic participation.
  8. We avoid blaming/shaming; we live in a toxic system, but no one individual is to blame.
  9. We use nonviolent strategies and tactics to bring about positive change.
  10. We collectively create the structures needed to challenge power. Anyone who follows these core principles and values can take action in the name of Extinction Rebellion.

VOICES FOR CLIMATE ACTION

“We are only given one planet and we are destroying it.” 

―Autumn Peltier, 14-year-old clean water advocate, Chief Water Commissioner for Anishinabek First Nation

“I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act. I want you to act as you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if our house is on fire.” 

―Greta Thunberg, 16-year-old student, climate activist

“A just transition needs to happen not only in communities that can afford renewable technology but it must happen and begin in communities facing the brunt of the environmental, social, and health implications from the extractive industry and climate change.” 

―Melina Laboucan-Massimo, David Suzuki Foundation Fellow, Masters in Indigenous Governance with a focus on Renewable Energy in First Nation communities

“Now, after the five hottest years on record  as the Amazon burns and Greenland melts, the world is waking up to the fierce urgency of the climate emergency we have created … Incremental change is not enough … Everything depends upon what we do now.” 

―Emma Thompson, writer, actor

“Everyone has the responsibility to respond to this crisis. We are on the global equivalent of the Titanic, and this industrialized ship needs to change direction.” 

―Rita Wong, poet, professor, water protector

“We think of survivalism as being all about stock-piling canned goods and guns … True survivalism has to be about building community … creating strategies which if necessary can bypass the hierarchies of power.” 

―Bruce Cockburn, OC, singer/songwriter, social activist

“All that is required is for us to recognize that we live in a circular system, not a linear one. This truth must percolate through all our realities, from economics to eating to energy production.” 

―Deborah Hartford, ACT (Adaptation to Climate Change Team), Simon Fraser University

“Very few people on earth ever get to say: “I am doing, right now, the most important thing I could possibly be doing.” If you’ll join this fight that’s what you’ll get to say.”  

―Bill McKibben, author, founder of 350.org

“All I have left is hope—hope that is based on the fact that we don’t know enough even to say it is too late to turn things around. But it is very, very late.” 

―David Suzuki, environmentalist

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.