The future of planet Earth and its species was confined to a coffin on Saturday, as campaigners staged a ‘funeral procession’ through Sheffield in protest at perceived government inaction.
Around 60 people from Extinction Rebellion, a group calling for politicians to declare a ‘climate emergency’ and take urgent action, donned the all-black in a ‘Funeral for the Future’.
The ‘funeral procession’, mourning a future of “climate destruction”, saw a mock coffin carried from Sheffield Cathedral to the Town Hall to the sound of violins, where campaigners read a list of demands to the city council.
Aaron Thierry, Sheffield Extinction Rebellion coordinator, said: “This marked an opportunity for people to express their grief over what has already been lost through the destruction of nature.”
Superglued to Buckingham Palace
Joining protests across the country, around 1,000 protesters in London blocked traffic from accessing Parliament Square for a “memorial service” for the planet.
Dubbed ‘Rebellion Day 2’, one elderly woman even superglued her hands to the railings of Buckingham Palace.
“As a doctor I am terrified by the increasing widespread evidence of climate destruction and ecological collapse”
Dr Thierry, a former Sheffield University PhD ecology student, added: “Without national and local governments taking radical climate action I am afraid that we will not have a future worth looking forward to”.
He said that the Sheffield group, one of 50 nationwide, has grown “rapidly” following Extinction Rebellion’s 6,000-strong sit-in on five London Bridges, bringing the capital to a standstill in a historic display of civil disobedience.
Trees put Sheffield in the climate spotlight
Sheffield has been in the spotlight as campaigners fight an ongoing battle over the city council’s tree felling programme, which has seen private company Amey chop down 5,500 of the city’s ‘healthy’ trees since 2012.
However, Forge Press recently reported that the 20 memorial trees for local First World War soldiers, threatened for felling on Western Road, will be saved.
It was hailed “a victory for common sense” by local Green Party Councillor Alison Teal, who helped carry the coffin on Saturday.
Action now for future generations
Dr Alex Keeley, who attended the funeral on Saturday, said: “As a doctor I am terrified by the increasing widespread evidence of climate destruction and ecological collapse.
“Already the health of millions of people is being affected. I’m willing to act now to prevent billions being harmed in the future”.