Gorey Guardian - - NEWS -

BALLYKELLY wo­man Su­san Breen is spear­head­ing the Irish Ex­tinc­tion Re­bel­lion protest in Dublin’s city cen­tre which has seen up to 500 cli­mate change ac­tivists tak­ing part in a demon­stra­tion, as part of a week long cam­paign of protests and dis­rup­tion around the world by the en­vi­ron­men­tal ac­tivist group.

On Mon­day the demon­stra­tion is made its way from Le­in­ster House to Mer­rion Square, where a rally was held. Traf­fic and busi­nesses in Dublin city cen­tre will be dis­rupted through­out the week. Su­san said the aim is to dis­rupt busi­ness and to raise aware­ness of de­mands on the Govern­ment to tackle the cli­mate emer­gency af­ter tra­di­tional meth­ods, such as writ­ing let­ters, had failed. Each day spe­cific themes and ac­tiv­i­ties will be de­cided at a makeshift camp in the city cen­tre.

Pub­lic trans­port op­er­a­tors said they will mon­i­tor the sit­u­a­tion and work with gar­daí and au­thor­i­ties to min­imise dis­rup­tion.

Su­san said the group has re­ceived huge pub­lic sup­port as it led the Irish van­guard in an in­ter­na­tional move­ment which has seen 50 other coun­tries par­tic­i­pate in ‘Re­bel­lion Week’. The Irish group be­gan its ac­tiv­i­ties by hand­ing in its de­mands to four Govern­ment build­ings. Su­san is In­ter­na­tional Co­or­di­na­tor with Ex­tinc­tion Re­bel­lion and Na­tional Ac­tion Co­or­di­na­tor. She said the protests would cause some dis­rup­tion, adding that they would be fo­cused on Govern­ment and in­dus­try, rather that caus­ing prob­lems for the gen­eral pub­lic.

Su­san said there has been a lot of ‘sen­sa­tion­al­ist scare­mon­ger­ing’ in the me­dia, adding that she joined Ex­tinc­tion Re­bel­lion be­cause she is the mother of young chil­dren and she is ‘ter­ri­fied’ for their pre­car­i­ous fu­ture.

She said the group’s aim is not to cause prob­lems for the pub­lic and urged any­one with ideas to come and talk to them over the course of the week.

A mother of three, Su­san, who is liv­ing in Dun­ganstown, said that the move­ment is a non-vi­o­lent, fam­ily-friendly one and she hoped it would spread pos­i­tive mes­sages, while high­light­ing those com­pa­nies that do the worst dam­age to the planet.

She said the Ex­tinc­tion Re­bel­lion camp has proven very pop­u­lar with fam­i­lies.

‘We’ve had a re­ally nice crowd and there is a great at­mo­sphere. We have a kids work­shop, an art sta­tion, a well­ness area for yoga and med­i­ta­tion and nu­mer­ous dif­fer­ent talks go­ing on dur­ing the week and panel dis­cus­sions.’

She said peo­ple have been bring­ing in food for the pro­tes­tors and vis­i­tors to the camp.

‘There has been no has­sle or ag­gro. No one can re­ally ar­gue against us as peo­ple un­der­stand what is hap­pen­ing to our planet. For a long time peo­ple were able to pre­tend it’s not hap­pen­ing but now they can’t ig­nore it.’

She will be camp­ing in Dublin for the week choos­ing not to drive as a way to cut back on her car­bon foot­print, adding that bar­ring a mir­a­cle the group will not get what it wants and fur­ther protests will have to be or­gan­ised.

Sue Breen .

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