Eco-protesters ‘mourn’ loss of lives in funeral procession against climate change
Buckets of 'blood' were spilled and several roads were blocked as eco-protesters led a 'funeral procession' through Sheffield city centre on Saturday afternoon to 'mourn' the loss of lives caused by climate change.
Despite heavy rain, more than 100 members of Extinction Rebellion Sheffield group took part in the profession with some members donning red robes that symbolised a loss of species due to human intervention.
Meanwhile, other protesters wore black and carried two white coffins as they began their march from DINA venue on Cambridge St, to Tudor Square via Barker's Pool and the Town Hall to pour the 'blood' that was made of non-toxic synthetic liquid.
In a moving 'eulogy' read by one of the members, Dr Michael Nutt, he said an "urgent action is needed now to avert major catastrophe.
"The blood that we have poured is symbolic to the loss of lives already occurring on our dear earth. Not only are the plants, animals, birds and insects struggling to survive the ravaging of our environment by human beings, but also the future potential suffering and deaths of our own children.
"Vast majority of these species died due to human activity. If we continue as we are then human lives will soon be under threat," he said.
He also read out some of the species that have become extinct and a number of activists who were murdered in their defence of the environment.
Stephanie Howlett, the protest's coordinator said she hoped the protest could send a clear message to the powers-that-be that they need to tell the truth about climate change.
"The government needs to tell the truth about how bad the impact of climate change is going to be.
"We have got to act now and really change the way we live and not to put profit and ever-growing economy more than the wellbeing of the people," she said.
A lecturer from Sheffield Hallam University who took part in the protest, John Grant said: "I was a bit skeptical actually but you have to hit people deep down if you want to expect a real response.
"But after listening that all those species that have become extinct and the tragic loss of lives just in the last couple of years makes me think that this a fight that we need to take."
Mrs Howlett said the group will then take part in a major protest planned by Extinction Rebellion UK in London on October 7.
"We have got about 200 people going down for that and thousands of activists will be converging on Westminster and the aim is to draw attention and block Westminster," she said.
The fake blood was cleared by volunteers as soon as the protest concluded.