Students held a ‘die-in’ climate protest

| Dimana Stambolieva

The recently formed UT student group ‘Extinction Rebellion’ carried out a peaceful demonstration at the Oude Markt square in Enschede this Saturday. The supporters lied down on the ground to highlight the risk of climate disruption and the extinction of Earth’s flora and fauna.

Photo by: Sam Langerak

The local branch of the global environmental movement ‘Extinction rebellion’ (XR), which emerged in the UK last October, demands the Dutch government to take urgent actions and to advert environmental collapse. The so called ‘die-ins’ are a form of non-violent direct action which have been performed by various XR groups around the world. According to the organizers this protest symbolizes the current and increasing extinction of species due to consequences of the global climate crisis.

One of the students explained the reasons behind the protest: ‘Scientific reports state that the environment is beginning to change more rapidly that they have ever predicted and modelled. This could lead not only to the disappearance of many species and transformation of weather, but as a consequence it can bring social conflicts such as famine, war or migration.’

At about 12 o’clock on the 8th of June, the students gathered approximately thirty people of various ages, nationalities and backgrounds. The activists entered Oude Markt from different sides and slowly laid down across the square, simulating mass death. Some of the protesters stayed on the ground for about thirty minutes while others explained the purpose of the protests to the passing pedestrians, handing out flyers and speaking to the media.

Many of the participants, including those who set up XR Enschede, study at the UT, others travelled from Gronau, Arhaus and the surrounding of Enschede to join the protest. They came together to call for action and to draw the attention of Enschede’s citizens and the local municipality. ‘Extinction rebellion’ demands the government to decarbonise the economy and hereby prevent increasingly harsh consequences from the increasing instabilities of the climate system.