Last Thursday, students from New York University participated in an “Extinction Rebellion” protest to let the government and campus powers-that-be know that people “will not wait” any longer for action to be taken on climate change.
According to its website, Extinction Rebellion claims humans now face “an unprecedented global emergency,” and that “life on Earth is in crisis.”
Alongside their peers from Columbia, The New School, and Pratt, the NYU students engaged in a 35-block march which included blocking traffic in several areas, according to NYU Local.
NYU Extinction Rebellion Chapter members Lyle Shipp and Zoe Tezak gave speeches, the latter telling the crowd “We students no longer ask for permission. We no longer need fruitless conferences and we will not wait for [the government] to realize that we are at the brink of extinction.”
Shipp chided American universities, asking why students should even have to pay, at this point, for their educations:
“What good are libraries and professorships and million-dollar labs if they cannot prepare us for the disasters that are heading our way?” How can we be expected to pay tuition when the world that is going to be bequeathed to us is going to be one of immense suffering and injustice?”
The last stop on the way to Washington Square Park was in front of The New School, where the university’s XR chapter member and graduate student Clover Reshad called for other groups to take on their chapter’s initiatives. She urged others to train meeting facilitators to ensure that women and people of color are heard first and to partner with front-line community organizers for solidarity action. …
The last and longest swarming took place on Washington Square North before moving under the arch. There, protesters had a moment of mourning for displaced peoples, lighting candles in remembrance and solidarity with those affected by climate change.
NYU XR member and Tisch sophomore Izabel Estrin was the last of the speakers. She called for continuous action, despite the time of mourning.
“We are not new in this grief and many before us have fought and continue to fight to bring justice to those disproportionately affected,” Estrin said. “We must stand together to resist being apathetic and celebrate this change we are calling for.”
Friday featured the Extinction Rebellion discussion “Heading for Extinction and What To Do About It” which dealt with the latest information on climate science, “climate change psychology,” and “solutions through social movements.”
IMAGE: Nikita Konashenkov / Shutterstock.com