Local activists gathered at the Public Library on Saturday afternoon for the first official Extinction Rebellion SSM meeting.
Extinction Rebellion is a movement that originated in the U.K. in October of 2018 and quickly went global. Their aim is to ensure that humankind doesn’t make it onto the Extinction List. Organizer Kara Flannigan started the local movement as well as the local Facebook page, in hopes to bring more awareness to this distressing reality.
Flannigan, who suffers from Severe Climate Anxiety, told SaultOnline that she was relieved to find out about Extinction Rebellion and their cause – maintaining the climate and human life on this planet.
“I’ve tried a number of things over the last 30-40 years of my life in order to walk softer on the planet, and I’ve got to a point in reviewing the science and it’s not enough. It’s not enough what we’re doing individually,” she explained.
She said she thinks we need a massive push to get governments to act, because, at the moment, they aren’t.
“They’re not telling us the truth – they’re actually lying by omission. They are saying one thing, that we are going to take climate action, and they’re doing the exact opposite – subsidizing fossil fuels, and buying pipelines. That’s not what climate action is all about.”
Flannigan said, in order to get them to do so, “we need the people to stand together.”
“We need desperate action; we’re in a climate emergency. To the point where we will be on the extinction list,” she warned, adding that, according to the International Panel on Climate Change, we only have 11 years left.
“That’s not a lot of time,” she said. “So we can’t waste a day. We can’t waste a week.”
She said she hopes the power of numbers can make a change in order to get the governments and the corporations to act upon this.
“We know that we are the majority. So far we’re the silent siloed majority, and we’ve got to break those silos down and come together,” she said.
Flannigan said the group plans on taking a page from Vancouver’s book and asking City Council to declare a Climate Emergency.
“As wonderful as Sault Ste. Marie is, I think we can do that here,” she said. “We want to be climate leaders, we’ve always touted ourselves as being green and clean. So that’s one more step in that direction.”
Extinction Rebellion SSM will also take part in XR XCanada’s Declaration of Rebellion, taking place on Feb. 14, as well as the International Rebellion in April.
The next group meeting will take place on Jan. 27 at 2 p.m. at the Public Library. Anyone interested is invited to attend, and encouraged to bring a friend.
“We’re stronger being connected and it just reminds us that we’re humanity and we’re worth saving.”
For more information on Extinction Rebellion SSM, click here.