Students claim ecological and climate emergency amid protests.
- Students from New York University, the New School, Columbia and City University of New York come together as Extinction Rebellion Universities to demand their institutions respond to the ecological and climate emergency.
- Extinction Rebellion Universities is kicking off a national movement of university students.
- Extinction Rebellion Universities will read a declaration of rebellion in Bryant Park at 5:45pm.
- Swarmers will block traffic in front of universities to read the four demands of Extinction Rebellion Universities.
Extinction Rebellion Universities (XRU) is launching a national rebellion against institutions of higher learning, demanding they respond to the climate and ecological emergency. Students from multiple New York City local universities will gather to enact nonviolent disruptive actions. XRU is calling on their education institutions to value sustainable economic and social systems over profits and monetary gain. In addition, they demand a student assembly on the ecological and climate emergency and a just transition that prioritizes the most vulnerable people and repairs the effects of ongoing ecocide to maintain a livable, equitable planet.
Extinction Rebellion Universities is a coalition of Universities across the US that has emerged from the international movement Extinction Rebellion. That movement, which started in the UK in 2018, and has sparked an enormous amount of dialogue and controversy there, is now active in over 72 countries.
Starting at 5:45pm in Bryant Park, university rebels will read their declaration of rebellion, calling on students and faculty to rise up together across the country to compel their institutions to meet their four demands:
- Government and universities must tell the truth by declaring a climate and ecological emergency, working with other institutions to communicate the urgent need for change.
- Universities and Government must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.
- Government and universities must create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens' Assembly on climate and ecological justice.
- Government and universities must, in a just transition, prioritize the most vulnerable people and establish legal rights for ecosystems to thrive and regenerate in perpetuity.
Following the declaration, rebels will employ a tactic for disruption called “swarming.” This method of blocking traffic is designed to disrupt “business as usual,” which distracts citizens from confronting the ecological and climate disaster we are all living through.
Ecological and climate emergency?
The swarms will travel from Bryant Park to Washington Square Park, disrupting traffic in front of some of New York’s most prestigious universities. At 7:00 pm at Washington Square Park, rebels will assemble to mourn all that has already been lost, an action that will be followed by a celebration of the new world that is possible.
In the era of Vietnam, students throughout the United States stood in opposition to a corrupt and futile foreign war. Just as they were forced by circumstance onto the front lines of that conflict, young people will now bear the brunt of a crisis created by greed and myopia. The young will not sit idly by and accept a future they did not choose.
Just this week, more than 11,000 scientists from around the world signed a declaration of climate emergency: “The climate crisis has arrived and is accelerating faster than most scientists expected. It is more severe than anticipated, threatening natural ecosystems and the fate of humanity.” Writing in the peer-reviewed journal Bioscience , they describe “potential irreversible climate tipping points … potentially making large areas of Earth uninhabitable.”