Kelowna traffic stopped in global die-in phenomenon | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna traffic stopped in global die-in phenomenon

Kelowna had a die-in on Friday, Sept. 20, 2019, for the Global Climate Strike.
September 23, 2019 - 6:00 PM

KELOWNA - If you were caught off guard last Friday when climate strikers opted for a lie-down and play dead for one minute in the middle of Bernard Avenue, you weren’t alone.

It’s called a die-in and similar strikes were held in malls, city halls and, as was the case locally, streets across Canada.

The local car-stopping and honk-prompting act of civil disobedience on Friday, Sept. 20, in Kelowna, were led by Ana Ciocoiu. She’s from a group called Extinction Rebellion, which has chapters around the globe and is becoming known for more high profile acts of civil disobedience.

Before leading others to their pretend deaths, she implored the hundreds gathered on the steps of Kelowna’s city hall for the climate strike to consider acting now on behalf of the environment and demand world leaders gathering at a UN climate summit adopt urgent measures to avert environmental catastrophe.

“I’m not here to give a message of hope,” Ciocoiu said. “We’ve gone too far to be hopeful, but we can be strong.”

The current rate of emissions causing climate change, if continued, puts the earth on a path to seeing 3 Celsius of warming by mid-century. 

Before the climate strikers took them on, die-ins have been used to protest wars and foreign conflicts like those in Gaza, and by anti-abortion and gun-control activists.

Of note, on Sept. 15, 2007, hundreds of people sprawled out on a walkway in the U.S. to protest the Iraq War. A search indicates they may have been used to get attention as far back as 1970.

While it remains to be seen whether they are having the desired effect, the climate strike itself is making a mark, not just with young people and die-hard environmentalists.

The last climate strikes were huge around the globe, and in Kelowna and Kamloops they both gathered hundreds.

This week numbers could be further buoyed with employees from places like MEC joining. They employ 40 people at the Kelowna store.

“As Canada’s leading outdoor retail co-op, we are deeply concerned. We have known for a long time that operating our business and selling products has an impact on the planet,” reads a statement from MEC. 

“While our record of leadership in sustainability and advocacy makes us frontrunners in the outdoor industry, we recognize the need to take an even greater stand.”

As such, Friday, Sept. 27, all MEC stores across the country will remain closed until 5 p.m. (local time) to support staff who choose to lend their voice to the movement. 

To contact a reporter for this story, email Kathy Michaels or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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