Extinction Rebellion NYC continues Rebel Fest; stages meditation action at City Hall; engages in swarming, disrupting city streets; launches the boat Vaquita

Press Release For Immediate Release

October 8, 2019

Contacts: John Baldwin: 212-686-3649; Eve Mosher: 347-850-3830; xrnyc.press@protonmail.com 

Extinction Rebellion NYC continues Rebel Fest; stages meditation action at City Hall; engages in swarming, disrupting city streets; launches the boat Vaquita

  • Extinction Rebellion NYC’s boat, Vaquita, named for an almost-extinct species of porpoise, “sailed” the streets of Brooklyn and Manhattan.

  • A monastic brother from Thich Nhat Hanh’s Plum Village Community, led a meditation action at City Hall.

  • Rebel Fest provided education, training, creativity, and support throughout the day at Washington Square Park.

  • Extinction Rebellion NYC is focusing on its principles and four demands, highlighted by the need for the government and other power-holding institutions to Tell the Truth and Act Now.

  • XR Columbia University action, family day at Rebel Fest at Washington Square Park tomorrow.

  • Photos: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1RCrDqs8bmAqaxbek7eNo3WtJhPG_Dkql

New York, NY— On behalf of the group Extinction Rebellion NYC, a crew of 7 today launched its mascot boat Vaquita on a voyage through the streets of New York. Extinction Rebellion is an international movement engaged in nonviolent direct action to force governments to respond to climate and ecological breakdown. Vaquita, a painted sailing boat renamed after a nearly-extinct species of porpoise, is newly decorated with depictions of threatened sea animals in skeletal form. Starting midday from Bushwick, Vaquita was towed through the streets of Brooklyn, making stops at Grand Army Plaza and on Flatbush Avenue. After crossing into Manhattan, she stopped in SoHo, Union Square, and outside Radio City Music Hall. She then circled Columbus Circle several times before heading down to Washington Square Park to join the ongoing event, Rebel Fest. At each stop, the crew left the tow vehicle to inform passers-by and distribute fliers. The crew report that at each of these stops, Vaquita was “a real crowd-stopper.”

In another action, a group of more than forty joined Brother Fulfillment, a brother from Thich Nhat Hanh’s Buddhist Plum Village Order for silent meditation at City Hall Park. There was a large police presence, but no arrests. After sitting in silent meditation in the park, the group progressed in walking meditation to the gates of City Hall, where they sat again, watched by police and numerous passers-by. The meditation was conceived as an act of resistance, in the tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Gandhi, reflecting the values of the Extinction Rebellion movement: commitment to the truth, nonviolence, regenerative culture, and the protection of life. Banners reading “Act Now” and “Non Violent” were spread on the ground in front of the lines of seated meditators.

At Washington Square Park, Rebel Fest continued throughout the day, providing education, support, and training, including training in nonviolent direct action. While there were no disruptions as large as those of Monday, when members of the movement staged die-ins in the financial district and poured fake blood over the Charging Bull statue, Extinction Rebellion NYC did engage in smaller ‘swarming’ disruptions, blocking streets in the vicinity of Washington Square Park. These disruptions were opportunities for rebels to develop their nonviolent direct action skills learned prior to and during Rebel Fest. In keeping with the creative ethos celebrated and exemplified by Extinction Rebellion and the boat Vaquita, tree costumes featured in these disruptions. As at City Hall Park, there were no arrests.

Starting yesterday and lasting until the weekend, citizens of New York are disrupting business as usual by using non-violent direct action to draw the government’s—and the entire city’s—attention to the magnitude of the climate and ecological emergency, and to demand urgent, transformative action. Extinction Rebellion NYC’s four demands are here

The disruptions will continue through the week. For an updated schedule, visit xrebellion.nyc.

Tomorrow’s schedule: 

  • At 3pm there will be an Extinction Rebellion rally at Columbia University, in which rebels will be calling for the university to declare a climate and ecological emergency, bring greenhouse gas emissions from campus operations to net-zero as soon as possible, and to create and be led through this transition by an assembly of community members 

  • Taking advantage of NYC Public Schools’ day off, Rebel Fest in Washington Square Park will feature family-oriented educational and art opportunities.

Background

After demonstrations from Extinction Rebellion NYC this summer, as well as through the efforts from other environmental organizations, the New York City Council adopted a resolution proposed by Extinction Rebellion declaring a climate emergency. Since then, XR members have engaged in numerous nonviolent direct actions across the city. 

Actions are taking place this week in more than 60 cities around the world, including Paris, Berlin, Los Angeles, Santiago, Washington DC, Montreal, Buenos Aires, Dublin, Madrid, London, Amsterdam, Prague, Vienna, Cape Town, New Delhi, Mumbai, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Wellington. Extinction Rebellion is now active in more than 72 countries, with 485 groups active in 473 cities and towns.

https://www.xrebellion.nyc/global-rebellion 

https://twitter.com/xr_nyc

https://facebook.com/events/684704261957207

https://www.instagram.com/xr_nyc/

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press, oct rebellioneve mosher