An Easter Monday "die-in" protest at London's Natural History Museum is getting the attention of people around the world and jumpstarting a discussion about the effects of climate change.
Protesters both young and old, many participated as a family, lay down on the floors of the Natural History Museum to obstruct traffic in an act of civil disobedience.
Twitter user Nick Lowles, of UK non-profit Hope Not Hate, shared videos of the demonstration.
200+ protestors stage a “die in” at the Natural History museum in the latest action in the #ExtinctionRebellion upr… https://t.co/Dig4cYkPqP— Nick Lowles (@Nick Lowles)1555952272.0
Families, kids and grandparents all come together to send a warning about the threat to the world. A very fitting v… https://t.co/epKNhehr1u— Nick Lowles (@Nick Lowles)1555952295.0
.@ExtinctionR has inspired a new generation of activists (young and old). Climate change is the most important issu… https://t.co/W4slUlCrsW— Nick Lowles (@Nick Lowles)1555952337.0
Others also shared photos from the protest.
try to find me at the XR Natural History Museum die in!! hint: I’m near a tiger and a penguin https://t.co/fSpFvBCc10— Cas (@Cas)1555946670.0
Happened to be in the Natural History Museum this afternoon when @ExtinctionR arrived. It’s now headlining on the n… https://t.co/XW3E52gz7Y— hilary cockshaw (@hilary cockshaw)1555951153.0
This is happening! Extinction Rebellion protestors lying down inside the Natural History Museum in London 📸@PA… https://t.co/fqVrXE9flg— Derek Momodu (@Derek Momodu)1555941955.0
According to their website, Extinction Rebellion is:
"an international movement that uses non-violent civil disobedience to achieve radical change in order to minimise the risk of human extinction and ecological collapse."
They operate under a set of 10 principles and values that guide members' actions,as well as the collective actions of the movement.
This YouTube video from Extinction Rebellion gives a little more background information:
"Welcome to the Rebellion!" - Extinction Rebellion youtu.be
A spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion told The Guardian:
"What this shows is that Extinction Rebellion has spoken to people who have been wanting to act on this for such a long time but haven't known how."
"The debate on this is over – ordinary people are now saying it is time for politicians to act with real urgency."
Extinction Rebellion has received an influx of donations and volunteers for future demonstrations since Monday.
The number of those volunteering for future protests soared from 10,000 to 40,000 in the subsequent 2 days.
Youth from Extinction Rebellion wrote a letter to Parliament, asking them to take the steps to halt climate change now, while there is still hope.
"We are writing to ask you to hear the science, to feel the public's change of heart and to act now to save our futures … Now the time has arrived to stand up and be counted – you are our elected representatives and we need your help."
The group has also had several other disruptions across London, leading to over 1000 arrests for civil disobedience.
Reactions to the protest on social media were mixed, with many people complaining about the disruption and inconvenience—apparently not understanding that the disruption is literally the point of direct action.
Demands that protesters should do something "useful" instead of participating in disruptions were not uncommon.
@HopeBrexit @bailey8559 @Johnny_Brexit @lowles_nick So save the planet.... but at a more convenient time?— Lee McMahon (@Lee McMahon)1556007215.0
Many who supported the protest cited the ineffectiveness of other forms of action in the fight against climate change, though.
@XijinChan @Jackx4023 @lowles_nick Cos also to say I am not a natural protester at all, I don’t like disruption. Bu… https://t.co/MjqfQgCdrc— Weaky Lynam (@Weaky Lynam)1555980992.0
When other options aren't effective, direct action and disruption are often the only way to make change.