by Suzannah Murphy
The Cardiff branch of the international environmental conservation organisation, Extinction Rebellion (also known as ‘XR’), staged a peaceful protest on Saturday, 9th March.
The event, named as “Rising Up: Carnival of Animals”, successfully stopped traffic flow on a multitude of main roads in the Welsh capital.
The aim of the protest was to highlight climate change and demand the Welsh Government recognise the current situation as a ‘Climate Emergency’. Protesters sought for the Welsh Government to take decisive and meaningful action, such as striving for a zero-carbon future by 2025.
The organiser of the protest additionally stated the protesters demands, including the creation of a “national Citizen’s Assembly” which would oversee these changes.
One of the climate change protestors stated: “We have known of the escalating dangers of global warming since the eighties, and that human activity was causing this”.
“Climate change is the biggest immediate challenge we all have to face. It is going to take a ‘war like’ scale effort, to transition rapidly away from a resource intense society, a fossil fuel dependent society, to meet a net negative carbon emissions Wales”
Three-hundred protesters from across Wales, spanning a variety of ages and sporting a range of animal attire, participated in the demonstration. Following the damning International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report in 2018, the urgency of action needed to tackle this issue was a key driving force of the event.
Failure to act, according to the IPCC report, will have devastating global impacts. Issues such as: stronger storms, rising sea levels, animal and plant extinction, increasingly erratic weather along with large scale disruption to infrastructure and migration patterns are amongst many highlighted by the scientific body.
Anthony Slaughter, leader of Wales’s Green Party, Leanne Wood, former Plaid Cymru leader and current Assembly Member for Rhondda, and members of Friends of the Earth Wales were among those present.
Although the protest is over, there are still many chances to get involved through future protests, meetings and e-petitions located on Extinction Rebellions’ Facebook page.
The climate change protester interview with Gair Rhydd summarises: “We have a global responsibility and this is it”.