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Extinction Rebellion York hold ‘Funeral for our Future’

Protesters carried a casket for ‘our future’ through town

Extinction Rebellion York, led by YUSU Environment and Ethics officers, Mark Matthews and Merry Dickinson, led a "funeral for our future" earlier today.

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Merry thanked all who turned out before the action commenced, explaining that it was a funeral for our future as well as mourning for species that we have already lost.

The action began with a mass die-in, in conjunction with the international die in which took place at 12:05PM.

The die in was followed by a musical funeral procession around York, with protesters carrying a casket for our future.

Midway through, the protest was paused for prayer and for spoken word. Below is the prayer that was said outside York Minster.

Following the procession, the protesters occupied HSBC and staged another die-in presenting the manager with an "honesty plan" due to the group's belief that HSBC could benefit from some honesty in their policies about the climate and ecological emergency that we are living in.

XR subsequently tried to enter Barclays, where they were barred entry. This was followed by a short blockade of the bank as the manager quickly came out to accept XR's list of demands.

During these actions inside the bank, members of XR York also took part in subvertising of HSBc and Barclay's adverts, replacing them with more "honest" representations of the bank's policies.

Demands submitted to the two banks included "recognise that we are living in a climate and ecological emergency," "reverse any and all policies that are contrary to the crises we are living in," "ensure that all bank practices and funding are zero carbon by 2025" and "specifically end all funding of current and future fossil fuel projects, from pipelines to tar sands."

Mark Matthews, co-coordinator of Extinction Rebellion York criticised those in power for choosing profit over life. "We are facing a global crisis, people and species are already dying and emissions continue to rise at staggering rates. Those with the power to change this continue to pursue profit over life itself, and put the most vulnerable and most innocent in this crisis in danger and condemn millions to death. We are in mourning for all the life lost, and all the futures being ripped away by the endless destruction of our living planet and vital ecosystems."

Decrying a system which places short term gains over "life itself," co-coordinator of XR York Merry Dickinson, explained the reason for the protest. "Today we mourned all the life needlessly lost to this brutal and exploitative system, and all the life and futures that will be lost if we continue on our current path. "